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.
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.
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.