Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple Training Series:  iLife '09

ilife09
This book is an excellent resource for someone wanting a hands-on learning tutorial about every aspect of the iLife Suite:  iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, iWeb, and iDVD.  This is not a "how-to" reference manual -- you won't find feature listings or troubleshooting tips.  Its exclusive goal is training sessions with pre-developed material to be done a classroom or self-teaching format.  For someone who has never been exposed to these programs, it's a great resource with which to start from scratch. 

Each module has lesson files that are installed on your computer and gives you a time estimate of how long the project will take.  According to the book's estimates, it will take you about 13 hours to complete; however for me the modules went much quicker.  Fortunately, since the materials are already created for you on the included DVD, you don't have to actually shoot video or load pictures to understand the lessons.  You'll be able to follow exactly line-by-line along with the book and compare actual results.  The book is well laid out with real screen shots for every outcome, so don't be intimidated by its size.  At the end of each module is a quiz to test your knowledge of the subject.  Obviously this makes an excellent text book for instructor or group study.

Personally, I was new to iLife '09 but have used previous versions.  The book skipped over computing basics and focused primarily on new iLife features such as Face Recognition in iPhoto. The modules were extremely well paced and I had an excellent grasp of the subject material at the end. My only major complaint is that between iLife programs, the authors did not stay consistent and the lessons at times were confusing, as not all the authors had the same skill level or approach to teaching.  Nonetheless, the book was outstanding as is typical of the Apple Training Series.

Pros:  Training modules for the key features of the iLife Series along with pre-developed material
Cons:  Inconsistent style of lessons between modules.

Five out of Five Dog Cows

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Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right