So, having just gotten back from a backpacking trip to Europe, I’ve got tons of photos – a slideshow would be nice. Well, if you are going to make a serious slideshow with this stuff, you will quickly find yourself opening lots of photos, and editing xml, resizing images for the web, making thumbnails over and over. Better get comfy with IrfanView, and a good xml editor. Rather than invest the time to build a single grand slideshow, I started down the path of making a tool to do it. It would have to resize images for me (a thumbnail and a web-sized image would be nice), it’d be cool if it could grab those little pieces of info that the camera puts on the photos (metadata – like ‘DateTaken’) as well as any other stuff I have added to the images with programs like Image Metadata Editors, and lastly it’d need to generate that xml file needed by the slideshow code. Here’s a start on that tool. [Make sure to grab .NET 3.5 if you don't have it already.] It currently will grab the metadata, resize pics, and it lets you edit what gets put in the slideshow.
To use the tool, you need to have your pictures arranged in albums, i.e. I already had my pictures sorted by city, so the albums are cities. Something like this:
Then you will want to set the output directory, generate the images, and finally the ‘data.xml’ file. You end up with something like:
Then you just need to copy that up to your webhost, along with the stuff from Vertigo, and your slideshow should be ready. I have worked with ‘album directories’ containing up to roughly 1000 images – you do notice some performance impacts as you get tons of images. I had to go ahead and make the tool pre-generate thumbs after you select the album directory (so I could show the picture thumbs in the UI) because using the original pics caused my machine to lock up – paging like crazy due to lack of sufficient memory. (I tried UI Virtualization to no avail, anyway…you would have to generate the thumbs later regardless so its not wasted effort. I cache them in a ‘temp’ directory next to the exe.) I have noticed that certain things in the UI of the tool, such as changing the album thumbnail using the ‘Album Thumbnail’ button seem to work much better in Vista. If there is interest, I can make the code available.
Off to make some slideshows…