Soundslides Meets Mildred Pierce

I had been looking for an easy way to put a slideshow on the home page of the store without too much work and a while back used Soundslides, but when I switched computers and domains, I lost my registration key, and so somewhere in the middle of the night I dropped a line to Soundslides telling them of the problem and when I awoke in the morning, there was my registration key in the inbox.

Here’s the current slide show on home page which, together with export preset in Lightroom, took less than five minutes to do.

Hooray for small software places where you know there’s one guy behind it all.

Hooray for not having to go through phone menus.

Hooray for Soundslides (I have the plus version)

I tried to do something equally simple with Adobe Premiere using one of their themes.  First rendering gave me an “out of memory” error.  Okay, I closed it.  Opened again.  Second time the thing completed and I found to my surprise when I started to load it to my site that I had a 1 TB file.  Uhm.  Obviously an issue with the user since I must’ve made something for super high definition t.v.

BTW, I have a movie editing background somewhere, and used Premiere back when it was Version 3.  This was version 7.

But okay, I found the SHARE tab (why they need a separate tab to make smaller movies I don’t know) but eventually got it together to do a small movie.  This one turned out to be only 4 MB.  Did it create the page I needed to display it on the web?  No.  For that I inserted the flash object into a page in Dreamweaver.

When I uploaded it to my site, did it run?  No.  What did I do wrong – since I don’t know Flash from Poof.

Click on Premiere Help and it takes me to what looks like a sales page, or a forum, or something but eventually I see that I’m over my head.  Could it be something to do with my self-hosted WordPress site?  Maybe some redirection directive is wrong?

Hmmm… did it run on my local machine.  That was the confusing part.  It seemed that sometimes the Premiere Movie ran – and sometimes the same exact movie didn’t run.

Maybe it has something to do with file permissions.  So I set all the permissions to 755 (don’t worry if you don’t know what that is).  But the Premiere Flash Movie loads but doesn’t show any images.


Of course – Premiere is way more complicated than Soundslides.  But given that it’s not the pro edition – they could’ve made the interface easier.  Yes, they have INSTANT SLIDESHOW templates – but not so simple to edit.  I couldn’t find anything that was just hey here’s the global transitions to use between all images; just lay them all out to be 1 minute.  Etc.  Could be there, but I didn’t see it.

Well, soon it was morning.  I uploaded the Soundslides show to my website and sure enough IT DIDN’T RUN EITHER.  The images didn’t show up.  So I go to the SOUNDSLIDES support area and voila – right at the top is a note about making sure that you haven’t prevented hotlinking your images.  Sure enough, a while back I remembered setting that on the site.  So I turn it off and VOILA everything, including the Premiere movies run.

Anyhow — I thank that little Soundslides for not only being simple to use, but for constantly improving.  The new features added since the last time I used it are great.

And now that it’s up and running – one more thing to do, and that’s make the captions into links to the image pages on the site.

So Hooray for good little companies making software, and here’s hoping they’re not bought out by the big fish (which always ruins them).  Though I hope the author is already rich beyond his wildest dreams.


My home page with Soundslides show.

And you know where to find Adobe Premiere 7.   (Okay, I love Lightroom, but I’m not giving Premiere any extra traffic right now).

P.S. Don’t adjust your sets – or your volume knob.  There is no music with the show.  I just wanted a sort of sampler to attract some attention on the home page – not any sort of artistic creation.  I think the ability to do your show without an audio track in Soundslides is only in the plus version – though I suppose you could always use an empty mp3 file to get around this with the basic version.  But really – price for this stuff is just so cheap that if it is important to your business – why try and save $20.

P.S.S. I want to fool around with sticking a Soundslides Show into this very blog which is hosted at – and that means that you need to use the WordPress Video Viewer (which I don’t care for) and that you can’t put your object code directly into the post ’cause it will be stripped out.  HOWEVER, I came across a WordPress Plugin that looks like you just need to host the swf somewhere else (my website) and then stick one line of quick code into the post to embed the original show.  I’m going to fool around with the plugin after dinner.


(WARNING! Don’t read this if you are going to read Mildred Pierce (the novel) and don’t want to know what happens.)

Tomorrow, for the first time it’s going to be warm in New York.  And Sunday – even warmer.  I expect to actually go out and lie in the sun (with camera, and ebook reader).  I continue to enjoy that SONY device tremendously.  Lately I’ve been just downloading the novels that a lot of my favorite film noir movies (Mildred Pierce, Postman Rings Twice) were based on – and am shocked to discover how different the James Cain books are from the film.  I could do an entire post on that.  Suffice to say – that much to my surprise – NO ONE – is murdered  in the novel Mildred Pierce.  That’s right – Monty isn’t killed in the book.  Can you believe that.

Veda is still the evil one – but she goes off at the end to live almost happily ever after.

And Mildred sleeps with Wally – first thing after the break-up with Bert!  Shocking.

And there is no stereotyped black servant in the book!  “Oh, Mrs. Pierce, I don’t know how you do it.”  Yes, the line is spoken, but not by a Hollywood black character of the 40s.

And the whole book takes place during the depression.  Really – never alluded to in the movie – but important because that’s how Bert lost all his money that Mildred married him for.

And the relationship between Monty and Mildred is hot!  Yes – they both know it’s a purely sexual relationship.  Shocking, and barely anything of that in the 40’s film.

And Mildred actually tries to strangle a stark naked Veda at the end!

Egads – what a hot twisted set of relationships.

As great as the original movie is — what a great modern remake you could make with that material.  Who’s the modern Joan Crawford.  She needs to be able to go from hot and sexy to frumpy.  Yes – Mildred is actually fat by the end of the book!


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

2 thoughts on “Soundslides Meets Mildred Pierce”

  1. Brent – you recommended it to me at least a year ago which was when I first played with it a little. For my purposes – it is perfect. Thanks!

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