SoundSlides

 

HomeSoundslides manualPrinter Friendly Version

Soundslides manual

This manual documents the basic operation of Soundslides.

1. Introduction

1.1. F.A.Q.

What is Soundslides?

Soundslides is a rapid-production tool for creating Web slide shows synched to an audio track. It runs on Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8, as well as Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.

What is Soundslides Plus?

Soundslides Plus is an advanced version of Soundslides. In addition to all of the features of the original version, Soundslides Plus includes:

  • Full-screen playback
  • Image movement (pan and zoom)
  • Click-through slide shows
  • Silent-play slide shows
  • Lower thirds

Who uses Soundslides and Soundslides Plus?

Though originally created for photojournalists, they are now also used in the corporate, public relations and academic worlds. Individuals have also found them useful for adding multimedia content to personal blogs.

What do I need to know about Internet publishing to use Soundslides or Soundslides Plus?

Not much. See our publishing instructions for detailed information for a variety of knowledge levels.

What formats do Soundslides and Soundslides Plus export?

Both export a folder you can upload to your Web server, then view the slide show online without any additional work. The slide show player and Web page are made up of Adobe Flash (SWF) and HTML files advanced users can further customize after export. Images are exported as JPG files and audio as MP3.

Does Soundslides or Soundslides Plus export to a DVD format that can be viewed on a television?

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus do not do this because they are designed for Web publishing. It is, however, possible to convert a slide show to a DVD playable in a DVD player using third-party software.

Is Web space included with Soundslides or Soundslides Plus?

Web hosting is not included. The software only creates the files you will need to upload to your Web server.

What version of the Flash plug-in will the end user need to have installed in order to view a Soundslides or Soundslides Plus slide show?

Both require the Flash 9 plug-in (or higher). Recent stats put the Flash 9 plug-in's penetration at 98.8 percent worldwide.

What kind of media can Soundslides and Soundslides Plus import?

Both can import images in the JPG format and audio in the MP3 format. Optionally, both can import AIFF or WAV audio files if you have the free, open-source LAME application installed (for more information, click here).

How many images can Soundslides and Soundslides Plus import?

There is no limit to how many images can be loaded, but both are optimized to work with 200 or fewer images.

How do I control the length of an audio slide show?

The length depends on the length of the audio track, which also serves as the timing track. If you have a 30-second audio track, you will have a 30-second audio slide show.

Can Soundslides or Soundslides Plus edit audio?

No. You'll need to create a single audio track, then import it. This is easy to do with audio-editing software, such as Audacity, a free, open-source editor for Mac OS X and Windows. Here's a simple guide to audio editing with Audacity.

Will Soundslides and Soundslides Plus read the caption info in a JPG file?

Yes. They also allow you to edit captions once the images are imported.

Can Soundslides or Soundslides Plus import video?

Not at this time.

Are there plans to add this functionality?

We are constantly improving Soundslides and Soundslides Plus and adapting them to customer requests.

What are the benefits of registering?

Registration removes the "Made with Soundslides DEMO" message from your finished slide shows. A lot of work has gone into Soundslides and Soundslides Plus, and your support helps fund further development. You also get free updates for all Soundslides or Soundslides Plus 1.x application releases for a year.

Will I get an installation CD when I purchase a license?

No.  Soundslides and Soundslides Plus are only available via Internet download. Feel free to make a copy as a backup.

How much can I customize within a slide show?

You can control many aspects of the final slide show, including most elements of the player. If you have access to the Flash application, you can load the Soundslides or Soundslides Plus SWF file into another Flash file with ActionScript, or use our Flash component.

I'm a multimedia producer, and just learning Flash. If I can use Soundslides or Soundslides Plus to make Flash presentations, why do I need to learn Flash?

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus are really good for making audio slide shows, but beyond that ... you'd better learn what __root.getNextHighestDepth();_ means.

1.2. Version history

Current releases

Soundslides Plus: Mac OS X version | Windows version

Soundslides: Mac OS X version | Windows version

Changes in Versions 1.9.5 (Sept. 26, 2012)

Soundslides Plus and Soundslides 1.9.5 are free updates for all registered users.

Functionality changed or added:

  • Added iOS_HTML5 shell to more closely match the default player look and feel

Bug fixes:

  • Issue with installing the software on Mountain Lion OS X 10.8 (code is now signed)
  • Issue with Retina display zoom functionality

Changes in Versions 1.9.4 (Feb. 1, 2011)

Soundslides Plus and Soundslides 1.9.4 are free updates for all registered users.

Functionality changed or added:

  • Added zoomable timeline to the application
  • Added iPad compatibility via "HTML5 compatible" shell
  • Added iPhone compatibility via "HTML5 compatible" shell
  • Added Android compatibility via "HTML5 compatible" shell
  • "Export and Zip" option added
  • Added warnings to "spread equally" commands
  • Add "show_thumbnails_by_default" custom parameter
  • Add "js_on_end" custom parameter

Bug fixes:

  • "unsaved" warning now displays properly after using "spread equally" commands
  • Fixed condition that would not display "Versions" in the File menu on Windows platform
  • Corrected issue where a "1" may appear if an image did not have an IPTC caption on Macs
  • Additional compatibliy checks for OS X 10.6 and Windows 7
  • Additional changes to color profile detection with latest Flash Player updates

Changes in Versions 1.9.3 (Aug. 12, 2009)

Soundslides Plus and Soundslides 1.9.3 are free updates for all registered users.

Functionality changed or added:

  • Added transition options to the Slide Info pane for audio slide shows.
  • Added looping for "click through" non-audio slide show
  • Added color selector to all items in the Template > Fonts pane. (caption, caption background, headline, control font)
  • Added "memory_clear_mode" advanced parameter. Improves performance with slide shows with more than 120 images.
  • Added a wider version of the side-caption shell. See "sidecaption_wider" under the shell list.
  • Player controls can now be hidden via checkbox under the Template > Display options. This option should only be used in conjunction with the "Play automatically" option.
  • Added ability to parse [clickimagelink] and [clickimagelink_new] tags from the captions. This allows you to create external links for specific images.
  • New component listener - onScreenChanged()
  • New component parameter - "Show thumbnails full"
  • New adv parameters (menu_width, menu_height, show_thumbnails_full)
  • New query variable added for fullscreen images. (pathToFullscreenImages)
  • Added all buttons to onControlButton return listener function in the component
  • Added "return_to_start" advanced parameter. The slide show will STOP on the first slide after the slide show completes playing. (note the difference between this feature and looping. Looping will play after returning to the start, return_to_start will stop after returning to the start)

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed a problem where non-fullscreen images may not all load properly after switching back from fullscreen mode
  • Corrected issue where the initial_volume parameter failed to work if "Play automatically" was enabled
  • allowScriptAccess parameter in swfoject shell's "index.html" file changed to "always"
  • Corrected issue where out images were included in the fullscreen folder in exported publish_to_web folder.
  • Corrected an issue where the "update image" function did not always update the fullscreen image in the exported publish_to_web folder.
  • Corrected an issue where files with the ".jpeg" extension may not be imported.
  • Corrected an issue where any file with the string ".jpg" or ".jpeg" was added to the image import list.
  • Fixed an errant error message that displayed when Soundslides Plus was used in conjunction with Photo Mechanic's Export-to-Soundslides function.
  • Fixed an issue where custom image size could not be used if the project was created using Photo Mechanic's Export-to-Soundslides function.
  • Fixed javascript call so that it correctly escapes all newline and line-breaks (\r, \n, \r\n) with jsFunction advanced parameter
  • Fixed issue where several buttons could be actively triggered under the registration menu or other "cover" screens.
  • Fixed problem with color preview in Template > Display area.

Changes in Versions 1.9.2 (Oct. 29, 2008)

Soundslides Plus and Soundslides 1.9.2 are free updates for all registered users. This is a minor compatibility update.

Bug fixes:

  • Corrected an issue where the "Show sizes" function did not work correctly in conjuction with full-screen mode.
  • Added compatibility improvements for Adobe Flash Player 10.

Changes in Versions 1.9.1 (Sept. 15, 2008)

Soundslides Plus and Soundslides 1.9.1 are free updates for all registered users.

