The Packafoma Post is the post-production and creative technologies blog of Packafoma Philms, the Philadelphia video production and photography company of cousins Dax Roggio and Shea Roggio.
This list is a follow-up to my post regarding my CS5.5 gripes and feature requests, which drew a fair amount of attention from both current Adobe Premiere users and abandoned Final Cut Pro users looking for alternatives.
» Scroll to CS6.5 Wish List
Update June 25, 2013
See how Adobe Premiere Pro CC stacked up against my list of CS6 gripes: Adobe Premiere Pro CC: Wish List Scorecard
Update May 7, 2013
We now know that the next version of Premiere Pro will be Adobe Premiere Pro CC. It looks awesome. I’m certain I will have remaining gripes (lack of background rendering chief among them), but I look forward to listing the many items that Adobe has successfully addressed. I was already convinced that the Adobe engineers used my previous list as blueprint for CS6. Now I’m pretty sure they used this one for CC! I’m still waiting for my check, Adobe, but I love that you’re listening!
Update April 5, 2013
Adobe has begun previewing the next version of Premiere ahead of the official debut at NAB 2013, which opens in Las Vegas tomorrow, April 6th.
I still don’t know what to call it (Next? CS6.5? CS7?), but I am extremely impressed by what I have seen so far. It looks like I will be crossing quite of few major items off of my list! I am particularly excited about the simplification of track patching and overall improvements to the timeline.
Once I get my hands on the actual software (release date unknown), I will post a new article tracking each and every change in reference to my list.
In the mean time, for more information about Adobe Premiere Pro Next, this is the most comprehensive roundup I have found so far:
I have been a Final Cut Pro user for more than 10 years (starting with version 1.2 on a 500 MHz G4), and Final Cut Pro X was a huge disappointment. It remains fundamentally flawed. I still feel that Final Cut Pro X sucks for professional use (Events? Really?), although I have no doubt that it will continue to improve.
I have been using Adobe Premiere regularly now for about 10 months on a variety of projects. I have been impressed by overall performance. Premiere is not Apple-slick, but the latest version is, in most respects, more advanced than FCP7 and superior to FCPX.
CS6 brought considerable upgrades to CS5.5. Adobe addressed a surprising number of my gripes. They are clearly catering to the FCP expats, as well they should. There is a reason that Final Cut gained the user base and prestige that it did, while Premiere languished for years. (If you tried Premiere back in the day, you’ll remember that it was terrible in comparison to Final Cut Pro.)
In stark contrast to Apple, the Adobe Premiere Pro team actively seeks feedback from their users, and they seem to be really listening. Adobe staff members are accessible and even participate in the forums.
Overall, I would recommend that disgruntled Final Cut Pro users make the jump to Adobe Premiere Pro. It’s a 64-bit, cross-platform NLE that’s Closer to “Final Cut Pro 8” than Final Cut Pro X. It integrates with AfterEffects and the rest of the Creative Suite in ways that no other editing application can match, and with the introduction of Creative Cloud service, it’s easy to stay up to date with the latest software.
Having said that…Adobe has a long way to go before I’ll feel safe giving it my unqualified endorsement. Despite surpassing the venerable (and sorely outdated) FCP7 in many ways, Premiere Pro CS6 is not nearly as stable on a Mac as any version of Final Cut, and it retains a disappointing number of flaws that will continue to cause former FCP users to tear their hair out.
Software usability, when you rely on it every day, comes down to the nitty gritty. So here is my long, updated list of gripes, wishes, and personal preferences. Please keep in my mind that this is not a comprehensive review. It is just a list of negatives. My list of positives would be longer, but my concern right now is how to improve the next major release. (Presumably that will be Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.5, but possibly Adobe Premiere Pro CS7, if they change up their release philosophy again).
My primary system is a 3.2 GHz iMac 21.5″ (2010) with 8GB RAM, 512MB VRAM (ATI Radeon HD 5670), running Mac OS X 10.8 with external Firewire 800 drives and a DisplayPort-to-HDMI external display. Update: I now work primarily on a 2.3 GHz MacBook Pro (2013) with 16GB RAM and 2GB VRAM (NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M), running on Mac OS X 10.9 with external Thunderbolt RAID drives.
