Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 is the fourth incarnation of Adobe's professional video-editing software.

And Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 includes features that should further strengthen its credibility.

Here's what to expect from Premiere Pro CS4 when it ships next month, both as a standalone product and as a part of the Production Premium suite along with the latest versions of After Effects and Soundbooth.

A few of the most notable new features aren't part of Premiere Pro CS4 itself, but come in the form of companion programs. Of interest to Mac users will be the fact that for CS4, Adobe eliminates the most conspicuous disparity between the Windows and Mac versions of the Creative Suite by including a Mac-compatible version of Adobe OnLocation. OnLocation CS4 lets you use a laptop to monitor, capture, and log video in the field. Prior to CS4, Mac users could run the program only via Boot Camp.

Premiere Pro CS4 also ships with Adobe Media Encoder CS4, a separate but integrated program that can batch encode any combination of Premiere Pro sequences and other files to multiple formats. In the past, you could export just one sequence to a single format at a time.

Of course, Premiere Pro CS4 also boasts numerous new features of its own. A new Media Browser panel lets you preview and import footage on your computer from within the Premiere Pro interface - which is particularly useful when importing material from tapeless media.

Premiere Pro CS4 expands its support of tapeless media to include P2, AVCHD, XDCAM EX, and XDCAM HD. And Premiere Pro CS4 not only supports the media, but its metadata, as well. This way, shot information encoded in the field is present in Premiere Pro, making it easy organise and search the footage without intermediate steps.

See also: Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

INDIVIDUAL CS4 APPS REVIEWED IN DETAIL:

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Adobe After Effects CS4 review

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 review

Adobe Flash Professional CS4 review

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 review

Adobe InCopy CS4 review

Adobe Version Cue CS4 review

Adobe Contribute CS4 review

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

Adobe Fireworks CS4 review

THE SIX ADOBE CS4 SUITES REVIEWED:

Adobe CS4 Master Collection review

Adobe CS4 Production Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Premium review

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PLUS:

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 is the fourth incarnation of Adobe's professional video-editing software.

Search speech

In fact, more extensive support for metadata is a prominent feature in Premiere Pro. A new Metadata panel lets you view and input information about a clip or even its source file. But perhaps the most exciting implementation of metadata is Premiere Pro CS4's speech transcription feature. It analyses a clip's audio and creates a text transcript that's timecode-specific and searchable by keyword. Needless to say, it promises to be a real boon, especially to editors who have many hours of documentary footage.

Adobe also enhances some of Adobe Premiere Pro CS4's core editing features. Most notably, Premiere Pro CS4 revamps the way you target tracks and shift material when performing insert edits. And in contrast to previous versions, you can apply speed changes, transitions, and effects to multiple clips at once. Another much anticipated feature is the ability to composite clips using blending modes (and to retain blending modes when importing a file from Photoshop).

Other new features in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 include an enhanced view of audio in the Source monitor, better timecode display options, more assignable keyboard shortcuts, and the ability to replace clip yet retain its effects and other settings.

See also: Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

INDIVIDUAL CS4 APPS REVIEWED IN DETAIL:

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Adobe After Effects CS4 review

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 review

Adobe Flash Professional CS4 review

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 review

Adobe InCopy CS4 review

Adobe Version Cue CS4 review

Adobe Contribute CS4 review

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

Adobe Fireworks CS4 review

THE SIX ADOBE CS4 SUITES REVIEWED:

Adobe CS4 Master Collection review

Adobe CS4 Production Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Premium review

Visit Photo Advisor for the latest reviews of digital photography and video hardware and software, cameras and accessories. PLUS: get tips and tricks to improve your photos

PLUS:

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4: Specs

  • 2GHz processor for DV
  • 3.4GHz for HDV
  • dual 2.8GHz for HD
  • Windows XP SP2 (SP3 recommended), Vista SP1
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 10GB hard-disk space
  • additional free space required during installation
  • 1,280x900 display with OpenGL 2.0–compatible graphics card
  • 7,200rpm hard drive for DV and HDV editing
  • striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD
  • OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 port for DV and HDV capture, export to tape, and transmit to DV device
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray disc creation
  • Microsoft Windows Driver Model– or ASIO-compatible sound card
  • web connection required for online services
  • 2GHz processor for DV
  • 3.4GHz for HDV
  • dual 2.8GHz for HD
  • Windows XP SP2 (SP3 recommended), Vista SP1
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 10GB hard-disk space
  • additional free space required during installation
  • 1,280x900 display with OpenGL 2.0–compatible graphics card
  • 7,200rpm hard drive for DV and HDV editing
  • striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD
  • OHCI-compatible IEEE 1394 port for DV and HDV capture, export to tape, and transmit to DV device
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • Blu-ray burner required for Blu-ray disc creation
  • Microsoft Windows Driver Model– or ASIO-compatible sound card
  • web connection required for online services

OUR VERDICT

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 has some enhancements that will please all Premiere Pro users, but the biggest winners will be Mac users, for whom the program is now fully compatible.

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