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If there’s one thing photographers like even more than taking pictures, it’s showing them off. Most slideshow software, however, is limited to a handful of slick templates and not much in the way of customization. Enter Boinx Software, whose FotoMagico has twice received the runner-up nod for an Apple Design Award from the folks in Cupertino.
After two years in development, Boinx is back with FotoMagico 4, an impressive overhaul that opens up a wide range of creative possibilities for amateur and pro shutterbugs alike -- and it’s cheaper than ever, at least for new customers. Boinx doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel with this version, retaining the already well laid out (and very Apple-inspired) user interface, while managing to introduce an entirely new way of working.
Previous versions of FotoMagico offered a simplistic Storyboard mode, with each individual image appearing as a slide-like icon of equal size, regardless of the length of time it would appear. While this might have make for a cleaner way to work, it wasn’t very intuitive for advanced users, so Boinx added a second method: Timeline.
Timeline displays photos and videos as horizontal clips that expand and contract as you adjust their length, with a small tab that overlaps adjoining clips when you insert a transition between them. It’s a bit like video-editing software, complete with audio tracks that appear as a waveform, making it easier to sync images to a soundtrack.
Our favorite new feature in FotoMagico 4 is Audio Marker, which allows the length of individual slides to automatically adjust to markers placed on the audio track. Rather than tediously adjusting the length of each slide by hand, users simply click play and tap the “M” key to place a marker wherever you want the next slide to start.
Also new is the ability to layer up to six photos, videos, or titles on top of a timeline clip, and then independently animate or adjust each one. The timeline shows these layers stacked by default, but you can easily expand a stack to tweak individual elements.
When the work is all done, FotoMagico 4 has preset options for various iOS devices (including the iPhone 5, courtesy of the latest 4.0.1 update), YouTube, DVD, or any QuickTime-compatible format.
The bottom line. About the only folks who might not be thrilled with the release of FotoMagico 4 are previous users. Instead of offering a lower-priced upgrade path for existing customers, Boinx chose to reduce the cost of the application by $40 to make it more affordable for everyone. As an owner of the previous version, I can say without hesitation that version 4 is a major upgrade and well worth the asking price.
Mac OS X 10.7.4 or later
New Timeline mode allows for precise adjustments. Audio Markers make it easy to snap images into place with a single keystroke. Layers introduce powerful stacking for photos, videos and titles.
No upgrade path for previous customers (including Mac App Store). Audio waveforms can’t be trimmed with handles while in timeline view. iPhone remote app requires separate $4.99 purchase.