dvd-slideshow

For a while now, I have been attempting to use the various popular video editing applications to create basic photo slideshows with music. However, I have recently discovered a tool called dvd-slideshow. This blog post is designed to serve mainly as a reminder and reference for myself by documenting what I did, but I hope that other people will also find it useful.

dvd-slideshow is available in the repositories, and you can install it with:

sudo apt-get install dvd-slideshow

First, you will want to use dir2slideshow (installed with dvd-slideshow) to add all of your photos to a txt file. The syntax for this command looks like this:

dir2slideshow -n 'My Slideshow' -t 3 -c 1 /home/me/Pictures

This will create a basic slideshow called ‘My Slideshow’ that contains all of the images in the /home/me/Pictures directory. Each image will be displayed for 3 seconds, and there will be a 1 second crossfade between pictures.

Adding music to the slideshow is simple. For my slideshows, I like to have a playlist of music playing in the background for the duration of the show. I don’t really care when they start and end, I just want them to play one after the other.

To do this, I added a few lines at the top of my txt file before any of my pictures.

/home/me/Music/song1.mp3:1:fadein:1:fadeout:1
/home/me/Music/song2.mp3:1:fadein:1:fadeout:1
/home/me/Music/song3.mp3:1:fadein:1:fadeout:1

This will cause song1.mp3, song2.mp3, and song3.mp3 to play in that order. The ’1′ in the middle refers to audio track 1 (there are two audio tracks in case you want to include narrations on top of the music). I then have quick fadein/fadeout effects that each last 1 second.

I found that the volume levels of my audio files were quite different. To fix this, I installed mp3gain from the repositories and ran it with the -r option against all of my audio files.

When I created my first slideshow, I found that some of my pictures were rotated sideways even though they appeared correctly on my computer. To fix this, I modified my txt file to instruct dvd-slideshow to rotate the troublesome pictures:

/home/me/Pictures/badrotation.png:3::rotate:270

That will cause badrotation.png to be rotated 270 degrees clockwise. The ‘::’ is because I left the optional subtitle parameter blank. You can include some text between the colons if you want a subtitle to be displayed with the image.

Once you have your txt file prepared the way you want, you need to create your video file.

dvd-slideshow -n 'My Slideshow' -f 'My Slideshow.txt'

This will take your txt file and create a vob file called ‘My Slideshow.vob’. This vob file can be played in most Ubuntu media players, giving you the chance to preview your work.

At this point, I chose to use DeVeDe to create my menu and disc structure rather than the dvd-menu utility. My main reason for this was that I had used DeVeDe before and it worked quite well. I also did not want to have to convert the other video files that were being included on the disk to mpeg2. DeVeDe allowed me to create a title and simply specify the path to my .vob file.

You may have noticed that I mentioned that DeVeDe was being used to create my disc structure rather than an iso. The reason for this was that I wanted to create a DVD that people could play in a standard DVD player, but I also wanted to allow them to save copies of the pictures that were in the slideshow to their computer. DeVeDe created AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders. I simply dragged and dropped these folders to my DVD in nautilus. I then dragged and dropped my picture folder to the disc. After hitting the write button, I was left with a hybrid video and data dvd.

If you think you might be interested in using dvd-slideshow for your own project, I suggest that you check out their website. They have lots of great documentation and example files to help you get started.

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5 Responses to dvd-slideshow

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and
    extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of
    it!

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  3. Rafael Remy says:

    hi, for the rotation “problem” here the cause and the solution:
    when u use a cam and u hold it 90° degree, the picture is made landscape, with a special information in the jpeg-tag that its 90°.
    dvd-slideshow doesn’t look at this information, so what we have to do i to really rotate them in the right order.
    this is possible by a simple stack-command, which reads out the information out of the tag an turn your picture really.

    its
    jhead -autorot *.jpg

    u’ll find this prog ins the main – sources. run it and after that make the dvd-slideshow process.

    have fun :-)

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