Functionality changed or added:

  • OUT folder has been completely redesigned and renamed "Bin."
  • Added command for permanently clearing the Bin.
  • Added command for moving all images to the Bin.
  • Added advanced parameters to define the full-screen image size (max_fullscreen_width, max_fullscreen_height). Default is 1000 x 665.
  • Added advanced parameter to control the initial volume (initial_volume: 0-100).
  • Added the ability to clone image movement settings from start and end positions.
  • Added a template shell using the W3C-valid SWFObject embed method (Template > Shell > swfobject).
  • Added a template shell which places the captions below the slide show presentation (Template > Shell > undercaptions).
  • Added override for full-screen captions. You can now force full-screen captions using the "fullscreen_caption" advanced parameter.
  • Added "autoplay" to the query string variables available.
  • Added pathToFullScreenImages as a query variable.
  • Increased the available width for lower third name and title fields.
  • "Fullscreen" changed to "Full-screen" in application, per industry standard.

Bug Fixes:

  • Improved accuracy of the image movement dialog with non-standard aspect ratios.
  • Corrected an issue where the "Spread images ..." commands were missing from Soundslides on Windows.
  • Captions now appear properly on full-screen mode with side caption and under caption shells.
  • Improved timing accuracy in player.
  • Improved timing accuracy in application.
  • Fixed error in Windows versions where alert messages would appear with "undefined" messages.
  • Preset shells and default setting sizes could not be changed before initial import into application.
  • Corrected issue where custom size's aspect ratio was not being respected in the preview window on initial import into application.
  • Corrected issue in Windows versions where some hi-ascii (non-English) characters in HTML titles were not being displayed correctly.
  • Corrected an issue where the orientation property was potentially not honored if changing the custom slide show size.
  • Fixed issue with "Fade out/Fade in" individual transition timing accuracy.
  • Fixed problem where autoload override failed to delay the loading of audio if there was only one image.
  • Slide thumbnails are no longer active under the Bin window when it is open.
  • Fixed an issue where the README information for a shell was not being displayed when the shell preference was changed under the "Template" tab.

Changes in Versions 1.9 (July 16, 2008)

To avoid confusion, Soundslides Plus version numbers 1.3 through 1.8 have been skipped.  This brings both applications to version 1.9. Soundslides Plus and Soundslides 1.9 are free updates for all registered users.

Functionality changed or added:

  • Soundslides Plus now features a full-screen mode in the published player.
  • Soundslides keys are now cross-platform (Soundslides Plus keys have always been cross-platform).
  • Application now saves a .ssproj project file, this file will launch the associated project in Soundslides or Soundslides Plus when double-clicked or dragged to the application icon.
  • Application now correctly reads the EXIF image rotation data from imported JPG files and rotates accordingly
  • Application displays a warning dialog if quit with unsaved changes.
  • Added a "Clear all captions" option under the "Tools" menu. This will clear image captions for the entire slide show.
  • Added functionality to save all slide show settings as default.
  • Re-importing shorter duration audio no longer resets timing points. All timings are preserved now.
  • Multiple JPG image import now available with the "Slides" tab's "Add image" button.
  • "Clear recent menu" item added to the "File" menu.
  • Project folder name now appears in title bar.
  • In the application, right-arrow and left-arrow keys can now be used to navigate between images.
  • Multiple advanced parameters.
  • Improvements to JavaScript reporting system.
  • Windows versions now provide warning and troubleshooting information if Windows image processor not available.
  • Flash variables allowFullScreen and allowScriptAccess changed to allow full-screen functions (Plus only)
  • Advanced parameter added to control the full-screen background color (Plus only).
  • Advanced parameter added to control some full-screen navigation bar properties (Plus only).
  • Advanced parameter added to prevent auto-loading of images and audio, with the exception of the first image. Media files will load normally once the user clicks the play button ("autoload": false, true).
  • Timeline pauses if playing when clicking "TEST" or "EXPORT" buttons.
  • Output size control's "Save" button changed to "Apply." "Apply" is more accurate as the button does not save anything.
  • Recent projects list will now only appear if there are recent projects available.
  • Output now in Flash 9 format to enable full-screen capability and benefit from Flash 9's smoother playback.
  • Improved error message when trying to load a missing project from the "Recent projects" list.
  • Visual cue (question mark) now appears on missing recent projects.
  • Improved instructions for shell templates containing settings XML files.
  • Improved the reliability of the autoplay feature when playing locally from Windows PCs.
  • To prevent confusion, slide movement and lower thirds items are now listed with non-audio slide shows, though they are grayed-out with a warning.

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed issue with mapped drives in Windows.
  • Corrected issue where high-res images where not sizing correctly in player if replaced outside of application.
  • Application now correctly displays the saved color preset name in the "Template" tab.
  • Custom image folder failed to update in some situations if custom size was changed.
  • Timing data could become corrupt if either of the "Spread images evenly" options was used on a non-audio slide show.
  • Application would incorrectly attempt to process an empty image folder without displaying an error message.
  • Edit change warning now appears on all changes.
  • Improved error handling when importing images and audio.
  • In Mac OS X, application failed to replace the project folder as expected when a new project was deliberately saved with the same name and location.
  • Application no longer equals out the timing points when importing an audio file with a shorter duration. The application now moves any images outside the new audio file's duration into the OUT folder. Application warns before moving images to OUT, and action can be canceled. Application restores previous audio when canceling.
  • If audio re-import fails, application now correctly restores the previous audio.
  • Application would try to update an image even if the user clicked "Cancel" in the "ADD IMAGE" dialog.
  • Application would not always align thumbnails in timeline properly when adding an image or returning an image from the OUT folder.
  • Fixed condition where Macbook Pros would crash when using the video plug-in.
  • Corrected issue where recent projects would not correctly display high-ascii characters in headlines.
  • "Unsaved changes" dialog failed to display when making edits via "Slide info pane."
  • Corrected issue in application where the editing window could occasionally render as black if the currently previewed image was dragged to the OUT folder.
  • Under certain conditions, application would allow selection of unsupported formats when adding new audio via the "Audio" tab.
  • Corrected issue where shell folder name was not being properly re-populated if shell change was canceled.
  • Corrected issue where "BACK" and "NEXT" buttons would not work correctly under the Slide Movement tab in Soundslides Plus.
  • Corrected issue where the player would not scrub the timeline correctly if the scrubber was dragged more than 50 pixels off the player.

Changes in Soundslides Plus 1.2, Soundslides 1.8 (Jan. 1, 2008)

Minor update 658 (Jan. 8, 2008)
Minor update 681 (Feb. 11, 2008) Mac OS X only

Functionality changed or added:

  • Added ability to create a self-running slide show without audio (Plus only).
  • Improvement of buffering for click-through images (Plus only).
  • Added loop option.
  • "Caption" tab renamed "Details," as tab contains more than just caption info.
  • HTML tags in captions are now supported.
  • Added ability to type in exact time for in point on a slide.
  • Added advanced parameters for JavaScript tracking, footer links, menu customization and control colors.
  • Added embed_width and embed_height variable control to SWF query string.
  • Updated all shells to include new export features.
  • XML control file format now outputs as default (older TXT format still produced for legacy components and players).

Bugs fixed:

  • Mac OS X: Fixed an issue with the video plug-in where the plug-in would launch a "Where is" error after export.
  • Mac OS X: Fixed an issue where the "Slide movement" menu item was displayed even when that feature was not available (Plus only).
  • Fixed player issue with volume control when dragging the scrubber.
  • Corrected an issue in the player where it was possible for the volume control to display on non-audio slide shows if a shell or settings file was used (release 658, Jan. 8, 2008).
  • Fixed a bug seen with image widths above 1000 pixels (release 658, Jan. 8, 2008).
  • Fixed an issue with Scandinavian languages in captions on Mac OS X (release 681 Feb. 11, 2008).

Changes in Soundslides Plus 1.1 and Soundslides 1.7 (Sept. 13, 2007)

Functionality changed or added:

  • Added quick keys, e.g., Cmnd+S now saves (Mac OS X only).
  • Max image size increased to 1280 pixels.
  • Application now checks for updates automatically, when possible.
  • Application now remembers the last import directory. Previous versions had defaulted to the Desktop in every case.

Bugs fixed:

  • Fixed import error when re-importing audio if an external audio encoder was not installed (Windows only).

2. Installation

2.1. Installing on Mac OS X

System requirements

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus are supported on Mac OS X versions 10.4, 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7.

