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Review: Compressor- Quick Reference Guide

January, 2007


Compressor-Quick Reference Guide
Essential Techniques and Shortcuts
Apple Pro Training Series
By Brian Gary - $26.90
Available in the lafcpug store for $19.79



Review by Steve Douglas

I'm a lucky guy. I came home from work the other day to find this unexpected book sitting on my doorstep. It's not that my work schedule was empty and there were no editing projects to finish or products to investigate, but Brian Gary's book 'Compressor-Quick Reference Guide', part of the Apple Pro Training Series proved to be a more than welcome addition to my editing library.

This is not one of those eight pound books with media file discs and tutorial projects that take all day to work through. This is a concise, 154 page book aimed at all levels of users of Compressor. It is the perfect size to carry around in your computer case or overcoat to be used as a reference source of many excellent workflow and timesaving tips, tricks and techniques. Compressor, long an integral extension of the Apple editing applications, has not been the subject of very many books or tutorial discs. There are some, to be sure, but Brian Gary's book establishes for itself an important place in your collection of reference materials. Don't let its' compact size fool you. Just about everything you might want to read and learn about the use of Compressor can be found here. I picked it up, started reading and the next thing I knew I was at the computer putting some of his tricks and tips in action. There are twelve chapters covering the basic interface, importing footage, working with presets and droplets, batch encoding, and encoding for DVD, Audio, with MPEG-4 and H.264, as well as creating advantageous workflows, various format conversions, working with frame controls, the filters, geometry and action panes, and finally, distributed processing. Companion to each chapter are numerous high quality graphics to illustrate the text.

This book is easy reading, easy to understand and easy to apply. As shown by the previously mentioned chapters, Brian Gary has you working with Compressor quickly getting you up to speed in a useful and sequential manner. For the advanced user, several techniques might not be common knowledge and new knowledge may mean much time and money saved. Granted, this is a short review for a short book, but, like all the Apple Pro Training Series tomes I have worked with, it is really an exceptional book, well worth the purchase. I highly recommend it.

Purchase in the lafcpug store

Steve Douglas is an underwater videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals around the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's Atlantis production, and a recent History channel MegaDisaster show. Steve is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya, Bali & Komodo in 2007, and Costa Rica and Palau in 2008. Feel free to contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of these exciting trips.

copyright © Steve Douglas 2007

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