Creating a QuickTime Slideshow

One of the best ways to display your digital images is to create a QuickTime movie from them. This movie becomes a nice slideshow that you show on your Mac. You can also add sound or other tracks, just as you can with other kinds of movies. Follow these steps:

  1. Put all the images you want to appear in the slideshow in a single folder.

  2. Name the files and add a sequential number at the end of the name (for example, picture1, picture2, and so on).

  3. Open QuickTime Player and create a new player.

  4. Select File, Open Image Sequence.

  5. In the Open dialog box, select the first image in the series that you want to appear in the slideshow and click Open. You will see the Image Sequence Settings dialog box.

  6. Select a frame rate from the pop-up menu. This rate determines how long each image stays onscreen. Although video frame rate is measured in multiple frames per second, you want the frames of a slideshow (which are the individual images you want in the show) to be onscreen for at least a few seconds. A good frame rate for a slideshow is about 3 seconds per frame. This keeps the images onscreen long enough to be seen but not long enough to get tiresome.

  7. After you have chosen a frame rate, click OK. The images will be imported into the movie in the sequence of the numbers in the names of the files.


    The resolution of the slideshow is taken from the resolution of the images you place in it. QuickTime Player will attempt to make all the images the same size?that being the size of the largest image in the sequence. This can result in some very bad distortion if the application scales an image to any significant degree. You should use an image-editing application to make all the images the same resolution before you import them into QuickTime Player.

  8. Press the spacebar to see the slideshow. Each image will be shown for the amount of time you set when you set the frame rate.

  9. Select File, Save As. Name the movie, select either the "Save normally" or the "Make movie self-contained" option, select a location, and click Save. Your slideshow is now saved as a QuickTime movie.

You can also add a sound track (such as music in an MP3 file) to your slideshow to make it even more impressive:

  1. Locate the MP3 file you want to use as a soundtrack.

  2. From QuickTime Player, open the MP3 file. It will appear as a movie with no video track.

  3. Play the music so that you are sure it is what you want.

  4. Use the Info window for the slideshow to figure out how much music you need.

  5. Select the portion of the music you want to use as the soundtrack and copy it.


    Use the timecode to determine exactly how much music you are selecting.

  6. Switch back into the slideshow and select the entire movie.

  7. Use the Add command to add the music track to the slideshow. The music will be added as a soundtrack and will play when you play the slideshow.


You can't fade music using the QuickTime Player, so unless you choose your music and work the timing carefully, you might end up with a jarring ending to the soundtrack. You need to use a more capable application, such as iMovie, to be able to fade the soundtrack for a movie.


If you use iPhoto, you can also export a group of images as a QuickTime slideshow. In addition, you can create a slideshow from a group of images using iDVD.

To learn how to use iPhoto, see "Using iPhoto to Master Digital Images," p. 470.

To learn how to create DVD slideshows, see "Creating Your Own DVDs," p. 630.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Life