Downloads

The most recent release of Soundslides for Mac OS X can be downloaded here:

http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Mac/

The most recent release of Soundslides Plus for Mac OS X can be downloaded here:

http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusMac/

Installing the application for all users

  1. Log in with an administrator account and download the application.
  2. Open the DMG file and drag the "Soundslides" folder to the computer's "Applications" folder (it is important to copy the entire folder and not just the application within).
  3. Launch the application and register.

You've now registered every user on the computer, along with any you add later.

Installing the application for just one user

  1. Open the DMG file and drag the "Soundslides" folder to the computer's "Applications" folder (it is important to copy the entire folder and not just the application within).
  2. Launch the application and register.

Your account is now registered. However, no other user will be able to use the application without also registering.

Special considerations

Installation with FileVault enabled

FileVault is a Mac OS X feature that secures the user's entire "Home" folder by encrypting its contents. Unfortunately, it also causes a problem with the way Soundslides and Soundslides Plus encode audio.

Here's the workaround: In the Mac OS X "Users" folder, there is a folder named "Shared." This folder is outside FileVault protection and accessible to every user on the computer. You will have to save projects there, and likewise import your image and audio files from there. In other words, all your files must be outside the FileVault-protected area.

Installation with a network-boot system or networked user folders

This may require the project to be built in the "Shared" folder within the "Users" folder as well, depending on the network preferences (see the above note on FileVault for more information).

2.2. Installing on Windows

System requirements

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus are supported on Windows XP, Vista and 7.

Downloads

The most recent release of Soundslides for Windows can be downloaded here:

http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Windows/

The most recent release of Soundslides Plus for Windows can be downloaded here:

http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusWindows/

Installing the application for all users

  1. Log in with an administrator account and download the installer.
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Launch the application and register.

You have now registered every user on the computer, along with any you add later.

Installing the application for just one user

  1. Download the installer.
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Launch the application and register.
Your account is now registered. However, no other user will be able to use the application without also registering.

3. Project basics

3.1. Quick-start guide

This guide is intended as a basic introduction to using Soundslides or Soundslides Plus for people with multimedia experience. If you are a beginner, please proceed to the following chapter.

To create a project, you'll need JPG-formatted images and an MP3-formatted audio track (if you are using Soundslides Plus, you can optionally skip the audio-importing step). Your images should all be in a single folder.

To create a basic project:

  1. Click the "NEW" button and select where to save the project (it is recommended that you build your project on a local hard drive, rather than a network disk or external drive).
  2. Click the "JPG" button and select a folder of JPG files to import.
  3. If you are using Soundslides Plus to create either a click-through or silent-play slide show, you will now click the button labeled "SLIDE SHOW ONLY — SKIP AUDIO." Otherwise, proceed to step 4.
  4. Click the "SND" button and select an MP3 file from your hard drive.

The main editing interface will now open.

To test or export a basic project:

  1. Click the "SAVE" button to save the project.
  2. Click the "TEST" button to launch the working edit into a Web browser for preview.
  3. Click the "EXPORT" button to create the files you will upload to your Web server. A folder will open containing all of your slide show's files. You can then upload the entire folder and play your slide show live on the Web. (Soundslides and Soundslides Plus do not do this. You will need an FTP client or other software capable of uploading files and folders to the Web. For more information, click here.)

3.2. Preparing your image and audio files

Image files

Image files must be JPEG files, and must have a ".jpg" or ".jpeg" file extension. Images must not be progressive JPEG files.

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus can import any image sizes, and will resize the images to fit the size of the final slide show automatically.

After selecting your images, copy them into a single folder for import.

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus can read the IPTC caption information from JPG files. Many photographers choose to add their captions before importing the images.

Your images should be at least as large as your slide show output dimensions.  For example, if you are creating a slide show exported at 800 px by 600 px, you would need to import images that equal or exceed those dimensions.

A word about color profiles

If the images in your slide show appear too pale or lacking in contrast, or if they appear vastly different than they do in your image editor, color profile settings may be the reason. Soundslides and Soundslides Plus can handle any color profile, though "Generic RGB" or "sRGB" is preferred, as these most closely match the colors used by the Flash Player in your users' Web browsers. If you are using Adobe Photoshop, select "Convert to Profile," then select "Generic RGB" or "sRGB."

Advanced workflow example

Here is a workflow that is in use at several media organizations:

  1. Tone, crop and caption in Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Set color profile to "sRGB."
  3. Size images to 1000px (longest dimension).  If outputting to full-screen, use 1280 or higher.
  4. Sharpen lightly if necessary.
  5. Save as JPEG at quality of 12 or "Maximum" in single folder.
  6. Import folder into Soundslides or Soundslides Plus.

Audio files

Adobe Flash Player requires that audio files be 16 bit and have a sample rate of 44.1 khz (44100 hz).

Flash Player can handle MP3 files encoded at 32 kbps, 48 kbps, 56 kbps, 64 kbps, 128 kbps, 160 kbps or 256 kbps. For optimal audio streaming over a wide range of broadband connection speeds, we recommend a bitrate of 128 kbps.

Combining or editing audio files

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus do not edit audio, so you'll need to edit the audio in another application and create a single file before importing. This is fairly simple to do.

If you don't have an audio editor, Audacity is a free, open-source editor for Mac OS X and Windows.

Audacity can be download here:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

... and here's a quick guide to audio editing with Audacity:
http://www.jtoolkit.com/audio/Audacity_Guide.pdf

3.3. Creating a project and importing files

To create a project, you'll need to have your images and audio track ready to import (for information on how to do this, click here). Your images should be located together, in a folder.

To create a new project, open Soundslides or Soundslides Plus, click the "NEW" button and select where to save the project.

 

After creating a project, you will be presented with the media import screen:

 

Importing images

Click the "JPG" button and select your folder of JPG images (be sure to select the folder and not the images inside). All the images in the folder will be imported.

Importing audio

Click the "SND" button and load your MP3 file.

You will now see the editing interface.

Creating a slide show without audio (Soundslides Plus only)

Soundslides Plus can create both click-through and silent-play slide shows. After importing your image files, click the "SLIDE SHOW ONLY — SKIP AUDIO" button to go straight to the editing interface.

 

Setting slide show size before importing (optional)

The output size for the finished slide show can be set before the images are imported. Slide show size can also be changed during editing (for more information, click here).

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus feature three default size options, along with an option for custom sizes. To choose a size, click on the appropriate radio button.

 

Note: The "Full-screen enabled" box only appears in Soundslides Plus. For more information on full-screen mode, click here.

The default sizes are as follows:

Small - blog embed
425 x 283 images
0px image padding

Standard
600 x 450 images
20px image padding

Large
800 x 533 images
0px image padding

To define a custom width and height (up to 1280 pixels), click the "Custom" radio button, then change the image width, height and padding to the desired dimensions.

3.4. Using and clearing the "recent projects" menu

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus display the four most recent projects in the "Recent projects" menu visible when you first open the application. To open a recent project, click on the slide show's name or icon.

If your project folder has been moved since last being edited, the application will not be able to find your project and will prompt you to locate it.

To clear the "Recent projects" list, select "Clear recent menu" from the "File" menu after you launch the application.

3.5. Opening a project not in the "recent projects" menu

Projects can be opened by opening the project folder in Finder (Mac OS X) or Windows Explorer (Windows) and double-clicking the file ending with a ".ssproj" extension.

 

A project can also be opened from within Soundslides or Soundslides Plus by following these steps:

  1. Launch the application.
  2. Click the "OLD" button.
  3. Select the project folder.

Below are specific instructions for selecting the folder in Mac OS X or Windows.

Mac OS X

Below is an example of what a project folder named "project_raw" would look like in the "Choose Project folder" window you would see after clicking the "OLD" button in Mac OS X. Make sure to select the entire project folder and not individual files. Click the "Open" button to load the project.

 

Windows

Below is an example of what a project folder named "project_raw" would look like in the "Browse For Folder" window you would see after clicking the "OLD" button in Windows. Make sure to select the entire project folder and not individual files. Click the "OK" button to load the project.

4. Working with templates

4.1. Display options

The "DISPLAY" tab, found under the "TEMPLATE" tab, controls many of the visual and navigational features of the player.

Colors

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus allow you to adjust the colors of the player elements. One option is to choose one of several color presets, or themes.

 

You can also change the color of each player element individually by clicking the element and using the color selector.

