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Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (Expert's Voice in Open Source) 2010th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1430218876
ISBN-10: 1430218878
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company that produces a 64-bit GNU/Linux distribution designed specifically for creative users, and does custom development work for OEMs with multimedia products. He worked on LinuxUser & Developer magazine for around seven years, serving as editor from autumn 2005 until early 2007.

More recently, his media work has expanded to include a long-held interest in sound recording, with several music and voice-over projects completed at his own studio. He also contributes regular articles on music recording and related technology to Linux Format and Sound on Sound magazines.

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Product Details

  • Series: Expert's Voice in Open Source
  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 2010 edition (December 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430218878
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430218876
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Crafting Digital Media does what it says it will do: explains to creative professionals how to use Free / Open Source Software tools for their work. While Daniel James explains things in such a way that technical types can certainly get a lot out of the book, he really focuses on teaching artists and other people comfortable with the creative work how to do what they want to do with software for which they not only don't have to pay but also have the rights to modify and use for any purpose they like.

CONTENT

The book starts off with a fairly cogent explanation of free software, GNU, the GPL, Linux, and even includes a headshot of Richard Stallman (something we don't see often for any number of reasons). After the obligatory chapter on how to install and use Linux (primarily focused on Ubuntu and GNOME), he moves right into the set of tools. F-Spot, GIMP, and XSane get a bit of coverage, as one might expect, but the following chapter covers Inkscape (for vector graphics) and FontForge, both of which receive ample attention. Animation gets its own chapter as well, using GIMP, KToon, and Synfig. Obviously, the 3D modeling chapter centers almost exclusively around Blender. Typesetting mentions TeX (though not LaTeX), but primarily relegates it to programmers and instead chooses to explain Scribus in far greater detail.

Given the author's primary work interest, the three chapters on audio alone shouldn't surprise us, nor perhaps the jokes about mistreated drummers. One chapter deals with the creation of music, using terminatorX, Mixxx, Hydrogen, JACK, AlsaModularSynth, and seq24. The next audio chapter explains recording intricacies using Audacity (particularly for podcasts), Ardour, and even how to install a real-time Linux kernel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wouldn't rave about this book, but it is a great introduction for the computing novice who wants to break into the world of free and open source software application for creating multimedia. Aspiring artists in both visual and aural media will find this an important stepping-stone in learning their way through those beginner baby steps. And I mean it literally starts you out with installing Ubuntu, and guides you along holding you by the hand from there. You'll be plowing out dubstep beats in RoseGarden and CD labels in Gimp before you know it.

That being said, users of a more proficient level won't be very interested in this, because it's very much "Open Source 101".
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The book is very detailed - a bit too much for me, since I am not a beginning PC user, but I do appreciate the detail on all of the tools in the GIMP, for example.

The screenshots are of very low quality, and it's difficult to tell what the icons look like in them.

Also, for whatever reason, the seller didn't provide the CD that the book says is included. I suppose it's not that big a deal, since I assume that all of the software that would have been on it is available online for free, but still - bad form.

All that said, it's still the only book that I'm aware of that covers the breadth of open source apps that it does.
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some minor editing errors and odd use of page space, but overall this book is super helpful for getting started with a bunch of free software. it covers a lot of topics, and gives you enough info to get working with a bunch of cool, free tools.
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