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on August 1, 2008
I have used ProShow Gold for years and love it. I have produced dozens of slide shows for travel and photo clubs and have produced DVDs for sale with the program. This book is a total mess, just not useful. So many problems, where to begin. Each should be corrected in a totally revised version.
1. The book is a giant sales pitch for the much more expensive Producer version of the program. One cannot get past chapter 5 without Producer. The book should have been divided into sections with the beginning explaining common features of ProShow Gold and Producer. The end of the book could discuss features unique to Producer.
2. The CD files that come with the book are very frustrating to get to play with Windows Vista. There is no explanation of how to get them to play.
3. Many of the features of Gold are not mentioned. This book is of little help to a beginner. Many of the check boxes, choices and methods to produce slide shows are ignored or not explained in enough detail.
4. The book totally ignores how to deal with big digital photo files and small amount of computer RAM. Many will overload their computers unless they first convert photos to lower resolution. A resolution of say 1000 to 1500 pixels across is all that is needed. I convert my photos first before construction big slide shows.
5. The book ignores techniques for using adjacent copies of slides to produce creative motion effects. Again, it is a sale pitch for the more expensive Producer version without showing how to do great shows with the less expensive Gold version.
6. The book goes into great detail of moving boxes with the Producer version, showing how to create mind numbing multiple boxes, motion, zooms within boxes and frames and moving text all on one screen. This is total mental overload for anyone looking at such a slide show. If Hollywood thought this to be artistic, they would have incorporated moving boxes, text, zooms and more into their movies. These techniques which are covered in several chapters just lead to confusing, frustrating, non-artistic messes of slide shows.
7. The book ignores various techniques to fill a horizontal screen with vertical images. The author could have given some good tips.
8. As others have indicated, the book is full of errors, typos and mistakes. The book should have been tested by novices to the program before publication. Get ten people from the street and let them learn from the book and try to create a slide show. Total confusion and frustration will be the result.
I wanted to see what features Producer has that Gold does not. The book did not do a good job of listing them. I came away definitely convinced that the cheaper Gold version is a great program and that the expensive Producer is not needed by 95% of users. I very much recommend buying ProShow Gold but not this book.
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on July 28, 2008
This book is loaded with highly detailed explanations of very technical operations, but it is also loaded with many typographical and spelling errors, incomplete or incorrect references, illustration errors, missing or vague instruction details, etc. After my first week with the book, I was thoroughly frustrated and mentally whipped from having to track down and verify all of the errors and dig through the software to make certain I understood the point the author was attempting to make. It is as if the editing phase never occurred - it certainly appears that the book was rushed prematurely to production before it was ready. Additionally, even though the book is touted as being appropriate for both ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer users, 5 of the chapters (almost half the book) are devoted exclusively to Producer and are worthless for those of us who had purchased ProShow Gold. Had I bought the book locally, I might have requested a refund.

A second printing of the book has been promised, with corrections incorporated. Hopefully the problems I encountered will have been resolved, and corrections/updates made available to those of us who purchased the first printing. (I have received .PDF files from other authors with updates to their publications.)
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It's rare in the technical "how-to" genre to find a book as well done as this one. It truly is awesome.

Photodex ProShow has long been one of the staples for those who produce or wanted to produce high-class slide shows. Over the years, the product, along with everything else it seems, tended more and more toward becoming a multimedia platform. A few years back, this trend reached fruition in the immensely powerful ProShow Producer.

The problem was that both programs had more power than was adequately explained in the supplied help files. Don't get me wrong: Photodex provided great help files (as well as great support). It's just that programs, particularly ProShow Producer are capable of so much.

At last to the rescue comes James Karney with this masterpiece of a "how-to" book.

Every aspect of using ProShow Gold and ProShow Producer is explained through text and examples on the supplied CD. Karney explains his goal on the first page of the introduction: ProShow is "easy to use", but hard to master. "The novice can create a slide show in a minutes, but crafting a real multimedia production requires learning how to use special effects, keyframes, and output formats." Karney covers all these subjects and far more in 13 chapters and 340 pages.

As someone in the industry who must read dozens of technical books of the "how-to" variety, I know that most of the titles are just adequate and many are awful. It is truly refreshing to encounter someone like Karney who not only truly mastered his subject instead of just recycling the help file, but can also write. This is his 24th book.

Karney begins with the basics and then builds step-by-step into more elaborate productions using more and more of ProShow's features. One of the features, keyframing, is extremely versatile and Karney cleverly comes back to it repeatedly as he shows how increasingly sophisticated use of keyframing enables you to create more sophisticated productions.

