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I'm in the same boat.
One post suggested going a google search on "flash xml slide show".
Yea, I guess there are a lot of products out there from for free to hundreds of dollars.
As far as doing one from scratch... I haven't found a good tutorial.
Let me know if you find one.
Very few things worth doing in life are completely simple and easy. You would be amazed at how many folks come to Flash and expect to be able to do some incredibly complex and fully developed application within a few tutorials. Really not going to happen!
Almost nothing in creating a Flash XML Slide Show is all that difficult – if you approach it one small problem at a time. But if you try and make the whole thing in one pass it certainly will be daunting.
I don't know what tutorial you are using so it is difficult to advise on that front. But often the "something I am not in the least interested in doing right now" part either means you are doing the wrong tutorial or you are far to impatient and should slow down your expectations a bit. Maybe.
For the OP, are you trying to make a timeline based slideshow where the images are all imported to the stage and then revealed with some animations or perhaps even with a click of a forward/back button? Or are you trying to make an actionscript based type of interactive extensible slide show. Your answer will very much affect how we could possibly help here.
For jim boles. Same thing. None of a Flash XML slide show is all that hard – but it is really difficult to remember that you were out to drain the swamp when you are up to your (ahemmmm) in alligators! The forum shows this is your first post. So first, something like that would likely get more help in the Actionscript forum. Then additionally I would think you should have a history of "How do I use the MovieClipLoader to load external Images" and "How do create a nice XML transfer" and "onEnterFrame vs. setInterval: what is your favorite way to fade a clip?" You should tackle each of these little problems before you try and combine them all together.
There is a reason that a lot of folks charge for such things. It is an investment in time, learning, and development to make such a thing.