Video slideshows can be a great way to share a set of photos, and tools like EXESlide make it very easy. Drag, drop, add a soundtrack, export the results, and that’s it: finished.
If you need a little more control over the finished slideshow, though, you might prefer the open source Java-based IMGDissolver. It’s not as straightforward as some of the competition, but the program’s powerful features and extreme configurability mean it could still be worth a look.
The process starts by adding your source files. IMGDissolver imports both image and video files in the main formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, AVI, MPG, MP4, OGG, OGV, MOV), and can even handle PowerPoint files (PPT, anyway).
Choose a source image and you can rotate it, tweak brightness and contrast, adjust colors, add a caption or apply various effects (Grey Scale, Sepia, Sharpen, Red Eye Reduction, more).
IMGDissolver offers 15 transitions, including scrolls, stripes, wipes and a dissolve. There’s nothing too surprising, but again they’re very configurable, with you able to set transition and image duration, background color, and one of 6 optional filters (Rain Drops, Old Movie and so on).
Adding a soundtrack can be as simple as choosing an MP3 file, but there are also options to merge or concatenate several tracks, or record a narration. Simple video tools allow you to perform basic edits, grab frames or extract the soundtrack for use elsewhere.
A Preview option means you can check how your slideshow is progressing with a click. And when you’re happy, there are options to export the results as a video (FLV, AVI, MPG) or a DVD (an ISO with a simple DVD slideshow; no menu, just the pictures and soundtrack).
IMGDissolver’s use of Java means performance isn’t as good as you’d expect from a native Windows application, and its interface can be a little clumsy. We had problems exporting video files on one test system, too, although it worked fine on another, and DVD exports were successful everywhere.
The program is still flagged as an alpha version, though, so problems are to be expected. And even at this stage, IMGDissolver is an interesting program, very configurable and with a good range of slideshow building features. Take a look.