Slideshow Software - Release Notes

 

Release Notes

Release Notes for SmoothShow Pro/LE 3.0                     8 May 2006

These notes describe the current release of version 3.0 of SmoothShow Pro, SmoothShow LE, the SmoothShow Player, and the SmoothShow Screen Saver. This release includes the following new features and functions (most recent additions listed first):

3.0 Build 16

Double click in Timeline view now switches to Slide view
New Show Wizard now uses Options settings for Hold Time and Transition speed
Fixes various bugs in Crop and Pan selections
Fixes bug in recent file list

3.0 Build 15

Fixed bug in digital video transition previews
Added optional background music to video wall web templates

3.0 Build 14

Fixed errors when no CD burner found in Package Show dialog
Fixed bugs generating thumbnail images for web export templates
Added web page title customization

3.0 Build 13

Fixed bug when no images in the selected folder when using the New Show Wizard
Fixed digital video transitions preview bugs
Fixed effects select and cancel bugs

3.0 Build 12 (General Release)

Added floating overlays in the editor
Fixed bug where white border was left around movie windows at some demensions
Added a "now buffering" message to display at show start in time line preview window
Fixed bugs with aspect ratio view and cropping
Added Start-up menu wizard
Fixed bug in transitions previews

3.0 Build 11 (Beta 4)

Added previews for new digital video transitions
Fixed bug in packaging blank slides
Added optional overscan correction for DV export

3.0 Build 10

Added direct MPEG encoder in Movie Export function
Fixed problems with thumnail database when using New Show Wizard
Fixed bug in rendering blank slides

3.0 Build 9 (Beta 3)

Fixes problems with selecting SMPTE wipes on movie export
Fixes thumbnail bug when combining shows

3.0 Build 8 (Beta 2)

Fixes cursor focus when editing titles
Adds aspi layer setup to standard install

3.0 Build 7 (Beta 1)

Added Movie Export function to create digital video files - initial support for AVI only
Added digital video transitions for use with movie export
Fixed various user interface problems with the crop, pan and zoom controls
Changed the pan and zoom speed controls to work as a percentage of the slide hold time
Added configurable scratchpad folder for temp files

2.2 Build 12

Fixed problem with font size varying between horizontal and vertical images
Fixed sudden "jerk" at end of dissolve transitions on some PCs
Fixed fade out then in not working properly
Fixed problem with current show time pointer when changing time line scale while paused
Fixed problem with current show time pointer when scrolling time line during paused show
Fixed loss of sync with time line when slide duration changed during paused show
Fixed show control buttons grayed after pausing playback
Fixed displayed slide when timing changed in time line view
Added "Export Play List..." (to text file) function on the File menu

2.2 Build 11

Fixed transition times on manual hold slides
Fixed problems with overlay and crop box selections
Fixed problem with advance on mixed manual / timed slide shows
Fixed misc sorter view UI bugs
Released ASPI helper utility to fix ASPI driver problems

2.2 Build 10 (General release)

Fixed missing file in install script
Fixed problem with Options dialog box hanging-up

2.2 Build 9 (General release)

Added speed controls for the pan and zoom motion effects
Added support for dual monitor configurations - play full screen on secondary monitor
Added selectable aspect ratio view in the main (editor) program
Added controls for flip top-bottom and reverse left-right on Image Enhancements tab
Added easy delete for A-track audio with right-click pop-up menu
Fixed "double cancel" bug on Package Show dialog
Improved "sorter view" interface - instant load of thumbs and auto-scroll on drag-drop (see note below)
Improved CD burning on Package Show to CD
Fixed problem with aspect ratio when playing full screen on primary monitor with dual monitor setup
Fixed support for all transition effects with overlays in web export
Fixed problem of audio A-track not ending when a new A-track begins
Fixed problem with audio B-track "loop" function
Fixed problem with audio B-track not fading smoothly to zero volume
Fixed problems with text scaling on vertical images and web export
Fixed problem with default screen positions on new installations
Fixed "image not found" bug in "new show" when not using the wizard
Fixed problems with cropping on vertical and large res images
Improved synchronization of slide selection between title list and timeline view

Note: The improved "slide sorter" interface works with an image thumbnail database that is stored in the same folder as your show file. This database is automatically maintained as you create and edit your shows. If you open a show created with an earlier version of SmoothShow, you will get a pop-up dialog explaining that the thumbnail database can't be found and must be created. This will take up to a few minutes if there are a lot of slides in your show, but will only be required once and will enable the sorter view to display instantly.

