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on May 27, 2011
I thought this book was okay at best. I purchased it to learn iMovie for our business. It did not meet my needs, and I am going to go in search of another.

The authors are obviously very informed on the subject, they often referred to earlier generations of iMovie, which honestly didn't interest me at all, and I felt often just confused the issues.

I didn't feel like they explained editing at all. They said you could edit in the project window, if you hadn't edited in the event window, but they hadn't explained how to edit in the event window!

I thought their explanation on page 100 of how to use the Clip trimmer was awful.
"In the trim window, the yellow border shows which piece of the clip you're using in your movie. The extra, thin yellow borders show you what bits the transitions use on either end of the clip. The darkened portions are the ones you've so far eliminated. Above the trimmer window, the arrow between two lines plays your selection. The left and right arrows refocus the clip trimmer on the project clip that comes just before or after the current clip."
There was a picture, but it wasn't clear or big enough to show all these complicated descriptions.

Then a little over half way through the book it stops talking about producing iMovie, and goes into exporting and DVDs. There was a large section in the beginning of the book on importing too. I wish they had spent more time, details, and well-done illustrations on the hard part, which is editing.

I finally found iLife '11 Portable Genius. While it is in theory a broader subject book, it is much more helpful when it comes to iMovie. I suspect it will also be helpful with the other areas of iLife when I get to reading the rest. If you look back to my observations about editing in paragraph three, in the Portable Genius they point out that "Changes you make to a clip in the Event browser apply to any project in which you use that clip. By contrast, changes you make to a clip after you place it on the Storyboard for a project apply only to that project."
That is a very important distinguishing factor when deciding where to edit! The photos/ illustrations are also much better in the Portable Genius book.

I hope you find this helpful. I really hate writing negative reviews, but I hate reading books that aren't helpful more. I don't want someone else to experience the same frustration and waste of time I went through.
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on April 5, 2015
As with all my experience with the missing manual series the explanations are clear seemingly comprehensive and helpful. This is a considerable achievement with a complex application which drives a complex process, (movie making). My approach is simply to find out how to do what I want. The book starts with the process of downloading your movie from camera/videorecorder, then logically proceeds through each step to achieve a final edited movie with with or without added soundtrack. However, if you want a specific question answered as I do, the first starting point will be the Contents in order to get an idea of the authors approach to the topic and the scope of the book. Then I shall look at the Index under one or two key words, (sound editing, audio editing), in my case. Then I shall read the appropriate pages of the book. I may read back a chapter or forwards a chapter. In either way the book is capable of disclosing its information with either approach. I recommend the book to a beginner or anyone simply wanting to use the imovie application.
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on February 2, 2012
Yes, Apple makes some great products. The Imac that I purchased not too long ago came equipped with "ilife 11", which includes photo editing (iphoto) and video editing (imovie) software. But as "the missing manual" reference books' authors proclaim, there should have been an instruction manual in the box [that my Mac came in}. No joke! Sheee! I don't know about you, but at 64 yoa, I simply cannot learn this kind of software by flipping back and forth between Apple Support On-line help and the program on my Mac screen. I need something that I can easily read, make notes on, highlight content, Etc., while applying what I read towards hands on experience with the software program that I am trying to learn. Thanks to David Pogue, Aaron Miller, and staff, I was able to do just that and learn the substantial capabilities of "imovie" and "idvd" through their manual entitled "imovie '11 and idvd" in a surprisingly minimal amount of time. Likewise, their other (missing) manuals which cover other topics are well written. If you are facing a similar dilemma, I have no reservations recommending this instruction manual to you (regardless of age). Additionally, the humorous manner in which the book is written will keep you smiling.
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on December 5, 2014
I've been reading David Pogue's manuals since I got my first Mac. In fact, I bought his Macs for Dummies back before I pought my first Power PC. By the time I purchased it, I already knew what to do with it.
Being that I was already spoiled for the original iMovie, and having learned every trick in the book form David's Missing Manual for iMovie 2, it was a no brainer to buy iMovie 11 & DVD, because no one explains things better or reveals more Easter eggs than David Pogue. And even he agrees with me that iMovie HD is superior to the newer version. Truth be told, I still maintain an olde MAc just to run the oder software so I can continue to use my GeeThree plugins. You older Mac evangelists know what I'm talking about. As for you newbies, as long as you don't know what you're missing, just know that iMovie '11 is still a powerful editing tool and this is the book that will get you up to speed. So buy it.
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on September 23, 2013
Highly recommended. I've tried and compared most of the how-to book series, and Pogue's "Missing Manual" series is the best. He has an uncanny ability to explain in a rational, clear and understandable way while also comprehensively covering the software to a remarkable depth. I am reasonably experienced in using iMovie, have read through the entire book, regularly thereafter have returned to the book for specific questions, and have found a clear answer on all occasions but one (which, admittedly, was a fairly arcane question).
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on March 3, 2013
I've been an apple user since the Macintosh had a 5" black & white screen. How did I ever get along without these manuals? I never intended to shoot video, darn it! My new Canon had other ideas, and here I am with all these files. Turns out I love iMovie now that it's not a mystery. Watch out Hollywood! If you love to read directions while you use your computer screen to work on your videos, (the back and forth, back and forth just makes me dizzy . . . where was I??) Invest in this manual.
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on March 21, 2013
I haven't actually finished reading this "missing manual" yet because it is so comprehensive and takes time to absorb all the material. So far I have found it excellent as it explains a great deal more than other manuals I have purchased which seem to either make assumptions that you know what they are talking about, or don't even include some of the functions built into iMovie. I can only use an analogy of learning to drive. It helps a great deal to know what the engine and gear box actually do and why, rather than just learning to move a few levers. It starts with the basics and explains different formats and cameras and continues through to co-ordination with other Apple apps such as iTunes and iDVD. It is certainly a far more comprehensive step-by-step instruction than I have previously come across as I wanted to learn everything that iMovie was capable of. I feel that I have now found what I have been looking for. It also has a good index, short cut lists, trouble shooting etc. As far as I am concerned it is the manual that should come "in the box" and Missing Manual is a great description.
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on May 4, 2012
Fantastic book. Very well written and organized. I had spent a few weeks trying to figure out iMovie & iDVD on my own. It was nearly impossible. I knew Mac software was designed to work like the human mind naturally thinks... but my mind has spent the last 15 years figuring out how to "think" like a Windows interface, so nothing I tired was working....

Then I purchased this book.

Within the first 15 minutes I figured out how to do things I couldn't figure out on my own. Within a week and a half, I had my entire 64 minute video edited to finished form (complete with several scenes filmed on green screen) and burnt to DVDs with custom menus. I never would have figured out how to do that without this book.

I didn't even read this book cover to cover, I just used the well organized index to get the instructions for the tasks I was working on. I can't even imagine what else this book is going to teach me over the next few months.

If you are trying to figure out iMovie '11 & iDVD but can't seem to make heads or tails of it... This book is your solution.
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on January 13, 2013
The Missing Manual books are indispensable for Elements, so I took a chance on one for iMovie. I don't think I could have used this software without this book. Like all Missing Manuals, it is easy to read and follow, organized in a logical sequence to get you started with the basics, then takes you by the hand to do more and more with the program. You will amaze yourself with how cool your videos can be. Got iMovie? Get the Missing Manual.
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on February 27, 2017
My husband kept borrowing this book from the library, as he worked on a 'passion project.' For his birthday, I got him his own copy. He was touched and happy. /good wife - AM SIL
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