|The over all theme of this book seems to be, Things that have already been written somewhere else.
As soon as I started reading this book I had the feeling that I was reading stuff that had already been written in magazines, manuals, online forums and company product brochures.
The information covered by the author seems very basic and that's because it is very basic. It's information that most consumers and professional probably already know but might not know that they know it or even why they know it. For example, I'm sure that most of you know the difference between all the different DVD formats by now or how to hook up a standard DVD player, don't you?
Ah, maybe you do, but can you explain it to your family members or co-workers? If not, than maybe having all this recycled information in one convenient volume might be for you.
The book is divided into six parts containing fourteen chapters, two appendices, a glossary and a gallery of DVD Authoring Software of the authors choice.
Part one, Understanding DVD: Consumer and Computer is nothing more that re-written information from the most basic DVD Player manual, the DVD Forum, and computer company's websites or online help. For example, I dug out the manual that came with my DVD Player to verify this and just as I thought both the book and the manual explained the different DVD formats, how to connect the player and even how to use the remote to control the typical DVD menus.
Part two, Exploring DVDs on Your Computer explains how to play DVDs using the standard players that come with the latest operating system from Apple (OS X) and Microsoft (XP). Being a Mac-head, I could only verify that the information written in the book is also covered on Apple's website and using the systems online help.
Part three, Automated DVD Authoring describes how to use CyberLink Power Director, InterVideo WinProducer, and Sonic MyDVD. Since I use none of these products I did not spend a lot of time here but a quick glance makes me believe, once again, it's only re-written information on how to create a project from start to finish.
Part four, Personal DVD Authoring describes how to use Apple iDVD and Sonic DVDit. Again, this is information already covered, at least with iDVD, in the online help, Apple's forums and website. I cannot verify this with DVDit, but why would this be any different? I worked through the information presented in the iDVD section and it was all correct and would get anyone started with their first project
Part five, Professional DVD Authoring describes how to use DVD Studio Pro, Sonic ReelDVD and Sonic Scenarist. I explored the DVD Studio Pro chapter and once again it was information that is already covered by Apple. To quote, "The easiest way to understand DVD Studio Pro is to use it to explore an existing DVD project." This chapter uses the Tutorial project Apple includes with the product and it did just that from start to finish. I will assume that this is what the author, once again, does with the other products mentioned above.
Part six contains the two appendices, DVD Technical Summary and DVD Reference the glossary and a DVD Authoring Software Gallery Index. This is the part of the book that I found more valuable than the rest! The appendices are packed with important, need-to-know information that will come in handy for a long time, from the chart showing all the DVD logos and what they really mean to all the DVD publications and websites. The glossary and the gallery index remain true to the theme of the book, it's all information that is re-written but it's good information all in one location and that means I will refer to them before I go on a web hunt.
It would be very easy to dismiss this book but upon greater reflection I am drawn to the fact that its strong point may be that even though it's all re-written information, the fact that it's all contained within one easy to read volume makes for a nice reference. This is where I believe this books value come into focus as a DVD reference for both consumers and professionals interested in DVD technology.
Because all of the information in the book is very easy to read and it packs a lot of good stuff in one source I can feel good about giving it 3 1/2 COWS