Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Digital Slideshows Made Easy: Emailing Slideshows
Take advantage of a variety of programs to compile and share your photos
The software differs in the kind of file type it uses to store the slideshow. Some, like Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or Microsoft Photo Story (included in MS Plus! Digital Media Edition), create files that require reader software to open, while others like Roxio PhotoSuite 5 Platinum create a self-contained program that will run itself: an .exe file. The Microsoft slideshow uses Windows Media Player to run. Since the player comes with the operating system, Windows XP users will already have what they need. If you're sending a slideshow to Uncle Edward to run on his Mac, though, he'll need to download a free copy of the reader.
If you use Photoshop Album 2.0, your recipients will need to have Acrobat Reader installed on their computers. Like Media Player, Acrobat commonly appears on home computers and can be downloaded for free. The slideshows that use .exe files don't need any extra software—just double-click and enjoy—but they may run afoul of your recipient's e-mail system. (As a precaution against viruses, some e-mail software won't take .exe files.) They're also limited to Windows, so if you're sending a slideshow to Uncle Ed, the .exe format won't work.
Other slideshow programs, like the one built into ACDSee from ACD Systems, rely on a distinctly different approach—they create pages on a dedicated Website and e-mail the site's address to your recipient. When Aunt Brenda goes to the link, she'll see your pictures as thumbnails on your site's main page. Clicking on the thumbnail presents a larger copy of the image. Since the larger images also offer "next slide" and "previous slide" links, the site functions as a slideshow.
Generally, the presentation here isn't quite as slick as it is in the self-contained slideshows, but web-based slideshows are very simple to create and use. They avoid potential problems with e-mailing slideshow files by relying on nothing more complicated than a standard web browser.
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