Soundslides Forum

DevWeek #34 - Do you space images evenly?

I’ve always struggled with how to best accommodate Soundslides producers that space all of their images out evenly. I come from a journalism background, and for the most part, I placed my pictures over interviews mixed with ambient sound. I basically followed the NPR-but-with-images model. My timings were always specific to a moment in time.

But there are LOADS of Soundslides producers that put their images over music, and for the most part (based on the 1,000s of audio slide shows I’ve seen) their images are often evenly timed throughout the slide show.

For those users, there’s always been some math needed to find just the right number of images to import for an audio file. I want to make that process simpler, while also giving everyone else a head-start to visualizing how a show’s pacing will look in the end.

I’ve just deployed a few changes to both the show listing page and the main show detail page. These changes make up the bulk of the pre-launch changes.

Here’s the new “main page” for each show.

There are a few things to note at this point.

  • You can see the preview of your show before you modify any timing points.
  • You can change the “time per image” before launching the main timeline editor.
  • You can change the transition (via the most common presets) before launching the main timeline editor.
  • You can change the order of your images before launching the main timeline editor.
  • You can indeed finish and publish your show without launching the main timeline editor.

The timeline editor is there if you need it, but many of you will be amazed how close the new timeline setup tool gets you to your final edit.

Here’s a zoom-in on the right side of that screen.


As you can see above, I imported 16 images … which at 4 seconds per image is WAY too few images.

And let’s say for the sake of the demo, that I want my images at 18 seconds per image.


Well, you get the point. The time slider helps you get your timings in place before final adjustments on the timeline. The preview on the left of the screen is live, so any changes you make are instantly visible to you.

Give it a shot, and let me know what you think.


Joe - I haven’t tried it yet - and it will be awhile before I do. But I wanted to comment.

I take live presentations and record the audio track. Then I get the slides from the speaker. I never know how many slides, length of the presentation, and certainly do not know when the speaker will decide to change each slide. In fact, I will bet he does not know either.

So, your method was the only platform where I could lay down the audio and slide durations to the point when it was obvious the speaker had changed the slide. Since I had attended the presentation, this was easy. Some slides were “up” only a few seconds, while others might be up for a minute or more - depending on what the speaker was trying to get across.

So, I hope your new system still allows that flexibility because I have checked every “sound slide” platform and yours is the only one that allows for that process. Every other one that advertises variable slide durations do so by actually having to enter an actual duration - like 12 seconds (so that required using a stop watch for each slide) - or putting in the actual time stamp (begin and end) - like 12:15 begin, and 12:22 end. And heaven forbid if I made a mistake - correcting the entire time line was impossible. Both of these processes was a super pain to the point of giving up on the process altogether.

As it is now - all I need is the sound track and the slides (in order)(generally from PowerPoint or similar), and I can recreate a presentation that might have occurred in a lecture hall or auditorium - for anyone around the world who would have liked to have been there. And it could/would even go up on bigger screens sometimes for classrooms or small meetings.

With video such a ubiquitous media these days - creating such presentations with added short video clips would be even superior to the original presentation - with video clips of the venue, speaker, audience, etc.

Hey d.ouer. The new methods are all optional. The standard (timeline) editing window is still there. To get straight into the timeline editor, you’ll need to click the “Open in Timeline Editor” button.

The timeline editor will always be a part of Soundslides. We’re just going to get some new tools around it.

A quick addendum to this week’s DevWeek note; I’ve reclaimed the homepage. It’s been 8 months since it was mothballed by the previous owner. I figure that’s long enough. I’m taking it back.

Personally, this has been a weird journey. I had thought that Soundslides was in my past, but apparently, I love this thing. And I love that people choose audio slide shows as their means of expression.

Also, this is the first time I’ve put the subscriptions up publicly for the new service (though many of you have seen the upgrade offers while using the beta).

After talking to lots of people across the spectrum of Soundslides producers (teachers, freelancers, studios, photographers, artists, storytellers, publishers, journalists, pr folks, and every combination thereof), I’ve settled on an annual subscription model, starting at $19 a year. Pricing is hard, but necessary to pay the bills and keep the endeavor moving forward.

Thanks to everyone that’s reached out and shared their thoughts on the new Soundslides. I’m glad it’s back.