MAGIX Photostory Review
We always saw presentations and slideshows as a part of professional tasks. We have a stereotypical image of slide shows of being tedious and boring. But since its debut, the computer technology was intended to break the norms and to set new benchmarks.
The new kind of presentation is a consequence of this capability of technology. The slideshow presentations are no more confined to only offices and conferences. We can create our presentations for some special occasion or for some special person. Also, a presentation can now be a record of some tour to someplace or maybe the journey of someone’s life. Digital invitations are trending these days.
Won’t it be awesome if you invite someone through some video or slideshow instead of an email or image of the invitation card? MAGIX Photostory is a slideshow software that provides you platform to get the whole out of your creativity. Its features might help you to create an impressive yet handy slideshow.
- You can add photos to the slideshow from various sources.
- It provides you with travel maps to add to the slideshow.
- Several numbers of editing features are present.
- Wizards are available to ease the functioning of the software.
- The installation process is prolonged.
- Some features require you to download separate modules.
- You cannot export any file of more than 3 minutes of duration in a trial version.
Humans have a general tendency to think that the earlier days were good. Many of us even desire to go back to those days and to live them again. Practically, it is not possible. But technically, you can make it possible.
You can have a record of the memories you cherish the most. No! We are not talking about photo albums. You can have a slideshow presentation of your memories. MAGIX Photostory allows you to do this.
It provides you various features and functions that can help you in creating an impressive and presentable presentation. Memories are never created alone. You might need to share the slideshows with someone; the software provides you a few sharing options.
What other features the software can provide you? Is it efficient to use? Can it be an end to your search for slideshow software? We shall try to find out the answers to all these questions.
Beginning with the pros and cons, we shall move forward to analyze all the features of the software in depth and shall try to help you decide whether to get this software or not.
Welcoming the software
The installation of the software is facile. You can get a desired version of the software by visiting the official website of the software. If you wish to try the software, you can go for the trial version. They provide a trial of 30 days, which is enough for knowing the product.
Though the beginning of the installation is simple, it takes too long to install entirely and to become ready to be used. Further, the code that you receive for using the trial version is an impressive move and ensures a sense of security within users.
After the downloading and installation are complete, the software directs you to the home page of the software.
Some users might imagine a colorful bright screen full of templates and some visual effects. But contrary to those imaginations, the user interface appears as a black screen with a presentation window at one corner and a few options beside it.
The available options help you in creating various slideshows.
Beginning with the software
When you launch the software on the computer, it provides you two options for creating presentations. You can either select creating projects or creating Photostory. We shall discuss these options one by one.
When you select to create an empty project. It leads you to the home screen of the software. The home screen of the software looks as in the last image of the last section. The software sorts the options on the home screen in three sections, which are My media, MAGIX media, and MAGIX sound effects.
My media allows you to choose images, videos, or any files from the computer. It means that you can select any of the personal files in the slide show if you are creating a personalized presentation.
MAGIX media allows accessing the functions that are available in the software by default, for example, travel maps. The media files that you download from some cloud are also available here.
Another section MAGIX ‘sound effects’ consists of the sounds or music that are already available in the software.
In this section, we shall discuss the features of ‘My media.’
My media consists of six options, namely, computer, projects, admin, my pictures, my videos, and my music. ‘Computer’ allows you to choose files from the drives of the computer.
When you select this option, it automatically shows the available drives of the computer, which allow you to choose any media file from the selected drive.
‘Projects’ allow you to choose from the already available presentations, if any. Similarly, through admins, you can select administrator-controlled files or files from the software that are controlled by the administrator.
My videos and my music allow you to choose files from your collection of videos or audios on your computer.
The first sub-option in MAGIX media is ‘manage.’ You do not get this feature installed with the software. The software asks you to download it separately if you wish to use it. This separate downloading of features might seem irksome to some users.
Downloads show you the information about the downloads that you have made in the software. ‘Cloud import’ provides you settings regarding downloading through various cloud software.
You can make a few changes in the settings of Wi-Fi transfer, cloud import, and info channels. Also, it provides some general settings for the downloading by cloud software through any of the three mediums.
Slideshow music introduces a list of sample music or audios to let the user know how to add music. If you wish to add some music of your choice to the slide show, you can add it through My music in the ‘My media’ section.
Travel maps are an all-new addition to the software. If you are creating a slide show of a tour somewhere in the country or say the world, you would surely wish to add them to the presentation.
Travel maps are an animated form of the maps that we generally use during traveling. Through this map, you can create an animated path by adding various effects and icons to show the path of your travel.
Suppose you create a slideshow of your trip to Europe. Every time you show an image of some country, you can point to the country with the name on the map. Alternatively, if you are planning a trip with a group somewhere, you can show the route with the help of travel maps that you are going to follow.
