Adobe Premiere Elements 9 Integrates Social Network Uploads, but Lacks Strong Integration With Its Organizer App
By Alan Stafford
At a Glance
Native AVCHD clip editing.
Sceneline edit mode good for casual editors.
Lets you create and burn DVD projects within the application.
Stores, ranks, and tags video files with the Elements 9 Organizer.
Casual editors will run up against complexity quickly.
Crashes while importing iPhone videos.
Rendering required for best playback.
Spacebar for play/pause doesn’t work everywhere.
Lack of expected interactivity and responsiveness from the interface for a Mac application.
The video-focused complement to Photoshop Elements 9, the new version of Adobe’s image-editing application, Premiere Elements 9 lets you easily upload finished videos to Facebook (the program first acquired YouTube-upload capability in Premiere Elements 8).You can’t send your freshly edited video directly from Premiere Elements to Facebook, however; instead, you must save it, return to the Elements organizer (a separate application), find the video, and then use commands in the organizer to upload the video. It’s easy to do once you’re in the organizer, and the process works very well, but I’d rather use a more consistent interface, so I wouldn’t have to remember to use YouTube in the editor and Facebook in the organizer.
Similarly, though Elements 9 has a new import dialog box for handling video from Flip camcorders and from digital SLRs, you have to remember that the mechanism is in the editing application, not the organizer. It doesn’t really matter, though: You can import video into the organizer, too, or you can simply connect your camera and wait for Adobe’s stand-alone import application, which monitors such connections, to pop up. And that application imports the video into the…organizer, I think. It’s tough to keep track when the applications look so similar and have randomly overlapping duties.
DVDs Without the Discs
Premiere Elements 9 has some additional editing capabilities to help with audio problems. Six new audio effects–Audio Polish, Auto Mute, Cleaner, Hum Remover, Noise Fader, and Noise Reducer–are mostly automated tools designed to solve common issues. As with any filter, the results they produce depend on the quality of the video, the severity of the problem, and your willingness to tweak beyond the default settings. I tried the tools with a few types of audio, including music transferred from old vinyl records, singing from decades-old acetate recordings, and audio captured with my digital SLR, and I wasn’t too impressed with the effects at their default settings; often they reduced the clarity of the audio as they were reducing the amount of hum, pop, and hiss. But if you pick the right effect–I had the best luck with the Audio Polish–and play with the settings enough, you can improve the audio quality. Just don’t drop it onto your soundtrack and expect Carnegie Hall.
Adobe says that Premiere Elements 9 is optimized for high-definition editing, and I had no real problems editing HD footage, except that I had to wait while my relatively powerful PC processed the footage. Premiere Elements 9 does not take advantage of certain graphics cards to speed things up, as its big brother Premiere Pro CS5 does, and Elements 9 remains a 32-bit application, whereas Premiere Pro CS5 is now a 64-bit application that can take advantage of larger amounts of system RAM.
I like using Premiere Elements 9; I think it’s a good value for the money, and I consider it the best of its ilk. But I sure wish Adobe would rethink how its organizer works with its editing applications. Trying to keep straight which application does what is harder than remembering where I left my keys.
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