6 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2010 8:50 AM by the_wine_snob

    Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?

    Kristoff P

      I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum, but maybe someone can offer a bit of assistance as I am not sure exactly what type of program I need for this task.


      Right now, I'm using Windows Movie Maker, and here is the problem:



      I'm trying to make a simple slideshow, where photos change precisely at a specific section of music or lyric within that music, so that the photo appears perfectly in sync with that section of music or at that specific lyric, major problems.


      I spent 3 hours aligning a ton of photos to the music, it seemed to play perfectly in sync every time I aligned them...until I started the entire project from the beginning...then all pictures were suddenly *slightly* out of sync, they came in a bit earlier then where I had originally aligned them.


      What I discovered, was that every time I want to align a photo with a specific sectin of music or lyric (in Windows movie maker) I HAVE TO start the entire project from the beginning and align 1 picture at a time, then go back play it and see if it's in sync, then do the next picture.


      In other words, I can't stop at a section of the project and align the pictures, then go back just a little ways and re-align if it's not right.  Every time I want to do a specific instance of aligning (syncing) a picture to a specific point in the song, I have to start FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SONG and let it play through.


      In other words, when I stop the song/picture slideshow in the middle of the timeline and then restart it, what I'm seeing/hearing is NOT actually CORRECT in terms of how the program has synced the two, the music becomes slightly off with the pictures but it seems like you're aligning them perfectly, when in actuality once you start from the begining, it's off.


      It's rediculously time consuming to keep playing it from the beginning, then trying to sync the picture with the audio, then playing from the beginning to make sure it is in sync, and if not repeating this process.  I can't stop in the middle and do adjustments then play from right before that adjustment or I'm not hearing/seeing how it's actually going to sound.



      Does anyone know of any program which I can make continuous adjustments to the placement of photos in the music timeline, and have it remain in sync without having to start from the beginning of the song and play through for each individual alignment to be precise?



      thank you so much for any help in this regard.

        • 1. Re: Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?
          Kristoff P Level 1

          Not sure if I made myself clear, with windows movie maker, to align a photo to audio I have to:


          1. play timeline from the beginning, stop and align photo.


          2. restart timeline from the beginning and wait until it gets to that photo to see if it is in sync.


          3. if it's not in sync, I have to re-adjust, and again, start from the beginning of the timeline and let it play through to see if is in sync.


          4. once a picture is in sync and I want to move on to align the next picture, I have to play the timeline from the beginning until it gets to that picture then adjust that picture to sync to the audio (hopefully, because it's a guessing game), then once again start the timeline from the beginning to see if that picture is aligned.



          Once I stop playing through the timeline, and then align a picture, I Cannot simply back-up a couple of seconds and re-play to see if it is aligned properly, because the program will not give me an accurate representation of where things are aligned unless the timeline is stopped and restarted from the beginning.


          As you can tell, this is to say the least: extremely time consuming and the type of process that begins to make one feel as though they are losing the will to live.


          PLease, any help would be deeply appreciated, is there any program that I can stop in the middle of the timeline (when syncing photos to audio) and then restart at the point at which I stopped it and have what I hear from that point be accurate in terms of where things are actually aligned?


          thank you so much.

          • 2. Re: Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            With any Video NLE (Non Linear Editor), you can only get as accurate as 1/25th (PAL), or 1.30th (NTSC) of a second, as that is the FPS (Frame Rate). The human eye is not capable of picking up the differences between FPS and Audio Units. Depending on many environmental variables, the human ear, even with an Audio Sample Rate of 48KHz, by the time that the Audio reaches the ear and is processed by the brain, one is on to the next Frame. You cannot have fractions of a Frame. That is is as far down as one can edit Video.


            Now, to hit the points, you can use the * key on the numerical keypad w/ NumLock ON, to tap with the beats and place Markers on the Timeline. One can move these, if required. The cuts (Duration of the stills) can be placed precisely on these.


            That is as good as it gets with Video, but for a human, that is perfect.


            Hope this helps,



            • 3. Re: Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?
              Kristoff P Level 1

              thanks for the reply.


              hmmm, not quite sure I understand...but the fractions of a difference aren't what I'm referring to, my pictures are approximately 1 full second out of sync unless I perform the ridiculous procedure described above. (having to start from the beginning of the timeline to tell whether it's really in sync after any 1 instance of moving a picture).


              What program are you referring to?  WMM or Premier elements?  What is a non-linear editor?


              Is there any program where I can just go through the timeline manually and align the pictures 1 by 1 to the audio, and have them sync as I aligned them to the audio without restarting the timeline from the beginning before and after syncing each picture?  (which is what I have to do with Windows Movie Maker).


              thanks for any help

              • 4. Re: Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                NLE = Non Linear Editor, a program for doing non-linear video editing.


                For me, I'd use PrE and set my markers to the desired beats first. Then, just drag my stills to the Timeline, in the order that I want (first, I'd set an approximate Duration for stills in Edit>Preferences, prior to Import), and then just drag the Duration (the Tail in this case) to match up to the next Marker, repeat.


                I have never used WMM for any editing, so cannot comment.


                Some considerations: Photoshop Elements has some automation for creating SlideShows, that can then be brought into PrE for editing with video, the addition of Titles, etc. Besides that, ProShow Gold and their Producer are pure SlideShow programs (but have very limited video editing), and I believe that Producer has a feature to match slides to the beats of the music. Might be worth a look. This would certainly automate the timing of the slides.


                Good luck,



                • 5. Re: Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?
                  Kristoff P Level 1

                  thanks Hunt!


                  Hey, are these all adobe programs that you have mentioned?  there's so many and I'm confused on what their different functionalities are, I went to the product pages but it's just short videos that lead to more confusion.


                  How many different types of adobe Premier are there?  is it just Premier Elements and Premier Pro and what is the main difference?


                  thanks again, my computer is slow so the videos also play choppy, looking for some text, thanks again!

                  • 6. Re: Program for precisely syncing Photos to music ?
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    The ProShow group of programs are not. They can be found at the Photodex Site.


                    Photoshop Elements is an Adobe program, like the big-brother, Photoshop, but it has a SlideShow feature, that big-brother lacks.


                    Yes, there are two versions of Premiere, PrPro and PrElements. The main differences are that PrPro is directed to professional video editors, or very serious hobbyists. These programs differ by about US$600 in price. PrPro offers many, many more features, plus is bundled with other programs, like Adobe Encore, a DVD/BD authoring program. Everything in PrPro is manual, though there is much greater power. PrE makes things easier, but without that extreme power. Personally, I like PrPro better, but then I want 100% control, even if I have to do things manually. There are several threads, both here and on the PrPro fora, that compare the two programs, as this question comes up often. I have not seen any that compare the very latest versions of the two programs, PrE 8 and PrPro CS5, but even a comparison of older versions will give you a good idea of the differences.


                    Good luck,