Mac Software Review: FotoMagico 2.1 Pro

FotoMagico review
Mac software review

FotoMagico is a Mac-only application from Boinx Software. Similar to Photo to Movie 4, which we introduced 4 weeks ago, FotoMagico lets you create QuickTime-based slideshows with the Ken Burns Effect. There are two versions. FotoMagico Express is a cheaper solution to creating slideshows. Some of the functions are restricted in this version. FotoMagico Pro is the full version, which gives you extra functions such as access to Aperture Library, standalone player export and customized export settings.

Just like Photo to Movie 4, FotoMagico is very easy to use. It’s actually easier than Photo to Movie. You can drag and drop a group of image files to the media track at the bottom of the screen. If you click on ‘Images’ in the middle of the window, you will have access to iPhoto Library. At the top of the screen, you have two display windows. The left display window shows the beginning slide, the right display window the end slide. You can pan, zoom in & out and rotate an image to create Kens Burns movements.

FotoMagico Pro is an excellent solution to making slideshows and exporting them to iDVD, iPhoto, AppleTV and GarageBand. You can even create standalone slideshow and screensaver files. When you work on a slideshow project, select Continue > At Mouse Click under Slide. After finished, choose Create Player under File. And FotoMagico will create a standalone slideshow launcher. If you double-click on the file, a slideshow will start at the full screen without a special application. If you have applied ‘At Mouse Click’ to a slide, the slideshow will stop and won’t resume until you click on the screen.

FotoMagico review
Screenshot 01
FotoMagico review
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FotoMagico review
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There are a couple of improvements we wish that Boinx Software will make to FotoMagico in the future. One is easy-in & easy-out. FotoMagico lets you apply easy-in and easy-out transitions to slides and titles. You can move the white marker to adjust the length. (See Screenshot 01.) But there is no measurement (time or frame), which makes it difficult for one to decide where to set easy-in or easy-out. Another possible improvement is title insertion. FotoMagico lets you insert only one title layer to each slide. It will be nice if one can insert multiple titles to each photo.

FotoMagico review
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FotoMagico review
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FotoMagico review
Screenshot 06

Well, we really like FotoMagico. We eventually tried to export a project to QuickTime. That’s when trouble started. I chose Export under File and then selected QuickTime Movie under Format. (See Screenshot 07.) After customizing export settings, I pressed the Export button. Then I got a warning message titled “Export Failed.” (See Screenshot 08.) When I pressed ‘Okay,” FotoMagico crashed. Oh, gosh… I didn’t save the project. So I lost entire 10 minutes of work.

FotoMagico review
Screenshot 07
FotoMagico review
Screenshot 08
FotoMagico review
Screenshot 09

There is something odd about FotoMagico’s export function. I tried to compress video with H.264. The resolution is 800 x 600 pixels. The frame rate is 24, and the key frame rate is set to 300. And the slideshow duration is only 37 seconds. By the way, quality (quantizer) is set to 75%. Then FotoMagico says the estimated file size is 121.9 MB. (See Screenshot 09.) Hmm… That’s 10 times bigger than I had in my mind.

FotoMagico review
Screenshot 10
FotoMagico review
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There’s another aspect of FotoMagico that we strongly advise the developer to fix. If you change the file name and/or the location of a standalone slideshow file, this standalone application will become dysfunctional. If you change the file name and double-click on the file, you will get a message titled “Missing Media Files.” Don’t press the Play button. Or you will enter a bad loop, which you can escape yourself from only with Force Quit. Furthermore, FotoMago Player (standalone slideshow application) won’t quit easily. Actually, I’ve found an easy way of quitting it. Just choose Open under File. (See Screenshot 10.)

  • Developer: Boinx Software (
  • Latest version: FotoMagico review 2.1
  • Prices: US$129
  • MacHouse recommendation: If you want to enforce your own customized export settings, you have to pay extra $80 to purchase the Pro version over Express. But this export function doesn’t work properly. FotoMagico won’t get MacHouse’s ‘But-It!’ recommendation until they fix this problem. In other words, don’t waste your money for the Pro version. Buy FotoMagico Express instead.

    Click on the button to play QuickTime slideshow Sample 1. VTC
    Click on the button to play QuickTime slideshow Sample 2. VTC

    FotoMagico Pro is a product of Boinx Software.

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    One Response to Mac Software Review: FotoMagico 2.1 Pro

    1. Brian F Harris says:

      It seems we have to use a work-a-round to get an animated in-out sequence to hold for a while,do the animation and then hold at the end I have found I can copy the timeline photo to use as the ‘hold’ at the animation but,as I only purchased the Pro vers yesterday,have yet to figure out to hold the end photo at sequence finish..(I have no trouble doing this in my Photo to Movie vers)

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