Slideshows are a great way to showcase images on digital displays. Whether it’s a collection of old family photos, snapshots from my last vacation, or even my portfolio of professional photography, I always try to put together a picture slideshow for my audience.When the images advance in sequence by themselves, the viewer is less distracted and can take in the message that each picture is conveying, since they don’t have to click or flip through them manually.
SlideMyPics is a free app to create photo slideshows with, using images from your online accounts. The service is easy to use and generates HTML5 slideshows that you can view on any device with a modern browser, including tablets and smartphones. You can share your slideshows on social networks, by sending a link to a page containing your slideshow via IM or email, or even embed it on your own blog or website.
Although it doesn’t have as many features as some desktop and web-based packages, SlideMyPics is great for users who aren’t looking for anything too fancy. The app is nicely designed and everything is contained in one page, which works well for this single-purpose app.
SlideMyPics only works with photos that you’ve already uploaded to one of its supported sites (Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket and SmugMug). You don’t need to sign up to use the app, but you do need to login to the sites that your photos are on. When you connect to each site from the app, you’ll see all your photo albums and can select as many of them as you like to import images into SlideMyPics.
You can later select which images you want to include in your slideshow from each album. Keep in mind that you can add photos from various sites and albums into the same slideshow, by logging into each site that you want to import from.
Organizing your pictures
Once you’ve imported all the photo albums you want pictures from for your slideshow, click the Organize Photos tab to view all your photos in a single collection. You can re-order photos any way you like in the grid and can also delete images that you don’t want – just hover over each image to access the necessary buttons.
Configuring your slideshow
After you’re done sequencing your photos, you can tinker with the slideshow by opening the Settings tab. Here, you can customize the size of the slideshow by choosing from a preset in the given drop-down menu or by entering exact dimensions as per your needs (great if you’re embedding it into a tumblog theme or a custom website and need it to look just so).
Up next is the Template section, where you can set the background color of the slideshow (which will be visible when images don’t take up the entire space of the slideshow area, such as portrait shots) and also choose the transition style. You can go with a simple slide transition, an elegant fade or have thumbnails display below the main image, just like many popular jQuery carousels.
Finally there’s the Music tab. This is where the fun really begins – you can add a tune to your slideshow by searching for any song or soundtrack on YouTube, previewing it with your slideshow and then choosing to use it. Nothing spices up a slideshow quite like a backing track, and SlideMyPics excels by providing a simple way to get just about any piece of music you want to complement your pictures.
Using your slideshows
Once your slideshow is ready, you can give it a name and show it off to the world either by passing on the direct link via IM or email (your recipients can view the slideshow on a page hosted by SlideMyPics), by sharing the link on Facebook or Twitter, or by embedding it on your own website or blog. To embed the slideshow, simply choose whether you want to display a widget (the slideshow at full-size), an icon or a link (clicking on either will open up the slideshow in a lightbox view with the rest of the screen darkened), grab the code and paste on your page or post.
The slideshows themselves are simple and elegant – the transitions are pleasant, the audio volume and image playback controls look clean and so do the image titles. You can make changes at any time (even after sharing/embedding) by entering your email address to receive links to edit and delete your slideshow whenever you want. I did notice that the email landed in my spam folder though, so be sure to look there if you’re doing this.
SlideMyPics is one of those apps that does what it says on the box and does it well – my favorite kind! I’d love to see a few more features, such as the ability to upload my own images and add intro/end slides from the app itself, but their absence isn’t strongly felt.
There are other options to create photo slideshows, such as Animoto (which has great effects and finer control, but is pricey and generates Flash media) and Picasa (desktop-based and generates WMV files, more suitable for sharing on video sites like YouTube), but SlideMyPics is more than adequate for personal use, can be viewed on most browsers without relying on other plugins and looks good. Plus it’s free. What more could you ask for? Start sharing your photos in style with SlideMyPics today!
SlideMyPics allows you to create and share photo slideshows for free, using images from your online accounts.9