The software provides you various maps to add to your slideshow. You can have a map of a city, say a local map. Alternatively, you can have a map of a country or a continent. However, to acquire a map of a country or a continent, you need to have a paid version of the software.
If you are using a free trial, you can access the local map of a city. You can also add various effects to the maps while using them in the slideshow. We shall discuss them in the upcoming sections.
MAGIX sound effects
It introduces a list of songs that are present in the software by default. They are present in a very minimal number. In fact, there are generally two audios present.
These sounds can be added to the slideshow if you do not want to add any new music or feel some problem in choosing a song from your collection on the computer.
Creating the slideshow
After we have discussed the available options, it’s time to know how to use them for creating the slideshow. You can choose some image by navigating various disks through the ‘computer’ of the software.
You would choose more than one image to create a slide show. The order of the images in the slide show corresponds to the order in which you choose them from the computer. The order in which you choose the images is set as the slide show order by default by the software.
You are left with no alternative, apart from removing the images to reset the order.
The software provides you a timeline right below the slideshow screen. This timeline helps you to decide the timing of one slide or the image in the presentation.
The timeline resembles a scale that can be adjusted to acquire the desired result. When you add an image to the slideshow, it automatically appears in the timeline. By dragging the scale, you can decide the duration for which you want the image to remain on the screen.
The duration may depend upon the timing you might be speaking about the slide during the presentation. You can do this for every newly added image. As soon as the duration of an image ends, the next image in the order would appear automatically.
If you do not choose a duration of the image in the slideshow, the software automatically assigns it a time slot of ten seconds. If the image is the last one in the presentation, it persists until the end of the timeline.
By default, the software provides you a timeline of 20 seconds. This time can be adjusted by assigning and adjusting the timings of the images in the slide show. If you do not assign any timing, the software adjusts the timing in a way that it does not exceed twenty seconds.
If you are using a trial version, you cannot create a slideshow of more than 3 minutes. Besides the image, you can also add a video or any recording. ‘Project’ option allows you to access the videos or recordings that are already available on the computer.
The duration of the slide in which the video appears automatically exceeds it to the duration of the selected video. However, the software provides you with options to cut and edit the length of the video. We shall discuss those features in a while.
Admin, my pictures, my videos, and my music are a few more options through which you add a few more respective entries of your choice. ‘My videos’ enlists only those videos that are created by using some software or application and saved on the computer.
This feature sorts the videos according to the software that has been used to record them.
Adding effects to the slideshow
Effects make the videos and images presentable. The software provides various effects to add to your slide show. You can add text of various styles and colors. You can add a few more effects to the audios and videos of the presentation.
The software also provides you various designs for templates and background of the slide. The image below shows the various kinds of text that the software allows you to add to the slideshow.
Further, you can have various font styles for the text that you add to your slide show. You can choose various colors, sizes, and styles for the text. There are a few more options that help in making the slideshow more presentable. We shall discuss these in the next section.
Some effects are available only for a few specific options in the software. When you choose to add or edit the title of the slide, it provides options to change the font, font style, shadow, and animation of the text. You can have different effects on the title text.
You can add a shadow effect to the text with a few customizations in it. There are four basic animations that you can add to the text. Transparency and blur are two more effects that you can add to the title text of the slide.
The ‘effects’ section provides you several options to add various effects to the slide of the sideshow. The available options are brightness, color, color changes, level, LAB color, artistic filter, lens flare, and distortion, sharpness, speed, and a few more.
All these options produce various in the objects and slides of the slideshow. You get a few customizations with these options to adjust the settings and intensities of the applied effects.
Panorama is a noteworthy feature of the software. Panorama allows viewing the entire slide of the slideshow in one view without scrolling with the help of the scroller.
You can adjust the direction and angle of rotation of the panorama.
Editing a slideshow
After you have created a slideshow, you might require editing it and would require toll accordingly. The software provides you a few tools to acquire this. These tools are available above the timeline of the slide show.
The first tool in the series is a scissors icon that is used to split the slide show. The split tool allows you to split the slideshow in various ways. You can split or say cut the beginning part of some element in the slideshow.
Alternatively, another option allows you to split some of the ending parts of the element. Also, you can split the entire slideshow. To split an entire slideshow, you should make sure that there is more than one element or say an image or video is present in the slideshow.
With this tool, you can also remove an element entirely. All these functions can also be performed conveniently by using the specified shortcut keys.
The following tools are ‘undo and redo.’ You can undo the previously performed actions on the slideshow. The unique thing about this tool in Photostory is that you can select the actions you want to undo.
The redo option also comes with the same facility of choosing the action you want to get redone. The dustbin icon allows you to delete some elements from the slideshow.
