Book Review
iMovie 3 & iDVD The Missing Manual

iMovie 3 & iDVD The Missing Manual
By David Pogue

Pogue Press/O’Reilly & Associates
ISBN 0-596-00507-5
450 pages
US $24.95 CAN $38.95

Apple’s decision to bundle iMovie 3 and iDVD together in the iLife package is probably good for those of us whose bookshelves are strained to the breaking point with instructional books.
Whether your bookshelf’s a pine plank that’s suspended between two cinder blocks, or a mahogany antique, if it’s about to give way with the latest treatises on iMovie or iDVD, rejoice, because iMovie 3 & iDVD The Missing Manualwill put an end to its suffering.

iMovie 3 & iDVD The Missing Manual (hereafter referred to as Movie-DVD) is the one book that most iLife users will need to learn how to plan, shoot, and edit iMovies, and then burn them to a DVD. It’s not the book for power users, but it’s the best all-around book for the vast majority vast majority of iLife owners.

David Pogue gets authoring credit on the front cover, but the Missing Credits page lists Erica Sadun as co-author. Many of her previous efforts have been well-received here at, especially her iMovie 2 Tips Tricks and Special Effects.

Between Pogue and Sadun, this book runneth over with great information. Pogue reprises much of the useful instruction on how to plan and shoot video footage from his earlier iMovie 2 book. Given that many iMovie owners know little more than which end of the camera to look into, covering the fundamentals of how to best plan and shoot a video is well worth reading. But he’s not simply regurgitating old stuff; he covers the new features (and problems) of iMovie 3 in detail.
One contributor to Movie-DVD makes the book stand out. Glen Reid served as technical reviewer, and no one is better qualified than he to do so, as he was the architect and lead software engineer on every version of iMovie. While he gets little mention in the text, some bits of information that are obviously “inside information” clearly come from him. Subtle details about how iMovie empties the Trash, or how to deal with corrupted projects certainly seem like bits that could come only from someone with extra in-depth knowledge of the software. Movie-DVDis full of great tips like these, and makes it worth every penny.

I’ll guess that the iDVD section comes from the pen of Erica Sadun, as she has several iDVD works to her credit. While the writing style is pure Missing Manual, the info has her stamp on it. iDVD has lots of options to give an iMovie your own personal stamp, and she goes into fine detail about how to best customize the DVD presentation of your movies, particularly using themes and drop zones. Moving past the mid-level approach to much of Movie-DVD, she includes some Terminal hacks to modify hidden preferences of iDVD. The examples given are clear and easy to follow.
Movie-DVDis another solid member of the Missing Manual family. I’ve raved over almost every one, and this is no exception. If you need ONE BOOK to learn basic to mid-level iMovie and iDVD, this is the one.

MyMac Rating: 5 out of 5

David Weeks

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