An Easy Way to Turn Digital Photos into Music Videos
Youth sports require a great deal of time and often money. So what do parents get for their time and dollar investment? If done right, a better kid and some great memories. With the chance of sports scholarships extremely slim ($72 in academic scholarships are available for every $1 in sports scholarships), life lessons and lifetime memories become the priorities in all youth sporting activities. To capture those memories in the "old" days, parents would take pictures of their child and request multiple prints. But, the "new" way is digital. Digital cameras now outsell film cameras and Kodak has announced that they will quit selling film cameras in the United States.An Overview of Plus! Photo Story LE
Digital photos open up many new ways to create, share and present youth sports memories. One of the more interesting is based on Microsoft's Windows XP. It is a free Microsoft product called Plus! Photo Story LE. Photo Story takes a batch of photos, allows you to add voice narration or a music soundtrack and then turns it all into a video which automatically includes panning and zooming to give the video a very professional look. If you have the photos and the music, the whole process can take just a few minutes.
Photo Story is wizard based which means that it asks a series of questions and prompts the user through each step of the process. Users answer the following questions:
- Which pictures?
- What narration do you want?
- What should the story be titled?
- What music should play in the background?
- How long should each picture be displayed?
- Do you want the large or small version (determines video and audio quality)?
When complete, Photo Story generates the video file. Photo Story handles most of the details automatically and often requires little tweaking. Users can also create titles and other graphics using any popular graphic editing program and then easily add these custom titles to the beginning or ending of the video. Photo Story requires Windows XP to create videos and Windows Media Player Version 9 to view them. A microphone is required to add narration.Advanced Version Available
Microsoft also offers an upgraded version of Photo Story in its Plus! Digital Media Edition product. This version of Photo Story adds these features:
- Support for higher quality formats
- A larger number of photos in the video
- Support for Video CDs
- Advanced control over individual photos
- Project saving for later editing
To create Video CDs you will also need a recordable CD-ROM drive. These disks can be played in many of the newer home DVD players. Not all home DVD players support the VCD format, but when it works, this option lets others watch the video without using a computer.Don't Forget the Film (Memory Card)!
Great memories are an important part of the youth sports experience. Photo Story is only one way to present them. When parents focus on building great memories they are less likely to get side tracked from the bigger goal of building better kids. Parents should keep in mind that many things that may seem important during or right after a game will not stand the test of time. A lack of hustle or a bad play won't seem as important five years out. However, a child's enjoyment that comes from being with friends and supportive family can build confidence and esteem that does last throughout a lifetime.