When you use the snipping tool to cut some part of the element, you cannot obtain it again. If you wish to retain the snipped part and want to use it again with some other element, use the cut tool.
The cut tool of the software also functions entirely the same as the conventional cut tool of some computer. When you cut an element, it automatically gets pasted into the clipboard, which can be used by pasting it in the slideshow with the help of the ‘paste;’ the following tool.
Similarly, if you do not want to remove some elements but want the same element with another slide, you can copy it with the help of the respective tool provided in the software.
We discussed the customizations that we get with the title in the previous section. You also get a title editor with these tools above the timeline. The tool performs the same function as it does when selected from the main window.
When you select the title editor from this section of the software, the software automatically opens the title templates in its respective location.
The following option rotates the selected images or elements by 90 degrees. You can rotate the image to change the alignment of the element. This tool rotates the selected element in the anticlockwise direction.
The mouse mode option of the software allows used when there are a smaller number of elements to deal with, preferably only one.
The following allows you to add objects to the slide merely by dragging and dropping them. When you select this option, you can then choose the required object or effect, and by dragging them to the desired slide, you can easily add them to it.
Suppose you created a slideshow, but mistakenly you inserted some slide before it is supposed to appear in the slideshow; the exchange option can help you.
As the name suggests, you can exchange the positions of two slides of the presentation. The selected slides automatically exchange their positions when you select this option.
Like the title tool, this section also provides you another copy of the background option. You can add different kinds of background to the selected slide.
Moreover, you can also have a preview of the selected background to know how it would appear in the slideshow.
The image above shows a few styles that you can add to the background of the slide.
Other editing tools
There are a few more editing tools following the above-discussed tools. The option following the background tool is image effects. This option, when selected, automatically applies some effects to the image of the selected slides.
These effects include tracking shots, zoom, and rotation. You can apply this to some selected slides or all the slides of the slideshow.
The problem with this tool is that it applies all the three mentioned effects altogether. Thus, you do not have a choice to select any effect of your choice. You either get the package of all the three effects or neither of them.
However, it also reduces the efforts of adding all the effects separately, but the reluctance to know the user’s choice does not suit everybody.
The snap marker allows you to capture a screenshot of some portion of the slideshow. The marker helps you in marking or say choosing the portion that you want to capture.
The last two tools in this section of the software are used to group and ungroup the objects. The connected chain icon helps you to group the selected objects in a single entity. It means that that the objects you select can be obtained in a group.
The following option breaks the group and separates all the objects of the group and make them a separate object again.
Grouping objects together helps you in finding them when you require using them for some other slide or slide show.
You see some a few more options at the right side above the timeline. The first option there is to start and pause the slide show. It performs the same function as the options in the slide show screen do.
The slider next to it can be used to adjust the time of the timeline. By moving the slider, you can increase the time limit of the timeline scale. If you are making a long slide show and you are not sure about its duration, you can increase the time.
However, the software is designed in such a way that it automatically increases the timing of the objects added by you exceed the time limit of the timeline scale.
You can also expand or shrink the view of the timeline board by the next option. The expanded view helps you figure out the objects that you add and the timing they share in the timeline board.
The storyboard presents the thumbnail view of the images in the order in which they would appear in the slideshow.
Audio is an essential part of a slide show. Good audio makes the slide show better and more presentable. To add audios to the slide show, you can browse through the files that ate already available on the computer.
Like some other software of the same kind, this software also provides some default audios by the name of free songs. These free songs consist of a few pre-defined audio collections of a minimal number of songs.
You can also add audios of your choice and can also mark some of them as favorite to make them readily available. When you add the audio to the slide, you get options to edit the audio in terms of volume, intensity, and bass.
A few options to cut and snip and copying the audio are also available.
The software provides a store option to shop for a new collection of templates, collages, themes, and audios. It also allows you to buy some new effects or transitions for your slides.
Store, as the name suggests, is not free, and you need to pay some amount to download any new product from there. You might get some kinds of discounts or offers according to season or some occasion.
For example, at the time of writing, it is Halloween season, and so the MAGIX provides the offers accordingly.
Frankly, the products or say elements are more presentable than the available ones. If you frequently keep creating the slideshows whether, for professional purposes or personal purposes, you can buy some of them.
MAGIX seems to encourage people to buy their products because the difference in the objects given with the downloaded product and in the store is remarkable.
You might be wondering about the other option that you see when you open the software, which is creating Photostory. When you choose this option, it leads you to the following page.
To create a Photostory, you require choosing photos from the available locations. You can choose them from any location on the computer, or you can import it from some storage of the computer. Once you choose the image, then the software directs you to the same screen as it does while creating the project.
All the options that you get with the project are also available while creating the Photostory. Creating a Photostory is no different than creating a project.
