Photo Story

By Deane Barker on October 21, 2005

Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows: This is a neat, free download from Microsoft. Photo Story lets you create slideshows using that Ken Burns-like effect of zooming and panning across the pictures.

The experience is oddly affecting, as this short story of my daughter demonstrates (Windows Media link; my apologies to Alabama — please don’t sue me).

(Note: we’re having some MIME-type issues with that link. You’ll probably need to save it locally, then play it.)

The software is incredibly usable — it was as simple as anything to work with, and you can add captions, narration, music (again, see the above link), and edit the pictures right in the interface. Really well done.

Did I mention it was free?

Gadgetopia

Comments

  1. So, basically MS copied iPhoto (right down to the Ken Burns effect). Which is also free. Since they’ve been watching what Apple does and trying to mimic it for a long time, I suppose this should be no surprise. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Apple should once again say an “aww shucks” to the Redmond gang. ;-)

  2. Deane…do you ever get the feeling that Apple users and H1 owners belong in the same club? All the rest of us want them to do is wave at us every so often.

  3. MS published how to do Photostory BEFORE iPhoto was released.

    It can’t be! Next thing you’re going to try to get me to believe that there were MP3 players before the iPod!

    Infidel!

  4. Nice. I even found a reference to Photostory that dates back to 1994.

    But the question that raises is why the heck did it take so long for M$ to actually turn it loose? And who was the original developer of Photostory that got assimilated by the M$ collective?

    Or perhaps it was developed internally at M$, and it just took them that long to get it right! ;o)

  5. Hey Dave is there some top 10 list you guys use to compose your posts? Or maybe your not even a real person – seems like your posts could be generated by a 20 line perl script.

    Lets take a look at your posts:

    Gee, imagine that; Microsoft taking a great idea like iPhoto and “me too”ing it.

    Very predictable inital post – “Microsoft stole the idea from Apple”

    Nice. I even found a reference to Photostory that dates back to 1994.

    Confronted with a fact play nice even try to dig up a few facts on your own.

    And who was the original developer of Photostory that got assimilated by the M$ collective?

    Playing nice didn’t last long. Another very predictable one. “Microsoft bought the technology” Oh and Dave is on shaky ground here so throw in a $.

    Or perhaps it was developed internally at M$, and it just took them that long to get it right!

    Almost an insightfull observation “Microsoft is slow”, but not true in this case Photostory is on version 3.

  6. No Matt, I’m not a real person. Just a pigment of your fragmentation. But I didn’t think you’d stoop to the point of trying to rewrite history to elevate Microsoft. Turns out that Photostory wasn’t actually released until January 7, 2003, (gee, that date sounds familiar) and even then it was part of a commercial MS software package, Plus! Digital Media Edition.

    Some users thought pretty highly of Photostory, but it was hardly mentioned by MS (there isn’t even a Wikipedia article about it!) Apparently all the “documentation” preceding its release was just brainstorming, and Photostory was thrown in with DME because they needed something to counter Apple’s iPhoto and didn’t know what else to do with it.

    One of the difficulties with version 1 of Photostory was that you couldn’t save your work. Not sure what the point of that was. I suppose you’d put your slideshow together, show it, and hope you don’t need it again (and hope the machine doesn’t crash before show time.) Then version 2 had the cool feature of being able to save files, but make sure you don’t get too fancy because when the .psc file reaches 300MB(!) the file corrupts & you lose all your work. Cool!

    Let’s only hope that Photostory 3 took iPhoto’s lead and made its projects database driven. Or perhaps the most notable thing with version 3 is that it’s free?

    I really don’t intend to demean Photostory; I’m sure it’s a perfectly adequate piece of software. But from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t even compare with iPhoto.

  7. Dave: Your first post was spam. This last post was good, I learned something from reading it and it adds value to the discussion. Thanks.

    In response. I never equated iPhoto and Photostory. I never even said anything pro or con about either. Photostory is a simple wizard that does one thing – produces a video from a set of photos. My only point was that for that functionality MS didn’t copy it from iPhoto.

  8. i can’t get mine to save says something about windows media player or something and it wants me to reinstal it and windows media player wat do i do?

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