Weekend Widget: Photodex ProShow Producer
I tried to create slideshows a few years back in Microsoft PowerPoint. The result was nice, but getting the slides coordinated the music was nothing short of a nightmare. ProShow Producer lets you adjust the timing so everything is spot on every time. And you can layer the sound so you have both a music soundtrack and voiceovers. Or have the soundtrack fade in and out between songs.
OK, so it does sound well, but this is really about the pictures. You can use still pictures or video. You can zoom and pan and darned near any special effect that comes to mind. There are numerous transitions for switching between two images. A single "slide" can have multiple pieces layered on top of one another. Think of floating objects in Corel PHOTO-PAINT or layers in Adobe Photoshop.
With the software you get lots of templates that help you quickly lay out a slideshow. Even more can be downloaded for free from within the software. If that still isn't enough, there are third parties who have developed templates. New to ProShow Producer 4 are styles. These take automating cool effects to an even higher level. Slideshow producers who used to spend 4-5 hours on a slideshow are now completing them in an hour because of the automation styles bring to the table.
Once the slideshow has been created, the output options are nearly endless. Output to CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, YouTube, an EXE file and much more. The great thing is you can create a slideshow once and output to as many formats as needed. This lets you make a smaller file for Web download and a much higher-quality file for distribution on disc.
Rather than me talking about it, I'd suggest you give it a try. You can download a free trial of ProShow Producer or the less expensive ProShow Gold and put it to the test for fifteen days. Before you install, collect all the music, images and video you need so that you can get the most out of your trial. If you decide you want to purchase a copy, download a discount coupon to save 20% on your purchase!
Not only will you find the software fun to use, you might find that it gives you another source of revenue by selling slideshows to your clients.