The Macintosh iLife: An Interactive Guide to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD

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9780321170118: The Macintosh iLife: An Interactive Guide to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD
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In the Macintosh world, Apple's digital hub tools--iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD—are the driving force behind the convergence of digital media and digital devices. You can use these tools to entertain, educate, persuade, and inspire your audiences at home, school, and work. To help you master this elegant and fun desktop studio, there's no better place to turn than The Macintosh iLife.

Updated to cover iTunes 3, iDVD 3, iPhoto 2, iMovie 3, new iPod models, and the conversion to .Mac, a fee-based Web service replacing the previously free iTools Web service, The Macintosh iLife is a unique book-DVD hybrid that provides an interactive tour of the digital hub. Written by noted digital media expertJim Heid, a contributing editor of Macworld since 1984 and a Macintosh columnist for the Los Angeles Times, it uses clear, to-the-point text, gorgeous illustrations, and interactive video to do justice to the digital hub's enormous capabilities. The book-DVD combo addresses the basic concepts behind the digital hub, like how to balance file size and image quality in digital photography and how to create effective DVD menus. It also tackles more advanced concepts, like how to record Internet radio for later playback, prepare video for Web distribution, and get digital photos printed onto mugs and mousepads. Updated chapters include completely new sections covering iTunes 3's Smart Playlists, iDVD's AppleScript support, the iPod's new calendar features, and more!

The accompanying DVD-Video disc contains two hours of entertaining instruction covering all of Apple's i-programs. You'll see how to produce professional-looking digital media, and you'll see hardware add-ons that will round out your digital studio. Beautiful to look at and enjoyable to watch, The Macintosh iLife is your user manual for the digital lifestyle!

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Review:

A DVD/book combo--what a great idea! Think of The Macintosh iLife: An Interactive Guide to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD as "iReading." You get a 90-minute movie that allows you to peer over author Jim Heid’s shoulder as he demonstrates all the essentials of the four iApps. In iTunes, he shows how to create playlists, change the info tags for a batch of songs, burn a compilation CD, and more advanced features like choosing equalizer settings for each tune. In iPhoto, he shows how easy it is to organize even the largest collection of family pictures, and even how to make minor touch ups. In iMovie, he shows how to create a home movie that won’t put your friends to sleep by incorporating cross fades, an audio track of both ambient sounds and MP3s from iTunes, still images from iPhoto, and titles. He then shows how to use iDVD to create custom menus and chapter openings.

You can watch the book’s DVD on the computer and hit pause whenever you feel like practicing something for yourself. The book goes into even greater detail on each iApp, for example, covering cross fades in iTunes, working with multiple libraries in iPhoto, and tweaking variations of the Ken Burns effect in iMovie. In bonus chapters and sidebars, Heid goes in depth on related topics like the inner workings of an iPod, tips for taking better digital photos and movies, and how to hook up a TV for improved playback while editing in iMovie.

Anyone working in OS X, even seasoned Mac users, will learn new techniques, timesaving tips, and lots of ideas on how to get the most out of everything the iLife promises. And it may even turn skeptics who thought this was just another advertising gimmick into giddy converts. --Angelynn Grant

About the Author:

A 20-year veteran of the personal computer world, Jim Heid is a noted writer and teacher who specializes in digital media technologies. He has been a contributing editor of Macworld since 1984, and is the personal technology columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has also written for PC World, Internet World, and Newsweek magazines.

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