2.2 Build 8 (Third beta test release)

Added new screen saver option to package show dialog
     Produces an installable Windows Screen saver that will run your show with all audio, effects, etc.
Fixes b-track loop mode
Fixes web export for blank slides, crop, stretch and overlays
Fixes error when attempting to insert multiple slides
Fixed missing help topics

2.2 Build 7 (Second beta test release)

Fixes minor UI bugs from first Beta test
Fixes package show problem with blank slides
Fixes slide transitions running longer than hold (display) time
Fixed memory leak on looping shows

2.2 Build 6 (First beta test release)

Image Crop and Stretch

The Slide properties tab now includes a checkbox to permit cropping the image to any rectangular portion. There is a also a new checkbox to have the image stretch to fit the full screen. This can be used with crop to effectively "zoom in" on a portion of the image. Refer to the Slide Properties Tab help topic for details.

Motion Effects - Pan and Zoom

You can now specify a pan, zoom, or combined pan and zoom motion when your image is displayed. This can be used to pan across a panoramic image, pan a zoomed-in portion of the image, zoom in or out, or do a pan and zoom (aka "Ken Burns") effect. Refer to the Slide Properties Tab help topic for details.

Overlays

You can now specify that any slide should appear as a rectangular portion of the display, overlayed on top of the previous image. If overlay is selected for a series of slides, the images will continue to overlay on top of the previous image(s) to any number you like. This allows you to create effects like a two, three, four, or however many way split screen, a changing rectangle on top of an artistic background, etc. Each overlayed image is displayed with that slide's transition effect and any cropping, pan, or zoom effects. Refer to the Using Overlays help topic for details.

Blank Slides

You can now insert blank (no image) slides and set a colored background and text if desired.

Bug fixes including:

Fixed support for compressed TIFF image
Fixed problem with manual slide advance
Added keyboard fucntions for manual advance (+ or right arrow) and back (- or left arrow)
Fixed problem of audio not stopping on manual back

Release Notes for SmoothShow Pro/LE 2.1                     18 June 2004

These notes describe the general release of version 2.1 of SmoothShow Pro, SmoothShow LE and the SmoothShow Player. This release includes the following new features and functions (most recent additions listed first)

2.1 Build 23

Fixed problem with audio stopping on manual slides
Added ability to set the disc volume name when burning to CD
Fixed bug in time display for a large set of manual slides
Fixed image scaling causing cropping on some wide image dimensions
Fixed problems with multi-slide cut, copy, and paste
Enabled mouse clicks to advance and previous slide in timeline preview

2.1 Build 22

Fixed problem with packaged shows causing a Windows error on autoplay

2.1 Build 21

Added filename edit control on Slide Properties tab to change image file for a slide
Fixed audio CD ripping to mp3 problem on some XP systems
Enhanced audio CD to mp3 ripper for improved audio quality control
Added audio CD single track play control in ripper to assist in track selection
Added support for MIDI audio play on A or B track
Revised help topics to fix some errors and cover new features

2.1 Build 20

Fixed problem with pause/resume causing multiple audio tracks to start
Fixed occasional problem of shows "hanging" at the end
Fixed problem with autostart files missing from some package operations

2.1 Build 19

Fixed problem of occasional system hang when previewing full screen
Fixed problem with manual hold time occasionally not advancing on mouse click
Fixed problem of manual hold time causes use of excess memory

2.1 Build 18

Fixed problems with B-track fade back
Fixed timing on dissolve transitions
Various screen prompts and help messages

2.1 Build 17

Fixed problem with some audio files not playing on B-track
Fixed problem with changing slide hold time by dragging on slide edge in timeline

2.1 Build 16

Fixed problem with CD burner process crashing when complete.
Fixed problem with B audio fade back
Fixed problem with A audio timing when running from CD
Fixed problem with B audio not starting after manual HoldTime sildes.

