Sunday, December 31, 2006

Podcasting and Blogging with GarageBand and iWeb

Robin Williams is truly the queen of user instruction. She takes the hard concepts and makes them accessible to novices. She's no relation to the actor Robin Williams of course, who has played a queen in the past!

“Podcasting and Blogging with GarageBand and iWeb” is a perfect guide for someone curious about blogging and podcasting. The book requires the reader to have a .Mac account and own iLife 06. Without these two essential components, the book is of almost no use. If you are able to type an email, then you'll be able to blog and podcast after reading this short book.

Unlike a lot of technical books that explain a dizzying array of options, Robin makes the tasks easy and straightforward using the tools most every Mac comes with. This is not a reference guide that gives you tips and tricks. You'll find nothing in this book about using Blogger or Wordpress nor will there be advice on which type of mic to use for a podcast. She uses strictly iLife '06 and .Mac. This is a step by step how to guide for someone who has never used a Mac or blogged before can be up and going within less than an hour.

Typical of Robin William's books, she assumes no prior knowledge of anything but Macintosh basics such as moving the cursor and opening applications. Each step contains a screen shot of exactly what to expect with outstanding layout and flow. Some readers will complain that she doesn't give the reader enough options as to how to create their podcast or blog. However, the goal of the book is to get the reader to create a blog or podcast as quickly and easily as possible. Once the reader feels they want more, then at that point they should buy an intermediate book. If someone has already created a podcast or blog before, then they probably don't need this book.

Overall, a great book for people curious about trying to create their own podcast and/or blog using software that comes with most newer Macs

Pros: Extremely easy to understand, requires no prior knowledge
Cons: Tied to iLife '06 and .Mac, offers few tips if you aren't using those told