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Making DVD Slide Shows
Easy - to - use menus, photo editing, transition and other effects
Lengthy final processing .
Instructions / Help
Ease of use
Ease of Installation
Value For Money
Range of extra features / functionsGood
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One of my favourite things to do on the computer is mess about with my photos and videos. A little over a year ago, I decided to try Photos on CD & DVD. The idea of creating slideshows and burning it to DVD to watch on our television screen appealed to me more than fishing out the projector and fiddling about with slides trying to get them the right way up without dropping them! I had already begun transferring most of my slides and photos over to computer, which even to this day, I am still doing. When I say we take a lot of photographs, that is an understatement! Now though I have a digi camera whilst my analogue equipment gathers dust. I think I'll need to put that on Ebay, but I don't suppose anybody would want it. Still I digress…
I found Photos on CD & DVD 2.0 a very simple program to use. On opening it I was presented with a very user-friendly screen, at the top of which was an (explorer) window that accessed my hard drives (I have 2 fitted - something I would recommend for anyone considering working with photos or video on a computer).
From this window I could scan through all my folders and once open simply drag and drop singles photos or entire folders in the work area. From there I could open and edit any photo improving contrast, lightness, rotating them etc.
After getting all the required photos into the work area, I could go back to the explorer window and access my music folders and drag my music files in the same way as my photos into the area called the story board. One thing I like about this is the ability to manipulate the music files - shortening, fading in and out from one file to another to match various photographic scenes, at the beginning and end of each track by the use of "handles". All my music files are MP3, but WMA files can also be used.
Either before or after the music is added, you can add transitions from one photo to another and as you edit your way through the slide show by the use of slider bars, the transitions can be simple cross fades or more elaborate 3D fades -the latter, which I've got to admit, are pretty impressive - page turning, door opening, Venetian blind effects and much more.
Titles are another thing that are easily added and you can utilize any fonts you have stored on your computer, and drag them around a picture, change colour and size etc. I tend to have a pure black and pure white blank photo stored on my computer, as I like to start out a slide show this way with my title added, and then have it as a crystallizing or exploding 3D transition into the main picture show. You never know who in Hollywood may see your masterpiece!
Your project can be saved as you go along and then when you are ready, you can burn the entire show to DVD, if you have a DVD burner or VCD (Video CD) - if you only have a CD writer. VCDs can be viewed on most modern DVD players. You could establish this by checking in your DVD player's handbook.
If you are considering using this program, I would recommend that when using it, you have no other programs running in the background and you have as much RAM as possible and a fast processor is also an advantage. I have a 1Ghz processor and 512 MB of memory (RAM). Rendering the final slide show and burning it to disk is a lengthy process. It took several hours to burn a 45 minute slide show complete with music and titles, during which time, all my computer's memory and processing power was used up and I could not use it for anything else. I would not like to have tried this on a lower spec machine and, if I was doing a lot of this, I would seriously consider buying a much higher spec machine than what I have right now.
All said and done, in spite of the long process from the original files to DVD, I found the program a lot of fun, which informative instructions and tutorial.
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This sound good, my dad would probally like this. I pay photoshop.co.uk to edit my pictures - would save all the hassle if I could figure this out, I have very little patience for such things. The idea of a DVD slide show is really nice - i'm not sure it could replace the traditional album, for me. Philippa. x
solamarie 14.06.2005 16:31
A good informative review, very helpful. Sue
jayandfoo 09.06.2005 14:39
I've been looking at doing something like this for ages, but the past 2 years we've always forgotten to take pictures on holiday! Great review x