A Sappy Apple Story

I attended a cousin’s wedding last week. He asked me if I wouldn’t mind taking candid photos during the wedding. I being the closet photog, starved for scenery other than the sunsets from my front yard was more than happy to oblige him.

So morning of the wedding, I took my job very seriously. I started snapping away. Trying to get all angles, people, emotions and so on (ok, so that translates into angles that I’m not sure what I was shooting, eyes half open, food being chewed, etc, etc) I ended up with about 400 pictures by mid day.

Being the respectable geek I am, I ran back to my hotel room (a couple blocks away) and downloaded my pictures to my powerbook. That took a while… But when it was through, I was proud to have captured some truly perfect moments. They say that if you can print one shot from a roll (‘they’ must be old, ie, pre digital!) then you’re doing good. Well, I counted about 40 that I wouldn’t mind spending some ink and paper on. I guess I did pretty good.

But not knowing just what they’d want, I kept them all and left it to them to sort out. So by this point I’m sure you’re going – “I thought I was reading The Apple Blog feed…” Yeah, I’m getting to that. You’re in the right place.

So OS X being the awesome platform it is, I quickly made up a slideshow (45 minutes long!) and exported it (that took some time…). Then I imported the slideshow movie file into iDVD, added the actual picture files to the DVD (though not accessible from the DVD menu) and set it burning. I made a number of copies, as I’d already been getting requests from family members for some of the shots I was taking. But I made sure to get copies made for the Bride & Groom, and each of their families.

Everyone oohed and ahhed at the DVD. They declared it better than what they expected from the paid photographer. They kept saying how much they owed me for the great work/gift I provided all of them. Being the humble – and honest – person that I am, I deferred all praise to the computer. “I really didn’t spend any time at all on it. It was easy.” And it was. Apple made it possible for me to click a few buttons, let the machine run, and waa-laa, a memorable masterpiece was created. Zero effort from me necessary. The Uncle/Father of the Groom, who’s very much a geek himself, said he’d never know how to get Windows to do that for him, let alone as elegantly.

And that my friends is the point (as my 3 year old has taken to declaring lately). You see, Apple just enables the fun things in life as if they were nothing at all. Because this stuff shouldn’t require a lot of time and effort for a fun and simple reminder of the good times. Thanks Apple. (and you probably got a couple new customers from this awesome demo as well)

Ok, sappy enough? I feel like I’m on one of those Switcher stories from a couple years ago. But seriously, This stuff doesn’t suck. It’s so fun to use, and even better to see the reactions that come from the effortless results. Try it. And if you’ve already done so, share your stories.

A couple technical things as a side note:
iDVD will do everything I mentioned above, in one step (ie, make the slideshow, import the picture files, etc) but there’s a catch. The catch being that it will only create slideshows with a maximum of 99 pictures at a time. So there would have been 5 slideshows on the disc. That’s all well and good, but while I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this impromptu project, I wanted it to flow as one movie. Hence, my iPhoto slideshow creation and export.
And because I imported a standalone slideshow movie, I had to add the picture files separately to the DVD. But you don’t want all the files as individual buttons on the DVD menu, you (or at least I) just want them available when the Disc is popped into a computer. To do this with iDVD, go to the Advanced menu, and choose Edit DVD-ROM Contents. This lets you add whatever files you want to your DVD, for use in a computer. Hopefully that tip will be handy for a few of you.

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