 

More options

Below is a default view of the "DISPLAY" tab for an audio slide show, followed by an explanation of each option. For options available in silent-play or click-through slide shows, see the next section.

 

Show header
Unchecking this box will hide the headline.

Center in html
Unchecking this box will align the player with the left side of the Web page.

Show controls
Unchecking this box will hide all controls for the player. This should only be used if the "play automatically" box is checked (see below).

Show footer
Unchecking this box will hide the footer, where sizes, captions and credits links can be displayed.

Show sizes
Checking this box will display "small | large" player-size options in the footer.

Show captions
Unchecking this box will hide the "captions" link in the footer.

Show credits
Unchecking this box will hide the "credits" link in the footer.

Show captions by default
Checking this box causes the captions to display by default, without the user having to click the "captions" link.

Thumbnails menu
Unchecking this box will hide the control that loads a menu of image thumbnails in the player (see image below).

 

Play automatically
Checking this box will cause the player to start playing the slide show as soon as it loads enough of the images and audio to allow it.

Scrubber preview
Checking this box will display scrubber thumbnail previews (see example below).

 

Show volume
Checking this box will display the volume control in the player (see below).

 

Loop slide show
Checking this box will set the slide show to play in a loop.

Options for non-audio slide shows (Soundslides Plus only)

Below is a default view of the "DISPLAY" tab for a non-audio slide show. The first several options are the same as for an audio slide show.

By default, a project without an audio track will create a click-through slide show. However, you can create a silent-play slide show by checking the "Enable silent play" box, which will give you additional options.

 

Once "enable silent play" is checked, you can adjust the number of seconds each image is displayed by changing the number in the "Sec. per image" text box.

Checking the "play automatically" box will set the player to start playing as soon as it loads enough of the images and audio to allow it.

Checking the "scrubber preview" box will display scrubber thumbnail previews (see example in the audio slide show section above).

Saving settings

If you would like the save settings for use in later slide shows, you can use the "Save settings" button below the player mockup to save an XML file on your hard drive or network. When you need the settings later, use the "Load settings" button and locate the file.

 

For information on making your custom settings the default for all new projects, click here.

4.2. Font options

Once you have selected the "TEMPLATE" tab, selecting the "FONTS" tab will allow you to customize the display fonts for the headline, player controls and captions.

Use the pull-down menus to select which fonts you wish to use. "Web-safe" font options included with Soundslides and Soundslides Plus include:

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Times New Roman
  • Georgia
  • Courier New

Font sizes (in pixels) can be typed in the text boxes.

To change the color of a font, click on the color selector box beside the font you wish to change.

 

For more font options, see the sections on HTML and Flash below.

Caption backgrounds

The "FONTS" tab also includes a color selector for the captions background color, and a box where you can enter the opacity as a percentage.

 

More options using HTML

By adding HTML coding to credits and captions text, you can increase your control over the appearance of the text. For more information, click here

More options using Flash

You can embed other fonts in the player using the Flash component in conjunction with the Adobe Flash application (MX2004 or later). For more information, click here.

4.3. Transition options

You have the option of setting transitions for all slides as part of your template. For more information on changing individual transitions, click here.

Setting the template default

Once you have selected the "TEMPLATE" tab, selecting the "TRANSITION" tab will allow you to set the default type of transition, as well as the default length of time, for every slide in the slide show.

There are three transition types:

You can set the length for the transition anywhere between 0.1 and 9.9 seconds. The default is 1 second.

4.4. Understanding shells

Once you have selected the "TEMPLATE" tab, selecting the "SHELL" tab will allow you to further customize both the player and the Web page that contains it. For a highly customized page, we recommend using a third-party application such as Dreamweaver and using the embedding tool to add the slide show.

 

The shell is chosen via a drop-down menu.

There are seven default shells included with Soundslides and Soundslides Plus. Following are descriptions:

default
This is the classic player and uses the standard Adobe Flash object/embed code.

iOS_html5
This displays the classic Flash player in browsers that have the Flash plug-in installed, and displays an
HTML 5/JavaScript player otherwise. This allows slide shows to be seen on devices including the iPhone and iPad.

js_embed
This is similar to the default player, but it uses Adobe-recommended javascript code instead of standard embed/object HTML tags.

my_paper
This is an example of a simple Web page template for a newspaper (see example).

sidecaptions
This is similar to the default player, but the captions and credits are outside the player on the right-hand side (see example).

sidecaptions_wider
This is a wider version of the sidecaptions shell above.

swfobject
This is similar to the default player, but it uses the W3C-valid SWFObject embed method.

undercaptions
This is similar to the default player, but the captions and credits appear under the player. Captions are limited to 4 lines of text.

4.5. Adjusting image size

To change image size during editing:

  1. Click on "Modify" in the menu bar and pull down to "Output sizes."
  2. Click on the radio button for your desired size (see below).
  3. Click the "APPLY" button.

Note: The "Full-screen enabled" check box only appears in Soundslides Plus. For more details, click here.

The application features three default size options.

Small - blog embed
425 x 283 images
0px image padding

Standard
600 x 450 images
20px image padding

Large
800 x 533 images
0px image padding

Custom sizes

You can also define a custom width and height (up to 1280 pixels).

To change to a custom size:

  1. Click on "Modify" in the menu bar and pull down to "Output sizes."
  2. Click on the "Custom" radio button (see below).
  3. Change the image width, height and padding to your desired dimensions in the text boxes.
  4. Click the "APPLY" button.

 

4.6. Full-screen mode (Soundslides Plus only)

Full-screen playback is only available in in Soundslides Plus.

When viewing your slide show, users can switch to full-screen mode by clicking the full-screen button at the far-right end of the control bar.

To exit full-screen mode, users click the full-screen button again or press the keyboard's "Esc" key.

Creating a slide show with full-screen option

By default, Soundslides Plus will create a full-screen-enabled slide show. To disable the full-screen option, uncheck the "Full-screen enabled" box in the "Output sizes" dialog prior to importing your images.

 

Adding the full-screen option to a slide show created without it

To add the full-screen option to a slide show created without it, open your project in the latest version of Soundslides Plus, then select "Output sizes" from the "Modify" menu.

Next, click the box next to "Full-screen enabled," and click the "APPLY" button. After your images are re-processed, you can save, export and publish as normal.

 

Common questions about full-screen mode

Is it possible to have slide shows start in full-screen mode?

Adobe's Flash Player will not go into full-screen mode without the user's input. This is a restriction by Adobe. Adobe's reasoning is that full-screen mode would be overwhelming to any user who didn't expect it. Adobe is also concerned about advertisers taking over users' screens.

Why don't my images completely fill the screen?

Currently, the player takes up the entire screen, but the images appear at a maximum of 1000 pixels wide by 800 pixels high. Since preserving the proper resolution is critical to maintaining the quality of a still image, the player will not scale up images to fill a large monitor.

You can, however, increase the maximum image size up to 1280 pixels in either dimension by using two advanced parameters (for more information about advanced parameters, click here).

.


Below are steps for increasing maximum image size:

  1. With your project open in Soundslides Plus, select "Advanced parameters" from the "Modify" menu.
  2. Click the "add" button to add a new parameter.
  3. Click on the word "name" and change it to "max_fullscreen_width".
  4. Click on the word "value" and change it to the desired number.
  5. Again, click the "add" button to add a new parameter.
  6. Click on the word "name" and change it to "max_fullscreen_height".
  7. Click on the word "value" and change it to the desired number.
  8. Select "Output sizes" from the "Modify" menu.
  9. Make sure the "Full-screen enabled" box is checked and click the "APPLY" button.

Soundslides Plus will now reprocess your images. After it reprocesses, click the "TEST" button to confirm that your slide show's full-screen mode now features larger images.

4.7. Advanced parameters

To set advanced parameters, select "Advanced parameters" from the "Modify" menu.

Modifying advanced parameters allows you to alter some of the default settings in the player. The most common use is to override the default text used in the control buttons.

For example, you could replace "captions" with "show captions," or you could change all of the text to another language.

The image below shows the default settings of advanced parameters, followed by an explanation of what each does.

