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iMovie '11 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by Aaron Miller, David Pogue

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Chapter 17. iDVD Basics

iDVD—the program, the legend—turns iMovie movies and iPhoto slideshows into Hollywood-style DVDs you can watch on your TV. iDVD lets you design a DVD’s main menu, add playback controls, and otherwise dress up iMovie movies to give you dynamic, interactive DVDs that look amazingly professional. iDVD handles the technology, you control the style.

Not only does iDVD offer lots of pro-style features and effects, but you can even burn widescreen DVDs—discs that play your movie in the wide, rectangular, cinematic proportions of today’s digital TV screens.

And the cost of entry to do all this? For software, all you need is iDVD. For hardware, you need a DVD recorder, either built into, or connected to, your Mac. Pretty much every recent Mac, except for the MacBook Air, includes a DVD recorder.

Why iDVD?

Don’t look now, but Apple thinks that the era of DVDs has passed. The real action, he believes, is on the Internet. iDVD, according to Steve Jobs, is “for people who still want to make DVDs.” (His subtext: “Those losers!”)

But don’t tell that to the 120 million U.S. families who don’t have high-speed Internet access—or any Internet access at all—and therefore can’t see online video. These people aren’t on YouTube; they can’t see your MobileMe gallery. But they almost certainly have DVD players. And producing your movies on DVD offers a wealth of benefits: The sleek discs are small, light, and easy to mail. They last a long time—decades, if you believe the manufacturers—if ...

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