Slideshows as easy as magic

Create unique slideshows and video presentations with this supereasy utility.

MAGIX Entertainment specializes in multimedia software that focuses on making a particular job easier rather than the big-app, all-in-one approach. Their Xtreme PhotoStory on CD & DVD 8 is case in point: Its wizard-based templates make it a cinch to turn your photos, images, and even videos into personalized, enhanced slideshows and video presentations. It also helps you post your saved slideshows online or watch them on your PC or even your TV, with the proper connections.

The program's interface has the MAGIX family look, cleanly designed with an intuitive layout and clearly labeled controls. There's a media-player-like main window and displays for file navigation and sequential work. Thanks to numerous wizards and templates and one-click automation, everything we tried to do was quick and easy, from browsing to and loading images to sizing, sequencing, and editing them. A nifty Soundtrack Maker wizard simplifies adding and editing just the right background music. Adding special effects like colorful, animated titles and text is just as easy. Two new features we especially like are Direct YouTube upload, which simplifies sharing your slideshows online, and 3D titles with special effects, including gold and glowing text.

MAGIX Xtreme PhotoStory is free to try for 30 days. The fully functional download version omits some features of the CD-ROM version, such as Help videos, manuals, and bonus tools, that can be downloaded and installed later. It's a handy, easy-to-master utility that anyone can use to create unique and memorable presentations out of their own pictures and videos.

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