Say you have some digital-camera images you’d like to post on the Web, but 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.
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.
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 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.
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 beginning or end.
Min specs: PowerPC; Mac OS 8.5; QuickTime 4
LiveSlideShow is easy to use, yet powerful enough to create interactive educational slide-shows, electronic brochures, or fun alternatives to online photo-albums. Its approach to sound limits your options, but one can’t complain too much given the price.