This should not happen. I've got both version 9 and version 10 on OSX Lion and, with a few exceptions, it runs like a dream! In fact, I've been transitioning my work from my PC to my Mac.
4 gig is certainly more than enough RAM for most work.
What you don't say is if the program is crashing as soon as you open it or if it's crashing while your editing. If the latter, then what type of camcorder is your video coming from and how did you get it into your computer? And which settings did you select when you set up your project? If you're using the ideal project settings, there should be no red lines above the clips on your timeline until you add effects to them. Is that the case in your situation?
If the former is true and the program keeps crashing before you even add footage to it, then you've got a serious problem and you should contact Adobe Tech Support for some troubleshooting.
It crashes during editing. I'll open a project, insert a file. Maybe add a title (that's when a red line will appear over the video), move some stuff around, play it to check something and then it will hang and crash.
I was bringing video in from a Canon Vixia HFR 20 camera and I did get a message to the effect of "This video does not match the settings on your project, do you want to [whatever the text was to modify the video] before continuing" to which I clicked yes.
If it helps the videos have been saved to my hard drive as .mts. Whatever format that is.
To import them I simply plugged the camera in via USB and went to Get MEdia and choose 'Flip Camera' and imported them. Now they are all saved on my hard drive.
As I said, you will need to start a project and manually set it to the correct project settings.
I can't say what those settings are because your cam shoots in four different video formats.
Ideally you should only be shooting in FXP mode and then selecting the project settings for Full AVCHD 1920x1080 Stereo. (Make sure you're also correctly designating whether this is PAL or NTSC footage.)
If you are shooting in something other than FXP mode -- particularly if you are shooting in a mode that uses other than 1920x1080 video -- the program may be misreading the AVC metadata and setting up your project improperly.
Also note what I said about red lines on the timeline appearing above your clips. Setting up your program properly is VITAL to a successful editing experience. This is especially true the first few times you use the program because the program activates certain components based on your project setup.
Part 1 of my free 8-part Basic Training series for Premiere Elements support site Muvipix.com will show you how to set up a project properly.
Steve, I was shooting in FXP mode. I'm looking at the Project presets and don't actually see Full AVCHD 1920x1080 Stereo listed.
Under NTSC I see
Full 1080i 30
Full HD 1080i 30 5.1 Channel
HD 1080i 30 5.1 Channel
As well, I'm actually running mono audio input since I was coming off a shotgun mic into the camera if that matters. I'll be using a field recorder in the future.
You video format is stereo even if you only recorded to one channel.
Select Full AVCHD 1920x1080 30, as I recommended in the tutorial.