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In 1991, Adobe introduced an innovative video-editing program called Premiere. Even though technology at that time wasn’t quite up to the task, Premiere hinted at the computer’s potential for making video production and editing more accessible to all. What once could be achieved only on high-priced, high-end equipment would one day be done on a desktop. And sure enough, Premiere was an important player in what some call the desktop video revolution. Like any good revolution, it had a democratizing effect. Today, DV camcorders, digital cameras, and fast, capacious computers are within reach of the common folk.

Yet, as Premiere had kept pace with innovation, it had also become more complex. And as it had become more full-featured, ...

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