South Coast Divers
Slideshow Software.

Slideshows & software.
Don't get me started on this one... But I must. I will give you some of my experiences here, let's call it the "Good the bad & the ugly" to do a famous quote. Making a slideshow can be fun and it can also be very rewarding, notice the use of "can" in that line. Well, my first attempt at this I used Nero 7, not bad results. But I wanted some better 'transitions' (I will explain that), so I upgraded to Nero 8. That is when the troubles started. I had a slideshow all done, music, pictures, all of it. But it wouldn't 'cut' the DVD to my drive. I called the Nero tech support both on the phone & via email. I even sent them all of the diagnosis stuff. NOTHING!!! I spent $80 for the upgrade and it was useless and they wouldn't refund my money either. But this is not about my issues with a software vendor (As I vent my anger). Instead, I switched to Adobe Premier Elements and Adobe Soundbooth to make the sound track. What I find is I prefer a large library of GOOD "transitions", which is/are the way one picture moves out and another replaces it. I like lots of variety, some have it and some don't. Maybe I have become an Adobe 'fan' or something, but they have put a lot of effort into a good product and it is rated very highly in all of the reviews.

There is a lot of work to make a slideshow that you can burn to a DVD to play on your TV along with other people's TV's too. First, a simple thing to know, I always use a DVD-R disc, I haven't had issues using those on many different types of DVD players, old & new. Next, music. Now this is very subjective to every person. But I have found that instrumental music works with just about everyone and it doesn't interfere with the pictures, but that is my opinion. The process I use is to put down the music track first, then build my pictures and titles to go in, doing the transitions at the same time. Some software allows you to "pick transitions at random" and then adjust the ones where you don't like the final affect. I also have found that I needed about 80-100 pictures for a 20 minute show, but that depends on the length the pictures are displayed and the length of the transitions. I prefer about an 8 second display of the image and a 1-3 second transition. Keep in mind what I said in "Cameras" about resolution/pixels, IF making a slideshow is all you ever want to do, why buy that 25 Megapixel camera? A good point & shoot will work great for this, save money on the camera and buy the Adobe software instead, both Photoshop & Premier Elements (My opinion there).

Hopefully, the info I have given you here will help you get started. These will take you about 40 hours of work for about a half hour of show. But you will get faster at it with more experience too. But make your DVD's work on as many players as possible, not just the one on your computer, make sure it plays for the BIG TV screen too.

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since 03-21-10.