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Creating DVD/VCD Photo Slide Shows for Your Mac

by Wei-Meng Lee

Editor' note: If you're not an iPhoto fan but you'd still like to organize your photos into slide shows burned on CD, Wei-Meng Lee offers an alternative application that handles just that.

Ever since I bought a digital camera two years ago, I have been taking photos every time I go on overseas trips. If you're like me, then you probably have lots of photos to develop when you return from a trip. And often you want to share them with your friends and relatives.

For friends who are computer literate, I usually send them the photos via email, or simply cut a CD and send it to them. It's the less-computer-savvy folks whom I have problems with. Developing hundreds of photos for those relatives and friends is not practical, as that would still cost quite a bit despite the drop in cost for digital printing. So, I thought the best way to solve this problem would be to create a DVD (or VCD, a digital video format popular in Asian countries like Singapore) and send it to friends (this is much cheaper), since most people have a DVD/VCD player at home. And with DVD/VCD, you can attach music to accompany your photos, which really adds to the ambience. (iPhoto lets you create slide show CDs to play in newer DVD players, but I was looking for an alternative.) So I went hunting for another software package that let me do just that.

The no-frills Ulead DVD PictureShow for Mac turned out to be the answer to my quest. Therefore, in this article I will show you how to cut all of your digital photos into a DVD/VCD so you can send the disc to friends and relatives (and, of course, create some for your own archiving and enjoyment).

Ulead DVD PictureShow for Mac

You can download a trial version of the Ulead DVD PictureShow for Mac from The trial version is fully functional, except that it limits the number of photos you can create per disc. The full version costs $29 while the upgrade is $22. (Prices are rounded up.)

Once you've downloaded and installed the trial version, double-click on the DVD PictureShow icon in the Applications folder (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. The Ulead DVD PictureShow for Mac application Figure 1. The Ulead DVD PictureShow for Mac application.

When the DVD PictureShow application is loaded, you should see the window shown in Figure 2. Creating a photo slideshow is a simple three-step process: Organize, Make Menu, and Burn. By default, the first slide show has already been created for you. A slide show is like a folder where you group your photos into categories. For example, one slide show may contain your graduation photos, while another may contain your birthday party photos.

Figure 2. The first slide show is created for you Figure 2. The first slide show is created for you.

To add photos to a slide show, click on the menu titled Photo-Add Photo (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Adding photos to a slide show Figure 3. Adding photos to a slide show.

The trial version of the DVD PictureShow limits you to a maximum of 10 slide shows and maximum of 10 images per slide show. Figure 4 shows the slide show that I created ("Rhode Island") and its associated photos (I took this while I was in Rhode Island in November 2002 while working with O'Reilly Media). You can drag and drop the images to change their sequencing.

Figure 4. Creating my first slide show Figure 4. Creating my first slide show.

You can create additional slide shows by clicking on the + New Slideshow button located on the lower left of the window. Figure 5 shows that I have created three slide shows; you can also adjust the time delay in displaying the next photo. You have a choice of making a VCD or DVD and the amount of storage required is displayed at the bottom of the window. Finally, you can also attach some background music to your photo collections. This feature is really cool.

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