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April 16, 2008

Updating Imagematics Slideshows

Well, I finally got through with my taxes last night at about 10:00 and raced down to the post office down the hill to drop off my forms. Because I only worked half the year in 2007, they over withheld in a big way, and I'm getting back about 15K, which is nice. It means that I can take the summer off if I live off rice and beans for a while. Maybe I'll be a circumstantial vegan?

Anyhoo, in December, Adobe released an updated version of their Flash Player (formerly owned by Macromedia). The new version 9,0,115,0 is different in a way that escapes me, but the net result is that Flash Player now chokes when it tries to play the audio on my slideshows that I created using Imagematics StillMotion PE, PE+, and WD.

I reported this problem to Adobe and they didn't even bother to reply (thanks Adobe) and then I finally went back to Imagematics and they said that 'yes, they knew about the problem' and they had an updated release which resolved the issue.

But I mentioned that it meant that I'd have to recreate all of the slideshows from scratch because I'd moved the source image files to a new location and Imagematics was never clever enough to locate missing files. The application would just sort of throw up it's hands and say "files gone" and that was that. You had to rebuild from scratch.

But Bill assured me that the new release would allow you to tell the program where to find the files and so I upgraded to Imagematics StillMotion Pro and I must say it's very nice. Larger thumbnails so you can actually see the image while you're working on the project. I'm sure it has lots of other bells and whistles, but I haven't had time to delve into those as of yet.

So, I've been slowly going back and upgrading my slideshows over the last few days. I'm nearly through upgrading them all (over 60 slideshows so far).

But the thing that inspired me was I found a folder called "I Miss You", with nothing in it but an .mp3 file. Didn't have all of the images and the project like I was expecting. So I played the song, and it triggered something in my little brain, the way an aroma can trigger a long suppressed memory. The audio was to a slideshow I'd created of Jennifer and Hannah playing around down in Palm Beach.

So I started digging around on my hard drive, doing some forensic investigating and I managed to locate some of the original project files. It was a project I'd created in 1993/1994 using Pinnacle Studio. The problem with Pinnacle Studio was I always ended up with a 900 Meg .30 fps video file when what I really wanted was just a slideshow of still images. My thought being that the creation shouldn't be much larger than the sum of all the .jpg files. This was what led me (eventually) to Imagematics in the first place.

In addition to the slideshow from Florida, I found remnants of several other projects in California, Louisiana, Cuba, and various other corners of the world. So, now I'm sort of remembering that I converted some of my old slideshows into Imagematics, but not all of them. There are several that never made the transition. Now that I find myself with some free time on my hands, I'm going to go back and digitally remaster some of those vintage slideshows.

In the meantime, if you find time to go back and browse some of the updated slideshows on Peenie Wallie, I'm interested in any feedback on whether they're working, or not. Or whether anyone can figure out how to play them at all, or not. Click here to see the newly updated slideshows.

Posted by Rob Kiser on April 16, 2008 at 10:06 AM


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