Web-based app PhotoSnack lets you create and share slick slideshows, but brands them all with a watermark unless you pay.
PhotoSnack is an entirely Web-based slideshow creator, no software downloads required. To get started, you simply sign in with your Facebook, Google, or Twitter account or your email address. Like Smilebox, Photosnack offers a free but limited version; it brands your slideshows with a watermark if you’d like to publish them. If you’d like to publish your slideshow without this mark, you have two choices: You can pay $14 per month for a VIP membership or you can buy points, which you purchase as needed to publish slideshows. Points range in price from $1.90 to .86 each, depending on how many you buy. You need six points to remove the watermark and get a code to embed your slideshow elsewhere; buying just six points will cost you $11.40.
While the points micropayment system may sound slightly confusing, it’s actually quite easy once you begin using it. So, too, is creating a slideshow using PhotoSnack. The Web-based app guides you to upload photos, letting you select from those stored on your computer or in various online sites, including Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Instagram, and more.
Once your photos are uploaded, you choose the template for your slideshow. There are fewer than 10 templates available, which is far fewer than Smilebox offers, but Photosnack’s templates are focused on your photos. Smilebox offers templates that are more design-focused—an autumn template features leaves falling in the background and a memorial template features a burning candle, for example, while PhotoSnack’s templates revolve around the way your photos are displayed. The Simple Fade design, for example, fades from one photo to another, while the Photo Slide slides your snapshots along. I like that you can switch between the templates easily, to see how each one looks with your photos, and you can set the background colors, the size of the photos, and the audio track (you can choose one of PhotoSnack’s tunes or upload your own MP3).
The one downside to PhotoSnack’s templates is that only a few of them support autoplay. If the template doesn’t support it, your viewers will have to manually click through your photos in order to see all of them. It would be nice if all of the templates gave the viewer the option, instead.
PhotoSnack offers a nice balance of customizable features and ease of use. It lacks some of the fine-tuned controls that Wondershare’s DVD Slideshow Builder includes, but offers more control than many of Smilebox’s templates allow. And its points-based payment system will appeal to casual users.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor’s site, where you can use this Web-based software.
Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.