Adobe brings Premiere back to the Mac

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Adobe will announce on Thursday that it will revive a Mac version of Premiere, the software maker’s video program aimed at professional editors. The new Mac version will only run on Intel-based Macs and will be part of a larger Adobe Production Studio suite that will include Adobe Encore DVD and Adobe Soundbooth.

Adobe dropped Mac support for Premiere in July 2003. At the time, the company cited Apple’s increased efforts in the digital-video market, particularly with its Final Cut editing application. While Premiere disappeared from the Mac platform, Adobe continued to develop its motion-graphics application, After Effects, for Mac video pros.

However, a lot has changed in the ensuing three-plus years—namely, the growth of the Mac market and Apple’s decision to switch to processors from Intel.

“If you look at the industry as a whole, Mac customers are very important to us,” said Simon Hayhurst, director of product management for dynamic media at Adobe. “Pulling Premiere from the Mac was probably the hardest decision we ever made. It was always our intention to bring that back, and Apple’s move to Intel made it easier.”

Specifically, Apple’s decision to use Intel-built chips in its hardware gave Adobe the opportunity to start from scratch, Hayhurst said. The company was able to build the type of application it wanted to, instead of porting old code over to the Mac platform. The end result, Hayhurst added, is a fast performer.

Premiere’s new dynamic linking highlights the tight integration Adobe hopes will hook Mac users.

“I believe we can help Apple sell a lot of Intel Macs,” said Hayhurst.

While Adobe executives kept mum on the specific features that Premiere would have in the new version, they did say that the Mac version would have everything that the Windows version has, including tight integration within the suite.

Don’t expect to find many similarities with the old Mac version of Premiere. “They both have wheels and body frame, but that as far as the similarities go. This is a completely different animal, except for the name,” Hayhurst said. “The team has done an outstanding job.”

Part of the reason that Adobe decided to bring Premiere back was the interest and feedback the company received from Final Cut Pro users, according to Hayhurst. The company feels that the level of integration it brings to the market cannot be challenged.

“What makes the difference is who has the best integration—that’s what we’re seeing time and again,” Hayhurst said. “Fifty percent of the features in the update cycle focus on integration.”

Premiere and the Adobe Production Studio will be released in mid-2007. There was no word on whether a public beta would be released, but attendees of Macworld Conference and Expo will be the first to see Premiere; Adobe will demo the application at its booth.

Pricing for the Adobe Production Studio suite has not been set. In addition to Premiere and the DVD-authoring app Encore DVD, the suite also includes Soundbooth. The audio application for creative pros has been available as a public beta since October.

This story, "Adobe brings Premiere back to the Mac" was originally published by PCWorld.

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