I love Aperture’s slide shows but right now, you can’t export them. So I needed a stand-alone slide show program that would help me create great online slide presentations without a lot of fuss. Enter – FotoMagico. (If you just want to cut to the chase and see my finished slide show – it’s online at Vimeo.)
I selected FotoMagico because of its heavy Mac integration. (Sorry Windows users.) In fact, if you’re using iPhoto or Aperture, you can import your images directly from your Library without any additional steps.
The interface is intuitive. You are first asked how the show should be formatted (what is your primary display device.) I selected monitor. I then went to preferences and selected the images pane. There I picked Aperture. Also in preferences in the authoring pane I selected “random pan and zoom” option in the program’s preferences dialog.
After that it was easy. I was able to import right from Aperture (or drag and drop from any other source.) If you set Aperture to provide the highest quality previews, it will automatically send a high-quality JPEG to FotoMagico without the need for conversion! SWEEEEEET! What a time saver.
I let the program do its thing and pressed the play button. After one pass through the show, I used the pan and zoom controls to fine tune the random pans and zooms selected by FotoMagico. I then went to GarageBand and prepared music that matched the length of my slide show. You have complete control over how long the images are on screen, transitions, etc.
I imported the music, hit play, and decided to make a couple of title slides – no need to go out to some other image program to do that.
The show was done and I decided to export it as an HD Movie. There are numerous export options, including screen savers, stand alone players, QuickTime and MP4, iPod, iPhone and AppleTV, etc.
The export process took some time (I wish I had the new Elgato Turbo.H264 hardware encoder to see how much time I could have saved,) but I was off having breakfast and when I returned – the show was ready.
A single license is $49 and the pro version (the one I used) is $129. Boinx, the makers of FotoMagico offer a free trial period so you can decide for yourself if you like it.
I read earlier reviews of this program complaining that various iterations were buggy. I have to say I didn’t have that experience at all. While I didn’t test every single feature to its limit, I never had a crash, freeze or problem. It worked right out of the box. It was easy and I think the final product came out well.
If you’d like to see my first FotoMagico slide show, you can check it out on Vimeo. It’s called Raptors.
I know that paying for slide show software is hard to justify for casual photographers who already have iPhoto. But if you’re a photographer who needs very high quality slide shows, with a wide variety of distribution capabilities, you might just want to pay the piper and get yourself a copy of FotoMagico. When combined with iPhoto or Aperture, it’s even more valuable.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Windows users, please feel free to leave comments containing your favorite photo slide show software.