Apple's Soundtrack is not so much a music creation program as it is more of an audio clip manager, to be used with other programs. Originally packaged with Final Cut Pro, it has been released as a standalone tool to provide background music and sync sound in tandem with other media applications for video or web. In that sense, it is ideal for the non-musician or media artist looking to enhance projects with audio "clip art".
As is often the case, the in-box guided tour touches on the basics but doesn't cover most of this seemingly basic program's capabilities. Mary Plummer's comprehensive tutorial is a must-have for the user who desires to learn every feature of Soundtrack; it covers the basics of arranging and editing loops and one-shots on the timeline, synching and modifying projects for video, offers insights for adding special touches as well as tips for such mundane matters as managing files and media paths, and pretty much covers everything the program was designed to do ..... which is as much as you can expect from the only teaching aid available for Soundtrack at this time.
Note: Apple has updated their software since this publication, and the book refers to features that no longer exist, ie: no more red duration bar. There are also added features, such as midi synching, that are not covered ...... as a standalone, Soundtrack is obviously a work in progress. If I had already been using an audio production tool such as Logic or Cubase, I probably wouldn't have bothered with it. Fortunately, Ms. Plummer's softcover classroom (which features generous practice files on the enclosed DVDrom) covers enough of this otherwise basic application to make it a genuinely helpful tool, for non-musicians and composer-arrangers alike, who need to bash out and sync up scores on the spot. One of the better written Pro Training titles (no noticeable proofing errors this time!), this book will help the reader make the best use of Soundtrack in nine simple lessons.
All software should be this simple and fun to learn, but since it isn't, learning Soundtrack with the help of Ms. Plummer's guide makes for a nice break from the rest of them.