Slide shows on the Mac. How easy can it get. Fire up iPhoto, select the photos you want, drop them into an album, rearrange accordingly, add some music, you’re done, right?
But I want special transitions between slides. And I need to drop in some moving text over slides. Oh, and more than one audio track is a must. Finally, I need one click export for different devices.
Slides Shows From Basic To Pro
iPhoto is really a nice app, and the price tag is just right, but it’s not exactly a professional level app for turning simple slide shows into moving video experiences, is it?
My tool of choice for many years has been FotoMagico.
I used it to create a stunning slide show for a son’s wedding.
Total production time? About an hour for a 10-minute show with nearly 150 digital images, and 12 specially selected music tracks. Drag and drop, point and click.
Two Kinds Of Slide Show Magic
It doesn’t take much effort to run up against the wall in iPhoto. It’s free. It’s good for what it does, but it’s also limited in what it does. The next level up is a near professional level app for $29. After that, except for two nagging issues, FotoMagico only gets better.
Starting up FotoMagico gets you a dialog screen asking for the device you’ll use on your slide show.
FotoMagico is surprisingly simple to use. iPhoto (Home version only), Aperture, or Lightroom (Pro version) photos will show up in the Library media browser. Drag and drop your photos onto the timeline. Select a transition for each, using very precise controls.
For the Ken Burns effect, each slide can be controlled for rotation and zoom. The controls also allow you to drop in text (which can also move), multiple tracks of audio (music), even video clips.
Each element in the timeline can be controlled with the Options button. The slide has precise duration and animation. Select from a dozen transitions, each with controllable duration. Even images, movies, titles, and audio tracks have precise controls.
Titles can be moved to any location on the slide and can be set to move in Ken Burns style, zoom, pan across the slide, rotate and more. Even burn slide shows to DVDs.
FotoMagico’s Home version is limited compared to the Pro version, which also features multiple audio tracks, a built-in teleprompter, chapters, color tools, watermark overlay, and more sharing functions.
It’s a very simple proposition. If iPhoto’s slide shows are not enough, FotoMagico will be.
I have two basic complaints with FotoMagico and neither has to do with the app’s features and functions. The Home version is modestly priced. The Pro version means what it says. It’s priced for Pros, so you’ll have to pay the piper.
FotoMagico, viewed on your Mac, is as close to perfect as you can get. However, the actual video output of slide shows are not as sharp and crisp as one would expect in a commercial product. iPhoto is one thing. An app with a hefty price tag should output stunning color and sharp motion slides. If there’s a Mac app that does it better, I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s an Apple QuickTime problem. Or, maybe my photos are not as good as I think they are.