The Macintosh iLife ’06
Book Review

The Macintosh iLife ’06
by Jim Heid

Peachpit Press
397 pages ISBN 0-321-42654-1
Price: US$ 34.99 CA$ 46.99

I’ve been reviewing each new edition of Jim Heid’s The Macintosh iLife series since it was first published in 2003. The first edition in 2004 was great, the ’05 edition was even better. publisher Tim Robertson even covered original book in the series, The Macintosh Digital Hub.

Each previous review has been a rave.

How does The Macintosh iLife ’06 compare with its predecessors?
As advertised, it admirably covers the multitude of larger and smaller changes since the previous year’s ilife release. iWeb is the newest addition to the iLife application suite, and Heid covers the basics in his usual clear style.

I could go on ad nauseum about how the book’s layout and style makes it the premier basic (not advanced) manual for iLife, but that’d simply be repeating my previous kudos.

My main complaint with this year’s model is the removal of the instructional DVD that (to me) was the highlight of previous editions. Reading is great, but reading then watching is far better.

On his iLife support web site ( Heid states “… Previous editions of my book also included an instructional DVD. These days, I’m using this Web site as a companion to the printed text, but you might still enjoy these video tutorials, which remain applicable to iLife ’06.”

So, you can still access some of the tutorials, but I miss the ability to watch the full-blown DVD. The inclusion of the DVD made the $34.95 cost a screaming deal. Now, you get the new book for the same retail price as the old, but no DVD. It’s no longer such a clear standout on price vs. features.

I have to say that completely redoing the DVD to include iWeb would have been a huge amount of work. Getting regular web site updates and more 50 more pages takes a bit of the sting out. Also, the book can be had for as little as $23 at Amazon, so a discounted purchase is still a screaming deal.

Complaints aside, the textual material is a good as ever. For beginner or intermediate iLife users, this is one of the premier instructional books. You won’t regret a penny of this purchase.


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