The order of this list does not necessarily represent priority, although I put some of the more important feature requests and complaints towards the top.
Did I miss anything? Do you disagree about a certain function? Please let me know in the comments area.
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6.5 Wish List (and CS6 Gripes):
Hardware acceleration support for more AMD/ATI GPUs
Although the newest iMacs and MacBook Pros sport NVIDIA GPUs, the majority of Mac editing systems out there still have graphics chips from ATI (which has since been acquired by AMD). Continuing to miss out on hardware acceleration, update after update, is just brutal. I don’t hold out much hope for this one, however, as Adobe has not shown much interest in supporting older Mac configurations.
Thumbnail images/show frames bug
I call this a bug. Maybe it’s just poor implementation. Either way, it’s infuriating. I’ve tested this on multiple Mac systems with various hardware configurations. It was one of my top gripes in CS5.5, and I’m a little dumbfounded that it hasn’t been fixed. Thumbnail images in the bins and timeline get recreated (at a glacial pace) every time a project is opened. It’s as if the cache files get erased every time the project is closed. Yet, it can’t be an intentional functionality for saving hard drive space because the cache files continue to take up more and more space; they just don’t do anything. If you set the timeline to show frames, you had better be a patient scroller.
Assign source/target tracks/selected tracks/active tracks/are you kidding?/WTF?
If you’ve switched to Premiere from Final Cut Pro, you know what I’m talking about, and you’re pissed. The source track/target track/selected track system at the head of the timeline and at the heart of Premiere’s basic editing operations is remarkably overcomplicated and inconsistent. Since it’s clear that Adobe has been listening, there must be some licensing issue, some esoteric use, or some bizarre nostalgic embrace of this craziness by John Adobe himself that has allowed this mess to continue to exist.
In order to target a track to insert or overwrite a clip (V, A1, A2, etc.), you also have to separately select it at the front of the timeline (Video 1, Video 2, Audio 1, Audio 2, etc.). In many cases, you also have to individually unselect every other track that you don’t want to target, because Premiere will just pick the top selected track as the target regardless of the one you have targeted.
I’ll try to break it down with an example, but there are so many permutations, it’s difficult to be concise.
So you have a clip open in the source viewer and you want to perform an overwrite edit. Being accustomed to FCP, you slide the clip over the Program viewer and drop. Simple enough. It will land in the timeline in whichever track is the lowest of those that are selected. Okay, weird, but no biggie, and yes, you can select multiple video tracks, although only one will be used. (The selected tracks are the ones in the wider of those 2 columns at the head of the timeline.) Just ignore the source track indicators (the V, A1, etc.). I know what you’re thinking. It would be easier just to slide those into place, rather than all the clicking it takes to select your target track and unselect the others, but the source track target makes no difference in this operation.
Of course, you’re a pro. So you want to learn the keyboard commands as quickly as possible. Try the same exact thing, only this time, press the period key. That’s the overwrite shortcut. At this point, any number of surprising things can occur. One possibility is that nothing will happen. That’s because you have to slide the source track indicator to your target track AND make sure the track is selected in the next column. Forget the whole lowest selected track thing. That no longer applies.
It used to be even worse. Try repeating those same steps in CS5.5 using the Insert button instead of the associated keyboard shortcut, and you’ll get a third set of entirely distinct behaviors.
Thinking this was still too simple, Adobe threw in “sync lock” for good measure. It’s kind of like a reverse track lock, which is a nice idea. The supposed function is to push all sync locked tracks down the timeline after an insert edit and keep the others in place, but turn it off for a track and you’ll find it makes no difference — unless you also deselect the track. Be sure to select at least one of the tracks that is supposed to move as well.
I won’t even get into more insert edit nonsense.
Finally, just as a final fuck you, it’s actually possible to click on the source track indicators (as opposed to sliding them) and select or deselect them, much like the target tracks. What this abominable combination of unselected, yet kind of selected, source track and selected and/or unselected target tracks can accomplish, I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t want to know.