2.1 Build 15

Fixes for various bugs reported by beta testers and final release packaging.

2.1 Build 14

New Show Wizard

The New Show Wizard will be presented by default when selecting File->New from the menu or clicking on the New File icon on the toolbar.

Multi-Line Slide Captions

You can now specify multi-line captions for slides by inserting the special “newline”sequence \n in the slide’s title. So, for example, the text “My new\nslide”will appear on two lines “My new”and “slide”. The lines will follow the horizontal positioning setting of left aligned, centered, or right aligned.

Improved Text Scaling

Since you may produce shows that will run on a variety of video sizes, the relative size of the text to the image size must maintain the desired proportions. Therefore, when you select a font point size, that size will be assumed relative to a 1024 pixel (1K) horizontal resolution. If you set 22-point text and the user’s display is 1024x768, the text will be 22-point size. If, however, the user has a larger or smaller display setting, the point size will be adjusted to maintain the relative proportions. Since this takes place when the text is drawn as the slide is displayed, the scaling and anti-aliasing are preserved.

2.1 Build 13

New Web Export Features and Templates

The Web Export functions have been significantly enhanced and several new templates have been added. The exporter now enables you to specify the background and text colors for the generated page, and optional background image/texture file (a few are included), image sharpening after scale down, and whether to include captions on the page. Note that individual templates may not use all of the features. For example, the “thumbs”type pages may include optional captions in your choice of text color, but the “video wall”pages do not include any text. Of course you are free to examine and modify the templates to better suit your needs. The final release will include documentation on the macros available in the templates and some guidelines for using them. The include templates are:

Player
Presents an image box with start, stop and pause buttons. Images can be any of the available sizes. A single B-track audio file can be included –note that this is a browser limitation (one file) and not all browsers will play the audio properly.

 
Manual Viewer
Presents an image box with forward and back buttons. Images can be any of the available sizes. Audio support is as in Player template above.

 
Picture Frame
Presents an image box that is always centered in the page and may use an image/texture file to provide a “frame”around the image box. Images can be any of the available sizes. The show starts automatically and runs continuously in the frame. Audio support is as in Player template above.

 
Large Thumbs
Presents a page of 240x180 pixel thumbnail images with optional captions. When the user clicks a thumb, the full size image is shown. Full size images can be any of the available sizes. You can specify background color (black is good), text color (white or other bright color is good), and an optional background texture.

 
Medium Thumbs
Same as Large Thumbs except thumbnails are 180x135 pixels

 
Small Thumbs
Same as Large Thumbs except thumbnails are 120x90 pixels

 
Video Wall 3x2
Presents a 3 column by 2 row grid of images in the style of a “video wall”. The images are sized to 320x240 pixels and change at random every 2 seconds. You can specify background color and and/or an optional background texture. This is a very cool way to show off your pix in a lively “full screen”view while keeping to a small image size to conserve space and download time over the net. Use the default 352x264 image size when exporting and the web page will scale them to fit the browser window.

 
Video Wall 4x3
Same as Video Wall 3x2 except with 3 rows of 4 images and the change occurs every second. Note that you can edit these templates to change the image sizes or display times.

2.1 Build 12

Transition Effect Preview

A new checkbox on the Transition Tab enables preview of the transition effect in the dropdown panel. The user can change the transition style, time, background color, and grain size while viewing a preview of the transition using the current slide.

Anti-aliased Text

All captions / labels are now displayed with anti-aliased fonts.

Audio Volume / Fade Control

The B audio track now has control over the volume and fade in / fade out of the audio files. Please note that not all file formats support volume control. The most reliable format for this type of control is mp3 and wav files do not support volume control at all.

