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on December 21, 2007
Anyone who is shooting home movies, whether using iMovie '08 or another editor, will find a treasury of useful information in this book. The features of iMovie '08 and iDVD are explained in a thorough, straightforward and easy-to-understand way, with superb color illustrations throughout. Pogue offers excellent guidance on connecting camcorders or other devices, effective lighting techniques, sound recording, composition, editing, exporting -- all the critical aspects of video production.

Amateur shooters ought to buy this book just to read the treatise on limiting zooming and panning -- the most egregious mistake I've seen as I watched at the Acropolis, the ruins of Tikal and Yosemite Valley as people swung cameras left and right, up and down as they tried to capture the grandeur of the location. (I just hope they handed out Dramamine when they played the video at home.)

Pogue goes well beyond that, providing valuable insights into a number of hidden features, as well as very useful tips on transitions (both how to do them and when they're appropriate) titles, narration, music and sound, adding still photos and using the Ken Burns effect, exporting to iPod, iPhone, YouTube, moving to iDVD and much, much more. All are thorough and explanations are intuitive.

For those who are still tied to iMovie 6, he explains how to move back and forth to take best advantage of the features of both programs.

iMovie '08 took a lot of hits when it was released, including a particularly blistering one from Pogue himself. But with this book he uncovers the appropriateness and usefulness of the program and makes the transition a bearable -- if not pleasant -- experience. I will not even open iMovie '08 without this excellent book next to me at my computer.
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on March 2, 2008
The great thing about this book is that it talks about the best times to use iMovie 06 (most of the time) instead of iMovie 08.

Basically, if you want to assemble short clips to post on the Internet use iMovie 08.

For longer projects or if you want the make a DVD use iMovie 06 with iDVD 08. (Apple includes iMovie 06 as a free download to iLife 08 owners.)

The book is an excellent resource for iDVD 08 and describes the seamless integration between iMovie 06 and iDVD 08.

You will never get the full benefit of iMovie and iDVD without this book. A good resource for users of iMovie 06, iMovie 08, and iDVD 08.
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on March 10, 2008
I bought iMovie 08 missing manual after devouring the Leopard missing manual. The Leopard manual was a real page turner with excellent tips with each turn of the page. The iMovie '08 application doesn't have the depth that Leopard does so you won't find the quantity of tips and tricks in this book. The first sections of the book are dedicated to taking good videos and goes through some great basics of digital photography and equipment.
Personally I found little new information on iMovie that I didn't discover through trial and error before buying the book. I'm not sure if I read the book first if it would have saved me any time.

That all being said, there is a great section on Quicktime Pro that's a must read.

If you're new to video shooting and editing it's a good purchase. David Pogue is a terrific writer and walks you through the application like no one else.
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on February 25, 2008
"iMovie '08 & iDVD: The Missing Manual" is a very helpful, step-by-step guide to use these programs. It is well written book that is concise, easy to understand, and very accurate. I highly recommend it. I tried having some friends with considerable iMovie experience help me with my first project, but they were stumped with the completely redesigned iMovie '08 interface and work flow. The introduction for the book essentially opines that iMovie '08 is a steaming mound of excrement, you would be better served by using any previous version of iMovie, but if you insist on using '08, this manual will help make the end product less stinky. I did not heed this advice, and pushed forward using iMovie '08 creating a 12 minute production. Thanks to this manual my presentation received glowing reviews from several hundred people, many stating that it was the best presentation at the annual event that they had seen in ten years.
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on May 19, 2008
Strengths: There is no CD with the book but at the website you can find additional information that can be found and utilized. The index is well done. The book includes colorful screenshots which are very readable. Helpful hints and techniques

Weaknesses: Most of the information is in regarding iMovie. Troubleshooting ideas for using iDVD are missing for the most part. These are relegated to looking into 4 areas which include discussion groups, lists, official iMovie area and Official in regard to iDVD troubleshooting. I know there is more that could have been said.

