When I was just a pup there was no such thing as a DVD. Heck, back then the "VHS vs. Beta wars" hadn't even been fought yet, much less won by the technically inferior format backed by a coalition of slightly-less-greedy-than-Sony hardware manufacturers. Instant photography meant a Polaroid camera, expensive film, and a smelly goop stick for "fixing" the pictures. And the audiocassette was considered the biggest breakthrough in music technology since the 8-track tape.
Today DVD is poised to surpass the compact disc as the dominant medium of exchange for digital data. Most Macs (and many other computers) can now read DVDs, and computers equipped with a DVD-R drive (like the Apple SuperDrive) can burn video or more than 4 GB of data on blank discs that cost about $3 each. Best of all, the video DVDs you create can be viewed on most set-top DVD players, which are becoming common in American homes, and the data discs can be read by any Mac (or PC) with a DVD player.
We've come a long way, baby.
In this, our first chapter together, we'll start out nice and easy with a bit of background on the technologies that make the whole thing video, audio, editing, and disc-burning work: QuickTime, FireWire, and SuperDrive (and, of course, a Macintosh). Then we'll have a brief overview, from beginning to end, of the process of making a DVD, so you have some idea of what it takes to produce a disc. Finally, we'll take a quick peek at the object of our newfound affection, iDVD itself.