I was a beta tester for Premiere Pro for the last seven months or so - and having signed a non-disclosure agreement, there wasn't a thing I could say. But now that it's out, there's plenty to say.
For the last nine years or so, my main editing program had been Final Cut Pro. Then, over a year ago a year ago Apple got us editors very excited with the announcement of Final Cut Pro X. They said it would be "awesome" - but it wasn't awesome - it was down right terrible.
So we all panicked and started looking for the next great editing program - or at least one we could live with. There was Premiere Pro 5.5 and then there was Avid. I dabbled with PP 5.5 and found it to be okay, at best. I was a very unhappy camper - none of the programs got me excited.
So I got signed up to be a beta tester for Premiere Pro 6 and with every new build, it just kept getting better and better. Adobe was determined to make Premiere Pro do for editors what Photoshop does for the rest of the publishing and Internet world.
Premiere Pro 6 is everything we had hoped Final Cut 8 would have been, and then some. It's fast, it's stable, it's sexy and it walks and talks with After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Encore and more.
But before I made that final decision, I wanted to give Avid 6 a spin around the block. So I downloaded the trial version of 6 and dedicated some time into learning it. After all, I was an Avid editor about 15 years ago - how bad could it be?
The answer is - it's not terrible. But its also not sexy, it's not sleek, and it's creaking with old age. Avid has some really nice features in it. But compared to Premiere Pro 6, its like using a hammer and a chisel inside a cave wall.
So is Premiere Pro 6 the perfect program? Not yet - it's still a work in progress. Adobe is determined to make it great. Unlike Apple, whose only concern these days is making toys for consumers, and editing systems for Grandpa. And Avid is simply stuck in the past. And if you purchase Avid for twice the price of Adobe - all you get is Avid. If you purchase CS6, you get After Effects, Photoshop and all those other incredible programs.
I'm a fast editor. Really fast. I can't stand it when the program gets in my way. Premiere Pro - at least 90% of the time - doesn't get in my way. And Adobe has promised me that the last 10 percent will be getting out my way in the not too distant future. So for all of you still using Final Cut 7, or contemplating Final Cut X, or Avid 6, give PP 6 a run for its money. You may fall in love.
The 8-core Mac Tower I'm running all this on has just been updated with an Nvidia 4000 graphics card and some SSD drives, and it's fine for now. But the Mac Towers are really showing their age. And although I love OSX, and dread Windows 7, I may not have long before I have to switch. Yes, Tim Cook just said that next year they've got a surprise for us professionals - and it's going to be "awesome."
Allen Williams operates E.Motion Productions in Las Vegas. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.