Chapter 15. Sound, Movies, & Speech

For years, as other computer companies whipped themselves into a frenzy trying to market one multimedia computer or another, Mac fans just smiled. Macs have been capable of displaying sound and graphics—no add-on sound, graphics, or video boards required—from day one, years before the word multimedia was even coined.

The Mac’s superiority at handling sound and video continues in Snow Leopard. QuickTime, for example, the software that plays digital movies and live “streaming” broadcasts from the Internet, has been rewritten completely for better video and cooler controls.

This chapter covers both creative pursuits: creating and using sound, and playing and editing movies.

As a bonus, this chapter also covers Mac OS X’s speech features (how to command your Mac by voice, as well as making your Mac talk back); VoiceOver, the newly beefed-up talking-Mac feature for blind people; and Front Row, the full-screen, across-the-room, remote-controlled presentation mode for movies, sounds, photos, and DVDs.

Playing Sounds

You can have a lot of fun with digital sounds—if you know where to find them, where to put them, and how to edit them. You can play almost any kind of digitized sound files, even MP3 files, right in the Finder—if you put their windows into column view or Cover Flow view (or use Quick Look). But that’s just the beginning.

Controlling the Volume

Adjusting the volume of your Mac’s speakers couldn’t be easier: tap the and ) keys on your keyboard. (The ...

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