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Old Jan 14, 2009, 8:42 PM   #1
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The one week Slideshow search

I just spent the second week in 2009 looking for a slideshow program that could include music and be internet playable and also be burned to DVD to make a slideshow of the Christmas gathering. I searched using Google and didn't find anything. Here's my story.

The bottom line is that Microsoft's Photostory 3 (PS3) was the best I could find. It played music and had the Ken Burn's effect. I was able to take the PS3 output (a .wmv file) and burn DVD slideshows with the Cyberlink DVD package (Power Producer) that came free with my LG DVD burner. There is an open source DVD burner called DVD Flick that can also burn a PS3 slideshow.

Music
I thought including music in a slideshow would be easy.
Imagematic's program Stillmotion 1.7 produces great Ken Burns effect but I couldn't get the music to play in the .swf or .avi file.
Ulead's Photo Explorer 8.5 plays music for each photo, I couldn't find where the background music would play for the entire show.
Adobe's Photoshop Album didn't seem to include music in it's pdf slideshow.
So much for big name products.

Internet playable
This was the biggest stumbling block. The slideshow's file format must match a player on your audience's computer. There is no standard so each program picks what works for them.
The easiest and most reliable slideshow programs produce a slideshow as a program, ie .exe file format. I was not interested in passing on a program because of the big threat of virus's.
Three programs that worked great (but produced .exe files) were NeroPhotoShow, Faststone Photo Album and xatshowi.

Corel PhotoAlbum 6 which comes free with Dell computers produces a .mov slideshow. I had an older version of itunes and it didn't play the show at all. I tried playing the .mov show with VLC player and the colors were all wrong.
Ulead's Photo Explorer 8.5 produces a .mpg file with great results but I couldn't overcome the presentation limitation of playing a musical selection per picture.

The best internet slideshow programs with music were .swf files.
They were Gallerymanager and Flash Slideshow Maker.
The only problem was I didn't know how to burn .swf files to DVD.


I tried Photodex Pro Producer. It can do everything. I didn't like it though because the slideshow seemed so busy with loading and setting up and fullscreen seems to mean fullscreen background with shrunken image. It's like a fancy European sports car and I'm just trying to buy a loaf of bread.

This is how I ended up using Microsoft Photo Story 3 and Power Producer (both free).

I'm on dial-up so downloading each program took a long time. I would install and give the program 10 minutes to see I if I could make it work. I may have been wrong in my assessment. I'd like to hear any feedback and suggestions.


The winner
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/u...y/default.mspx
http://www.dvdflick.net/
Runners up
http://www.gallerymanager.de/gmfreeware_e.html
http://flash.dvd-photo-slideshow.com/download/



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Old Jan 22, 2009, 10:16 AM   #2
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You missed one of the very best presentation slideshow products available: PicturesToExe (PTE).

PicturesToExe can not only output executable code, but can burn DVD's, output HD resolution MP4 h.264 and automatically upload your slideshows in either HD or standard video resolution to Youtube or Vimeo.

The output is superb - in my opinion the best available. Check it out at:

http://www.wnsoft.com

Also, check out some output at:

http://www.learntomakdslideshows.net (click on demo link)

Your concerns about executables and virus issues is a non issue for PTE's executable output. After producing executable code for many years, there has yet to be a single case of a virus, trojan, or other "threat" in PTE output. The code is very well protected against intrusion.

Best regards,

Lin
Lin Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 5, 2010, 3:53 AM   #3
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I have checked the 3 kinds of software both of you have mentioned.
I have not tried the Microsoft's Photostory 3,but for the PicturesToExe (PTE)&Photodex Pro Producer,i dont think they are good for me.The reason is photodex product are kind of make things into complex.while the wnsoft are too simple.
people like me who want to make the flash quick and good,i think they can choose the Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory
i will try the Microsoft's Photostory 3 ,,see if it is good as you said.
:-)
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Old Feb 5, 2010, 9:52 AM   #4
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Hi,

If you are trying to make "Flash" code, then the various presentation slideshow products may not be right for you.

I'm confused about why you think Proshow Producer it too "complex" and PicturesToExe is "too simple." Either can be as "complex" or "simple" as you make it because they are both "tools" which are designed to create animated slideshows. The primary differences are in capability of animation where PicturesToExe is much more capable than Proshow Producer because it has 3D features which allow the user to do things not possible in Proshow and in "features" where Producer is much more capable because it allows video clip drop-in and internal image manipulations such as brightness, contrast, greyscale, etc.

To try to "pigeon hole" either as "complex" or "simple" makes little sense to me.

Output from either can be easily converted to Flash and both have automated output to Youtube where Flash conversion is automatic, but if you are looking for a product which is primarily Flash oriented then, yes, neither is suitable for your purpose.

Best regards,

Lin

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckystar8 View Post
I have checked the 3 kinds of software both of you have mentioned.
I have not tried the Microsoft's Photostory 3,but for the PicturesToExe (PTE)&Photodex Pro Producer,i dont think they are good for me.The reason is photodex product are kind of make things into complex.while the wnsoft are too simple.
people like me who want to make the flash quick and good,i think they can choose the Wondershare Flash Gallery Factory
i will try the Microsoft's Photostory 3 ,,see if it is good as you said.
:-)
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