iLife ’11: Choosing Themes and Music for an iPhoto Slideshow - dummies

iLife ’11: Choosing Themes and Music for an iPhoto Slideshow

By Tony Bove

Choosing the right theme and music for your iPhoto slideshow sets the tone for your creation. In iPhoto, the first time you click the Slideshow tool to play an iLife slideshow of an album or a selection of pictures that hasn’t yet been played, the Themes, Music, and Settings browser appears. Click the Themes tab for the Themes pane. In the Themes pane, click a theme for the slideshow, such as Snapshots or Sliding Panels.


While playing a slideshow, you can click the Slides icon in the playback control panel open the Themes pane and choose a different theme, or the Music icon to open the Music pane and choose music.

Apple also thoughtfully provides nice music to go along with your slideshows. Music makes a slideshow come alive, by turning ordinary (and extraordinary) photos into something that resembles parts of a Ken Burns documentary. (Okay, so maybe your family vacation doesn’t rank up there, no matter what you may think.)

Click the Music tab in the Themes, Music, and Settings browser for the Music pane. At the top is the Play Music During Slideshow option, which you can turn off by clicking to remove the check mark, or leave on. Under that is the Source pop-up menu, which lets you choose the source of your music.


The list under the Source pop-up menu changes, depending on the choice you make in the Source pop-up menu:

  • Sample Music displays music provided by Apple.

  • Theme Music displays popular music licensed by Apple to go with the themes.

  • GarageBand displays your own creations in GarageBand.

  • iTunes displays your entire iTunes library.

  • iTunes Playlists displays playlists by name, including Genius and Purchased playlists and smart playlists.

  • A playlist in your iTunes library displays the songs in the playlist.

You can also search for songs in your iTunes library by first selecting iTunes from the Source pop-up menu, clicking inside the Search field underneath the list, and then typing a word or part of a word. iPhoto begins searching immediately for artists, song titles, and albums in your iTunes library that match.

To listen to a song first, click the song in the list and then click the CD-style Play button to the left of the Search field; click the button again to stop.

To use the song for the slideshow, select it in the list and click Play in the lower right corner of the Music pane. The song repeats for the duration of the slideshow.

To use a playlist, select the playlist in the list and click Play in the lower right corner of the Music pane. The playlist starts with the first song and continues to the end of the playlist before starting over.

The Custom Playlist for Slideshow option lets you create a playlist on the fly, just for this slideshow. Click the option and a box appears below it. You can then drag songs from the list above into the box to create the custom playlist. You can even drag the tracks up and down in the custom playlist box to rearrange them.

To play the slideshow after choosing a theme and music, click Play in the lower right corner of the Themes or Music pane. iPhoto saves the slideshow settings for the photo album or selected pictures.