Tag: UHD

Day-of-Release: Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD 4.0

Day-of-Release: Ashampoo Slideshow Studio HD 4.0

Two generations ago, family and friends might gather around a projector screen, with a slide projector with a slide rotary caddy. They would take these opportunities to recap trips they went on, things they saw, and people they experienced the events with. As been the subject of numerous parodies and skits, people have been subjected to seeing the same scene, over and over again, with off-handed quotes. You typically hear such things as “Here is Gene, on the right!” Now he is on the left!” “You remember the heat that day, Gene?” What do you think, Barbra?” The purpose of these gatherings was to track and chart the milestones of people’s life.

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Today, the technology is different, but the purpose has carried on into day, with computers, mobile device cameras, optical media (DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K-UHD) and streaming video being the media that these memories are recorded onto for preservation. The scope has been expanded to now encompass the avenues of commerce, education, entertainment, and journalism, in addition to the personal recordings of yesteryear. The learning curve of these software programs has varied over the years, coupled with the available feature sets that they each offer. If you get an easy-to-use program, the features might be limited. If you choose a more full-featured program, you tend to find yourself facing a less-friendly GUI/UX that is much less intuitive and systematic.

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I am glad to report to you, today, that a new, more powerful, and full-featured program has debuted today, from those fine folks at Ashampoo, entitled Slideshow Studio HD 4.0. This great program fully carries forward the fine, long-standing tradition that Ashampoo has come to represent; demonstrated by the craftsmanship you find in this and all of their programs. Not only does have the standard functions you would expect from a slideshow program, but the forward-looking embrace 4K Ultra-High-Definition video standard that is bursting on the scene.scr_ashampoo_slideshowstudio_hd4_simplemode_adapt_to_music

This promises of up to 8x the resolution of 1080P video, with support for High-Dynamic Range (HDR) for extreme life-like imagery and natural shadows, mid-range tones, and highlights. As Hollywood has begun taking this file format as the go-to choice for how they capture our blockbusters, and present them to us for home theater consumption, not many home enthusiasts programs offer this functionality, but Slideshow Studio HD 4.0 comes through for you, in this regard.

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Not only does this software program that has these feature-set, included, but it also introduces the addition of 17 new transition effects, not available in prior versions. If the included transitions and effects that come bundled with the program do not meet all of your needs, post-launch, additional templates will be made available, free of charge from their website. I can attest that having an online depository for specialized templates has been a lifesaver, on several occasions, with other software; I am very looking forward to have this resource for this program available to me and to you, my faithful readers.

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As a faithful user of iOS devices for seven years or so, I need tools and software that allows me to enjoy my media and share it with those in my circle, on these devices. While I have yet to make a mobile-enabled slideshow, with Slideshow Studio HD 4.0, has specialized output settings for these devices, so you have full confidence that your final project will work on these devices, with minimal hassle and problems. For those of you that use Android or other operating systems on your mobile devices, they have output device profiles for those pieces of equipment.

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As you may recall my wife has a home-based art business, and she has branched into tutorials and training videos, in addition to her artwork for sale. She has done videos on Periscope, and uploaded some basic time-elapsed videos of her paintings, but having this tool in her arsenal will allow her to create more polished and professional videos in this vein. I can see that she might very well start laying a narration track over her work, and better explain her creative process to help budding artist reach their potential. I can see that the software’s support of this feature will help her obtain her goal for this purpose.

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Right now, if you purchase this program on the launch day or soon after (which is today, July, 11, 2016), you can have this program for 50% off its regular price of $39.99 USD for a Single-User License. This is a nice savings, and will allow you to become a paying customer for Ashampoo’s products, and might entitle you to future upgrades and discounts on this program, as well as the other members of their product family line. In my opinion, this is well worth the money for such a powerful and versatile program that can be used for personal and professional projects, alike. If you need this program for multi-user environments or for business purposes, you can contact them for a price quote, directly. If you still are not convinced that this is for you, you can use their trial version, and test it out for yourself. As always, keep on techin’!

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AudioLabel 6.0 Review

It has become a twilight era for disc-base media, but such media is still needed for large file-size projects such as the upcoming UHD video (4K Video) and for the foreseeable future, console games will still be available on discs. Be that as it may, identifying and marking such media is vital, and graphic design has only been growing since the mid-1990’s decade. One sector of the marketplace that is still growing is the burgeoning area of personal media creation and disc production. While major O/S’s ship with basic video editing tools, such as Windows DVD Creator, their ability to create nice, clean labels for discs and storage cases is very lacking. You can try and use Windows Paint or a software plugin for the office suite, but the results will be less than stellar or hard to format for the end product. A nice, clean saving grace for this pipeline development problem comes in the form of AudioLabel from CDCoverSoft.

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This excellent software presents itself with a clean, GUI; instantly familiar to anyone who has used any Windows-based program. Once you open the program, you have a screen layout that combines the best of Windows Paint and GIMP. You have text panel on the left side, color swatches and buttons, up top, and an image browser (akin to a slideshow/clip art strip) on the right side of the screen. From here, you can setup your disc, layout the case inserts, and finalize the project. The process is straight forward, easy to use, and very intuitive. It is as easy as that, to do.

When you go to undertake making an insert for your projects, as a custom replacement for a commercial disc, or if you have submitted metadata to the software, AudioLabel has you covered. This great tool can both retrieve a disc’s metadata from the web or by reading the CD-TEXT off of the disc. The creator of a disc could also go the trouble of \having it listed in Internet databases (though there could be added charges and licensing agreements to undertake). Being able to just drop your disc in the optical drive, read the info, and populate your labels can quickly speed up making labels. My regular readers know how I love software to aid me in adding tag data to my files, rather than depending on manual insert. I have been a huge proponent of putting CD-TEXT on any recorded discs since the late 1990’s, and it is nice to know that AudioLabel has my back and yours too!

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I have always used various paper stocks for my printing projects, and my labels are no exception. Whether cost, product availability, texture, and the like, having the flexibility to have a graphic layout program accommodate these variances is a big plus. Baked into this great program are templates for the top major brands of label manufactures, so choosing the right one is at your fingertips, and ready to put into place. Going from an Avery label to a Neato format works, flawlessly, and helps me get done anything, in a quick fashion.

 

While printing on discs is a new phenomena that has come to the forefront of media print technology, spearheaded by HP with its LightScribe technology. New players have come forward since HP hit the scene, including Canon, EPSON, and others, nevertheless, AudioLabel has you covered. Using an inkjet-capable disc, and a supported printer, you can print your layout right on the disc, without needing a separate label or paper. As is noted on their website, using an inkjet-capable disc does cost more; I can attest that the results are far superior to any label that I have used, for durability and longevity. In fact, the results are even crisper, when dealing with grayscale images, which can be accented by being etched on the top surface, such as seen in LightScribe discs that I have burned. Also, they are not susceptible to having a label peel off in one’s optical drive.

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No matter what projects you may have to make discs for, AudioLabel is the easiest way to complete things done. If you are unsure, they have a 15-day limited trial that allows you try out the software, and print some samples. After that time period passes, $29.95 USD will give you the full version that will not have any time or printing restrictions. Check out this software, and you will see that making labels and inserts will not get any easier than this. I hope you love this software, as much as I. Until next time, folks!