Strengths: There is no CD with the book but at the website you can find additional information that can be found and utilized. The index is well done. The book includes colorful screenshots which are very readable. Helpful hints and techniques
Weaknesses: Most of the information is in regarding iMovie. Troubleshooting ideas for using iDVD are missing for the most part. These are relegated to looking into 4 areas which include discussion groups, lists, official iMovie area and Official in regard to iDVD troubleshooting. I know there is more that could have been said.
No doubt about it. Since I created videos with iMovie and iDvd for my private use as well as a for business. But I have not been real happy with iDVD. I have found iMovie and iDvd 6 a mixed blessing and lacking in several ways. In many regards, I think that the radical shift to Imovie 8 from iMovie 6 is due to that many Mac users have had problems with various parts of iMovie and iDvd or both. I know this is the case for me as I have had continual problems with iDVD. And I have not been able to correct them while PC users are humming along creating their DVDs. Maybe Apple heard about this from others as well or possibly was thinking that the two products were getting too close and taking away sales from Final Cut Pro or Express. In any case, I was hoping that the author could shed some light on using these two Imovie versions to a better extent and why.
This book series is written by David Pogue, the New York Times Technology columnist. He continues to be the author at the helm of this series of books called "The Missing Manual". These series of books are self help guidebooks for learning and using software and hardware that go beyond the meager original documentation /manuals. I like some of the series of these themed books. So I thought it would be interesting to review IMOVIE 08 & IDVD missing review for several reasons.
This thick book has 448 pages and not filled with "fluff" but has page by page insights that will help you along way with iMovie and iDvd.It is divided into 5 parts spanning 21 chapters. There is a good appendix with 4 sections (iMovie 08 menus, troubleshooting, master keyboard shortcuts listing and visual cheat sheet. There is a short hand system of arrows that replaces the use of "much more text information" that guides you through the learning process and where to use the applications. Other visual aids are in color, the screenshots are of a good size and readable. Throughout the book, there are helpful tips, help boxes, notes and more. Throughout the book, there are helpful ideas in the way of tips, (up to speed, FAQ -frequently asked questions, Poweruser information, Clinic, tips , notes gem in rough hidden techniques). This is a nice way of targeting specifically helpful information without having to wade through the text (which is well written, authoritative and insightful).
Additional highlight included the following. Chapter 1, tips on recording time (p. 25) was nicely done; chapte 2 framing and rules of 3rd is something I know of with photography but this is one of the only times I have seen it spoken and used in terms of videorecording. There are 22 different ways to use weddings was very interesting. Chapte 4 is packed with various iMovei strategies using digita 8 and recording dv, importing older imovie has some good ideas ( also practical information about the cables and webcam to firewire information). Chapte 5 (p.113) includes all videoscodes and recording onto DVD. Chapte 6, includes copying, posting and deleting most wil already know but Chapte 7 Favorites, Chapte 8 transitions and Chapte 9 histograms are done very well. Interesting tips in Chapter 10 title and credits how to Chapter 11 narrative and can isntall news and effects.
Chapter 12 has photo browser tips, and great tips concerning photo browsing, fimstrips, using fade to black and therer are some nice specific hints that I would like to use. The section on power editing and power up editing is excellent. Chapter 13 moving from v8 to v6 or vica versa is is well done and helpful to many videographers who read the book. Chapte 14 has an interesting section with ideas on expert ipod, iphone, apple tv use. Chapte 16 covers iMovie to Quicktime (o.285) while Quicktim while Chapter 17 QuickTime information about using the Quicktime player.
Finally there is more about dvd use and burning in Chapter 18. Dvd has the information for two ways to burn your DVDs (OneStep or Magic iDVD). These two different methods and techniques are included in step-by-step fashion. Chapte19 make up slide show while Chapte20 talks about the using of themes. Should you want to work with scripting, Chapter 21 is for you.
The frank discussion about iMovie O8 "hits you in your face". You know that this is a radical new "upgrade" in many ways but why this was done is really a mystery. You will have to make up your mind whether to use either iMovie version or like many , both. Solid, informative and packed with techniques, hints and ideas, this book is a great resource despite the new versions.
The Missing Manual is for those trying to make sense of this new shift and in that way this book has hit the mark. The screenshots, visuals and tips, techniques and other notes are well done and insightful. There is a six page section on working with iMovie 6 and iMovie 8 and while it is okay, I think it should have involved more troubleshooting information especially on the pros and cons and on transfering to iMovie 8. I would have liked to have seen a listing, when not to use iMovie 8 in plain language. Overall I think this book at well done but the proof in the pudding will be whether iDVD and iMovie work better for me and others. To get there you have to try and try again. This book may help you solve some of the short comings now and in the future for iMovie and/or iDvd. If IMOVIE 08 & IDVD Missing Manual can't help, it might be time to switch to another video editor and DVD burner. Time to read the book, try out the new version and see if you want to try it , use both or use the older versions.