Customer Review

86 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Render for You! NEXT!!, November 3, 2011
This review is from: Adobe Premiere Elements 10 [OLD VERSION] (Software)
Premiere Elements, including v10 is the Soup Nazi of video editing software. If you walk the straight and narrow path, and avoid:
- memory card based video recordings
- large images
- downloaded video and audio files
- too many many edits
- long videos

... well then it may choose render a video for you. But if you want a general purpose video package that can handle different video and audio sources and render them to basic files or DVDs, you may be disappointed. If you have a youngster like me who puts together videos for school projects, well you can expect tears, frustration, and sleepless nights trying to get the program to deliver. Imagine spending hours getting your video apparently perfect in PE and then having no ability to save the video.

I've used the last 3 versions, 8.0, 8.01, 9, and now 10 and I'm throwing in the towel. I've scoured the web for help, posted in help forums, I have the latest NVIDIA card and drivers, a 4-core processor, 2 drives each with 500+ gb free, 32gb of RAM - it means nothing to this software.

I realize video processing is complex and it is unreasonable to expect a single package to handle everything out there. But PE tends to abort with the like of "Unknown Error", "Encoding Error", with absolutely no specifics. If it does not support a particular video file, it should not let you add it to your project. Or it should indicate the problem during render. It may waste an hour of your time and render to 95% and then just say "Error creating video.". No log, no indication of which clip caused the problem. To make matters worse, at times it may render a clip while at other times it will not. Sure, clear the media cache, delete the rendered files, reboot, change your render codecs and params all you like, defrag your drive, update your bios, get that latest video driver revision, check that hardware compatibility list again, etc. - but nothing helps. Or you may do as Adobe suggests - use a 3rd party video utility to convert videos to a format palatable to Premiere Elements... but doesn't that defeat the purpose?

I've used many many different software packages of all types, but never have I seen a more pitiful example of unreliable software.

I'm in the market now for a reliable alternative - I'd appreciate any non-Adobe suggestions.

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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 6, 2011 5:15:57 PM PST
The Bouncer says:
I had version 9 and wrote up a review under that. My biggest question is are you still stuck to all the preformatted project types/ sizes such as the ones in version 9 (listed below). I bought it to make Tutorial DVD's and their is not a single preset for a standard definition DVD at 720 x 480 resolution otherwise known as 480p

What other video editing/ dvd creation software would you recommend ? I have been playing around with Sony Vegas HD 11

Adobe Premiere Elements 9 is limited to the following presets for the NTSC projects does this list hold true for version 10 ?
AVCHD Lite 720p24
AVCHD lite 720p30
AVCHD Lite 720p60
Full HD 1080i 30
Full HD 1080i 30 5.1 channel
HD 1080i 30
HD 1080i 30 5.1 channel
DSLR 1080p24
DSLR 1080p30
DSLR 100p30 @ 29.97FPS
DSLR 640x480p60
DSLR 720p24
DSLR 720p24 @ 23.976
DSLR 720p60
DV Standard 48kHz
Dv Widescreen 48kHz
Flip Mino and Ultra 29_97p 640x480
Flip Mino and Ultra 30p 640 x 480
Flip Mino HD and UltraHD 29_97 1280 x 720
Flip Mini HD and UltraHD 30p 1280 x 720
Full HD 1080i 30 1920x 1080i
HD 1080i 30 (60i)
Standard 48Khz
Widescreen 48Khz
HDV 1080i 30
HD 720p 30

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2011 7:10:16 AM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Dec 17, 2011 6:41:35 PM PST
Bookish says:
Hi S. Roberts, thanks for your great review. I wondered if you'd found anything yet. We were about to buy this until we started reading reviews. A friend who's a pro suggested Adobe Premiere (not elements) we thought that would work even for the (fairly tech savvy) kids since it will have a familiar mac interface. Please post if you've found something. :)

Posted on Feb 1, 2012 1:42:02 PM PST
Chris R. Dow says:
My wife tried the demo of Adobe Premiere Elements and got quickly frustrated with usability, crashes, etc. What worked well for her was Cyberlink PowerDirector. I highly recommend trying a demo of that...see if you like it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 16, 2012 12:41:20 AM PST
For the past two weeks I have tried PowerDirector 10 on a free trial. It has crashed itself, or even hard crashed (no blue screen, no errors, just a hard shutdown) my laptop repeatedly, and when it doesn't crash, it won't produce MPEG-2 or MP4 output. This is supposedly because of a video codec/driver problem, but I find that odd since Adobe PE 10 seems to be outputting to those formats just fine.

I have now tried PE 10 for just one evening on a free trial. So far I have been able to figure out the interface with no more trips to the help files or forums on the 'net for answers than I had to do with PowerDirector. I managed to put together a cool little 6 minute video of a recent MTB ride, complete with added music and transitions between 12-15 scenes. PE 10 ain't speedy and it ain't perfect, but that's mostly because I'm using on a laptop that has only average specs for what is needed to produce video. For my purposes, I think I have found my software choice in PE 10. It seems a lot more stable than PD10, on my system anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 27, 2012 9:23:01 AM PST
I'm glad I looked on this and remembered that I get a trial copy of most software before buying.
I saw such a great review for Cyber Director, but seeing about the crashes makes me unwilling to buy and find that happening. I'm going to get a trial.
Corel's PaintShopPro Video 4 also got high ratings, and is the same price as Power Director, so it may be worth a try.

Posted on Mar 31, 2012 5:47:34 AM PDT
Thanks for a great review. You know, if you called Adobe tech support (in India, of course), the first thing they would ask you is: What computer and what operating system are you using? Unfortunately, you did not specify this in your review, so it is totally useless to me (and everyone else, had they known not to assume it applied to THEIR computer and OS).

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 12:48:35 PM PDT
Erica says:
I use AVID Studio Pro for about $149. It does crash every known and then but other than that it works great. I enjoy it, but it is only for basic stuff. I am looking into computer animation and things After Effects would do, which this program does not. If you are just wanting to make a vacation movie or your kid's school project Avid studio is the way to go.

Posted on Mar 5, 2013 8:58:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 5, 2013 9:17:59 AM PST
S. Roberts asked: "I'm in the market now for a reliable alternative - I'd appreciate any non-Adobe suggestions."

The literal response to your question -- emphasizing reliability -- is to try Windows Movie Maker Live on Windows7 Pro 64 bit.

It's easy to turn up your nose at this free Microsoft product with its pitifully limited feature set. However, Movie Maker Live "just works," which is a lot more than I can say about Premiere Elements or the Pinnacle Studio product or the Roxio Creator product.

I should mention that I own a Panasonic shirt pocket camera that's a few years old. It exports good quality video at 1280 x 800 to a .mov file. I was never successful at getting results with any of the above three software products. Ditto for using freeware to convert the .mov files to DV-AVI type II, which is Premiere Element's preferred diet. I wasted a lot of time and money in the process.

Movie Maker Live is my go-to now that I'm resigned to live within its severe limitations. Basically, it just allows me to string clips together with fade to/from black/white transitions. However, the video quality of the finished DVD is quite good. I don't add music or narration, but you can do this as long as you can live without the frame-perfect synchronization that is (theoretically) possible in Elements.

Can I have all my wasted hours back?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013 7:58:01 AM PST
S. Roberts says:
Irish Patient - we've been using Windows Movie Maker also (Win 7 64-bit), and I agree, it covers the basics quite well.
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