Having volunteered to put together a slideshow for an upcoming fundraising event for the high school orchestra, I’m just learning how stupidly complicated a seemingly simple task can be made. I just wanted to turn still photos into a slideshow. iMovie does this in seconds, but degrades image quality on the stills to the point they look like early Soviet-bloc animation. Flash will do this but I’ve got to do nearly everything by hand, I may or may not end up with a universally compatible file, and if I want it in the somewhat-universal .flv format, weirdly, Flash won’t do that. I’ve got to go to another program, Flash Video Encoder. (Adobe, there is no limit to the ways in which you suck. Truly.) Powerpoint will make a decent slideshow, but music is tricky and I’m unsure about whether the document will run as a standalone.
Steeped in frustration, I found out that lowly old Graphic Converter, for which I’ve had no use since I moved to Adobe Creative Suite, does for the price of my ancient license what my $700 Adobe program can’t do, and does it quickly — makes a quick, perfect, standalone Quicktime slideshow with embedded music. Absolutely perfect.
Except that when I wanted to share it here, despite assurances from Youtube that it supported Quicktime .mov files, I was told the file format was incompatible. So back to another format. So back to Flash, to figuring out how to make an .flv file when .swf seems to be the only option (other than the already scorned .mov). Blah, blah, blah. With anger and agitation and the standard array of tinker’s cusses, I finally put together the most primitive slideshow of still images imaginable. Perfectly serviceable, and it only took three days out of my life.