Adobe Premiere Clip review: Adobe Premiere Clip delivers a trim set of video-editing features

The Good Adobe Premiere Clip has simple, unintimidating controls, and allows you to quickly string together segments of selected clips with music and transitions.

The Bad There's no undo/redo.

The Bottom Line Adobe Premiere Clip delivers a basic set of video-editing features with an easy-to-use interface.


8.0 Overall

Editors' note, October 7, 2014: After a discussion with Adobe I have updated this review with significant corrections about the audio behavior, operation and interface. I have also bumped the rating up from 3.5 stars to 4.

Adobe launches itself into the mobile video-editing space with Adobe Premiere Clip, an iOS-centric video-editing app designed for people who shoot video on their iPhone that they want to edit on an iPad or possibly in Premiere. Though there are a couple of currently frustrating limitations, it delivers a relatively streamlined editing experience for people who want to quickly trim, assemble, and export videos to post online. The app is free, as long as you sign up for a free Creative Cloud account. More storage on CC is available as an in-app purchase.

You trim your clip by dragging the purple endpoints. The white bar is the playhead. Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

You start by creating a new project, then select the photos and videos you wish to add to it; your media location options are whatever's on your current device, something you shoot on the fly with the current device, or media residing in your Creative Cloud assets. As you'd expect, there are some size limitations on the files it can open. But the app doesn't tell you what they are in advance; it's all trial and error. They're just grayed out. It did open a video shot with my Android phone, but couldn't deal with even a small AVCHD file.

Note that to get the iPad video into the app you have to operate outside Adobe's ecosystem. Although the company just released a "preview" of its Creative Cloud app for Android, you can't upload.

Once you've got your media lined up -- you can always add, delete or drag and drop clips to rearrange them -- you're presented with the central workspace. For each clip you have a slider that lets you trim from either side. Forget about any precision; it doesn't even provide basics like a time code readout or frame-by-frame navigation so that you can find the proper location for splitting or trimming.

You can apply the small set of adjustments on a clip-by-clip basis: overall exposure or highlight/shadow and slow-motion playback. The same is true of the audio options, which are volume leveling, fade in/out, or mute. There are some "Finishing Touches" -- i.e., effects -- that you can apply globally. Those include global crossfades between clips and fade in/out to black. You can also add a music track, using one of Adobe's supplied loops or from your iTunes library.

The title editor is about as basic as it gets. Screenshot by Lori Grunin/CNET

There's also a basic title editor with a single font and centered layout; you can change the text color and background color, though I couldn't find a way to change the duration from 5 seconds. (You can kludge it by splitting or duplicating the title clip.)

One of the more interesting features is the ability to use a title clip or still image as a placeholder with notes, that you can subsequently replace with a clip shot within the app. I was annoyed that the app refuses to shoot video unless you allow it to access the microphone, even if you don't want an audio track. According to Adobe, this was a conscious decision to prevent people from accidentally shooting silent movies.

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