DVD training videos are a great way to get up to speed on software without paying the earth for in- classroom tutorials. Lynda.com and 32learn.com spring to mind as solid, inexpensive providers of such services.
But the problem we find with the bigger sites, is their videos tend to be narrated by authors who are unable to sound enthusiastic about programs they've known backwards for years. For our tastes, these Groovebox DVDs are much more alive with personality and passion. The young, enthusiastic tutors make you feel that you're learning cutting-edge stuff, without the slang and jargon that can make knowledge inaccessible.
And when we say young, we mean twenty-something young. They take a well-rounded view of what you need to know, too.
For example, this dedicated GarageBand tutorial covers the application in depth and then tacks on extra clips about setting up computer recording properly, with external hardware advice, too. It even goes so far as to advise about MIDI setup.
The menu on the left divides your navigation panels into three main sections: Categories, videos, and then a wee control panel for navigating clips during playback. When you click on a category, the Video panel shows the tutorials available under that sub-heading. It all worked well. There's about three hours worth of tutorials to get through.
If we had to complain, it's a shame that you can't resize the Groovebox window, which overlays any other app windows you have open at the time.
Also, the American voices can sound a little sugary and patronising at times. Price-wise, this is average fare, although if you forego the box and sign up to Groovebox's online service, you can access many titles for just $9.99 a month, which is very competitively priced. James Ellerbeck