The “slideable” V and A1, etc. markers should set the target tracks both in function and name. Personally, I would get rid of the track selection altogether (We never missed it in FCP.), but at the very least, those selections shouldn’t have any impact on standard insert and overwrite edits, regardless of whether an editor prefers keyboard shortcuts, mouse clicks, or telepathy.
Even if the behaviors were consistent, what’s with all the track selection/deselection? You can assign keyboard shortcuts to some of these behaviors (e.g. to select all tracks), but why make such a fundamental element — no, the fundamental element — of editing so convoluted?
Lastly, the two columns of Source and Target or whatever, take up more space than necessary. There’s nothing I hate more than a waste of perfectly good pixels!
Premiere Pro CS6 is simply buggy on a Mac: frequent crashes, “serious error” messages, and spinning beach balls
Every time I open a project file in Premiere, I get a little anxious watching the progress bar trudge along, especially if it has been a few weeks or months since I last opened the file. This fear is born of not-entirely-infrequent encounters with messages such as one that ominously states that a “serious error has occurred that requires Adobe Premiere to shut down.”
It’s polite of Premiere to give the heads up that it’s about to crash, but the end result is the same: a quickened pulse and flashes of second-guessing my backup routine. Frequently, the project file will open after a system restart, but this does little to inspire confidence.
In Final Cut Pro 7, I simply expect years-old project files to open painlessly and have been rarely let down.
Difficultly opening project files is just one example of Premiere’s instability. Many other operations have led to crashes as well. Hopefully, I will soon be able to describe the Mac version of Adobe Premiere Pro as being “rock solid,” but it’s not there yet in CS6.0.2.
Deleting an item from a bin should not delete it from the timeline
I frequently create temporary bins for copies of “maybe” clips. In Premiere, I can’t clean up those bins, i.e. delete them, if I end up using even just one of the clips. But this is part of a bigger problem, which is the whole master file versus instance versus subclip versus dup clip thing. There aren’t any good indicators regarding the relationships of these clips, and there are few ways to adjust them.
If clips are going to be connected, then they should be fully connected. For instance, changing the name of a clip in the bin should change it in the timeline. Adding an effect or trimming should affect the corresponding clips between bin and timeline. Otherwise, the clips should just be completely separate instances. I haven’t been able to find an option to turn a clip into an independent instance, although it has to exist. Right?
In my view, every clip is basically a subclip: a set of in/out markers referencing the original source material. That’s non-destructive editing. An option to “link” clips together (in terms of name, in/out points, filters, etc.) is a great idea, but make it useful and definitely include the ability to break the links.
Also, editing an instance of a title does change every other instance of that title throughout the sequence. I would prefer to be able to edit them separately without having to duplicate them in the title editor.
Related to the above, it should be possible to add effects to clips in bins or keep effects on clips added to bins from the timeline. It would also be nice to be able to group effects together in bins for a specific project. The effects list window is better suited for global collections.
Capability to open multiple projects simultaneously
In my previous CS5.5 thread in the Adobe forums, this topic ignited a heated response from longtime Premiere Pro users. (No, I didn’t realize such a thing existed either.) I think some of them missed my point, but many of them added valid observations.
Background rendering would certainly be helpful in allowing many Premiere Pro users to keep working with fewer interruptions. (Maybe that’s the down side!) When adjusting clips that have any kinds of effects on them, I find myself waiting…and waiting…on preview files to render just to view the cut way too often to not find it frustrating.
Now, there should be a choice in the way that background rendering initiates, which would be an improvement over FCPX’s system. Per the user’s preference settings, background rendering should start: automatically (instantly), only through manual initiation, or during idle time.
However, the real potential of background rendering lies in combining it with an export format, which brings me to my next point.
Background rendering + ProRes + “Use Preview Files” could be awesome
If you could set the render format to your export format of choice, encode as you go via background rendering, and export using a true “Use Preview Files” option, you could save a considerable amount of time in the export process, especially when it comes to re-exporting after making minor adjustments in the timeline.
Adobe rightly envisions a world where you can dump in any format without transcoding, then edit with real time effects previews, and export directly (presumably without serious delay) to your delivery format of choice. Needless to say, that’s an excellent goal, and they’ve made great strides on the first part. Being able to skip the transcode and go right to editing is a wondrous thing. They’ve achieved mixed results on the next part. Clips with effects still require rendering to scrub smoothly and sometimes just to play. The last part — exporting — is the problem.
