A slideshow presentation with photos and music is one of the best ways to tell stories. People use it to say “I love you”, “Our wedding is the best and your wedding stinks”, and “Remember what we did last summer?”. Since slideshows are in demand, slideshow making applications are in supply. In this article we highlight several free programs that, in our opinion, deserve special attention. All of them has their specific features, so choose one depending on your goals.
1. PhotoStage Slideshow Software
If all those “quick and easy basic drag-and-drop” apps don’t meet your requirements and you are looking for something more versatile (but are not yet ready for Adobe After Effects), PhotoStage Slideshow Software is your answer. It’s a free tool that features a far steeper learning curve, which results in highly customizable and good looking slideshow projects. A wide variety of unusual effects, image editing features, audio support and lots of output format options make this slideshow maker a great candidate. It is perfect for users who want to control and customize all the settings possible.
This slideshow maker is perfect for the advanced users to create highly customized slideshows with complicated visual effects. Also, these users have to accept that the interface is not something that will make them open this program once again.
2. Icecream Slideshow Maker
The biggest difference you will notice between the majority of free slideshow makers and this one is the eye-candy interface of Icecream Slideshow Maker. Indeed, most developers don’t bother to think about a good looking design and concentrate on functionality. Icecream Slideshow Maker is different – the overall user interface is tastefully designed with careful attention to detail and functionality. Being a really basic and lightweight program, it does a surprisingly good job while grouping your photos into a slideshow. In particular, you can add transition effects, audio, control the scale of a photo and the position of each slide in the slideshow, and upload your finished project on YouTube. Not only can you upload an audio file to create a slideshow with music, you can also customize the audio with such settings as fade and offset.
We recommend using it to create all sorts of presentations for any purpose.
This slideshow maker is a great tool for the creation of vivid presentations. It is possible to add audio of various formats, and there are plenty of useful settings for transition effects and their speed and duration. In addition to that, users can choose the purpose of the slideshow; for example, is it supposed to be used on a smartphone, or uploaded online and so on so that they can select the output format of their presentations. All in all it is a great working software and its only disadvantage is its interface. The first problem is that it looks too out-dated. The second problem is that even in full screen mode you are not using the whole desktop area since the developers ad takes up one third of the screen.
If you are ready to work with a stable and effective program with an inconvenient and not that pleasant looking interface, ffDiaporama will work great for you, for sure.
As a free slideshow maker for Windows, Ezvid features not only photo, but also video support. It’s a basic app, which means you don’t have a lot of freedom while using it for creating slideshows. But in case you want to do it quick and get a good looking presentation on the other side, this one would be the maker of choice. You can’t apply any transition effect to the slides, so the slides just appear one after another. It is possible to insert slides with text in this slideshow maker, and you can do so in a very simple way – click on the T button, choose the color and font of the text and type what is needed, and your slide with text is ready. The only annoying thing about this program is the fact that it doesn’t allow you to use any soundtracks except for their suggested tunes. Thus, you avoid copyright infringement but partially deprive your video of individuality.
We recommend this program for creating quick slideshow presentations that don’t need to be fancy and only show basic information like images and text.
5. Flash Slideshow Maker Professional
This slideshow maker is rather limited in settings; however it is a fast working slideshow maker that saves finished slideshow presentations in SWF format. You basically add images, select a template, press a button to create a project and it is ready. The way each slide appears depends on the template chosen. Users can also add music from HDD and CD (surprisingly). The interface is a bit messed up, and when you use the program for the first time you need to open all the tabs to find out how to apply personal settings to a future slideshow. The only format available for saving finished projects is SWF, so it is great for those who will upload it online later on, but pretty disappointing for those who would like to watch it on PC.
If you are looking for a slideshow maker that will create a very basic slideshow that can be uploaded online quickly, then this program should be your choice.
If you are eager to share your slideshow but feel that words are not enough, feel free to visualize it with one of the slideshow makers we’ve listed above. Some of them are great for creating presentations in 5 minutes, while others give you a lot of fancy features for stunning results. Note that all of them are marked as “freeware”, and there are no additional components that you will have to pay for after a while. There are also no trial periods with any of these slideshow makers.