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IntroductionWhile Slideshow Pro seems to work well, it's just too lacking in features to be compared seriously to its competition. There are free offerings out there that do more. The UI feels very dated and creating the final product is just not automated--you have to buy and use other applications to burn CDs or DVDs if you don't already have that capability. There is no content provided beyond an example slideshow, and it cannot actually produce real DVDs--instead, you have to create VCD and SVCD content to put on a DVD and hope that your DVD player supports it.
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Installation & SetupRating What's Hot:
The installer is simple and offers a choice of languages.
Registration is a little convoluted. First you have to run the application in order to get an activation code. Then you email the access code to the application publishers, and they email you back a registration code that unlocks the full application.
While their email response was very quick, I am concerned that the application is now locked to a specific machine and may be hard to move if I upgrade. It's not documented anywhere whether the registration code will work for future installs.
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Product FeaturesRating What's Hot:
The image browser allows you to see small thumbnails of images from a directory, which you can then add to your slideshow. There is a reasonable editor to make simple modifications to images as well as add effects.
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PerformanceRating What's Hot:
Almost everything happened with reasonable performance. The image effects were snappy and the slideshow generation is accompanied by a progress indicator.
Adding a large directory of images (especially from a network share) took a long time to create thumbnails, during which time it appears that the application has hung or crashed.
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Price to ValueRating What's Not:
For $35, I expect something a little more professional-looking, given the competition. The product looks like it originated as a shareware product ten years ago and still has some of the old UI conventions that where popular back then. There are no graphics, templates, or sounds included with the package.
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User InterfaceRating What's Hot:
The wizard approach works well. You are walked through the process from end to end. The UI is uncluttered and makes it very easy to find what you need.
The user interface feels like a Windows 3.1 application. The OK and Cancel buttons have the little red crosses and green checks that were popular back then. Several dialog boxes have two Cancel buttons, which users may find confusing.
The thumbnails are very small relative to the size of the window, and there is no way to change their size. I also noticed that the Flip Vertical button in the image editor actually flips horizontally.
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Help & SupportRating
There appears to be some email support on the Slideshow Pro website.
The website, though partially translated for product information, is still mostly in German. I could not find any telephone support, FAQs, or forums, or anything that implied there was support. Nor is there anything in the help. There is an email form, which I am guessing can be used for support.
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Suggested FeaturesThere are too many to list. I would suggest the publishers purchase and compare the product to competitors' offerings, or even free offerings like Photo Story.
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ConclusionThe only audience I can see attracted to this are VCD or SVCD users, as this program seems to support them quite well, though you do have to burn the disks yourself. Otherwise, I can't recommend this program as it needs some upgrades to make it competitive and bring it into the 21st century.