Tech & society

Tutorial: Using SoundSlides

Soundslides, created by former photojournalist Joe Weiss in 2005, makes it easy for journalists to produce slide shows, with or without audio.

Unlike many applications created today that live in the “cloud,” Soundslides is a traditional desktop application; you download it from There are two versions: basic ($39.95) and “plus” ($69.95) and both are available for Macs or PCs (May 2009). You can try-before-you-buy with a fully working demo. Mac folks can also buy a plug-in to export the slideshow as a Quicktime movie  for $19.95.

Note for UW Communication students: A licensed version of Soundslides Plus is on all the computers in CMU302.

Prepare Your Audio
The length of your audio determines how many images you will need in your slideshow. The rule-of-thumb is 3-7 seconds of audio per image, with 3 seconds being “quick” and 7 seconds being “slow.” The tempo should reflect the type of story!

Example: 60 seconds of audio = 8-20 images

Your audio must be an MP3 file. You cannot edit your audio in Soundslides, although you can import a revised audio track if you determine your sound file is too long or too short.

Prepare Your Images

  1. Select the images you want to use in your slideshow.
  2. Make any necessary color corrections or adjustments (e.g., contrast).
  3. Crop the images.
  4. If your images are RAW, convert to JPG (highest quality possible).
  5. Put these images into their own folder.

Follow the steps in this PDF handout. Once you are satisfied with your show, click the “export” button! Soundslides will create a “publish_to_web” folder with all necessary files.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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