Have you ever been to one of those friend or family gatherings where you had to watch hundreds of photos that someone had taken on a trip or another occasion? This can be quite interesting, or not at all, depending on what is shown on the pictures and how they are presented to you.
Special Image Player is a free program for Windows that you can use to improve the presentation aspect. It enables you to create photo slideshows easily using a couple of parameters that it displays in its interface.
Note that it includes an option to install Relevant Knowledge on the system during installation. This has nothing to do with the app itself and can be declined if you do not want to install that third party offer on your system.
What may be a bit puzzling is that the app starts to display a list of sample photos right away in its interface that it cycles through. There is no stop button so that you cannot stop the default slideshow from rotating through its picture set while you are configuring yours.
That's the only problem though that I experienced with the application even though I have a couple of suggestions for the author how to improve it further.
I suggest you increase the display interval to the maximum (9.5 seconds) per image displayed to reduce the effect somewhat while you are configuring the app.
The first thing you may want to do is add a local image folder under Images. This is the same tab where you can change the display interval by the way. Just pick a folder from the computer and you will notice that the application will cycle through it now automatically.
Note that the program will only include pictures of the selected folder in the slideshow and not images in subfolders. Once you have loaded the photos it is time to configure the transition effects and other features of the slideshow.
Switch to the layout tab first. Here you define how images are displayed on the screen. You can display them centered or stretch or shrink them instead, and also ignore their aspect ratio if you do not want to see black borders on the screen. The background and frame width are also configured here in the tab.
The transition tab defines the style or styles used when the app switches between pictures. You can select a single style or configure it to go through all styles sequentially or randomly. The progress control lets you set the transition time, steps and a couple of other related settings.
What may be interesting is that you can enable full screen mode after configuration to get rid of the interface altogether.
As far as missing features go. I already mentioned that a stop button would come in handy. Other features that I'd like to see would be an option to save settings, integrate local image folders so that the app loads them automatically, auto-rotation of images and an option to integrate background music.
It is real easy to set up a slideshow using the program. While it lacks a couple of features that I'd like to see included in future releases, it is a great app for picture presentations of all kind.
Update: The project website has been taken down and is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest working version of Special Image Player to our own server. Please note that we don't support it in any way. You can download it with a click on the following link: Special Image Player
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.