QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows Visual Quickstart Guide
Book Review

QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows Visual Quickstart Guide
Judith Stern, Robert Lettieri

Peachpit Press
US $21.99, CAN $3499
ISBN 0-321-12728-5

You’d be surprised if you knew just how much you could accomplish with QuickTime. For most folks QuickTime is just an underutilized streamer of web media. But there is more to QuickTime than a player the latest Lord of the Rings trailer, under the brushed metal facade lays a power packed Swiss army knife of multimedia manipulation. Of course you’d never chance upon just how much you could do with QuickTime by playing clips off the Internet because the true utility of QuickTime is hidden from view. That’s where Judith Stern and Robert Lettieri step in, they reveal all of QuickTime inherent niftiness in “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows”.

So just where can you go with QuickTime? I’m glad you asked. The following represents a small sampling of tricks gleaned from the aforementioned “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows”:

Go movie Crazy:
Picture in Picture
Groovy Masking for movies
Add a media skin (forget brushed metal, you could have brushed hair)
Or the very cool but probably useless: Wrap your flick around a cube (texture mapping)

Movies aren’t your thing? What are you smoking? QuickTime is not done yet.

Go Audio Gonzo:
Change Volume, Balance, Bass and Treble
Make your own tunes with the synthesizer
Sub custom sounds into the synthesizer
Convert file types

Of course there is much more to QuickTime and, hence, much more in “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows” than mentioned above. You also get the more useful, if more mundane, information. Information like preparing your movie, audio, etc. for the web.

So how is all this data streamed so to speak? If you’re familiar with Visual Quickstart Guides the format will feel like slipping into an old sneaker. That said the visuals are pretty useful.
The differences between the Mac interface and the Windows interface are nicely illustrated though some color plates would have been nice. My biggest complaint about the book is the pace in the early chapters. “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows” moves fairly slowly for the first five chapters covering stuff you know if you ever brushed up against someone who actually used QuickTime to watch a movie trailer. Other than that quibbling “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows” is a solid effort.

If you’re thinking of buying this book because you’re stumbling around trying to listen to an audio stream over the Internet don’t. If you’re looking to put your movie on the web and stream it via QuickTime well then “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows” is a solid choice. A trip through this book will leave you pleasantly shocked at the capabilities of QuickTime but many of the video editing tips are more easily done with iMovie (sometimes you’ll need to juice iMovie with a plug in or two). I suppose it boils down to: You’ll know when you need a book on QuickTime and when that happens you won’t be disappointed by reaching for “QuickTime for Macintosh and Windows”.

MacMice Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Chris Seibold

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