In FCP, exporting to ProRes is nearly as fast as saving the project file. In Premiere Pro, you had better hope you’re not up against your deadline. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already rendered out the whole sequence. It re-encodes the entire thing every time. If you need to adjust just one frame, you will have to re-export the entire sequence with no time savings over the previous export.
Backing up for a moment, I recently discovered that it is possible to set the preview file format to Apple ProRes. It requires choosing a “Custom” edit mode while setting up a new sequence. In any other mode, the preview file format selector is grayed out and locked into a lossy MPEG format. I’m not sure why these options are so buried, and the whole concept of an edit mode is confusing in a format-agnostic environment. I also find it strange that the preview file format can’t be changed to ProRes for an existing sequence.
In any case, with your preview file format set to ProRes, you may initially think that the “Use Preview Files” option on export is the same thing as saving to QuickTime/ProRes in FCP, which stitches the ProRes render files together quickly and without loss in quality. However, it’s my understanding from the forums and official documents that it does not work the same and that there is a generational loss.
ProRes is an oft-requested delivery format and my archival format of choice, but there is more to it than that. Adobe Media Encoder’s h.264/MP4 and h.264/QuickTime exports are of noticeably lower quality than Apple Compressor’s h.264/QuickTime at the same bit rates. So my current Premiere workflow for web delivery includes exporting a ProRes master every time anyway, and then running it through Compressor to convert it to QuickTime h.264.
Overall, I think it’s a shame that the advantages of background rendering are being overlooked. This is one of the few areas where FCPX has pulled ahead.
Update: For more on this topic, see Why Adobe Premiere Pro needs background rendering
Improved render selection options
Thankfully, Adobe “took my advice” and added a preference that allows you to hide the work area bar. That’s great, because that whole concept was clunky. However, they need to add an option to render selected clips. This would require fewer keystrokes than having to select in/out points just to render.
DisplayPort/Thunderbolt out to HDMI
I can accept that a third-party card is required for the most accurate color correction on an external display, but there’s no reason this feature shouldn’t exist as it does in both FCP7 and X (with a simple adaptor).
Cursor icons for tools are too big and embarrassingly crude
Somewhat like the track targeting fiasco, it’s surprising that such a fundamental element of Premiere is still so unrefined.
The cursor icons for the various editing tools are too big, too imprecise, and just damn ugly. Also, the standard trim tool and the ripple tool should have different shapes, not just different colors.
Generally speaking, the whole timeline could use a lot of polish. Don’t be afraid to steal from Apple on this one. Keep the tracks; just make it more functional and easier on the eyes!
Button icons at head of timeline are too small and embarrassingly crude
This really goes for the entire interface. Button icons are often too small, too similar, and too crowded together.
It’s strange that a team that creates such gorgeous progress indicators has such trouble with icons!
Really annoying cut selection behavior
Clicking near a cut highlights it in such a way that it blocks edit tools, such as the ripple edit tool, from working on the edge of the adjacent clip. You have to unselect by clicking somewhere else in the timeline.
Edit tool hover areas at edges of clips are too big
When zoomed out on strings of short clips, it’s hard to click on the middle of an individual clip to select it. This comes back to the cursor icons being too bulky as well.
Better clip selection indication in timeline
It is very difficult to discern at a glance what, if anything, is selected in the timeline. Transitions always look selected!
Sometimes the standard trim tool refuses to switch to ripple edit and vice versa
This bug occurs occasionally when clicking on the tools in the button bar or when using keyboard shortcuts.
Option to show frames in timeline without any text labels
Previous/next edit with up/down arrow: almost got it right
Major props to Adobe for going a long way toward straightening this out is CS6! The up and down arrow keys have replaced CS5.5’s page up and page down keys as the previous/next edit navigation controls. More importantly, they added the ability to skip to the next edit across all tracks (by using shift-up and shift-down), not just whatever track happened to be selected at the head of the timeline.
