fotomagico

FotoMagico 3 Review

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A few years ago, I needed to quickly put together a slide show and I needed it to look fantastic. While I knew this was possible in iMovie, it took a lot of time and, frankly, didn't look that good.

On a whim I downloaded the trial version of FotoMagico. Within five minutes, I had my wallet out and purchased a license. Since then, I've used FotoMagico often for family and professional events. Indeed, my wife will volunteer me as the "slideshow guy" at weddings for friends and family at the drop of a hat. I can't really complain that much however because using FotoMagico for this is really quite easy.

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The latest version, FotoMagico 3, adds several enhancements. FotoMagico produces professional quality slideshow presentations. It is very easy to operate with a similar "drag-and-drop" paradigm you see across the Mac platform. Take a folder full of pictures and drag it in FotoMagico and you have your slideshow. The application allows you to easily set transitions and animates individual slides with the Ken Burns effect. FotoMagico has sliders sliders for the before and after position of your photographs that make this very simple.

My workload has always been to drag the pictures in, sort them, adjust the Ken Burns effect for each picture, and drop in music. It really is that simple. You can similarly adjust rotation and insert text.

The newest version blurs the lines between FotoMagico as a slideshow application and a video application. You can now insert movies in your slideshows. You can set start and end points and even animate movies just as you would a photograph. Organizing and creating your slideshows is also now easier with an improved storyboard. Now that Boinx has teased me with this video support however, I'd like to see them take it further. Lower thirds would be very useful.

Another nice feature is the Aperture exporter plug in.

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With the pro version you can get much more control over the audio. You can include multiple tracks and even the voiceover track. Each is independently controlled and adjusted.

While putting pictures in iMovie is much easier now, for speed, granular control of the Ken Burns effect, and overall presentation, I think FotoMagico still has iMovie beat.

Once you have created your slideshow, you can export it, burn it to a DVD, turn it into a screensaver, or put it on your iPod or Apple TV. Of course you can also just play it through the built-in player. This is normally how I do my wedding slideshows. The best compliment paid to this application is by the "official" photographers at the weddings I have participated in. They always ask me afterwards how I did it and they always want to know where they can get their own copy of FotoMagico. A single-user license is $29 and a single-user license for the pro version is $149. You can find out more at Boinx.com.

You can listen to this review on the Mac ReviewCast #215.

Audioengine W-1 To the Rescue

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Yesterday I volunteered to help some dear friends (and fellow Mac users) with their wedding slideshow. I did the usual drill with FotoMagico and it looked spectacular. Just for giggles, as I was going out the door I packed my usual bag of goodies I take when doing presentations with my Mac. Thank goodness I did! The video guy didn't have any cables for the projector and, even worse, the DJ was about 50 feet away from the computer and didn't have any audio cables.

I pulled out my trusty Audioengine W-1 (reviewed here) and an RCA adapter (also brought by me). Using the W-1, we were able to wirelessly bridge audio to the DJ and the slideshow was saved. I just continue to find uses for those Audioengine W-1s. I think the DJ plans to buy a pair now too.

FotoMagico Rides Again

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My receptionist got married yesterday and somehow I got recruited to do the slideshow. FotoMagico makes it so easy. You literally drop the pictures in and the "Ken Burns" effect is done for you. This used to take me a lot of time in iMovie. I don't really care much for the way it incorporates music. It should automatically adjust the slide length to match the song length but for assembling the pictures it makes it too east.

I had the slideshow done when I showed up for the wedding but I did drop in one picture of them at the alter at the end and that one got a lot of response from the guests. The funniest part was the "official" photographer (who also drives a Mac) practically assaulted me and wanted to know the name of "that program."

FotoMagico .. Impressive

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I do a lot of photo montage videos. I do them routinely for the family DVD's and seem to get myself enlisted quite often for other people. My wife asked me to do one for her business and I agreed to make one for my secretary's wedding next month. After listening to Robert Lachman wax poetic on FotoMagico a few weeks ago on Surfbits #146, I decided to give it a try. My primary reason for trying it was to get a quick slideshow with the Ken Burns effect. Thirty minutes after I downloaded it, I had a slideshow done and saved, with music. Mission accomplished. Slideshows just got a lot easier.