The only difference is that photostory is essentially a record of your personal images and videos, unlike a project which can be anything including an invitation or some professional slideshow presentation.
Is that all?
We have discussed almost all the features and functions of the software. There are still some features that are noteworthy in the software. Image optimization, distortion, stereo, wizards, burn, and a few more such features are worth mentioning.
Some features are uniquely different and make the software stand away from the queue.
Image optimization is the same thing that you call editing. Image optimization means optimizing the images in various respects like brightness, color, filter, sharpness, and a few more.
The optimization options are nothing but editing options. Some of them we discussed in the editing section of the article.
Distortion is yet another effect of image optimization. It would not be wrong if you do not consider a separate feature but a sub-feature of the image optimization.
The effect, as the name suggests, applies a distorting effect to the selected image. It produces an effect that makes the image appear old and torn. This effect can be used if you create some slide show that consists of old images.
Wizards have always there with the software to ameliorate the functioning for us. Some wizards are intended to make things faster for us.
The image above shows the several wizards that are available in the software. Precisely, there are seven wizards in the software, and naturally, you can perform seven different tasks with them.
The first one is ‘Photostory wizard.’ This wizard naturally helps you in creating a photostory. When you select this wizard to function, it directs you to the photostory creation page of the software. The further tasks remain the same, which are choosing an image, selecting audio, and then saving the photostory after creating it.
Another wizard is a slideshow maker. It helps you in creating slideshow with several effects. It provides several effects to add to your slideshow.
The wizard provides you various templates and a few effects with some customizations. It allows you to change the intensity, transition, and background music.
You get a full series of properties that can be changed to get the desired slideshow, like image duration, opening and closing credits, and object grouping.
The preview and save options are the same as in the conventional slideshow maker. The soundtrack is another wizard that the software provides, but you cannot use it directly.
You need to download a specific module called ‘soundtrack styles’ to use this wizard. After you complete downloading the module, the wizard allows you to make some changes to music style, emotion, and background music.
If you have added music or some audio to your slideshow, you can take the help of you can adjust the settings with the help of ‘musical editing adjustment’ wizard.
The following wizard is a cleaning wizard that helps in removing the unnecessary files from the storage of the software.
The last option in the category of wizards is travel maps. These are the same maps that we discussed previously.
These are placed in the category because they do ease the task of marking the path or a place in the slideshow and prevent users from downloading a map separately and adding it to the presentation.
Stereo and others
Stereo, or more precisely, stereo3D, is another feature of the software. It is another way of applying different effects to the selected image or video.
Picture in a picture collage, standard, volume curve is a few other features that we get in the software. A few of the features lead you to the settings that we have already discussed.
Picture in picture collage creates a preset effect and inserts an image inside an image that is already available on the screen.
Share and help section
For sharing the slideshow that you created, the software provides you two options; you can either share the slideshow online through YouTube and flicker or can get a backup on a DVD or CD.
You also get a Shutterfly for sharing the slideshow. Through this, you can upload and share the images separately. You can select the images that you want to share.
Moreover, you can share all the media from the media pool of the slideshow. It is a noteworthy feature because it allows you to share only the images of a slideshow and thus to prevent you from sharing the entire presentation.
The help section is one of the vibrant sections of the software. You get an online help section to get the solution to your problems. You can download a PDF of the manual of the software to have permanent records to refer to in times of need.
Tooltips section provides you some tips and tricks for using the tools of the software effectively and efficiently.
Through the help section, you can also register for a paid version and download the content of the store of the MAGIX. Further, you can read about the software and its previous and upcoming versions.
MAGIX Photostory is a beautiful slideshow creating software. The features it provides to create a slideshow are satisfactory to an extent.
The available tools are useful not only for creating professional slideshows but also for the slideshows for personal purposes.
Along with the standard slideshow features, some new features are noteworthy. The travel map feature is one of them. It is an impressive and genuinely innovative addition to the software.
The image optimization features are entirely satisfactory, and the additional effects that the software allows you to add to the images are also noteworthy.
The separate sections for creating projects and photostory helps you in keeping your professional and personal slideshows distinguishable. Adding wizards is also a smart move.
The storing feature is one of the features that need some improvement. Though it allows you to get a DVD of the slideshow, these days, they are of little use.
An addition of some cloud storage would allow users to have a readily available convenient storage. The sharing options also have some scope of improvements, like providing a few more options to share the slideshow.
The time that the software takes to install is also disappointing and makes the user tedious since the beginning. Further, some modules need to be downloaded separately. It is another arena of improvement.
The software can have mixed feedback from the users. If the installment timing and downloading modules are not an issue for you, then you can consider it a nearby perfect software.
Though the software still requires some improvements, it is still capable of becoming a creative slideshow maker’s mate.