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O'Reilly

O'Reilly Press Room

  June 1, 2000
iMovie: The Missing Manual Found for Spielberg Wannabees
Sebastopol, CA-- Editing camcorder footage on a PC is nothing new. For $5,000 in circuit boards and high-end editing software, anyone can be a home-office Spielberg. But in 1999, Apple Computer made digital video editing almost as easy as using a word processor-and even less expensive. Built into each of Apple's wildly popular iMac DV computers is the circuitry needed to record pro-quality video from a digital camcorder, and then send the edited movies back to TV or tape with zero picture-quality loss. The crown jewel is the pre-installed editing software: iMovie.

"iMovie thrilled Apple iMac owners with its ability to turn camcorder footage into broadcast-quality video without a rocket-science degree," says David Pogue, author of the just-released iMovie: The Missing Manual. "So when Apple recently made iMovie a free download for all, I wasn't the only one bouncing off the walls with happiness. This is the kind of thing that makes Hollywood studios really nervous--and excited." Apple recently announced that in the first week of making iMovie free from their site, over 150,000 customers downloaded the software.

With iMovie, you can transfer DV footage from camcorder to hard drive; trim and rearrange scenes; and add crossfades, credits, and multiple sound tracks. In fact, iMovie includes almost everything you need to produce pro-quality video--except a manual.

iMovie:The Missing Manual takes you through every step of iMovie video production, from choosing a camcorder to burning finished films onto CDs. The book's philosophy: giving someone iMovie without teaching basic film technique is like giving a map to a teenager without teaching him to drive.

Far deeper and more detailed than the meager set of online help screens included with iMovie, Pogue's new book helps iMovie users realize the software's potential as a breakthrough in reducing the cost, complexity, and difficulty of desktop video production. The book explains, for example, how to run iMovie on any recent Mac model (not just the iMac DV); uncovers the two secret clip-editing techniques that Apple's online help doesn't even mention; and provides a powerful workaround for iMovie's weak soundtrack-editing feature. As a bonus, a special appendix covers the equally under-documented Apple DVD Player, the built-in program that plays DVD movies on any DVD-equipped Macintosh.

About the Missing Manual series:
Microsoft does it. Apple does it. Adobe, Netscape, and FileMaker do it. Almost every major software company, in fact, sells increasingly sophisticated software without a printed manual. To cut costs and save production time, today's software companies don't offer physical instruction manuals at all. Instead, you're expected to learn these complex programs by reading electronic help screens. One technical writer finally became inspired enough to do something about the problem. David Pogue, bestselling Mac author, has teamed with O'Reilly to launch a new imprint, Pogue Press, dedicated to producing beautifully written manuals for popular consumer software and hardware products. O'Reilly/Pogue Press is pleased to introduce its new line: the Missing Manual series.

Online Resources:

iMovie: The Missing Manual
By David Pogue
1st Edition May 2000
1-56592-859-8, 388 pages, $19.95 (US$)
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

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