After last time I ended up using dir2slideshow to create the basic script.  It worked well except that the documented “-k” command line parameter was missing so I had to put off trying the Ken Burns effects for another day.

To fit the slideshow into a specific time window I adjusted the display rate to 8 seconds per shot (from the default of 5) and left the default 1 second transition time alone.

Compiling the script into a vob file took about 40 minutes for roughly 160 photos.  I’m impressed that the tool was able to scale each photo reasonably well – they were a real mix of sizes to start with.

Once the vob was created testing it with mplayer was a breeze.  All I need to do now is add some audio, put in a few captions and burn it to DVD.


For an upcoming family event my wife scanned several hundred photos with the intent of creating a DVD slideshow to show at a gathering.  Since I haven’t figured out the scanner problem yet she scanned everything on Windows.  Since that is done I’m now taking over on Ubuntu.

I’m tracking the process as I do it.  Perhaps some folks will have suggestions.

I did a little research and discovered dvd-slideshow. Unless I hear a better suggestion I intend to use this to create the slideshow.   Apt-get had no trouble installing dvd-slideshow which is one reason I’m confident this will work.  The first snag is that all of the pictures are in bmp format which is not on the list of supported formats.

I’ve made a copy of all the images (since I don’t want to mess with the originals – this took her many hours) and now need to convert them from bmp to png.  I looked around for a while on Google searching for variants of “mass image file conversion”.  Eventually I started honing in on The GIMP (already installed) but it’s manual did not include any info on mass conversion.

Finally I opened upgThumb Image Viewer and low-and-behold it already handles mass conversion and it supports bmp to png.

I’m going to spend a little time researching the dvd-slideshow script format to figure out if I want to write a shell or ruby script to create the input script or if I want to use one of the existing solutions.  My inner-geek already knows the answer. 🙂

After a few weeks of ignoring the issue I decided to try and get desktop effects working. When I would try to use desktop effects my screen would go blank (solid white). In fact I could not adjust my screen resolution either – it was stuck on 1280×1024 at 61Hz refresh (61?).

I knew I had the integrated Intel 915 graphics which isn’t exactly high-end but it should be enough for basic OpenGL support. I started searching and discovered a few things …

  1. glxinfo would fail on my machine. When I would run it the following would be displayed:
    • X Error of failed request: BadAlloc (insufficient resources for operation)
  2. System -> Hardware Information did detect that the Intel 915/910 graphics controller
  3. dmesg also detected the card

So I started hitting Google and discovered a utility called 915resolution on the Absolute Beginner’s Guide – Following those directions I was able to get into a different resolution.

Still desktop effects would not work though. I needed to tackle the glxinfo problem.

After some more Google time I came across this page on ArchWiki: This page explained how to edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf to support the 915/910 driver (the key is the i810 driver).

While I was in there I noticed that the monitor settings were odd. The monitor ID was a string of gibberish and the refresh rates were all off. I have an HP M70 monitor (which is odd because I’ve never owned and HP computer and I can’t, for the life of me, remember how I came to own this) so I once again went to Google and discovered this page:

Once I made the suggested adjustments and restarted X (ctrl+alt+backspace) I was able to enable desktop effects and enjoy the fun.

I’m going to try running Beryl now.