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Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Review - Premiere Elements 9 Comes to the Mac

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Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Review - Premiere Elements 9 Comes to the Mac

Adobe Premiere Elements 9

Adobe product screen shot reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated

The Bottom Line

Premiere Elements 9 has finally made the transition from a PC-only application to one that now also runs on the Mac. By bringing Premiere Elements 9 to the Mac, Adobe offers Mac users a sweet video editing suite that offers capabilities well beyond those found in Apple’s iMovie. Of course, with the increase in abilities comes an increase in complexity.

So does Premiere Elements 9 have what it takes to attract iMovie users who are ready to move up to a video editor with more professional capabilities?

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  • Easy to use.
  • Elements Organizer offers easy cataloging and video import.
  • Can fix shaky images.
  • Drag-and-drop editing using Sceneline.
  • Supports multiple Timeline elements (video, audio, etc).


  • 32-bit application restricts memory usage.
  • Requires technical knowledge to set various parameters.
  • Themes must be installed separately.


  • Requires a Mac with an Intel processor
  • OS X 10.5.8 or later
  • QuickTime 7 or later (for importing from or exporting to QuickTime formats)
  • Minimum 2 GB of RAM
  • Supported formats: AVCHD, Blu-ray Disc, DV-AVI, DVD, H.264, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, QuickTime, MP3, and Dolby Digital Stereo

Guide Review - Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Review - Premiere Elements 9 Comes to the Mac

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 consists of two applications: Premiere Elements 9, the actual video editing application, and Elements Organizer, an image cataloging application that can help you organize images and video, and prepare them for use in Premiere Elements 9 or Photoshop Elements 9.

Elements Organizer

Elements Organizer is used to import and organize videos and photos. It serves as a way to catalog videos in albums and apply tags to videos to make them easier to find. Videos can even be automatically tagged with information about quality, focus, shake, presence of faces, etc.

The nice thing about Elements Organizer is that any videos or stills you import into it will be available within Premiere Elements 9.

Premiere Elements 9

Premiere Elements 9 divides its interface into three main panes. The Monitor pane is where you can preview the current frame from the timeline, as well as view and scrub through a video. The Timeline, where you will do most of your editing, can display as a standard timeline or in a Scene View mode, which displays each scene as a thumbnail. Scene View is a quick and easy way to add transitions and effects between scenes. When you're in Timeline mode, you can do more detailed edits at the frame level.

The final pane is the Task pane, which you can view in one of four modes (Organize, Edit, Disc Menus, Share) by selecting a mode from the available tabs.

Organize mode provides access to content from Elements Organizer, letting you drag video scenes, stills, or audio tracks to the Timeline.

Edit mode provides access to all of the effects and transitions available in Premiere Elements 9. It's also where you create titles, apply themes, or work with stills and clip art.

Disc Menus mode lets you create the menus and titles for a DVD.

Share mode lets you send your finished masterpiece off to the web, burn it to a DVD or Blu-ray disc, export it to various formats on your Mac, or convert it for use on mobile devices.

Using Premiere Elements 9

Video editing with Premiere Elements 9 is fairly straightforward, although a good understanding of video technology is necessary to get the most out of it. Premiere Elements 9 offers much more in its ability to edit and create complex movies than the current version of iMovie.

With the complexity, though, comes the need for a well-configured Mac. Using a 2010 Mac Pro to test and review Premiere Elements 9, I had no problems with viewing and editing. Rendering is required to achieve the best results before viewing a project after major edits. With that in mind, if you're using a Mac at the low end of the program's requirements, you may experience some delays as you wait for the rendering process. Otherwise, Premiere Elements 9 is easy to use and kept up with the tasks I threw at it.

If you have outgrown the basic video editor that iMovie has become, and feel the need to accomplish more professional projects, Premiere Elements 9 may be just the editor you're looking for.

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