Unfortunately, they really got the shift thing backwards. So although I try to stick with the CS6 default keyboard layout, the first thing I do is make this the other way around. Shift-down goes to the next edit among selected tracks (a feature I’ve never needed), and plain old down-arrow-down goes to the next cut — always.
Up-arrow/down-arrow should go to in/out of clips in source window
The up and down arrow keys currently do nothing in this window, which is inconsistent and inefficient, since my fingers are often already on the left/right arrow keys going frame by frame. In other words, the up and down arrow keys should behave the same way as shift-i and shift-o.
Remember size and position of bin windows
Hide mouse pointer in full screen mode
Project browser should auto refresh/sort
Color labels in Project Panel should change the appearance of the actual text
The FCP way was much more useful. Those color boxes in a separate column all blend together. They don’t allow me to really highlight clips or make much use of color coding at all. Also, what’s with the default color names? Righ-clicking gives you a list of exotic names without any visual indication of the label’s color, which is pretty absurd.
Copy should always be option-drag on a Mac
Copy is currently command-drag in the project browser.
Stop auto save from hijacking my screen while Premiere is in the background
While I’m working in other apps, the dock icon does not need to bounce, and I certainly don’t need Premiere to force itself into the foreground to show me that it’s performing an auto save. This is especially disruptive because Premiere will keep performing auto saves even if nothing has changed since the last one.
Update: This may have been fixed in a recent point update.
Stop auto save from interrupting adjustments in timeline
Ideally, the auto-save would just be a background function, but it should at least wait until you’re not in the middle of dragging something.
Auto save location preference and functionality
In FCP7 I set the number of auto saves to the maximum of 100 and Premiere can go even higher. I have always used this feature as an additional backup and archive system, which has come in very handy. Those files add up, however. So, I wish I could set up Premiere to auto-save to an external drive. Also, auto saves continue to occur whenever there are unsaved changes. This means that if you make a small adjustment and then leave Premiere for a while, it will keep auto saving the same iteration, which is not only inefficient but leads to my next point…
Auto save: delete oldest
In CS5.5, the problem was that auto save would reuse the same file names, which made it difficult to determine which file was the most recent. In CS6, it appears that auto save just stops running altogether once it reaches the limit set in preferences. This is terrible. It should delete the oldest auto save file and continue with new, incrementally higher file names.
Update: It appears that this has been partially fixed in a recent point update, but the CS5.5 behavior is back. So it is still unnecessarily difficult to determine which file is the most recent.
Clicking to new CTI position shouldn’t stop playback
If you move the CTI while it’s in play mode, it should continue to play from that spot after you release the mouse, not stop there.
Snapping (CTI, blade tool, clips)
Currently, there is no way to turn on snapping of any kind for the blade tool, which is stupid. The command-K option to cut at the CTI position does make this less of an issue, but the blade tool is pretty useless if it can’t snap to the CTI position or the edges of clips in other layers.
For the CTI, the standard “s” toggle for snapping does nothing. In CS6, holding down the shift key does temporarily engage snapping, which is an improvement, but it presents a very inconsistent behavior, because holding down shift does not engage snapping for clip adjustments.
FCP also allows you to hold down the snapping key to temporarily reverse the current snapping state. I suggest something even simpler. Holding down the “s” key should always turn snapping on regardless of toggle state, while releasing it returns it to however it was set before.
Holding down “s” should take the place of the little-known shift function and apply to everything. That frees up the shift key for a much better use, which is my next point.
Fine control over trim adjustments without having to zoom in
Holding down shift would be a good option to allow adjustments in single frame increments at any zoom level.
The ability of CS6 to work natively with DSLR footage is awesome, but it’s not fully DSLR native if it has to pre-render a major component of the footage before it can play, even if it’s just the audio.
When launching a project, it can take a long time for all the media in the project to “load” as tracked in the status bar. I’m sure there’s a reason for this, but since the program is able to determine which source media files are missing before this step (and gives you the option to reconnect them at that time), what is it doing and why must it load every clip in the project, even those not in use by any sequences?
Scrubbing is pretty awful. While this is understandable with native footage, FCPX is silky smooth at full resolution. This probably comes back to the lack of supported hardware acceleration on most Macs.
