Back in the beginning days of the Macintosh, Adobe became a driving force in Mac software. The Mac and Adobe pretty much started the desktop publishing revolution. Apple and Adobe were the best of friends for many years. Then Windows came to town and Adobe started to lean heavily towards the Windows world. This had not pleased many Macintosh users who relied on Adobe products. While Adobe may appear to favor Windows, it has not abandoned the Mac. Just last month Adobe announced a PC only title was finally coming to the Mac. This program is Adobe Premiere Elements.
Adobe started out with publishing titles Adobe Illustrator, Pagemaker, and the biggest one of all, Photoshop. Later on, another important part of Adobe was video. This included Premiere a video editor, and After Effects - a video titler/effects/compositing tool. Premiere and After Effects on a fast Mac, with lots of storage, gave a video editor the ability to create professional level media. This really took off when Firewire and DV camcorders hit the market.
But then Apple saw this as an opportunity. Macs had Firewire built-in so why not include software with every Mac to take advantage of the then new inexpensive digital camcorders. This is when iMovie was born. When iMovie was released there was no other program out there that was as easy to learn and use. Video editing became an important part of the Macintosh.
As Macs got faster and storage got even cheaper Apple could do more. IMovie got more power and soon Apple started working on a higher-end solution. This is where Final Cut Pro (FCP) comes into the picture. Apple didn't create FCP but acquired it from another company. While they may not have created it, Apple took over the reigns and has reworked FCP into an almost industry standard for editing video and film. Many of the shows you watch on television today were likely edited with FCP. More and more of the films you see in your local theater are being edited on a Mac with FCP.
When it was time for Adobe to update Premiere to Premiere Pro, it did so only for Windows. Adobe essentially threw in the towel and conceded the video market to Apple's own software. At this time Apple had a mature iMovie, Final Cut Studio, and Final Cut Express - a lower priced cut down version of FCP aimed at editors who wanted to go beyond iMovie but didn't need the full power of FCP and its much higher price tag.
Then one day something strange happened. Apple abandoned the PowerPC chip in favor of the ones from Intel, which are also the same processors in all those Windows computers. Adobe saw the Mac market was changing and realized they could now write code for one processor to work on both the PC and Mac platform. It took a little while, but Adobe soon released Premiere Pro for the Mac OS. Premiere was back on the Mac.
Last month Adobe made an even bolder move. While there has been a version of Photoshop Elements for both Windows and Macs for years, Premiere Elements, Adobe's consumer level video editing suite, has only been available for Windows PCs. That is until today.
Yes, Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is now available for both Macs and Windows PCs. While iMovie 09 is great for editing small clips to put up on YouTube or your own web site, it is not great for anything long-form. Adobe saw an opening and walked right in.
For anyone who used iMovie 4, 5, or 6, you should feel more at home with Premiere Elements. It can be used with the same thumbnail style clip mode, or in the more traditional timeline mode. The big difference is that in Premiere Elements you can have multiple video and audio tracks. This allows you to layer video, titles, music, narration, etc. Layers are a very powerful feature for creating more professional looking videos.
Premiere Elements doesn't stop at just video editing. It really is a suite. It can organize your media, edit, and then output. This output can be video files in various formats (AVI. MOV, M4V, DIVX, etc.), or you can author a DVD disc complete with menu pages that can be played on most set-top DVD players.
Premiere Elements 9 does however have a few stability problems and some steep requirements. The occasional crashes will hopefully be fixed with updates down the road. To run Premiere Elements 9 you must have a multi-core Intel based Mac running OS X 10.5.8 or better. The Mac will need 2GB, preferably more, of RAM and at least 4GB of hard drive space to install.
Ideally you will need extra hard drive space for capturing video footage and for working files. If you have a Mac mini, iMac, or any of the MacBook laptops, an external hard drive is the answer. For Mac Pro tower owners, just slap an extra drive inside. There should be three open bays just waiting for more disk space.
Adobe is back on the Mac and October was the premiere of Adobe Premiere Elements. Premiere Elements 9 is available now either separately (street price is around $90) or bundled with Photoshop Elements 9 (street price around $145). The bundle is a great choice for those with any of the new DSLR cameras that also shoot HD video. It gives you both photo editing and video editing in one box.