iPhoto alternative?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Gargle, May 15, 2006.

  1. Gargle macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    Heya. I'd like to start by saying I'm not much of a Mac user, though my first computer was a mac so I'm not a total stranger. My dad has a G4 powerbook (I think) which I use from time to time. It's nice to use the DVD burner he has on it every now and then.

    For the last 6 months of 2005, I was living in Europe. Needless to say, I have TONS of pictures that have just been sitting on my computer. After transfering them from my camera (to both my PC and my dad's mac laptop) I decided to make that cool slideshow I'd been planning to make since I first arrived in Europe.

    When I sat down to use iPhoto on my dad's mac, I found that it couldn't do some big things that I wanted it to do (at least that's how it appeared from a cursory, PC user's glance). It's fine for a quickie slideshow, if you just want music played with pictures displayed at a fixed rate, but I wanted something a little more complex than what it offered.

    This is where I need a little help from whoever's kind enough to answer:

    Is there any slideshow application out there that will allow me to do more specific things like change the rate at which pictures are shown at any given time during a slideshow? I'd want to be able to control the rate of the slides according to the changes in the tempo of the background music, fast enough so that it's almost a blur to the eye. Any effects like fading to white or black while the slides are still playing would be very nice.

    Perhaps the most important requirement for me is the ability to transfer all of this to a DVD that can ultimately be played on a standard DVD player. Like I said before, my dad has a dvd burner and, of course, iDVD (which I found to be pretty annoying, not to mention slow, with all the file conversion -.avi to quicktime and whatnot- that's required before it allows you to burn something...Is there even a way to just burn files onto a DVD purely for storage?)

    Thanks a lot in advance for the help. My family keeps bugging me to show them the pictures from my trip, so I'd like to be able to do this in the near future.
  2. aricher macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2004
    I haven't come across anything that will change tempo according to the music. If I want to do that I either import all of my photos into iMovie and control temp and effects in that program and then burn the whole project on a DVD using iDVD. The other alternate is using a program like Boinx Software's "FotoMagico." I love that program:

  3. Gargle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    Awesome, thanks a lot. I didn't know iMovie could be used that way. I'll definitely check it out fotomagico as well.

    I probably wasn't too clear about the tempo thing. I just wanted to be able to manually control the rate of the slides, making them faster at some parts and slower at others...not necessarily having the application itself speed them up or slow them down based on the music. I was basically looking for something that let's me come as close as I can to having complete control. Sounds like iMovie would work. I was hoping to not have to buy anything so I'll probably go with that. ^_^;

    Thanks again!
  4. ero87 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2006
    New York City
    iPhoto can display photos in slideshows for different amounts of time. simply click the "adjust" button when one photo is highlighted, and you can change how fast the transition occurs and how long you see the slide.

    hope that helps...

    EDIT: I just realized that this feature only allows time changes in second-intervals, and you want something to "blur" by. so you might be better off with that third-party program or iMovie.
  5. Gargle thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    I have a quick follow up question.

    I've started tinkering around with making my slideshow using iMovie. I think I've got the basics down, but there's still one thing I don't know how to adjust (if it's even possible).

    When I preview my rudamentary slideshow in iMovie, the quality of the images looks horrible. I'm also not too sure, but it looks like the file itself is reduced in size once it's dragged onto the timeline. These are regular 4.0 megapixel digital camera pictures, not enormous high res scans. Even so, I tried resizing one of the pictures to 75% and the quality looked even worse.

    Is there something I need to be doing to my pictures beforehand, or is the nature of iMovie such that it requires lower quality media in order for it to work?

    Thanks again in advance!
  6. theorem7 macrumors member

    Feb 7, 2006
    (Note: The following solutions are all for iLife '06. I can't guarantee continuity between earlier versions of iLife, so some of these features may not be available.)

    -Burning: If you just wanted to burn all of the pictures to a DVD for storage, then just put them all together in one album in iPhoto and then go Share>Burn and it will burn the picture files onto the DVD.

    -Manual control: If you want complete control (like being able to hit a button on a remote to change it whenever you wanted to), then just put all of the pictures into one album in iPhoto, go Share>Send to iDVD. This will open up iDVD and create a slideshow from all of the pictures in that album. Double-click on the menu item for the slideshow, which should show you thumbnails of all of the pictures. To be able to manually control the speed they go at, at the bottom, under "Slide Duration", select Manual. This will allow you to advance slides by hitting the right arrow button on your DVD player's remote control. You can mess around with the other settings (music transitions) to achieve optimal results.

    -As a side note, you could accomplish both of those tasks with one DVD by going under Settings in the bottom of the iDVD slideshow options view, and then select "Add Image Files to DVD-ROM." This will create your slideshow on the DVD, but will also include just the image files for storage.

    -About iMovie: The cause of the blurriness could be the playback setting that is selected under iMovie Preferences>Playback. If you select a higher quality playback setting, it should look better, although I believe iMovie optimizes the display for the best possible performance in playback, so you might not be able to get above a certain point. But when you export to full DV quality, it should look fine.

    But really, I probably wouldn't reccommend doing this in iMovie; it will take too long, and really isn't worth the effort as you are going to lose some quality through various compressions (especially MPEG-2 to get it on the DVD). Overall I think the method using iPhoto and iDVD will produce the best results in the least amount of time. Unless you would rather have the manual changes preset, in which case your only choice is iMovie.
  7. berniw macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2005
    bad iimage quality

    I tried using Idvd and all looked bad once the dvd was created. I viewed on TV afteward it was sad. I am not tryng software that came with Toast called Motion pictures HD, not sure if it will better. I have yet to seen exceptional quality unless I use final cut pro, have total control but that takes so long. any ideas out there?

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