Increase undo limit
Surprisingly, it’s still limited to only 32 levels of undo. This is particularly a shame because Premiere’s History window is a nice improvement over FCP7’s primitive undo feature. (And if you say you’ve never needed to jump back more than 32 steps, you’re lying!)
After an undo, CTI should return to where it was at that point in “history”
Clearer visual indicators that a clip has been adjusted in the effect controls panel
Even with the effects panel visible, you have to take a close look to see if there have been any adjustments to the standard settings. An indicator on the clip in the timeline itself would be useful.
Ability to switch off all effects for a given track
This would allow you to make changes more quickly after effects have been applied because you wouldn’t have to render after every adjustment to get smooth playback.
Color correction shape mask
In cleaning up the 3-way color correction effect in CS6, Adobe took my advice almost to the letter. (Yes, I take full credit!) They put the most important adjustments up top and replaced the confusing highlights/mid-tone/shadows drop-down selector with three dedicated wheels. A simple shape mask is sorely needed, however. I find masks are much more useful and ultimately faster than relying on shaky ranges that rarely nail skin tones with any precision.
Audio scrubbing without pitch change
I guess the pitch change is intended to mimic linear editors, which was fun for a few seconds, but I have a much easier time navigating by sound with the stutter-style scrubbing.
Border controls for images
Ability to place a marker on a clip in the timeline without opening clip
Better support for shared media access
Avid is ahead in this arena and Adobe needs to improve. It should be possible for multiple editors to safely work on the same project files and share media over a server.
Update: If the recently announced Adobe Anywhere performs as promised, it will not only satisfy this item of my wish list, it will go well beyond it to a whole new level of editorial collaboration.
More robust “find” function
The button editor is unbelievably buggy
Adding and moving buttons around is a mess. It will cut buttons off or break into a second line of buttons even when there is plenty of horizontal space, and the buttons don’t even center automatically.
Show number of frames being adjusted during keyframe adjustments
Enable/disable specific effect parameters/keyframes
Button that resets effect and clears all keyframes
Position controls starting point
There should be a preference to make the default position 0.0 x 0.0 (as opposed to 50% of whatever the resolution happens to be), and include a reset button.
When clip is double-clicked in timeline, CTI position in source viewer should match location in timeline
You would think “match frame” would accomplish this, but it opens a different instance of the clip.
When CTI reaches end of sequence, play/pause shouldn’t jump back to the start
This is particularly irritating when playing video near the end of the sequence and you hit the spacebar to pause it. If the CTI happens to reach the end first, it will jump all the way back to the very beginning. If I wanted to go back to the start, I would have just used the “home” key as always.
Dragging clip from timeline to project panel should make a copy (not a subclip that has to be named)
Update: This may have been fixed in a recent point update.
Copy/paste clip from timeline into bin
Drag from source panel to project panel to create copy of clip
Update: This may have been added in a recent point update.
Peak files get “lost” and have to be regenerated
Peak file generation and caching is clunky in general. Some users report that it can take a long time. This function should be entirely invisible to the user, and I don’t want to see peak files mixed in with preview files.
Use top-half waveforms for a cleaner look that saves space
Control-k should cut through the clip or clips that are selected within the timeline instead of using the selected tracks at the head
Faster top speed in J-K-L control
“Esc” out of window maximize
Save changes to current workspace (without having to retype exact name as a new workspace)
Cancel New Project dialogue without having to reload current project
In other words, don’t close the current project until a new project is actually started. (This would be moot if you could open multiple projects.)
Tab between windows to make them active
Shift-1,2,3,4 is fine, but it would be easier to tab between panes. Control-tab would be a good fit.
“Automate to Sequence” with merged clips causes loss of audio sync
Merged clips mysteriously become audio only and cause crashes when opened
Return and Enter should have different behaviors
In the project pane, “return” should move to the next line. “Enter” should simply enter.
Update: This may have been fixed in a recent point update.
Currently have to click “close” twice to close properties window
Update: This may have been fixed in a recent point update.
