|Ever since Apple blew up the happy world of FCP 7, we've been running into more and more people moving to Adobe and Avid.|
Adobe's been pretty good. I like them a lot and their support guys (I'm talking to you Bruce) have been awesome.
Avid on the other hand, is tough. Shared spaces cause reindexing and external projects won't save natively to shares spaces. Our customers have mostly worked around this by storing projects locally, using multiple external volumes for media, or using AMA volumes.
I finally had a chance to explore this External project save issue in great detail today.
It turns out there's nothing specific Avid's doing that would prevent them from saving a project externally. They stat the file a few times and give up. It appears as if they are simply not allowing saves to shared protocol volumes (samba and afp).
My solution was simple: I created a sparse disk image on the shared storage, then mounted it locally.
This worked great. I could point my external project to it and it would save correctly. I could link in my AMA files and use them and I can trust that OS X isn't going to let anyone else mount that volume while I'm using it! When I'm done, I exit and unmount the volume. Now anyone else on the network can mount it and use my project (you can even have multiple users by doing read only mounts with hdiutil)
Further, this method can be adapted to just about any granularity you'd like.
For example, if your users hate the idea of creating disk images for every project, just create one very large (up to 2TB) disk image for their entire project library. You can automount that and just let them use it all the time. You could also have per project, per user or per customer images as well.
Let's face it. Storage is expensive and we all know what disks and motherboards cost. No one wants to pay three or four times what this stuff costs for a vendor specific feature. Hopefully, this trick makes it easier for you to integrate Avid workflows into your shop if the need arises.