The limits of iPhoto slideshows

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Reader Barbara Mehlman is underwhelmed by iPhoto’s slideshow capabilities. She writes:

I have iPhoto ’06 and find that I can create a marvelous slideshow, but I can’t do anything with it—cannot post to MobilMe, can’t drag to my iDisk, can’t drag to my Desktop. If I want to share it, it seems the only thing I can do is export my photos to iMovie and create a mini-movie with my still photos, and then save it and hope my PC friends can see it.

I thought the problem was that I had iPhoto ’06, but no. I went to an Apple store and took a free one-hour iPhoto ’08 seminar and both the instructor and the Genius couldn’t get the slideshow into a Public folder. I also called Apple Care and they said: Huh? We’re not trained on MobilMe. Can’t help. Sorry.

Any solutions?

I think it will be helpful to review what iPhoto ’08 (since it’s the current version) can and can’t do with slideshows.

As you suggest, you can’t create a slideshow in iPhoto and simply drag the thing to the Desktop. Similarly, when you create a slideshow, the commands under iPhoto’s Share menu do you little good. However, getting a slideshow onto MobileMe isn’t difficult. You have a couple of options.

The first is to create your slideshow and then choose File -> Export. In the resulting Save As sheet you’ll see you have three options for exporting your slideshow as a QuickTime movie—Large (640x480), Medium (320x240), and Small (240x180). The resulting movie will contain all the pictures in your slideshow as well as any music and Ken Burns effects you’ve added to it. Once you’ve turned the slideshow into a movie you can do pretty much anything you like with it—and that includes posting it to MobileMe as an iWeb page.

If your main concern is getting your photos online in a way that they can be viewed as a slideshow, you needn’t make the slideshow in iPhoto. Instead, create an album of the photos that you’d like do display, click the MobileMe button at the bottom of iPhoto (again, the latest version of iPhoto), and publish that album as a MobileMe Gallery. When people visit that gallery they’ll have the option to view the images as a slideshow. No, that slideshow won’t include music nor will it have the Ken Burns effect, but I’ve found losing both these options no great sacrifice.

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