The Macintosh iLife 08

On March 26, 2008, in Book Review, by David Weeks

The Macintosh iLife ’08
Jim Heid

Peachpit Press
http://www.peachpit.com
421 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0321501905
US$ 39.95 CA$ 443.99

One thing is certain about Apple: each revision of their iApps (iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand) brings new features and new frustrations.

It’s also a certainty that author Jim Heid will write a new edition of The Macintosh iLife to help Mac users learn what’s new with the iApps, how best to use those new features, and how to deal with any new limitations or frustrations that Apple introduced.

If you’re wondering t yourself “did I already read this review?” you probably have. The Macintosh iLife ’08 marks the fourth edition of Heid’s book I’ve reviewed. This is gonna sound like a broken record, but yes, the book is better than ever. Technically, this is the sixth edition, but who’s counting?

Here are my previous reviews;

The original flavor

Round Two; iLife 05

Still on Top; iLife 06

I’m known to not like picture instruction books; the Visual Quickstart Guide series leaves me cold. But Heid finds the right balance between graphic and text. I never felt that I needed a picture to clear up confusing text, nor did I ever feel that it was drowning in a sea of screenshots.

My previous lament for the long-lost instructional DVD continues. It was one of the highlights of the first two editions of the book. I realize costs go up, but that DVD will always have a place in my heart. The book is longer than ever. With Apple stuffing more and more into the iApps, Heid has more to write about. It’s up to 421 pages, so I guess the extra content will make up for some of the loss of the DVD.

In iLife ’08, Heid will walk you through the ins and outs of each application. He uses the right blend of screen snapshots and text to convey what you need to know.

Here’s a brief list (courtesy of Peachpit) of topics:

• Shop ’til you drop at the iTunes Store—and wirelessly with the iPhone and iPod touch
• Create a digital media center with Apple TV and your widescreen TV set
• Improve your photography and video-shooting techniques
• Produce spectacular slide shows, photo books, calendars, and greeting cards
• Refine your photos to perfection with iPhoto’s new editing tools
• Share photos via email, .Mac Web Gallery, DVD slide shows, and more
• Assemble a video library with the all-new iMovie—and share your creations on YouTube
• Record and arrange your own music with GarageBand
• Create and publish your own Web sites, blogs, and podcasts
• Preserve the past: digitize old records, photos, and movies

If you’re wondering how good Heid really is, and does he really know what he’s talking about, be advised that Apple tapped his talents to write the tutorials published at http://www.apple.com/ilife/tutorials/

Conclusion
If you are going to buy only one book about the iApps, The Macintosh iLife ’08 should be the one to buy.

MyMac rating 5 out of 5

 

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