 

click_to_play
Changing this parameter's value from "true" to "false" will turn off the ability of users to click on the image area of your slide show to start it playing.

captionsOnText
Changing this parameter's value will change the text of the link to turn captions on.

captionsOffText
Changing this parameter's value will change the text of the link to turn captions off.

creditsOnText
Changing this parameter's value will change the text of the link to turn credits on.

creditsOffText
Changing this parameter's value will change the text of the link to turn credits off.

smallPromptText
Changing this parameter's value will change the text of the link to display the small version of the player.
largePromptText
Changing this parameter's value will change the text of the link to display the large version of the player.

Additional advanced parameters

There are also advanced parameters that enable features of the player that have not been included by default.

To add a new parameter, click the "add" button. You can then enter the name and value of the parameter.

Here are examples of additional advanced parameters:

autoload
By default, the player attempts to preload the entire slide show. This behavior may not always be desirable, as when displaying multiple slide shows on a single page (such as a blog). If this parameter's value is set to "false," only the first image loads automatically. Other media files begin loading when the viewer clicks the play button.

preload_images
This sets the number of images loaded before the play button appears.

initial_volume
This parameter controls the initial volume of the slide show. Values from 0 to 100 are accepted.

return_to_start
Setting this parameter to "true" will cause the slide show to return to the first slide after the slide show completes playing, but the slide show will not continue playing (this is similar to looping, which will play the slide show again after returning to the first slide).

image_link
This parameter makes the image area into a hyperlink. The value should be a URL (such as http://www.example.com).
image_link_new
This parameter is similar to "image_link," but opens the link in a new window.
last_image_link
This parameter is similar to "image_link," but makes only the last image in a slide show into a Web link.
last_image_link_new
This parameter is similar to "last_image_link," but opens the link in a new window.
Note:
You will see an Adobe security warning when previewing these parameter features from your hard drive. This warning will not appear when you publish your slide show online. Adobe does not allow Flash files on hard drives to link to the Internet without security clearance.

For information on turning an individual slide into a clickable link, see the page on captions.

audio_end_url
This parameter sets the slide show to automatically go to a new URL when the audio ends. The value should be an active URL (such as http://www.example.com).
audio_end_url_new
This is similar to "audio_end_url," but opens the URL in a new window.
Note:
You will see an Adobe security warning when previewing these parameter features from your hard drive. This warning will not appear when you publish your slide show online. Adobe does not allow Flash files on hard drives to link to the Internet without security clearance.

memory_clear_mode
Setting memory_clear_mode to "true" will improve performance for slide shows with more than 150 images by directing the player to clear images from memory after they are displayed. This mode does cause additional buffering if the user "skips back" in the slide show, so "memory_clear_mode" should not be enabled unless you have a large number of images.

control_interior_hex
control_exterior_hex
control_loading_hex
By default, colors of all the elements in the player's control bar are defined by a single color in the "DISPLAY" tab. These parameters allow you to set different colors. Enter the values as six-character HEX strings (such as 333333). A list of hex codes can be found here.

extra_link
This parameter allows you to include a hyperlink (such as http://www.example.com) with the "credits | captions" links at the bottom of the player (see below).
extra_link_text
Used with "extra_link," this parameter's value will set the text of the extra link in the player (see below).
Note:
You will see an Adobe security warning when previewing these parameter features from your hard drive. This warning will not appear when you publish your slide show online. Adobe does not allow Flash files on hard drives to link to the Internet without security clearance.

 

Here is an example of what an extra link will look like in a finished slide show.

 

menu_top_hex
menu_bottom_hex
menu_text_hex

These allow you to override the color of the elements in the thumbnail menu display. Enter the values as six-character HEX strings (such as 333333). A list of hex codes can be found here.

 

show_thumbnails_full
Setting this value to "true" will cause the thumbnail menu to take up the entire image area in the player.

menu_width
menu_height

These parameters allow you to define the size of the thumbnail menu in pixels.

menu_columns
menu_rows
These parameters allow you to control the number of images in a column in the thumbnail menu, and the number of rows in the menu. By default, the thumbnail menu displays as 3 columns wide and 2 rows high.

 

The following advanced parameters apply to full-screen mode, and are only available in Soundslides Plus.

max_fullscreen_width
max_fullscreen_height

By default, images in full-screen mode are displayed at a maximum size of 1000 pixels wide by 800 pixels high. You can override this by setting these parameters to different values (up to 1280). After setting these parameters, you must re-apply the output sizes by selecting "Output sizes" from the "Modify" menu, then clicking the "APPLY" button.

fullscreen_bg_hex
By default, the color of the background in full-screen mode is set to black. You can override this by changing the value of this parameter. Enter the value as a six-character HEX string (such as 333333). A list of hex codes can be found here.

fullscreen_nav_width
By default, the width of the control bar in the full-screen mode is set to 800 pixels. You can override this by setting this parameter's value to a different number.

fullscreen_nav_full
By default, the width of the control bar in the full-screen mode is set to 800 pixels. You can force this to cover the full width of the monitor by setting this parameter's value to  "true".

fullscreen_caption_size
By default, full-screen mode's caption display inherits the caption font size entered in the "FONTS" tab. You can override this font size by setting this parameter's value to a different number.

fullscreen_caption
By default, full-screen mode inherits the caption settings in non-full-screen mode. So if captions are turned on in non-full-screen mode, they'll also be turned on in full-screen mode. You can turn off captions for full-screen mode by setting this parameter's value to "false".

4.8. Saving all settings as default

You can save your slide show's settings as the application's default settings for all new projects.

Open any slide show, then select "Save all settings as default" from the "Tools" menu.  All new projects will now have the same settings as that slide show.

To change your settings back to the original application defaults, select "Reset default settings" from the "Tools" menu.

5. Editing a slide show

5.1. Adjusting timing

There are three main methods for adjusting the timing of your images: slider timing, in-point timing and drag-and-drop timing.

Slider timing

Slider editing is the most common method. Simply click and drag the slide markers between images to adjust the duration of the images on either side (moving the slider will cause one image to display for a longer length of time, while the other will display for a shorter length of time).

 

Use the slider to the upper right of the timeline if you need to magnify the timeline to make timing changes easier.

 

Drag-and-drop timing

Drag-and-drop timing only affects one image at a time and is extremely useful when adding an image to an existing slide show. With the "SLIDES" tab selected, click and drag the image from the thumbnail area to the timeline and drop it into place.  Here's a small screencast demo of drag-and-drop timing.

 

In point timing

You can also enter the point in time (in seconds) that you would like an image to appear. To do this, click the "SLIDE INFO" tab, then the "DETAILS" tab. Then type the time into the "In point" text box. After entering your new in point, an "APPLY" button will appear. Click the "APPLY" button to set the new timing for the image.

 

Other timing options

If you'd like to spread some or all of the images evenly across the timeline, you can also choose "Spread images equally" or "Spread remaining images equally" from the "Tools" menu.

 

Length of slide show

The length of a slide show is determined by the length of the audio track. For information on replacing the audio track, click here.

5.2. Editing image order

Images can be re-ordered by clicking and dragging the thumbnails under the "SLIDES" tab.

5.3. Adding, removing and replacing images

Adding images

To add images to an existing slide show, select the "SLIDES" tab and click "+ ADD IMAGE." The images you select will then be placed at the end of the timeline.

 

Removing images

To remove images from the thumbnail area of the "SLIDES" tab, click and drag the thumbnails to the Bin. 

 

To re-insert images you have moved to the Bin, click the Bin to open it and drag the images back to the thumbnail area. Alternately, you can click the Bin to open it and then click the "RE-INSERT ALL" button to return all the images in the Bin to the thumbnail area.

 

Replacing an image

To replace or update an image without affecting the image's timing, select the "SLIDE INFO" tab, click on the "UPDATE IMAGE" button and select the new JPG file. The new image will then be imported and placed in the same position as the old one.

5.4. Pan and zoom (Soundslides Plus only)

When creating an audio slide show with Soundslides Plus, you can add pan and zoom movement to the individual images. These features are not available for non-audio slide shows, since both features require timing tied to an audio track. It is, however, possible to use a silent audio track with pan and zoom, and we have created a ZIP file containing 30-, 60-, 90-, 120-, and 150-second silent audio tracks, available here.

To add movement to an image, click on the "SLIDE INFO" tab, then the "MOVEMENT" tab. You can then set the start and end positions by clicking and dragging the two thumbnail images.

 

To zoom on images, use the scale sliders below the images.

 

To move a panned and/or zoomed image from the start position to the end position or vice versa, click one of the arrows between the thumbnails.

