Our favourite feature amongst the more minor tweaks is the ability to apply effects to multiple clips on the timeline at once. So, for example, if you want to use a single colour correction preset on lots of footage simply highlight all the clips you want to be included, then drag the preset to one of them and it will be applied to all - a real time saver.
However you opt to purchase Premiere Pro CS4, you will get more than just the core app in the box. Buying Premiere Pro CS4 on its own provides the Encore CS4 disc authoring app and OnLocation CS4 hard disk recording software in the box. The Production Premium bundle adds Illustrator CS4, Flash CS4, Photoshop CS4, After Effects CS4 (which we will be reviewing in a future week), and Soundbooth CS4, for £800 extra.
Encore CS4, like the Media Encoder, can now import Premiere Pro sequences, so you can include these directly in your authoring and sidestep an entire intermediary encoding stage. OnLocation CS4's biggest change is bringing all the interface elements onto one screen, although this is also the first version to offer Mac support. You can now import OnLocation projects directly into Premiere Pro CS4, too.
Unless you need AVCHD support, the core Premiere Pro CS4 is not a huge upgrade on its own. But the new batch Media Encoder, with its direct support for Premiere Pro CS4 sequences, is a unique and extremely useful addition. Current Premiere Pro users could well find this feature alone makes the upgrade worthwhile, and it's a pretty compelling capability for newcomers as well. In a world where the same or similar content must regularly be repurposed in many different formats, Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 is well positioned to meet the challenge.