Say you have some digital-camera images you’d like to post on the Web, but you want to go beyond a boring online photo album. Check out Totally Hip Software’s LiveSlideShow 1.0. Based on Apple’s QuickTime, this program lets you create slide shows complete with transitions between images, text captions, sound effects, and interactive navigation buttons. Despite a few rough edges, it’s a fun and surprisingly powerful application.
The iMovie Influence
If you’ve used Apple’s iMovie, LiveSlideShow will feel familiar: a shelf holds imported images and sounds, a timeline enables you to sequence images, and a preview area lets you see your work in progress.
Making a Slide Show
LiveSlideShow’s iMovie-like interface makes creating QuickTime slide shows easy–just drag sounds and images into the timeline.
With the Effects panel, you can add transitions between images. Adding effects is a cinch: drag the desired effect between two slides in the timeline, and they part to make room for it. LiveSlideShow uses QuickTime to generate effects as the slide show plays back, so they don’t bloat your file’s size (as they would if you were to create them in a video-editing program such as iMovie). You can also add text captions to each slide, complete with optional antialiasing, drop shadows, and a variety of (mostly tacky) animation styles.
LiveSlideShow can import most QuickTime-supported audio file formats, including AIFF and MP3, and you can record short narration snippets directly within the program. Unfortunately, LiveSlideShow
attaches sounds to individual slides–if a sound is five minutes long, the corresponding slide displays for five minutes as well. This approach makes it impossible to have one soundtrack play while slides change.
LiveSlideShow’s interactivity features are rudimentary but useful. You can add buttons to individual slides; when clicked on, these buttons can take viewers to the next or previous slide or to the slide show’s begin-ning or end, play a sound, or direct a viewer’s browser to a Web page.
You can test your work by clicking on the Play button. When you’re happy with the results, click on the Export button to create a stand-alone QuickTime movie you can embed in a Web page, burn onto
a CD, or send via e-mail. Any Mac or Windows program that can play QuickTime movies can play LiveSlideShow projects.