How to Create a Photo Slideshow with Music

By Kathryn Hatter

Photo slide shows are an enjoyable way to pay tribute to someone or to exhibit special photographs. You can make a slide show even more interesting by adding music to go with the photographs. Windows Movie Maker software is included with most PCs and is perfect for creating a slide show. Mac users can easily make a slide show with the iPhoto program that comes preinstalled on Mac computers.

Things You'll Need

  • PC with Windows Movie Maker or
  • Macintosh with iPhoto
  • Digital Photographs
  • Digital Music

Make a Slideshow with Microsoft Windows

Step 1

Open Windows Movie Maker. Under the "File" tab, select "New Project." Under "Tasks" on the left side of the work area, there is an "Import" heading. Click on the "Pictures" option. Find the location of the pictures on your computer, select them and import them into the work area of Windows Movie Maker. Continue selecting pictures and importing them until you have all the pictures desired for the slide show.

Step 2

Begin dragging pictures from the work area down to the Timeline area immediately under the work area that is labeled "Video." Drag the photos in whatever order you desire. Add all the photos you want to use to the Timeline area.

Step 3

Insert transitions between the photos if desired. Under the "Edit" heading on the left side of the work area, find the "Transitions" option and click it. A wide variety of transitions will appear in the work area. Choose a transition you like and drag it to the border between two photographs to insert it at that location. Add a transition of your choice between each photo in the same fashion, if desired.

Step 4

Click on the "Audio or Music" option under the "Import" heading on the left side of the work area. Find the location of the music on your computer that you wish to add. The music file will appear in the work area. Drag the music file from the work area to the "Audio/Music" area immediately under the Timeline area.

Step 5

Adjust the length of the slide show as needed to match the music by clicking on any of the photos in the Timeline area under the work area. Once you've clicked on a photo, a solid black line will appear around it. Pull on the line to make the photo last for a longer or shorter time in the slide show. Do this with as many photos as desired to make the photo part of the slide show match the music part of the slide show. You will know the photos are the same length as the music when both portions of the slide show match in the Timeline.

Step 6

Find the preview window on the right side of the work area. Click on the play button (the triangle under the preview window) to play the slide show. Preview the slide show to see whether it is to your liking. Make any desired adjustments.

Step 7

Click the "Publish Movie" tab at the top when you are satisfied with the slide show. Select the location you would like to publish your slide show (your PC, DVD, email) and click "next." Name the movie and select where you wish to save it. Choose the quality of the slide show for saving and then click "Publish." The software will begin the process of publishing the movie, and you will be given the option of viewing it when you click the "Finish" button.

Make a Slideshow with Macintosh iPhoto

Step 1

Open iPhoto. Select "File" and choose "New Album." Name your new album. Add photos by dragging them from the "Photos Library" to the new album. You also can add photos to the new album by locating them on your computer and dragging them to the Photo Library.

Step 2

Select "My Movie" and begin adding the photos in the order desired. After you've added all the photos, select them all and click "Slideshow" on the toolbar at the bottom of the work area. The slide show will be created and will be located under "Slideshows" on the left side of the work area.

Step 3

Add any special effects desired by choosing them from the toolbar. Transitions can be added between photos by clicking the "Transitions" button on the toolbar. You can control the length of the photos and transitions by clicking the "Settings" button on the toolbar.

Step 4

Select the "Music" button on the toolbar to add music. Locate the music you desire and import it to the slide show. Click the "Preview" button to watch the slide show to make sure the music and photos are synchronized to your liking.

Step 5

Open the "File" menu and choose "Export." Select either a large, medium, or small slide show file and export the slide show.