A Night with Premiere

Updated: Using Encore was not fun… not that I ever want to burn discs

Last night I tried to do something I thought would be quick and simple enough for Final Cut Pro X to handle: Cut a m4v file. Said m4v file was already iPhone ready (480 x 270, small but usable bitrate, 33K audio). I have Final Cut Pro X set to match sequence to clip settings (which was a much needed feature) and try to drop the file into it. It tells me it can’t do it and offers me 640×480 or 720p. There is no “other” or arbitrary frame size in FCP.

I had a choice to make

  1. Upscale to 720p then downscale on export
  2. Find and Install FCP 7 and pretend this never happened
  3. Find and Install Premiere Pro
  1. Luckily I always had a habit ripping all of my CDs and my CS5 Master dmg’s were waiting for me on my time capsule.
  2. My Final Cut Studio dmg’s were too but putting old software on my new SSD felt wrong.
  3. I also didn’t want to accidentally find a Lion incompatibility.
  4. Premiere has CUDA support and I have an nvidia GPU
  5. FCP 7 has NO GPU support and I only had a dual core machine for this

Due to some time in PC only environments I’m equally versed in earlier versions of Premiere and Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro and if you can ignore Final Cut Pro 7’s out of date performance it’s clearly the better NLE. But Premiere isn’t awful. I like to think of it like Final Cut Pro 3 with better performance and format support. I went with Premiere.

If it worked, that Automatic sequence setting in Final Cut Pro X would be a dream, because the UI for setting sequence settings in Premiere feels 10 years old (it is). Still, being that I’m a Pro and not an iMovie user, I know what these things mean and could just deal with the bad UI and get it done.

That right there is where Apple missed the boat on Final Cut Pro X. It’s OK to make things easier, but when you sacrifice enormous amounts of flexibility to do so it isn’t worth it.

Although dragging things into Premiere from Finder almost crashes the damn thing, I did import the clip just fine using their preferred import method. I dragged it into my timeline and performed the cuts, a few ripple deletes, and exported it back out. Done.