Novice/Intermediate/Advanced

Rating: 4.5/5

Introduction

No doubt about it. Since I created videos with iMovie and iDvd for my private use as well as a for business. But I have not been real happy with iDVD. I have found iMovie and iDvd 6 a mixed blessing and lacking in several ways. In many regards, I think that the radical shift to Imovie 8 from iMovie 6 is due to that many Mac users have had problems with various parts of iMovie and iDvd or both. I know this is the case for me as I have had continual problems with iDVD. And I have not been able to correct them while PC users are humming along creating their DVDs. Maybe Apple heard about this from others as well or possibly was thinking that the two products were getting too close and taking away sales from Final Cut Pro or Express. In any case, I was hoping that the author could shed some light on using these two Imovie versions to a better extent and why.

This book series is written by David Pogue, the New York Times Technology columnist. He continues to be the author at the helm of this series of books called "The Missing Manual". These series of books are self help guidebooks for learning and using software and hardware that go beyond the meager original documentation /manuals. I like some of the series of these themed books. So I thought it would be interesting to review IMOVIE 08 & IDVD missing review for several reasons.

This thick book has 448 pages and not filled with "fluff" but has page by page insights that will help you along way with iMovie and iDvd.It is divided into 5 parts spanning 21 chapters. There is a good appendix with 4 sections (iMovie 08 menus, troubleshooting, master keyboard shortcuts listing and visual cheat sheet. There is a short hand system of arrows that replaces the use of "much more text information" that guides you through the learning process and where to use the applications. Other visual aids are in color, the screenshots are of a good size and readable. Throughout the book, there are helpful tips, help boxes, notes and more. Throughout the book, there are helpful ideas in the way of tips, (up to speed, FAQ -frequently asked questions, Poweruser information, Clinic, tips , notes gem in rough hidden techniques). This is a nice way of targeting specifically helpful information without having to wade through the text (which is well written, authoritative and insightful).

Additional highlight included the following. Chapter 1, tips on recording time (p. 25) was nicely done; chapte 2 framing and rules of 3rd is something I know of with photography but this is one of the only times I have seen it spoken and used in terms of videorecording. There are 22 different ways to use weddings was very interesting. Chapte 4 is packed with various iMovei strategies using digita 8 and recording dv, importing older imovie has some good ideas ( also practical information about the cables and webcam to firewire information). Chapte 5 (p.113) includes all videoscodes and recording onto DVD. Chapte 6, includes copying, posting and deleting most wil already know but Chapte 7 Favorites, Chapte 8 transitions and Chapte 9 histograms are done very well. Interesting tips in Chapter 10 title and credits how to Chapter 11 narrative and can isntall news and effects.
Chapter 12 has photo browser tips, and great tips concerning photo browsing, fimstrips, using fade to black and therer are some nice specific hints that I would like to use. The section on power editing and power up editing is excellent. Chapter 13 moving from v8 to v6 or vica versa is is well done and helpful to many videographers who read the book. Chapte 14 has an interesting section with ideas on expert ipod, iphone, apple tv use. Chapte 16 covers iMovie to Quicktime (o.285) while Quicktim while Chapter 17 QuickTime information about using the Quicktime player.

Finally there is more about dvd use and burning in Chapter 18. Dvd has the information for two ways to burn your DVDs (OneStep or Magic iDVD). These two different methods and techniques are included in step-by-step fashion. Chapte19 make up slide show while Chapte20 talks about the using of themes. Should you want to work with scripting, Chapter 21 is for you.

Conclusions

The frank discussion about iMovie O8 "hits you in your face". You know that this is a radical new "upgrade" in many ways but why this was done is really a mystery. You will have to make up your mind whether to use either iMovie version or like many , both. Solid, informative and packed with techniques, hints and ideas, this book is a great resource despite the new versions.

