Book Review: The Macintosh iLife

The Macintosh iLife, by Jim Heid. 193 pp. plus DVD-ROM. Peachpit Press/Avondale Media, 2003. $29.99

Jim Heid’s bestselling book The Macintosh Digital Hub introduced readers to Apple’s Digital Hub applications—iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD and iTunes. Now the Digital Hub apps have been updated and issued in a $49 collection called iLife (iTunes, iMovie and iPhoto are still available as free downloads). Heid has followed suit with The Macintosh iLife, an updated guide that shows readers how to use the amazing capabilities of iMovie 3, iPhoto 2, iDVD 3, iTunes 3 and the iPod. [iTunes 4 was issued after the book went to press.]

The book starts with iTunes and the iPod, showing how to import music from CDs, create playlists, tune in to internet radio, listen to audiobooks from and convert tapes and records to digital format. The iPhoto section covers importing and organizing photos, burning photos to CDs and DVDs, and various ways to share your photos. In the iMovie section you learn about importing video and working with clips, editing techniques, the new Ken Burns technique, working with sound, transitions, titles, effects and exporting your finished projects to tape, QuickTime and DVD. The final section on iDVD shows and how create DVDs from your photos and movies, with tips on choosing and customizing themes, adding photos and movies, and customizing the interface and menu.

The accompanying DVD disk, which can be played on your DVD-equipped Mac or in a conventional DVD player, contains almost 80 video demonstrations of techniques described in the book. This fusion of text and DVD instruction makes The Macintosh iLife a uniquely effective learning tool. Highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2003 by Elsa Travisano. This article appeared in the May 2003 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.