Nowadays the digital photos have become very easy to capture and save. With the advent of larger hard drives with cheaper prices, the space constraint is almost gone forever. Now comes the challenge of organizing these photos because with the passage of time, the collection of digital photos becomes so huge that it becomes very difficult to find a particular photo. I have recently written about 5 free feature rich photo editing software that can make the task of editing photos to your desired effect very easily and conveniently. A wonderful regular reader, Colin Boswell, has asked for suggesting some free software for making slideshows of photos particularly for the DVDs. While most of the slideshow making software are not free, I have a collection of few free software for making slideshows of digital photos.
So what features I am looking for when searching for a photo slideshow maker software? Here are some of the features that I evaluate when looking for one:
Drag and drop: Ease of use is the first and foremost feature that we should be looking for in any software. Drag and drop functionality makes a software easier to use so I prefer to have this kind of functionality in the slideshow maker.
Transition effects: The software should be able to provide different types of popular transition effects for the photo slideshows.
Timing: We should be able to specify our own time intervals between each transition.
Captions: We should be able to add captions to our photos so that we can write something about the photo right beside it. Text animation is an added plus.
Sound effect: We should be able to add sound effects to the slideshow whether it be music or our own voice.
Photo editor: The software should provide at least a basic photo editor so that we may be able to edit photos on the go without having to go to another program even for the minor edits.
Publishing methods: The software should be able to provide us with easy publishing methods according to our requirements. For example if I want to publish my slideshow on a DVD, there should be an option to do so.
Formats: This is important especially for those who want to distribute their slideshows. The slideshows should be in the formats that people will be able to see without installing any additional codecs or software.
Now lets talk about the free software which we can use to create great and beautiful slideshows and which have all the features that I have given above.
1. PhotoStage Slideshow Producer Free
PhotoStage Slideshow Producer is my most favorite slideshow maker. The biggest reason behind this is its ease of use. The interface is very similar to Windows Movie Maker which I have been using for years before. Everything is organized in steps. If you don’t know where to go, just follow the steps and you’ll be able to make stunning slideshows in no time.
I absolutely love the timeline feature that gives me a summary of what I have added. I can also use the drag and drop functionality in the timeline instead of using a step by step interface. There are more than 35 transition effects to choose from. You can also add effect to individual photos. In the next step you can either record your own narration or add some music to the slideshow. Saving options of PhotoStage Slideshow Producer is a feature that I absolutely love. I have almost all the options that I like to have, like saving the slideshow on a CD or DVD, saving it locally on the computer, or on a portable device like iPod or iPhone, upload it directly to Youtube or Facebook or saving the whole slideshow as Flash movie.
There is a a commercial version of PhotoStage Slideshow Producer but I prefer to have a free one because it has everything that I need.
2. DVD Slideshow GUI
DVD Slideshow GUI is another free software for creating slideshows. While it is a very good software with lots of options, I don’t prefer it because it is not easy to use. Its interface is not at all user friendly. Other than that, it has almost all the options that are found in commercial slideshow makers. If you are used to the older menu and toolbar button style interface, you’ll love to use this software. It has about 237 transition effects included, 17 formats to publish the slideshow in which make it stand with other commercial options.
Slideshow Makers For Other OSes
These are the two best free slideshow makers for Windows. If you are using other Operating System, I’m just listing down some of the software available for those platforms:
3. Slideshow Makers for Linux
Slideshow Makers for Mac OSX
Online Slideshow Makers
I hope this has been helpful for every viewer and I’d like to thank everyone for taking time for reading. If you would like to add anything to this article, please leave a comment below. If you want us to write about a specific topic, you can request it from our contact form.