Adobe Premiere Elements 14 El Capitan Failure

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It is my official verdict, Premiere Elements 14 runs like a dog under El Capitan on the iMac.  Frames being dropped, the need to start the program twice to get the audio and scrubbing working and what really alerted me to the functional problems… the slow down in the audio tracks… the pitch was changed and people had a deep voice not dissimilar to a kidnapper on the phone trying for a ransom.

The proof… I installed it on another iMac with Yosemite, no problems, no frame drops and audio perfect.  The two times to start it on Yosemite is variable.  Other apps were all closed on the El Capitan iMac.  The iMac was even restarted and the files in the timeline and project all reloaded… no better.

The system requirements do not say it runs under El Capitan, only 10.10 (my Yosemite machines are 10.10.5 and Premiere Elements runs fine on each of these).  I note it says 2GB of RAM…. i am skeptical about this.  My machines are 4GB and struggle a little.  One machine has 24GB and is the best performer for the same OS, same CPU.  So El Capitan, 10.11.3, your sweet days are numbered on this iMac.  Just too many beachballs and too slow overall.  I smile when I see the reviews in the App Store… must be from users with no software, just iTunes maybe.  Try to do something taxing on the machines, they cannot cope.  Even newer top spec machines are struggling.  Apple, what are you doing?

Both Premiere Elements and Premiere Pro are really nice software, quite stable under Yosemite but under El Capitan, opening some tabs in the add media area results in the app shutting down unexpectedly.

The build for my Premiere Elements is 895 401, version 14.1….. all the updates installed to date.

El Capitan 10.11.4

Some improvements finally, but still too slow to be usable with extra audio tracks.  The sync on audio to video tells the story.  At the beginning of a clip in sync and at the end of a two minute clip, 300ms of timing error.  It does not sound like much, but the ear can pick it up.  Double booting into Premiere also necessary, otherwise the audio output halts.  The space bar does not cause the timeline to play and stop, it’s quite intermittent. The Mac needs to be shut down and rebooted before launching Premiere to get the best results.  Even iMovie does not suffer these problems.  This is an Adobe problem or an Apple problem?  Adobe Photoshop Elements is no better.  It’s unusable under El Capitan.  Try accessing the tools and it slows to snail pace and the machine needs a reboot!  Under Yosemite it seems OK.

For those who are interested, initial boot times into Premiere Elements with El Capitan 10.11.4, around 6 to 15 seconds on a flash drive iMac 2014, 24GB RAM and 45 seconds to 1 minute on an iMac I5, mid 2011, 4GB Ram.  And on a MBP 2012, 4GB, give up… 1.5 minutes to get into the program.  Reloading the program, access always faster with cache, even the 2011 iMac about 30 seconds to open the program.  The timing/sync error here doesn’t look bad, but the audio sounds like it’s in a tube and the pitch is wrong.  On the faster iMac, the problem is absent.


For now, sadly 6 months after the public release of El Capitan, Yosemite 10.10.5 is still the winner in the speed and stability stakes.

For Adobe products on the Mac platform, stick with Yosemite.

UPDATE El Capitan 10.11.5

Finally it’s working OK!  First efforts not bad anyway.  The program still needs to be started two times to get the audio working properly, but otherwise, it’s faster and not so laggy now.  6 June 2015

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