 

To reset the image movement, click the "RESET MOVEMENT" button below the images.

5.5. Changing individual transitions

Individual transitions can be set either through the timeline or through the "SLIDE INFO" tab. This feature is only available for audio slide shows.

For more information on setting a default transition for you template, click here.

From the timeline

To change the transition of an individual image, click on the transition connector. The transition connector is below the timing mark for a particular transition.

 

After clicking on the connector, a small "Transition" window with a drop-down menu will appear.

 

To change an individual transition, click on the drop-down menu and select a new transition type and transition time. There are three transition types:

If you set the pull-down menu to something other than "Use template default," you will also be able to enter a length of time for the transition.

 

You can set the length for the transition anywhere between 0.1 and 9.9 seconds. The default is 1 second.

Click the "Apply" button to finish changing the transition.

From the 'SLIDE INFO' tab

You can also change the type of transition for a single slide from the "DETAILS" tab under the "SLIDE INFO" tab. Changing the transition here will effect the transition immediately before the selected slide.

There are three transition types:

If you set the "Transition type" pull-down menu to something other than "Use template default," you will also be able to enter a length of time for the transition.

 

You can set the transition duration anywhere between 0.1 and 9.9 seconds. The default is 1 second.

5.6. Captions

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus will import standard IPTC caption information when importing your JPG images. If this is not desired, you can clear all of the slide show's caption data by pulling down the "Tools" menu and selecting "Clear all captions."

 

To edit captions or create new ones, click on the "SLIDE INFO" tab, then the "DETAILS" tab. You can now edit the caption information in the text box.

 

You can use the "BACK" and "NEXT" buttons to quickly move from image to image.

HTML support

You can style your captions using HTML tags. Supported tags include b, i, u, font, br and a (see image below).

 

The "UPDATE IMAGE" button is also available on the "DETAILS" tab. For more information on this feature, click here.

In-point timing editing is also available on the "SLIDE INFO" tab. For more information on this feature, click here.

Turning the slide into a link

In addition to adding HTML links, you can also add code that will turn the slide itself into a link. This functionality was added with version 1.9.3.

By adding the following to your caption, you would make your image link to http://soundslides.com:
[clickimagelink]http://soundslides.com[/clickimagelink]

By adding the following to your caption, you would make your image link to http://soundslides.com and open the link in a new window:
[clickimagelink_new]http://soundslides.com[/clickimagelink_new]

For more options for turning the image area into a clickable link, see the page on advanced parameters.

 

5.7. Headline and credits

There are two metadata options available: headline and credits.

To edit the headline or credits, select the "PROJECT INFO" tab and type in the text boxes.

You can style your credits using HTML tags. Supported tags include b, i, u, font, br and a.

5.8. Lower thirds (Soundslides Plus only)

Wikipedia defines lower thirds this way:

In the television industry (especially in North America), lower thirds refers to graphics that take up the lower area of the screen, though not necessarily the entire lower third portion of the screen as the name suggests. Lower thirds are often called "supers" in the U.S. and "name straps" in the U.K.

Typically, lower thirds in audio slide shows are used to quickly identify the person speaking in the audio.

Creating a lower third

To create a lower third, click on the "AUDIO" tab, then click the "LOWER THIRDS" tab.

 

Click the "ADD" button to create a new lower third.

 

You can then click in the text boxes under "name" and "title" to edit the text.

The "in point" text box is the timeline position (in seconds) when the lower third first appears. The "duration" text box is the amount of time (in seconds) that the lower third will appear. You can click in either text box to change when and for how long a lower third appears.

To add another lower third, just click the "ADD" button again.

Video tutorial of lower third editing

For a video demonstration of lower third editing, click here.

Deleting a lower third

To remove a lower third, click it in the list to highlight, then click the "DELETE" button.

Using an alternate lower third design

Since the design of the lower thirds is contained within the "lowerthirds.swf" file, you can replace it with alternate versions.

To use an alternate design, replace the "lowerthirds.swf" file with the version below. You'll need to switch the files in the "publish_to_web" folder after exporting from Soundslides Plus.

Here is an alternate version that adds the "voice of" text in a line over the name:
Download | Example

Here are alternate versions that use smaller fonts:
http://media.soundslides.com/files/lowerthirds_smaller.zip

Here is an alternate version that autosizes and centers, which can be used for subtitles:
http://media.soundslides.com/files/lt_language_subtitles/

5.9. Replacing the audio track

If your new audio track is shorter than the one it is replacing, any images beyond the new audio file's duration are moved to the Bin. The application will warn you before doing this, and you can cancel the move.

To replace the audio track, select the "AUDIO" tab, then the "TRACK" tab and click the "IMPORT AUDIO" button.

 

6. Publishing

6.1. Publishing basics

The first step in publishing your slide show is to export. Once you have done this, there are multiple options for getting your slide show online:

After getting your slide show online, if you wish to embed your slide show in another Web page, such as a blog, you can use our embedding tool to do this.

6.2. Exporting a slide show

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus export a folder containing all the files you will need to upload to your Web server to publish your slide show online.

When you click the "EXPORT" button, a folder called "publish_to_web" is created inside your main project folder. This folder should then open on your screen.

Your folder may look different from the one above, depending on your operating system and your settings. However, inside you should see:

  • 400_300 (FOLDER, absent if using a custom size)
  • 600_450 (FOLDER, absent if using a custom size)
  • fullscreen (FOLDER, present only if using the full-screen option, Soundslides Plus only)
  • custom (FOLDER, present only if using a standard size)
  • audio_hi.mp3 (FILE)
  • audio_lo.mp3 (FILE)
  • index.html (FILE)
  • small.html (FILE, absent if using a custom size)
  • soundslide.txt (FILE)
  • soundslides.xml (FILE)
  • soundslider.swf (FILE)

Creating a ZIP file

If you need to create a ZIP file to upload to your Web hosting service or to an online converter, you can create one directly from Soundslides or Soundslides Plus. Just pull down the "File" menu to "Export and Zip."

 

 

This will create the file "publish_to_web.zip" in the project folder.

 

 

For more information on uploading your slide show to a Web server, click here.

6.3. Soundslides Hosting (optional)

Soundslides Hosting is an affordable slide show hosting system for Soundslides slide shows. It is designed for users who do not have their own Web space for posting slide shows. A trial account includes free unlimited slide show hosting for six months, and costs $12 per year after that.

To sign up, click here and enter your email address for an invitation.

Once you have registered, use the user name and password you created to log in here.

Uploading a slide show

To upload a slide show, click the "Upload slide show" link on the left-hand side of the page.

 

Next, click the "Select fil ..." button to browse for the exported ZIP file for your project (for information on creating the ZIP file, click here).

 

Select the exported ZIP file for your project.

 

You should then see a progress bar indicating your slide show is being uploaded successfully.

 

Slide shows are placed in a queue and processed in the order in which they are received. Once the slide show is at the front of the queue and begins processing, most slide shows are processed in less than one minute.

Once your slide show has finished processing, it should appear in the right-hand column.

Viewing a slide show online

To view a slide show, simply click the "View" link to the right of the slide show.

 

Embedding a slide show

To embed your slide show in another Web page, first click the "Embed" link to the right of the slide show.

 

Next, copy and paste the code from the box shown below to your Web page.

 

Adjusting the size of the embedded slide show

To adjust the size of the embedded slide show, change the numbers in the boxes shown below and click the "Modify embed code" button before copying and pasting the embedding code to your Web page.

 

Removing a slide show

To remove a slide show from your hosting account, click the "Delete" link to the right of the slide show.

6.4. Embedding your slide show in another Web page (optional)

Note to users of the iOS_html5 shell: You do not need to use the embedding tool. You can add "?embedcode" to the end of your slide show's complete URL to access the built-in embedding code generator. For instance:

http://www.example.com/publish_to_web/index.html

... would be ...

http://www.example.com/publish_to_web/index.html?embedcode

Note to WordPress users: At this time, blogs hosted at WordPress.com are not allowed to insert multimedia embedding code. The directions below are therefore only applicable to privately hosted WordPress blogs.

The online embedding tool works with slide shows made with Soundslides or Soundslides Plus. The embedding tool is available here.

Before you can use the embedding tool, your slide show will need to be published on a Web server. It will not work with slide shows on your computer's hard drive. For more information on uploading your slide show to a Web server, click here.