Better track coloring
The new track coloring feature is great, but it makes audio tracks the exact same color as video tracks. Audio tracks should be a lighter shade of the selected color or look otherwise distinct even when waveforms are hidden. The [A] and [V] designations are too indistinct and frequently get cut off.
Better markers for sequences and clips
They added more functionality in CS6, but they should include colors and more keyboard shortcut controls.
More logical clip sliding with keyboard commands
“Opt-,” (that’s option-comma) and “Opt-.” (option-period) should cause a clip collisions, not overwrite, because a good use of those keyboard commands is to slide a clip up to but not over the adjacent clip. Play with sliding clips that are touching other clips, and you’ll see why the current arrangement should be re-thought.
Opt-up-arrow and opt-down-arrow should allow you to shift the track position of selected clips in timeline
Add ability to select a cut directly and add default transition
Update: I’m not sure when this appeared, but it does exist in the latest version.
Add through-edit indicator in timeline and “join clips” option
Default sliding behavior should move the clip’s audio track to correspond with the video track
You can then use the shift-drag technique if you want to choose a different track for the audio.
More/clearer control over cache locations
There should also be an option to reset the cache/render file locations to their defaults.
Remember last used setting of export source range (or default to “all”)
Larger timecode display with h,m,s,f instead of colons
I think the large timecode display in FCPX is too often dismissed as eye candy, but it’s a legitimately brilliant interface element. It really helps you effortlessly keep your bearings with much less eye strain.
In CS5.5 you had to create a black matte. In CS6 they added “Black Video” but it still involves an extra step to take it from the project window to the timeline.
You can always assign a source track, de-select a target track, add ins and outs to the current source clip, and drop it in, which will create a blank space. Yes! Finally, we have a use for the separate source/target track controls! And guess what, it’s a convoluted nightmare! A simple fit-to-fill slug would do nicely.
More detailed tool tips or hover explanations in preferences
For example: The options regarding XMP data should make it clear that the original files will be modified by Premiere. This caused me problems in other applications. (After researching these settings, I understand that various Adobe applications use this information to share resources, but it’s still very unclear what the specific benefits are or what functions are lost without this option.)
More detailed support documents
The online support documents on the Adobe site are actually very good. They are nicely arranged and easy to search. They could just be more detailed and offer fuller explanations on some topics. (Peruse the support forums and you will discover all kinds of debates that could have been easily cleared up with one more line in a help document.)
Footage auto-analysis: shot recognition, color correction, and color match
If only Apple had just added these features and others to the FCP7 framework. Adobe can do it better though, by using smart folders in addition to the traditional bins that we know and trust (anything besides those dreadful iMovie-style “events”).
In the 64-bit era, there has to be a quicker way to preview effects.
Built-in syncing for dual audio recordings
Time for Adobe to acquire PluralEyes?
Add user defined list of favorite folders in Media Browser
Also, let us set the default directory.
Many, many more effects!
Some very basic effects are missing: vignette, border, and motion blur to name a few. Adobe’s stock response to this has been to use After Effects or Photoshop. Round-tripping with Dynamic Link is a great option for advanced effects, but I see no reason that more effects shouldn’t be built it. Obviously, Adobe sees the benefit of including effects within Premiere or they would provide zero. Just because an app is “pro” doesn’t mean you should have to custom build every effect. In fact, a pro app should be designed to save you time. This is all the more crucial because there is a disappointing lack of third-party plugins available for Premiere. Final Cut Pro X is rapidly pulling ahead in this department.
Many, many more looks!
Will most of them be cheesy looks I would never touch? Sure…but give me some templates to play with before I tweak the look down to my exact specifications.
FCPX, for all its flaws, blazes on any modern Mac. It probably comes back to hardware acceleration. Without it, Premiere Pro is very sluggish.
Cheap-looking CTI head
I saved this one for last because it has absolutely no impact on my ability to edit, but I’ve always found the crappy appearance of the CTI amusing. They wisely dropped the rudimentary 2-frame animation that existed in previous versions, but it still looks like they stole a gif icon from someone’s 90’s Geocities page.
If you’ve made it this far, you are a warrior! Please add your thoughts on Adobe Premiere Pro to the discussion, and let’s hope CS6.5 is another major update!