Seldom do I make a pitch for an application that starts life as version 1.0. There are exceptions, though not many are great out of the box. So it was with FotoMagico. Not great out of the box.
However, greatness often requires a little time, more effort, some seasoning, and customer feedback. So it is with Boinx software, a classy Mac application developer with a couple of their programs in my launcher.
FotoMagico is a photo slide application. Or, it’s a video photo application with sound mixed in. Or, FotoMagico is both and a little more.
I chose the latter with version 1.2.2 out, working well, stable, and just damned fun to use.
For those of you who’ve read my earlier reviews, you know I absolutely love PhotoToMovie. It’s the best digital still photo application for creating movies and movie clips. Period.
FotoMagico is like PhotoToMovie in some respects. Better in a few other areas. And both have a few needs (mine).
Apple’s iLife applications are great at integrating with each other, and they integrate with other applications. FotoMagico is well integrated. Click on the iPhoto list, select a photo album, drag photos to the time line, rearrange the sequence, and you’ve got a basic slide show.
Click on the iTunes list, select a music playlist, drag a song to the audio time line, and now you’ve got a slick slide show with a music background.
PhotoToMovie stands out from the free iLife iMovie HD because of how it handles digital still photos. FotoMagico adds the same techniques in an interface that’s easier to use, offers more features, yet retains decent quality.
Each photo can have its’ own transition into the next photo. For example, the ever popular, ever present “dissolve” effect which over lays one photo into the next.
FotoMagico also differs in display. The photo selected shows up in a “left and right” configuration, which is different and a bit easier than PhotoToMovie. The left side photo is where the motion, movement, or effect begins, and the right side is where it ends.
You can set the duration of the slide, zoom in on any segment of the photo, rotate to any angle (very nicely done), and add text to the slide.
This is where FotoMagico shines, too. The on screen text can move. Left to right. Up or down. Small to large. In fact, text movement is similar to what you see on TV commercials.
The pan and zoom options are smooth and easy to set up and presents you with attractive animation that turns a simple slide show into a work of video art.
FotoMagico is sufficiently professional that you could easily create 30-second or 60-second TV commercials. Drop in the audio, add the slides (as many as you need and in whatever sequence), then set the movement on each photo.
What you get are high resolution digital images—with movement; rotation, pan, zoom. Slides shows can be set up to handle full interactivity and the slides can be synchronized to whatever music is in iTunes.
To top it off, FotoMagico lets you burn the finished slide show right to DVD or export it as a QuickTime movie. PhotoToMovie has a couple more export options, but QuickTime gives you room to drop the finished video into everything.
Good Mac developers let you try before you buy. Boinx, the makers of iVeZeen and iStopMotion, lets you download a fully working demo version and an excellent demo file so you can try out all the features.
Click Here for more detail, the download link, and other goodies of this excellent $79 Mac application.
I’ll have to admit to superb support response from Boinx on a minor issue I had with FotoMagico. I tried it out and it crashed. The developer worked quickly to isolate “MY” problem. I had over 700 playlists in iTunes. Apparently no one else has had that many before (what? You don’t have a playlist for each individual singer and group?).
What do I want in the next version? Audio scrubbing. Multiple audio tracks. Multiple layers of photos and multiple layers of text on each photo. Oh, and those “zones” that are so cool in iDVD.
And the ability to have 1,000 playlists in iTunes (I’m planning some retail therapy with the iTunes Music Store; I need to get the bad taste of Napster and Real out of my head).
What about you? Do you create video slides? Do you use the Ken Burns effect in iMovie? What would you like to see in a slide show application? What features are missing (besides LOTS of transitions)? Share your thoughts, experience, and Mac prowess with others and click the Comments link below.