To use the embedding tool, you will first need to enter your slide show's URL in the form, then click the "Continue" button.

 

The utility will now create the code to embed your slide show. You should see a preview of your slide show when the page loads. Below the preview you'll see a text box containing your new embed code.

 

Copy and paste the embed code into the code for your Web page (for most third-party applications and online services, there will be a tab or button labeled "HTML" or "CODE" to give you access to your page's code).

Changing the size of an embedded slide show

You can adjust the width and height of your slide show when you generate the embed code. This helps with embedding a slide show in a blog, for example.

To change the embedded size of your slide show, enter a new width and height in the text boxes under the embed code, then click the "Modify" button. The embedding tool will then change the code to use the new sizes.

 

Disabling autoload

Disabling autoload prevents the slide show from fully loading before the viewer clicks the play button. It is recommended that you check this box before embedding in a blog or a page with multiple slide shows, to help the page load faster. To do this, check the "Disable autoload" box, then click the "Modify" button to get the new code.

Alternative embedding tool

In the event the main embedding tool described above is out of service, an alternative basic embedding tool is available here.

6.5. Converting a slide show to a video file (optional)

Notes: The converter is an experimental service and is subject to change. It is currently available for free to Soundslides and Soundslides Plus license holders. Viewer-controlled elements like captions and credits fields are not included in video files.

Our online video converter works with slide shows created with registered copies of Soundslides or Soundslides Plus on Windows or Mac OS X. The converter will convert your slide show to an MP4 file that can be viewed with Apple Quicktime and other video players, or uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo or other video-hosting sites.

After you are done editing, you will need to create a ZIP file of your project. Just pull down the "File" menu to "Export and Zip."

 

This will create the file "publish_to_web.zip" in the project folder.

 

Next, you will need to open the online video converter, select an output size and, optionally, enter an e-mail address for the converter to send a download link to. If your slide show includes lower thirds or movements (Soundslides Plus only), you can check the boxes to include them in the video.

 

Click the "Continue ..." button to go to the upload page, where you will need to click the"Select file ..." button to upload your "publish_to_web.zip" file.

 

The converter will then begin uploading your "publish_to_web.zip" file.

 

If you entered an e-mail address, the converter will e-mail you when the conversion is complete.

 

Otherwise, you will need to wait until the converter notifies you that the conversion is complete, when you will see a download link.

Troubleshooting

1. Application will not import files after installing Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks

Apple changed a scripting language included with its operating system, causing file imports to fail. If you are experiencing this issue, please download and install the most recent build of the software from one of the following links:

Soundslides for Mac OS X:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Mac/

Soundslides Plus for Mac OS X:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusMac/

2. Player does not load properly on iOS 7 devices

Apple made changes to how web content is displayed in iOS 7. If you are experiencing this issue, please download and install the most recent build of the software from one of the following links:

Soundslides for Mac OS X:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Mac/

Soundslides for Windows:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Windows/

Soundslides Plus for Mac OS X:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusMac/

Soundslides Plus for Windows:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusWindows/

You will then need to open your project, save, export, and upload to your server to see the changes.

3. iOS_html5 shell flickering transitions

If you are experiencing this issue, please download and install the most recent build of the software from one of the following links:

Soundslides for Mac OS X:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Mac/

Soundslides for Windows:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/Windows/

Soundslides Plus for Mac OS X:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusMac/

Soundslides Plus for Windows:
http://store.soundslides.com/apps/downloads/PlusWindows/

You will then need to open your project, save, export, and upload to your server to see the changes.

4. Lost registration key?

Enter the e-mail address used when you purchased Soundslides or Soundslides Plus and we'll e-mail the registration information.

 



 

If you no longer have access to your original e-mail account, or the retrieval form fails to find your address in the database, submit a help request and try to provide as much info as possible about your purchase.

5. Upgrading from Soundslides to Soundslides Plus

Soundslides Plus is an advanced version of Soundslides. In addition to all of the features of the original version, Soundslides Plus includes:

  • Full-screen playback
  • Image movement (pan and zoom)
  • Click-through slide shows
  • Silent-play slide shows
  • Lower thirds

It is simple to upgrade from Soundslides to Soundslides Plus. The cost of an upgrade is simply the difference in price between the two. To upgrade, click the link below, enter your Soundslides registration key, and you will be taken to a sales page to purchase the upgrade.

http://store.soundslides.com/products/upgrade/

After your purchase, you will recieve a new registration key and a link to download Soundslides Plus.

6. Images are "bunched" at the end of the timeline

When importing a large number of images, they can appear "bunched" at the right side of the timeline. You can use the slider to the upper right of the timeline if you need to magnify the timeline to make timing changes easier. Additional information on adjusting timing can be found here.

Below are two other ways to clear "bunched" images at the end of a slide show timeline.

Drag-and-drop method

In the "SLIDES" tab thumbnail area, drag the affected images to the Bin, then open the Bin and bring the images back into the timeline one at a time. Drag the images from the thumbnail area to the timeline and drop them into place.

'In point' method

Numerically adjust the starting time of each bunched image. With the "SLIDE INFO" tab selected, type the time into the "In point" text box. An "Apply" button will appear, and it must be clicked to set the time.

7. Images are rotated after importing

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus do not read the rotation information in JPG images that is applied by digital cameras and some software packages.

Photoshop and some other image editors will read that data and rotate the display on screen when the image is opened, but the image data (pixel level) is actually still not rotated unless the image is re-saved.

To fix the problem, open the images in question in your image editor and re-save them, then update them in Soundslides or Soundslides Plus (for more information, click here).

8. Audio plays at the wrong speed or sounds distorted

If your audio plays at the wrong speed after importing, the most likely problem is an incompatible bit rate.

If your audio is distorted after importing, the most likely problem is an incompatible sample rate.

Preparing your audio file

Adobe Flash Player requires that audio files be 16 bit and have a sample rate of 44.1 khz (44100 hz).

Flash Player can handle MP3 files encoded at 32 kbps, 48 kbps, 56 kbps, 64 kbps, 128 kbps, 160 kbps or 256 kbps. For optimal audio streaming over a wide range of broadband connection speeds, we recommend a bitrate of 128 kbps.

Audacity issues

If you are preparing your audio files with Audacity, problems arise when the sample rate is set to either 32khz or 48khz when exporting. It should be 44.1khz to play in Flash Player in most Web browsers.

Audacity does not always save at the default rate, so it is a good idea to double-check.

Audacity allows you to set the sample rate in several places, but the main project rate (circled below) appears to be the most consistent.

9. Flash audio does not play after installing Audacity (Mac OS X only)

*update 5/6/2014 - This issue has been addressed since Audacity1.2 and early 1.3 versions. Audacity is now at 2.0.5.

 

There is a well-documented bug with Audacity that affects the Adobe Flash Player on Mac OS X. The issue is more common with Intel-based computers, but can affect any Mac OS X system.

Audacity resets the Audio rate on some systems to 96000Hz. Flash Player versions older than 9 cannot play audio at rates above 44100Hz.

To fix the problem:

  1. Open the Mac OS X "Applications" folder, then the "Utilities" folder, then launch "Audio MIDI Setup."
  2. Change the Audio Output setting to "44100.0 Hz."
  3. Quit Audio MIDI Setup.

Another fix is to install the latest Adobe Flash Player.

10. Active Content warning during testing (Internet Explorer only)

Note: These instructions are not intended for viewers. They are only recommended for producers during testing.

Recent versions of Internet Explorer display a warning when loading Adobe Flash files from your local hard drive. If you use Internet Explorer as your default browser, you may have experienced this warning while testing your slide shows.

Here’s how to disable the warning:

1. In Internet Explorer, select the "Tools" menu, then select "Internet Options."

2. In the "Internet Options" window, select the "Advanced" tab.

3. Scroll down until you see the "Security" options. Check the box for “Allow active content to run in files on My Computer."

 

4. Click the "OK" button and restart Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect.

11. "Undefined" error in captions (Windows only)

If your captions display as "undefined" when the caption field is blank, then you have an older version of Soundslides or Soundslides Plus for Windows. This problem was corrected in an update. Please install the free update below:

Soundslides Plus for Windows

Soundslides for Windows

12. No new features in "my_paper" shell (Windows only)

In some Windows installations image movement, lower thirds and HTML captions work in the "default" and "side caption" shells, but not in the "my_paper" shell.   