If you own PhoShow Gold or Producer, you need this book to get the most out of either program. If you don't own them, but need a dependable, incredibly powerful multimedia creation engine, then you need to check ProShow out - trial copies are included on the book's CD and are, of course, downloadable from the publisher's site. Either way, you definitely need this book to learn how to get everything you can out of ProShow.

Simply put, this book is a gem and beautifully complements a powerful program.

Jerry
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on June 10, 2008
I've been using Proshow Gold and Producer for some time now and I found this book to be excellent for both beginners and those more advanced. Not only do you learn how to use the tools but you get good ideas on the artistic way to use these tools by seeing the various shows that are on the included CD. An experienced Gold user said "The deeper I get into Pro Show Gold and the book I find significant advantages to Producer."
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on October 2, 2008
This long overdue ProShow guide was a big disapointment. The author has a bad habit of interupting the lessons by putting the glossary in the middle of the lesson(ex pg 20-23). Being used to the Adobe Elements books and the intuitive way the lessons are written, this book is very difficult to follow as there is no coherant lesson plan. There is also a problem in opening some of the lesson materials from the supplied CD. Lastly, the book lumps ProShow Gold $69.95) with the more expensive ProShow Producer ($249.95) and really pushes Producer. I would not recommend this book as a guide to ProShow Gold. The author should take a lesson from the Adobe Photoshop Elements books.
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on January 1, 2009
I did understand, when buying this book, that it would include both versions as lessons as it says in the title. But this book definitely pushes Producer on us by centering more on Producer than Gold.

It uses keyframes a lot throughout this book but Gold doesn't have keyframes. So rather than explain the lesson with and without keyframes, it just teaches using keyframes so tough crap if you own Gold.

I couldn't open some of the lessons on the CD. Says they are not valid show files. The lessons in the book are confusing to follow and tend to jump around with no continuity. I guess to know something and to teach something are 2 different things. This author knows but can't teach too well.

Though i did learn a few tricks from this book, it wasn't nearly as much as what i expected to learn. They should make 2 books, one for Gold and one for Producer. If you want to combine, that's okay but make sure to utilize both equally. This book is too one sided.

What a waste of $23.00.
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on July 29, 2008
If you want help with PRODUCER, this might help - but if you are a novice or using PRO SHOW GOLD, don't waste your time or money. This book should either 1) have been separated into two parts or 2) been printed as two separate books; the programs are in no way similiar.

The free trial of PRODUCER offered on the included CD is good for only 15 days. I couldn't possibly have finished the entire book and associated tutorials in that length of time.

Although the author does tell you which operations are not available in PSG, you have to download PRODUCER to be able to get all the tutorials.

It seems more like a promo for PRODUCER than an honest to goodness "help book."

I have used and TAUGHT courses on PRO SHOW GOLD for about 5 years.
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on June 13, 2008
I live in a very remote part of the intellectual and new E learning world {New Zealand}where it is extremely difficult to even get broadband (unless you are a government office} and to get the E edge on anything innovative is often more frustrating .. But being able to obtain this book allows my skills to rapidly develop and compete internationally with my work on E Tourism Projects. This book is my Bible of New Age Media Production. It is bullet proof in design and readership. If you want to grasp the new methodologies necessary today to persuade people to your view today get it and Photodex Producer ..Today ..This is an unpaid for infocommerical
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on June 23, 2008
I've been using ProShow Gold for about 3 years now. I would NOT recommend this guide for anyone just starting out.

The text and CD have not been sufficiently screened for errors. In Chapter 3 there is an instances where a .jpg should have transparent sections but the white spaces are opaque instead. When layers are blocked from displaying due to this, discovering and correcting the error is not for a beginner. In Chapter 4, adding sound, the ProShow file (wasp gold01.psh) is supposed to load with an included sound track but doesn't. You have to know how to add a sound track to proceed with a lesson telling you how to add a sound track.

If you are already an experienced ProShow user the guide is quite helpful in expanding your knowledge and providing clever examples. Just be prepared to do some guide debugging along the way.

The ProShow program itself is great.
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on June 20, 2008
Where was this book when I was struggling to learn ProShow on my own? James Kearney has graced us with a clearly written tutorial that takes the guesswork out of putting together a simple or sophisticated slide show. What I found most helpful was the way he walks us through a workflow that instructs us to consider our various options at the most efficient point in the process. The book spells out each operation with descriptions and illustrations that accurately describe the process in specific detail. Mr. Kearney's thorough knowledge of ProShow has enabled him to write a must-have book for anyone interested in getting the most out of the program, or anyone who wants to utilize the program most efficiently.
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