The dialog box that appears when you click on the B-track now includes slider controls for the audio volume and fade times as follows:

Start Volume:            The initial volume setting from 0 to 100%

Fade In Time:            Time in seconds and tenths to go from start to running volume

Running Volume:            Volume level to maintain after fade in and until fade out

Fade Out Time: Time in seconds and tenths before the track ends to begin fade out

So, for example, you might set Start Volume to 0, Fade in time to 5 seconds, running volume to full and fade out time to 5 seconds.

There is also a new dropdown control on the A-track (Sounds/Music Tab) to control fade out of the B-track during playback of the A-track. So, for example, if you set the control to “Fade to 50%”, the background music on the B-track will fade to 50% starting 1 second before and lasting until 1 second after the voice over on the A-track plays. This effect will “follow along”automatically wherever you move the slide to which it’s applied.

Audio CD Track Extractor

The audio properties dialog box now also has controls to allow extracting audio files from CDs. To use them:

  1. Type the path and file name of the file into which you’re extracted audio track will be stored.
  2. The Rip button will activate when you type in a valid file name (that does not exist)
  3. Select the CD drive from the Drives list (see note below)
  4. Enter the track (i.e. song) number that you want to extract
  5. Click the Rip button
  6. When done click OK and the audio is placed on the B-track

Important note : If no drives are listed in the drop-down, you may need to install the ASPI CD drivers provided by Adaptec. The latest version (for Windows 98 and later) as of this writing is available from their website at:

http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/support/driverdetail.html?sess=no&filekey=aspi_471a2.exe&language=English+US

If you need a version for Windows 95 or the link above does not work, visit www.adaptec.com and search for ASPI to find the version that you need.

Direct to CD Packaging

The packaging dialog now supports selection of a CD/DVD writer to which the show will be packaged. A temporary folder will be created to store the files that will be burned to the disc. If more than one writable disc drive is found, the user may select which drive to use.

Support for SSI File Format

The new player now supports the SmoothShow Image (ssi) format. This proprietary format gives excellent compression with no loss of quality and cannot be read by standard program such as Photoshop. You can convert all images to ssi when packaging to protect your images from unauthorized use.

2.1 Build 10

New Player Application

This new player is a complete re-write of the program and is intended to provide a portable playback application that does not require installation on the end user’s PC. The player executable and a few DLL support files will be placed on CD or other media during the packaging process. For this second phase trial, the player is fully integrated into the main editor program and the packaging process.

The new player is compatible with any 32-bit Windows version from Windows 95 through Windows XP. Unlike the original player, it can be run in a standard, moveable window as well as a full screen view. In either mode, images are automatically scaled to fit the Window size as necessary. When you double click the program’s icon, it will load as a Window with a menu as follows:

File   Pause   Play   Restart   Back   Next    Full Screen

From the File menu, select open and browse for a SmoothShow file (.ssf) to play. Once selected, the show will load and begin to play in approximately 2-3 seconds. If you wish to run the show in Full Screen mode, click the Full Screen menu item before opening a show. When you click Full Screen, the program will automatically size itself to the screen resolution and the caption bar will disappear although the menu will still be visible. Once you select and open a show, the menu and mouse cursor will disappear and the images will use the entire screen if they are large enough.

During playback with the menu visible, you can click on Pause, Play, Restart, Back, and Next to control the show. The following keyboard shortcuts or mouse actions can be used in place of the menu selections whether the menu is visible or not:

Spacebar                   Pause

Return                         Play (resume after pause)

Left mouse button  Next slide

Right mouse button  Back slide

M key                          Show / hide the menu

R key                          Restart the show

Esc key                      Once = Pause, twice = end show and exit

The program can also be run from a shortcut or autorun file with command line arguments to automatically load and start a show. For example, you might create a desktop shortcut the following command line to load and run a show in full screen mode with no menu:

c:\Program Files\SmoothShow\ssplay32.exe e:\shows\yosemite2.ssf,FULL,NOMENU