You can correct the issue by deleting the "soundslider.swf" file from your "my_paper" shell folder. The file is located here:

C:\Program Files\Soundslides\shells\my_paper\soundslider.swf

Note: If you have renamed your "my_paper" shell folder, you will need to adjust the directions accordingly.

You may also need to delete the "soundslider.swf" files from your project folder and your project's "publish_to_web" folder, then test and export the project again.

13. Error 21: Missing image-processing component (Windows only)

Error 21 is very rare and is caused by a Windows security setting blocking the installation of an image-processing component Soundslides and Soundslides Plus need in order to function.

As a test, try logging into your computer as an administrator and launching Soundslides or Soundslides Plus. In the administrator account, the helper utilities may reset themselves. If you don't get an error message in the administrator account, you should be able to log back into your normal account and proceed.

If this does not solve the problem, the instructions below are a workaround to allow Soundslides to function anyway.

  1. Download the ZIP file here.
  2. Right-click on the ZIP file and select "Extract all." This should create a folder called "helpers."
  3. On your computer's C drive, open the "Program files" folder, then find the "Soundslides" folder inside and open that.
  4. Move the "helpers" folder into the "Soundslides" folder.
  5. Double-click on the "Soundslides.exe" or "Soundslides Plus.exe" application and confirm that the application will successfully import images.

Additional resources

1. Using Switch to convert an audio file to MP3

Note: Soundslides, LLC is not affiliated with NCH Software, the maker of Switch. Technical support for Switch is available here.

Switch audio conversion software for Mac OS X and Windows is an easy-to-use tool for converting nearly any audio format to an MP3 for use with Soundslides or Soundslides Plus. Below are links to download the free version:

Mac OS X: http://www.nch.com.au/switch/switchmac.zip

Windows: http://www.nch.com.au/switch/switchsetup.exe

To convert a file to MP3 format:

1. Click the "Add file(s)" button to select the audio file you want to convert to MP3. This will open a new window where you can browse your hard drive or network for the file.

2. Select the file you want to convert.

3. Pull down the "Output Format" menu to ".mp3."

4. Click the "Encoder Options..." button to open the "Encoder Options" window.

5. Pull down the "Bitrate (kbps)" menu to "56." If you are working with high quality audio or audio that contains music, you may want to preserve the quality by instead selecting "256."

6. Click the "Browse" button next to the "Output folder" menu to select where you want the MP3 file saved. In this case, the file will be saved in a folder called "audio_final" on the desktop.

7. Click the "Convert" button and wait while the software processes your file.

8. Click the "Open Output Folder" button to display the folder where Switch saved your MP3.

You should now see a folder containing your converted audio file.

2. Using FileZilla to upload a slide show to a Web server

Note: This tutorial is provided for informational purposes only. Your Web hosting company is the best source of help in publishing your slide show files. Soundslides, LLC is not affiliated with the FileZilla project, and does not provide support for issues you may encounter while using FileZilla or other FTP applications.

To upload your slide show to your Web server, you will need an FTP client, which is the software on your computer that connects to the server and copies the files.

FileZilla is a free, open-source FTP client for Mac OS X and Windows. It can be downloaded here. Most of the instructions here can be applied to other FTP clients as well.

Before you upload

Before you can upload a slide show using FileZilla, you will need to export your project from Soundslides or Soundslides Plus (for more information, click here).

Connecting to an FTP server

To connect to an FTP server, enter the address of the server in the "Host" box of the Quickconnect bar. Your Web hosting company should provide this information to you.

If your Web server requires a username and password, enter them in the corresponding boxes. You do not need to enter a port number unless your web hosting company specifies a particular port.

In the hypothetical example below, the address of the server is "mysite.com" and the user name is simply "user."

Click on the "Quickconnect" button to connect to the server.

 

Navigating the Web server

After FileZilla connects to the Web server, a list of files and folders will appear on the right side of the FileZilla window. The folder you have open is listed in the box on top. In the box below that, you will see the folder's contents.

In the example below, the folder "Public HTML" is open. This is the main Web publication folder for this particular server, and any file placed in this folder will appear online. Your Web hosting company will be able to provide you with the name of your main publication folder. It will often be named "webroot," "www," "Public HTML," "public_html" or "HTML."

You will also notice a folder called ".." displayed in virtually all of the folders on your Web server. Clicking this allows you to go up one level to the parent folder of the one you currently have open.

Navigating your computer

Navigating your computer is similar to navigating the server. A list of files and folders will appear on the left side of the FileZilla window. The folder you have open is listed in the box on top. In the box below that, you will see the folder's contents.

In the example below, a Soundslides or Soundslides Plus project folder called "Rain_in_Spain" is open, and you can see the "publish_to_web" folder created by Soundslides or Soundslides Plus inside it.

 

Uploading your slide show

You will now need to simply drag the "publish_to_web" folder from the lower-left box (your computer) and drop it into the lower-right box (the Web server). FileZilla will take a few moments to copy all of the files and folders, and the "publish_to_web" folder will appear in the box on the right.

 

You have now successfully uploaded your project to your Web server.

In the example above, the URL to view your project in a Web browser would be "http://www.mysite.com/publish_to_web." You can also now rename the "publish_to_web" folder to whatever you want to call it by right-clicking on it (Ctrl+click on a single-button mouse) in the lower-right box and selecting "Rename."

Note: Some Web server are case-sensitive, so "slideshow" is not the same as "SlideShow."

3. Sending a slide show to someone else

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus are designed for publishing slide shows online, but it is also possible to distribute slide shows via e-mail or CD.

After you are done editing your project, click the "EXPORT" button. This will create and open a folder called "publish_to_web."

Since you do not need access to the contents of this folder for this tutorial, you can simply close it. You will then need to locate the "publish_to_web" folder by opening your main project folder. The "publish_to_web" folder is located directly inside (see screenshot below).

 

CD/DVD/Flash drive

To send the slide show on removable media such as a CD, DVD or Flash drive, just copy the "publish_to_web" folder to the disc or drive. You'll need to instruct the recipient of the files to open the folder's "index.html" file in a Web browser.

E-mail/DropBox/YouSendIt

Follow the directions here to create a ZIP file. This file can e-mailed as an attachment.

4. Creating a DVD playable in a DVD player

Soundslides and Soundslides Plus do not produce DVDs playable in a DVD player, but you can still convert your slide show to DVD using the instructions below.

Note: DVDs look good on televisions, but not as good on computer monitors. Many people do not view them at normal size on a computer, and producers cannot set the preferred scaling by default for computers.

First, you will need to convert your slide show to a video file following the instructions here.

Once you have your video file, you will need to convert it to a DVD playable in a DVD player using DVD-authoring software. There are several free and paid applications for this purpose, and we have recommended two free ones below that were suggested to us by users.

Note: Soundslides, LLC is not affiliated with these projects, and does not provide support for issues you may encounter while using these applications.

Mac OS X: Users have recommended Burn, a free, open-source application that can create a wide range of video discs including DVD-Video, VideoCD and DivX formats. To learn more and download Burn, click here.

Windows: Users have recommended DVD Flick, a free, open-source application that can create a wide range of video discs including DVD-Video, VideoCD and DivX formats. To learn more and download DVD Flick, click here.

5. Exporting a slide show as a ZIP file

Note: The "Export and Zip" function was added in release 1.9.4. If you do not see "Export and Zip" under the "File" menu when editing your slide show, please download the latest update using the links on the left of this page. If you are unable to upgrade, instructions for older versions can be found lower on this page.

After you are done editing, you will need to create a ZIP file of your project. Just pull down the "File" menu to "Export and Zip."

 

This will create the file "publish_to_web.zip" in the project folder.

 

Manual method

If you are using a version of Soundslides older than 1.9.4, you will need to follow the instructions below to create a ZIP file.

After you are done editing your project, click the "EXPORT" button. This will create and open a folder called "publish_to_web."

Since you do not need access to the contents of this folder for this tutorial, you can simply close it. You will then need to locate the "publish_to_web" folder by opening your main project folder. The "publish_to_web" folder is located directly inside (see screenshot below).

The next step will depend on your operating system.

Windows: Right-click on the "publish_to_web" folder and select "Send To" then "Compressed (zipped) Folder."

Mac OS X: Right-click (Ctrl+click on a single-button mouse) on the "publish_to_web" folder and select "Compress 'publish_to_web.' "