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Book Review:
Adobe Premiere Virtual Classroom

Adobe Premiere Virtual Classroom, by Bonnie Blake. 316 pp. plus CD-ROM. Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2001. $39.99.

Osborne’s Virtual Classroom series is an innovative and effective approach to learning software applications. The book and CD-ROM offers a series of video lessons in QuickTime format, with lessons keyed to the book’s contents. The book and CD-ROM are designed to be used together; sometimes the book will go into more depth on a topic, and sometimes the CD-ROM. The result is a greatly enhanced learning experience.

Adobe Premeiere is a complex and powerful video editing program that is particularly appropriate for the print/video approach. A printed page can convey only a fraction of the multiple facets of the application, but seeing the features in action helps it all make sense.

The format used by brainville.com, who produce the videos for the series, comes closer to recreating a classroom lecture than anything else I’ve seen. The video window has three sections. The instructor narrates the lesson from the top left corner, and below her are clickable buttons to navigate through the sections of the lessson. The large window to the right contains the video of the instructor’s computer screen as she manipulates the program. Using the QuickTime’s standard VCR-like controls, the video can be played, skipped around in, and rewound.
An earlier title in the series, Web Design Virtual Classroom, was balky on a beige G3. However, Adobe Premiere Virtual Classroom runs flawlessly on the same G3, as well as on a flat panel iMac. If your Mac can run Adobe Premiere, you should be able to use Adobe Premiere Virtual Classroom without a hitch. Highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2002 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the September 2002 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.