By David Pogue, Aaron Miller
Publisher: O'Reilly Media / Pogue Press
Released: April 2009
O’Reilly Media’s updated version of this book is a definite manual for both anyone trying to learn iMovie and for someone who really wanted to like iMovie ‘08 but found just too much missing.
In reality, iMovie '08 was a step into the dark ages for the iMovie software, so much so that Apple even made it a point to keep iMovie '06 available as a download well after the software had been updated. The biggest problem with iMovie '08 was it lacked all the special features found in the previous version that made video editing so easy.
iMovie '09 comes like a Phoenix from the iMovie 08 ashes in that most of the features that were lost in the '08 version and even has some new ones like video stabilization, green screen and animated maps. The UI still lacks a dedicated timeline that most video editors are accustomed to using, but to make up for it iMovie '09 has new tools like the precision editor and advanced drag-and-drop capabilities.
Most of the material in this book is a hold over from the iMovie 08 version. Those parts of the book were fine in the previous version and now make more sense when the new features are covered.
Some of the new functions that are described in the book are the Precision Editor, which is Apples new addition to make up for the lack of a timeline, Advanced Drag-and-Drop which brings up a pop-up menu for insertion when a video is dropped on another, and Video Stabilization that will analyze the video clip frame by frame and pixel by pixel, comparing one side of the frame to the other and adjust the movement of the video to make it seem to move and bounce around less. This book covers all these new features well and in a clear manner.
One of the best parts of the book are all the color images that help to show many of the methods and processes. These images make following along with the material relatively easy.
Since the majority of iDVD has not changed much in the ‘09 version, the material on iDVD remains nearly the same as in the previous book.
With iMovie '09 & iDVD: The Missing Manual, Pogue and Miller do a fine job of putting into book form much of what the Apple online documentation says. The writing style will be much easier for many to read. If you own the ‘08 version of the book, this is still a nice update because of the coverage of all the new features.