Avid Requirements

Avid designed Media Composer for a dedicated system integrator to install, configure, and deploy it. At Hedge, we are not system integrators. Assisting with Media Composer workflow issues beyond the scope of Mimiq support may fall under Professional Services.

To use Media Composer successfully, you must adhere to Avid's system requirements and implement performance optimizations on each team member's workstation.

Here's a short list of references directly from Avid:

However, we've compiled a list of tried-and-true optimizations so you can quickly elevate your current Media Composer environment to Avid's requirements.

You must complete all optimizations on each workstation before reaching out for support.

1. Use a qualified combination of your operating system and Media Composer

When Avid successfully tests a version of Media Composer against a specific version of an operating system, Avid declares that combination qualified.

Use Avid's documentation to find the qualified combination that is best for you and your team:

2. Update your operating system and Media Composer to the latest possible qualified combination

It's highly probable the latest version of Media Composer won't be qualified for the latest version of an operating system. However, Media Composer may be qualified to run on a more updated version of the operating system you're currently using.

With rare exception, do not update Media Composer or your operating system while working on a Project.

3. Connect your computer to the network using a cable (hard-wired)

Connect over Ethernet or Fibre Channel. Do not use Wi-Fi as your workstation's primary network connection.

4. Disable Fast Scrub

Settings > User > Timeline > Use Fast Scrub: DISABLED

Disabling Fast Scrub results in a significant reduction of SFPlayConsumer::Execute TIMEOUT exceptions.

5. Adjust Media Composer's Audio Settings

Settings > User > Audio > ...

  • Play Buffer Size in Samples: 1024 (could be as low as 256)

  • Tool Buffer Size in Samples: 1024 (could be as low as 256)

Adjusting Media Composer's Audio settings results in a significant reduction of SFPlayConsumer::Execute TIMEOUT exceptions.

6. Increase the Amount of Video Memory Used

Media Composer caches playback to RAM. The more memory you have installed on your workstation, the better your playback experience will be.

You can increase the amount of memory Media Composer uses to cache playback here:

Settings > Site > Media Cache > Video Memory

Then adjust these settings in Video Memory:

  • Desired Video Memory (GB): set to the desired amount (default: 2 GB)

  • Enable Playback Video Frame Cache: ENABLED

  • Enabled FX Editing Video Frame Cache: ENABLED

Since the amount of available RAM varies from computer to computer, we can't say how you should set Desired Video Memory. It's best to increase or decrease the amount of memory by GBs, then test for any improvement in Media Composer (e.g. playback, scrubbing, exporting, etc.)

Additional Performance Optimizations

For macOS

1. Remove OpenIO_VirtIO.acf from Avid Media Composer.app‌

Using Blackmagic Design hardware for video playback? Skip this step.

Starting in Media Composer 7.0.4, Avid packaged this plug-in with Media Composer – OpenIO_VirtIO.acf. Media Composer's installer doesn't let you choose whether to install this or not, so you must take these steps to remove it manually:

  1. Quit Media Composer.

  2. In Finder, locate the Avid Media Composer application bundle (e.g. /Applications/Avid Media Composer/AvidMediaComposer.app).

  3. Control-Click on AvidMediaComposer.app and select Show Package Contents.

  4. Go to ../Contents/SharedSupport/AVX2_Plugins.

    • Note: depending on the version of Media Composer, this folder could be ../Contents/SharedSupport/AVX_Plugins.

  5. Locate the OpenIO_VirtIO.acf file. Hold Option then drag a copy of it to your Desktop. (Your mouse pointer will change into a plus sign inside a green circle.)

  6. Delete OpenIO_VirtIO.acf from the Avid Media Composer app package.

  7. Relaunch Media Composer.

Removing OpenIO_VirtIO.acf results in a significant reduction of SFPlayConsumer::Execute TIMEOUT exceptions.

2. Rename your Mac's Computer Name to remove any characters with diacritics.

Media Composer becomes unpredictable when a Mac's Computer Name contains characters with diacritics (e.g. á, é, í, ö, ü).

Take these steps to change your Mac's Computer Name in macOS:

3. Eliminate All Other Performance Inhibitors on Your Mac or Local Area Network

  1. Configure your Mac's Energy Saver settings so your Mac doesn't go to sleep, and none of your disks spins down. Possible Energy Saver settings to modify include:

    1. Computer Sleep: Never

    2. Put hard disks to sleep when possible: DISABLED

  2. Disable the screen saver on your Mac.

For Windows

1. Use the BaseAnalyzer in the Avid Collect Suite app to detect and fix any performance inhibitors in Windows.

  1. Launch Avid Collect Suite, then click CHECK CONFIGURATION.

  2. In the BaseAnalyzer dialog, click Verify All.

  3. Choose Failed from the dropdown menu.

  4. Double-click any 🔴 item in the list, then click Fix.

  5. Click Fix until the button’s disabled or the Reason is passed, then click Cancel.

    • After clicking Fix, Avid Collect Suite may tell you: Depending on the changes made it may be required to reboot the system.

  6. Fix as much as you can, then restart Windows.

  7. Once Windows is back up, go back to Step 2 and repeat these steps.

    • You may notice Avid Collect Suite re-lists certain items as 🔴 once again. Avid Collect Suite is working as expected. Once again, Fix as much as you can.

2. Complete your Media Composer setup using the Computer Optimization Guide that matches the version of Windows you're using.


What are SFPlayConsumer::Execute TIMEOUT Exceptions?

SFPlayConsumer::Execute TIMEOUT means some part of your system is too slow for Media Composer to achieve playback. If you open Tools > Console in Media Composer, you'll find these exceptions are logged quite frequently in the background, even with standard operations like playback or scrubbing.

Why is my Project / Bin getting slower (and slower) to open over time?

The Unity Attic folder is too big.

Zip and archive the existing Unity Attic periodically, then Media Composer will regenerate a new one.

It may be best if all team members are out of the Avid Project before archiving the Unity Attic.

Why do my Bins show ??? as the owner instead of my Team Members' Computer Name?

‌Someone renamed or moved that Bin, and Media Composer isn't showing the Project's current state. Refresh the Project in Media Composer from your location, and you'll see the current owner of each Bin.

  • ‌MC 2021.x and newer: Bins > 🍔 > Refresh

  • ‌MC 2018.12.15: Project > 🍔 > Refresh

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