Premiere Pro

There’s been quite a bit of talk about Premiere Pro lately. In a comment here, Martin Baker mentions that the BBC is moving toward making it a standard for PC editing. In Hollywood, penetration seems to be just about zero, and Adobe has not done much to push it into long-form environments. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting application. Based on info from Adobe’s site, here’s a very basic first impression.


  • Real time timeline. Cursor stays centered or jumps forward, as desired, while sequence plays.
  • Fast, project-wide search.
  • Project Manager helps you archive a project.
  • Nested sequences.
  • Possible to color-correct source clips so corrections ripple through sequences.
  • High quality, integrated title tool.
  • 5.1 audio.
  • Sample-level editing.
  • Bezier keyframes for audio and video.
  • Can count in feet and frames.
  • 16×9 preview on 4×3 monitors (real-time letter-boxing).
  • Multiple audio filters on clips without rendering.
  • Direct to disk recording from camera.
  • Tools to help create material for mobile devices (phones).


  • No film information in the system.
  • Very crude trimming.
  • Ugly interface — as geeky and ‘windows-y’ as it gets.
  • In bins, clips must be arranged in rigid grid layout.
  • No AAF export on Mac systems (ouch — talk about DOA!)

The lack of film information and the inability to export in AAF or OMF makes the system a non-starter for any project I might do. But many other features are intriguing, and Adobe seems invested in aggressively improving the program. It’s now available as a free beta on Mac-Intel.

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4 Comments on “Premiere Pro”

  1. Liam Says:

    I always feel sorry for people whent they say they use premiere! It was the first NLE i used. It streamlines perfectly with Potatoshop and After Effects too but other than that its pretty archaic. Interesting they are supporting macintel since they stopped supporting mac a couple versions ago, i guess its easier to do a macintel version….

  2. Grant Says:

    Sounds like the good old Beeb. Years ago they tried to build their own in-house NLE – can’t remember the name; I think it started with o. Anyway, it was an unmitigated disaster. So bad that’s it’s now gone without a trace, and yet again they seem determined to forge a path largely ignored by the global post community.

  3. Steve Says:

    This is not the old Premiere. It’s a complete rewrite, and it’s already taking customers away from Apple and Avid. If Adobe wants to see it play more effectively in Hollywood, it can easily add the needed capabilities. Competition should be good for everybody.

  4. Martin Baker Says:

    Exactly Steve. The Adobe CS3 Production Premium (catchy title eh?!) is the closest match to Final Cut Studio so it’s a natural choice as an PC alternative. That’s what I believe the BBC deal is – previously Avid was offered as the PC option to BBC programme makers so reading between the lines, it seems Avid has been replaced by the Adobe package.

    AFAIK other Premiere Pro negatives are the inability to open multiple projects simultaneously and no XML i/o. The latter playing a big part in the uptake of FCP by pro users.

    I very much doubt that Adobe are going to cut into Apple’s FCS sales but it is certainly a good thing for FCS users to finally have a true competitor on the Mac.

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