Like many of you, I'm the forgiving sort of person. I use a "three strikes" rule when I spend my money on products, services, food, etc. If you aren't familiar with the terms, they are from the world of American baseball. Basically, when it's your turn to hit the ball, you get three strikes or misses before you are out.
I give restaurants the three strikes rule because some nights the server isn't good. No need to penalize a good place for a bad waiter. If on the second trip something else causes concern, then they are officially on probation and a third trip and strike means they move to my banned list. Life is too short to eat bad food. Sometimes a place strikes out on the first visit, but those are rare in the Dallas area.
On the other hand, software and services can be a dicey game. For instance, in my post about my X64 adventures, I complained that Adobe Premiere Elements v3.02 would not run on my machine with Windows Vista Ultimate. There's actually more to the complaint than that isolated instance, but it was a biggee.
My use of Adobe Premiere Elements started months and months ago with version 2. At the time, I was still using Windows XP (32 bit) and was looking for a more powerful video editing tool. I was actually looking for a tool that would allow me to use some green or blue screen techniques. I was talking with Rory Blythe about his video work. I had already identified Elements as a tool I wanted to try, and Rory's recommendation helped seal the deal.
So I used PE2 as it's called happily for several months creating DVD's for my wife. Then along comes Windows Vista. About that time Adobe released PE3 and I blindly purchased the upgrade. It worked well on Windows XP but not on Windows Vista. Strike one. They of course fixed PE3 with Adobe Premiere Elements v3.02. PE3 now works nicely on the 32bit version of Windows Vista.
Then the next generation laptops start shipping which are uniquely suited for 64 bit operating systems like Windows Vista, Windows XP, Linux, OS X, etc. I decide to make the plunge and order a machine that will use 4GB of memory and run my application mix. However, Adobe Premiere Elements v3.02 will not run on the 64 bit version of Windows Vista. Strike two.
So I decided to check the Adobe site today and see if they have released a fix. Much to my surprise, I spy Adobe Premiere Elements v4 is now out. Wow, that was fast. I don't think version 3 was out a year. So I check out the system requirements, datasheet and other online documents to see if there is any dire warning about running it on a 64 bit OS. Nothing mentioned. That's promising. Time to call the sales desk. They claim it will run now, but that it isn't a native 64 bit application. I also learn about their 30 day return policy which is impossible at places like BestBuy. So I order my upgrade and take one more chance on a product I like.
The bases are loaded, the count is full and here's the pitch...
[UPDATE 10/2/2007] Adobe knocked it out of the park. PE4 installed pretty cleanly on my x64 Windows Vista machine. I was able to cut through a DVD project in one evening for my wife. Something I have been struggling with for days trying to use MovieMaker, Roxio 9.1 and NERO 7. Let's face it, single purpose software rocks and sometimes it pays to fork over the cash for a category leading product.
Premier Elements 4 is just much more intuitive and powerful. I slurped the video off my camera, edited the scenes, added transitions, marked those scenes for the DVD menus, picked a nice theme and burned a disk before my wife got home from work. I think she was pretty shocked I got all of that done from about 6-9pm. I hit a few bugs along the way, but nothing that prevented me from losing work or getting the job done. Seems stable enough for me, and I look forward to updates down the road.
I also noticed that this product handles HDV camera input. We're getting ready to see. I sent the first HD camera I ordered back. Hated it. Loved the 100GB hard drive, but little else. I also ordered Sony Vegas Platinum with the new camera. I've heard good things about Vegas. Basically, Premiere Elements and Vegas are supposed to be the top dogs. We'll see if Vegas is as cool as Elements.