The Bottom Line
- Great user interface - slick without being overdone.
- Can add files singly or in batches.
- Allows image transitions in the slideshow.
- Requires the .NET framework to run.
- GUI contains ads for the publisher.
- Allows you to order basic images into a slideshow.
- Comes with various transitions to blend between frames.
- Can publish to Flash format for easy web presentation.
Guide Review - Flash Media Show (Standard)
A quick download from Microsoft and a few minutes of setup later, and Flash Media Show was running cleanly - at which point "oh, jeez" became "ooh, pretty." The interface is fairly basic, with no need for an instruction manual to get started organizing your images into Flash-based presentations or slide shows. The in-line ads are a bit distracting, but it's no different than what you'll find on most free versions of commercial software. At least the ads are only for the publisher.
As far as the functionality, it's fairly simple. You add images, set their order, create transitions between them, and publish in SWF format. There's a simple Configuration panel that lets you adjust details of how your file will publish, so you aren't stuck with the default. You might think it's a jumped-up version of a PowerPoint slideshow, but I found the output neater and far less prone to the gradient-based faux paus PowerPoint tends to foist on slideshow designers. I didn't run across any glitches; nor did I run across anything that makes this particularly spectacular.
If I had to pick one defining feature for FMS, it'd say it's pretty tightly focused. Unlike other presentation software that can get bogged down by the sheer number of options and output formats, this is a basic point A to point B process with no roadbumps on the way...which will be a relief for novices looking to create basic animations or slideshows, or for anyone looking to cut right to the chase.