The Macintosh iLife 05
Book Review

The Macintosh iLife ’05
By Jim Heid

Peachpit Press
345 pages and companion DVD
ISBN 0-321-33537-6
US$ 34.99
CA$ 48.99

The short version of this review is “If you want a great book that splendidly covers all the iLife ’05 applications, don’t ask questions, just buy this book.”

If you want the long version, read on.

Just over a year ago, I reviewed the previous version of Jim Heid’s The Macintosh iLife, and gave it high marks.

The new edition, which covers the recent updates to Apple’s iLife suite (iPhoto, iMovieHD, iDVD, Garageband, and iTunes/iPod) is even better than its predecessor, if that’s possible.

Jim Heid has been writing and teaching about the iLife applications for quite a while, and his expertise is visible on every page.

Each application gets plenty of coverage, but Heid balances space between the fundamentals and advanced (yet not-too-demanding) tips. I’ve been using the iLife applications (Garageband excepted) since the were first released, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that there are more good tips and tricks still to learn.

New digital photographers and moviemakers will appreciate the review of the fundamentals of crafting good pictures and movies. If you’re past that stage, skip right into the Tips section. Heid includes links to more detailed reference material in the text, in case you wish to delve deeper into the mysteries of digital photo, movie, or music making.

The new features in the iLife applications are covered in detail, especially the new procedures for creating photo books in iPhoto 5, and the ins-and-outs of high definition video when using iMovieHD. If you don’t start making more photo books after learning how much easier they are with iPhoto 5, you need a stern talking-to.

The production values are as good as ever; The Macintosh iLife ’05 is big and pretty. The DVD will appeal to those who learn best by watching, as opposed to reading. I watched the entire DVD, and was again impressed by the completely professional presentation and useful content. Several freeware and demoware applications are included on the DVD, along with a collection of GarageBand loops and a set of iTunes AppleScripts from AppleScriptmeister Doug Adams.

The book’s price has gone up by $5.00, but what hasn’t? For your extra five-spot you get 70 more pages and 45 more DVD minutes. This is money well spent.

You can easily find individual books on iLife apps that go into greater detail, but The Macintosh iLife ’05 is the best all-around book on iLife that I’ve read; great for novices and intermediate users both.

Most highly recommended.

MyMac rating 5 out of 5

Leave a Reply