There was a time when your photographs were in one part of your house; your music collection somewhere else; VHS videotapes scattered around the television; and, if you have a camcorder, Hi-8 (or some such format) cassettes in a bag. Each medium is tricky to keep organized.
But when all your media is digitalin the form of digital snapshots, digital audio (CDs, MP3s, and so on), and digital video (DVDs and DV cassettes)keeping them organized is pretty easy, sharing content is streamlined, and using the material interchangeably between formats is both simple and kind of fun.
A Macintosh is designed to sit at the epicenter of your digital home. It's just a computer, but now it's finely tuned to make the management and combining of all this content effortless. Better than that, Apple providesfree on all Macssoftware that orchestrates the commingling of all this content. iLife is a family of products made up of programs designed to stand alone but also tuned to work together in remarkable ways.
What iLife teaches you is media literacy: the ability to communicate in a variety of powerful ways, different from speaking or writing or even doing page design. Making professional-quality videos and movies, and being able to combine picture and sound effectively, is a skill that applies throughout your life. Once you have it, you'll be stunned how often you can use itfor personal pleasure or commercial advantage.
It's too simplistic to say that iTunes is the music software and iMovie is the video software. iTunes handles the organization of your music, true, but once your music is there, using it in slideshows and videos is very easy. There's music in iPhoto and iMovie too. You can't build a box around each component of iLife. So while you might want to learn all you can about each product, the truth is it may be more fun to learn a little bit about a bunch of products. Rather than focus on expertise in, say, iTunes, this book will aim to help you create real-world projects. Face it, learning software is no fun. But making movies or podcasts, promoting your business, or building a creative report for school can be. You'll end up learning the software along the way.