Provides: Slideshow creation and presentation
Minimum Requirements: OS X Lion v10.7.4 or later
Availability: Out Now
Remember how you used iMovie to create that one video slideshow of your kid for like his birthday or something, then everyone saw it and wanted you to create one for them? But it took you four or five hours to get everything perfectly timed to that song by Talking Heads, and they’re giving you some junk by Rod Stewart? And only about 15 photos? And they want it this weekend?
Hands up if you’ve been there. I have. It’s not fun. Thankfully, Boinx’s FotoMagico turned up a whole ago to ease this process, and its ability to create transitions and movement in photo slideshows meant you no longer had to rely on iMovie or other video software. FotoMagico was much easier to use, but not quite as powerful and not nearly as precise.
That’s changed a bit with FotoMagico 4, which now adds features such as Retina support, multiple audio tracks with waveforms for precise transition placement, a built-in audio recorder for narration, up to six layers of vides, photos and titles which you can turn into templates for swapping out content without losing formatting, and my personal favorite, the ability to adjust the length of a video or photo by simply dragging their starting and endpoints in the timeline.
I also greatly enjoy the ability to adjust transitions by simply right clicking on the current one and making a new selection without having to deal with render times.
If you’re the person in that first paragraph, all of this is both good and bad. You now have incredible control over how your photos and videos are presented. Combine a static photo with video in various formats. Fade photos into videos. Add audio effects or let the source audio fade in overtop of your music selection. It’s all right there.
However, it’s also all a more difficult to use. It’s still FotoMagico, granted, so it’s easier than it should be. The software automatically loads up your iTunes and iPhoto libraries, and adding the content is a simple matter of dragging your selections into the timeline. Adjustments happen on the fly without damaging the source material. And its infinitely adjustable. But if you want to whip out a full photo slideshow in half an hour, plan on using none (or at least few) of these new features.
I think there are some growing pains, however. Flipping between adding content to the time timeline and playing it back is a bit unwieldy, and moving the marker when trying to view your work seemed to force it to jump to the start of a clip. The video clips themselves sometimes had an odd stutter when the clip before them didn’t have an animated transition. I’d also like to see an individual scrubber within video clips so I could more easily control their starting point, as opposed to the current method of setting it in a side toolbar. Being able to add effects to the clip after it’s placed would be great, too.
Thing is, if this can be done, I’m sure Boinx will eventually add it. That’s what they do. Looking back at my previous reviews of FotoMagico, it seems every complaint I’ve raised has been addressed.
It’s unfortunate, however, that Boinx seems to have done away with the two version model: a Pro version at $149 and a home version at $29. In place of that is one version with the pro capabilities at a reduced price of $99. That’s great if you’re used to paying for the pro version, but if you were happy with the home version, you may have been priced out of an upgrade.
I can’t fault Boinx too much, however, because FotoMagico 4 is every bit worth the $99 asking price. Whether you’re a professional photographer who wants to show off your work, a salesman looking to create a snazzy product presentation, or just a guy who’d like to spend as little time as possible listening to post Tonight I’m Yours Rod Stewart on those relative baby videos, FotoMagico 4 will make that money back for you in final product quality and time saved after just a few slideshows.
By FotoMagico 4