We released the latest version of Photo Story yesterday, and it is now available for download for Windows XP users. If you're like me, you probably have a hard drive full of digital photos that you'd like to make into an easy-to-download (or e-mail) slide show. Well, this free tool makes that process extremely simple. Here are some of its features:
- It's very easy to add motion and transitions to give your slide show that Ken Burns documentary effect.
- You can add your own music or have the system automatically generate custom themes based on several music styles (it does a pretty good job at this).
- If you have a microphone attached to your computer, you can easily add your own narration.
- You can retouch your images by correcting color levels, reducing/eliminating red-eye, rotating, or cropping.
- There are about 10 styles that you can apply to make your images look like they were created with watercolor, colored pencil, chalk or charcoal, or any of a few other styles.
- This new version can automatically remove any black borders from your image so that it occupies more of the frame (very cool). This is based on work done by Microsoft Research.
- You can optionally add your own caption for each picture.
- When you're done composing your slide show, you can have Photo Story create a file for use on your computer, a Pocket PC, a Smartphone, a Portable Media Center, or for sending via e-mail.
Channel 9 has an interesting 24 minute demonstration by Vladimir Rovinsky and a second 28 minute interview with members of the product team. Also, Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows has a good review of Photo Story 3 that is worth reading.