I am the 'semi-official' team photographer for my daughter's varsity basketball team. At the end of the season, I was asked to put together a video slideshow with music of the photos I'd taken over the year.
After checking out several programs, I chose 'Memories To TV' (http://www.codejam.com/motv.htm) to create the slideshow.
At a minimum, there are several programs ranging from freeware on up that will let you put together a string of images with a sound file playing in the background. What I like about 'Memories' is the variety of slide transitions you can use. 'Memories' was unique when I bought it in that it offered what they call 'Ken Burns' panning on images. Burns is a documentary film producer who would 'pan' across still pictures to make the presentation more interesting. 'Memories' lets you do the same panning, and adds the ability to pan and zoom on a particular slide. Once the show and music are done, you can burn a DVD in either PAL or NTSC, or even a VCD (Video CD) that will play on PCs and some home theater DVD players.
For the audio background, I used the free program 'Audacity' (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) to edit the sound files into shorter clips that fit the sequence of images. Audacity lets you do a 'fade-in, fade-out' on the ends of the sound clips you create, eliminating the jarring effect of just cutting from one song to another in mid-tune. Because the audio track and slides are on a timeline view, it's easy to synchronize the sounds with the visuals.
If I have any beef with 'Memories' it's that it's too tempting to use lots of different slide transitions, and the transitions overpower the images themselves. The variety of transitions is so 'gee-whiz' that you want to use them all in every show. Experiment if you want, but you'll find that the same two or three transitions repeated throughout your slideshow will be the most visually pleasing.
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