The Missing Manual is for those trying to make sense of this new shift and in that way this book has hit the mark. The screenshots, visuals and tips, techniques and other notes are well done and insightful. There is a six page section on working with iMovie 6 and iMovie 8 and while it is okay, I think it should have involved more troubleshooting information especially on the pros and cons and on transfering to iMovie 8. I would have liked to have seen a listing, when not to use iMovie 8 in plain language. Overall I think this book at well done but the proof in the pudding will be whether iDVD and iMovie work better for me and others. To get there you have to try and try again. This book may help you solve some of the short comings now and in the future for iMovie and/or iDvd. If IMOVIE 08 & IDVD Missing Manual can't help, it might be time to switch to another video editor and DVD burner. Time to read the book, try out the new version and see if you want to try it , use both or use the older versions.
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This book is great. I have been using iMovie '08 for two weeks and had some success in brute forcing my way through the editing process. Apple makes the program basics very intuitive so my success was more due to "even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in awhile" than skilled execution. As I got better in the editing process (stumbling upon more acorns) I would become frustrated at the "limits" of the application - such as trimming background sound tracks to pull out the sections you want to incorporate. Now, the "limits" are rapidly going away as I read the text and discover far more power and utility in iMovie than I imagined. The text is easy to read and nicely laid out to make it useful as a desktop reference.

I originally bought the book to learn iMovie '08 editing but was pleasantly surprised to find basics on how to shoot better video (great video makes the editing much easier and produces a better result). The section on iDVD was very useful as well and easily walks you through the process of transforming your movie into a DVD that will play on computers or DVD players. It was also interesting to learn about the controversy surrounding the iMovie '08 vs. '06 editions and how '08 users can get a free download of '06 from Apple to replace the deleted functions - I haven't tried this yet as I'm still discovering more of the powerful functionality embedded in '08.

In summary, this book has pushed me up the "learning curve" much faster than I would have experienced without it. I like it a lot and the people who have to watch my videos will benefit the most:>)
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on January 24, 2009
One reviewer suggested this was a good book for the beginner, and he is correct. However, if you don't want to waste your time with curse-filled hours of trial-and-error, get this book. I've used a PC for 25 years and made the switch to an iMac this year, most frustrating at times, because Microsoft and Apple don't use the same words to describe common procedures. The Mac came with iMovies and no manual for it. Mac help is pathetic, and days of sifting through a Mac users forum is no fun. I'm converting old analog VHS and 8mm tapes to digital using a Canopus ADVC-55 converter, and wanted to do some still photo splicing, voice over narration, add music soundtrack from a vast iTunes library, then burn to DVD, and was incredibly frustrated until I got this book. Great tool, life is much better, and the wife doesn't have to listen to the bitching anymore. iMovies is a nice app, but for those of us with a mind organized by MS Wndows, it's not totally "intuitive" - one of the words I hate most when talking with computer geeks. Get the book. If you're an expert, have fun with your trial-and-error. I've got better things to do with my time than flop on the deck like a fish.
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on June 23, 2008
I think "The Missing Manual" series are the best software guides on the market. They are easy to read, interesting, funny, and provide most of the information I want.

I could use a bit more on some complicated issues, but I think these cover 98% of what most people are looking for (myself included).

The sending the movie from iMovie to Garageband (to add Chapter Markers and background music) and then on to iDVD for burning could be a bit more descriptive in detail and why you'd choose certain options, but with this book, I figured it all out.

I own five of the "Missing Manual" series and they're all very well done. Recommended.
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on April 22, 2008
This book was the difference between total frustration in learning how to use iMovie and iDVD and being able to create reasonably good results in a short period of time. One has to wonder why Apple left this job to someone outside the organization! I highly recommend it. Worth every penny if you are serious about creating imaginative product using your Mac.
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on January 10, 2008
I went from not knowing a thing about Mac and it's applications (imovie 08/idvd) to making a professional looking slideshow, in a few hours. I definitely could not have done it without this book.
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