Photos on CD & DVD 2.0 Deluxe

Sharing your photographs whether they are digital or from a 35mm camera is one of the main reasons that we all take pictures - capturing the moment for future reference. It seems strange then that for most of us who take digital images on their latest digital cameras those images are then left to gather dust within the partitions of your hard drive. FastTrak, like others, hope to change this approach with Photos on CD & DVD 2.0 - A program that allows you to burn interactive slideshows all at the press of a couple of clicks of your mouse.

The software is controlled from a single window that hovers uncomfortably on your desktop. With its styled blue and sliver panels, you are presented with a preview screen, load screen and then timeline at the bottom. Although sounding strange, this actually works quite well, giving you easy access to everything quickly and easily, yet still having control of everything else running on your desktop at the same time.

Images can be selected and previewed before opening and whether it's a memory card still in your digital camera or a CD-Rom of images that you've burnt in the past, images can be easily loaded by simply double clicking on them. Once this is done they are added to the slideshows timeline and all that is left to do is select which order you care for them to be in, add a soundtrack and burn the whole project to disc.

The timeline - the main crux of the software - allows you to arrange your images in the correct order, choose transition effects between slides and perform basic image editing to make your pictures slightly more presentable. The effects themselves aren't the best thing in the world, but will appeal to not only the beginner, but fans of the kaleidoscopes and flying circles so popular in Top of The Pops.

Once you’ve tarted up your shots, chosen the transitions, its time to put on a soundtrack to your slideshow masterpiece and any music file that you've already got stored can be imported into the program. Better still because the software is based around the use of timelines you can instrument your slides to change in tune with the music.

All that is left from here is to burn the slideshow to disc. Here you can choose menu styles from basic to a Matrix-inspired menu system although all are pretty cheese ball. Once this is chosen it is simply a case of pressing the burn button and that's it your done. The software supports DVD, Mini DVD, Video CD and Super Video CD

Verdict

Overall this is a very simple program to use, allowing you to transfer files quickly to a CD or DVD to share with others. It isn't as all encompassing as Roxio's CD and DVD Creator 6 and for only £10 less you would expect more than the software offers. This deluxe version comes with more images and audio files to spruce up your slideshows but with the ability to import any file that you want, you have to beg the question of what the extra library footage actually offers.