As Todd said, only P2 is supported at this point. As usual, Avid use a lot of additional data in their files that is not documented, which makes it almost impossible to use it outside Avid suites. A safer way of dealing with the matter is to simply export a Quicktime reference or self-contained QT file with the settings set to "same as source" so it uses the native Avid CoDecs. Both methods don't take any time beyond opening the export dialog and files will be available instantanuously...
No, it isn't. It entirely depends on the kind of work you do and the world around you. In the area where I live, Avid is all you can find and for good reasons. FCP (or Macs in general) are almost non-existant in broadcast and post-production for other good reasons - Avid support is not expensive and far from perfect, but Apple support is simply rubbish. As they say: Your mileage may vary, but we were, are and will be happy Avid customers for the foreseeable time as are 90% of the other companies in our area that I know.
Adobe claims AE 8.0.2 will import mxf files... mine doesn't. (Yes, I've downloaded the codec) I'm running a 2.8GHz Ocho (2 QuadCores) with 10GB ram, OS 10.5.4, and Quicktime 7.5. Neither Quicktime nor AE, not FCP 5 will open anything mxf so far. We're getting FCP 6 in hopes this will convert for us. Anyone have any success getting an mxf to import on an Intel AE 8.0.2?
Rob- What TYPE of MXF files are you trying to import? See Todd's note above- only Panasonic P2 MXF files are supported in AE 8.0.2.
MXF files are a container format, like AVI and QuickTime. The essence data could be a variety of different formats, depending on the source of the MXF, and any application that wants to read said MXF file will need to know how to interpret that data.
Check out Todd's note as suggested. You don't need any additional CoDec. If they are from P2 cards/ disks, AE will import your files natively. If they are not, than this is a no go, regardless how many CoDecs you install. Just like OMF (or AVI or MOV), MXF is merely a container format that can contain any number of streams and additional data. Because of that, there is no way to understand any variation on the theme per se and provide a generic I/O handler. unless Avid and the others don't publish their internal specs and extensions, this will not change, as much as you and I may not like it. Adobe can only work based on what's available and properly documented.