Hey... perhaps somebody can help me out here, I've been searching for a while.

At work, we're in the process of converting a dias (photo/film/whatever) slide show to digital media. You know, those wall-projected photo thingies.

Thus, I've been scanning some 150 slides already (on our excellent newly purchased canon canoscan 8000F). Yeah, we should have gotten kodak or somebody to do this, but boss decided to buy a scanner and let me do it - oh well.

Now, the thing is... setting up a slide show of the pictures is no problem at all. Powerpoint, and a zillion other programs, can do this. However, we need to have an audio track running at the same time, with images fairly correctly synced to the audio track. Powerpoint would rather sync wave files to each slide... with some mucking around, we got a single wave file running through all the show, but this is not optimal:

- during editing, you have to start playback from the first slide if you want audio playback.

- the way powerpoint changes slide is by assigning a duration to each slide. While we don't really need each slide to have fine sync than the second range, the powerpoint way loses some fractional seconds of precision on each change - this adds up after some fifty slides, and means we can't use the time values we've noted down from the audio track.
Furthermore, powerpoint doesn't take into the account the time taken on slide transition, so we have to calculate for this factor manually, too.


Now, the optimal approach would be something "timeline based". You have a timeline, and you can insert sound clips and images. (we only need one sound track, so multi sound tracks is not a requirement). It would be preferrable if a image stays on screen until the next one inserted on the timeline, but having to specify a duration is fine as well.

Looking around, I found a demo of MAGIX video deLuxe 2.0. This has the type of timeline based approach we need, and seems to be simple enough to use that my boss would be able to figure it out. However, it doesn't seem to have the ability to insert, say, arrows pointing to a specific part of the picture - and this _is_ something we need. Could be solved by manually painting arrows on the pictures with a image editing program, but having support in the slide show app is much preferable. Also, videodeluxe text capabilities seem somewhat limited. It's more suited for editing home videos, I guess.

Any suggestions?
I could throw a playback engine that does everything needed together rather quickly - the user interface would take me ages though - basically, a very little computer literate person has to be able to use the application :(.

We will of course be purchasing the program legally and everything, so price _is_ a concern. VideoDeluxe is very fairly priced, but I'm not sure it can (easily) do what we need. Premiere and (especially) Flash should be able to do what we need, but the price is high. While we might be able to shell out the cash for flash *g*, it does way more than we need, is probably too hard for the boss to use, and thus I find it hard to justify the high price.

Any suggestions for software that might do the job?
Posted on 2003-05-01 04:33:38 by f0dder
why not do it in html and use real audio or something like that
that would keep ever thing in sync and you could even email it out
Posted on 2003-05-01 12:35:30 by rob.rice
html? Hmmm... that wouldn't solve anything. Even if I threw enough jscript together to do an image slideshow, the sync would be horrible. Does RealAudio (I hate that format) have a sensible editor that will do what I need? Or is it just an avi->ram encoder?
Posted on 2003-05-01 12:49:38 by f0dder
I don't know but look at a web page cartoonjoe.com or joecartoon.com
the sync isen't as good as a video but it's close
this is way more than a slide show with audio
I think if you save it to work offline you can see how he dose it
Posted on 2003-05-01 12:56:58 by rob.rice
rob, that's flash. Flash has decent enough sync for what we need - however, it's very expensive, and probably too complicated for my boss to use (if it had been very easy to use, the price wouldn't have been that much of a problem).

Argh :(
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:01:46 by f0dder
Why not preload all images via javascript if you make it in html?! Would cause no "lag" then.
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:03:39 by bazik
Hehe, eek. I don't know if javascript has accurate enough timing (it ought to). Next, hardcoding all the timevalues? I doubt that's userfriendly enough for my boss. Doesn't take care of being able to put arrows and text like powerpoint (though of course we could revert to manual image editing).
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:06:29 by f0dder
There is a programm in the XP PowerToys which can generate slideshows ;)
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:11:16 by bazik
why not give each slide its't own sound track
and show the slide while it's audotrack plays
kinda like

for I =1 to number_of_slides
show slide_i
play_audio track_i
loop until play_audio =done
next i

or something like this
so the audio controles the slides
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:31:36 by rob.rice
contact beaster and miracle.

they made such a program, much more powerful than powerpoint.

http://www.xcomposer.com
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:44:10 by Hiroshimator

they made such a program, much more powerful than powerpoint.


But unfortunatley with a unusable GUI :/
Posted on 2003-05-01 13:47:18 by bazik
humm.
The boss hacked the first slide together in powerpoint now, with all the manual adjustments that were necessary... I'm pretty amazed by his persistance :D

Bazik posted me a couple of links on ICQ, I will check them out when the weekend is over, and get back here if any of the programs listed are usable. For now, the immediate need for this app is gone, but more slides will have to be made in the future. I might end up designing a program myself, I guess.
Posted on 2003-05-03 06:01:07 by f0dder