Slideshow Quality in Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011

Almost a year ago, in July 2010, I blogged about something that I had noticed in the beta of Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011: the quality of the slideshows it displayed was noticeably poorer than in the previous version.

It turned out that WLPG 2011 uses Windows Live Movie Maker to display slideshows, and this was what was causing the poorer quality. This was unchanged in the final release of WLPG 2011. Because of this poor quality, when I wanted to display a slideshow on my PC, I used the slideshow function in Windows Explorer. It doesn’t have any fancy transitions, but it displayed the images at a far higher quality than WLPG/WLMM 2011.

And there the matter has stood, until now. Yesterday, I received an email from someone with the nickname tuxplorer, describing a simple change in the Windows Registry that will stop WLPG 2011 from using WLMM to display slideshows, and use its own built-in slideshow capability (that has been left in there from the previous version!).

All you have to do is use Regedit to go in the registry to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Photo Gallery and change the value of the “AutoMoviePlayerSlideshow” value to 0.

That stops WLPG 2011 from using Windows Live Movie Maker, and makes it use its own slideshow capability. That slideshow engine has a number of transition effects, but if you choose the “Classic” theme, then you will get the same high-quality slideshows as in Windows Explorer.

Hat-tip to tuxplorer!

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
This entry was posted in Computers and Internet, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Slideshow Quality in Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011

  1. madscientist says:

    OH thank god for that! This has been a problem since the very beginning of Windows Live Photo Gallery where it resamples pictures, even if the WinSAT score / system score is good enough.
    Very strange.

  2. madscientist says:

    *Though they STILL haven’t sorted out colour management with this program! Sure, the photos viewed normally are colour managed, but as soon as you open them in the slideshow, boom, profiles get thrown out the window and you end up with over-saturated hideousness (depending on monitor, naturally).

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      That’s a good point. I don’t know of a fix for this, or even if it’s possible to correct it. My suspicion is that it’s not. Despite all the noises from the WLPG team that they want to do right by photographers, the evidence is that they mean people who use their smartphones to take snaps at drunken parties.

      • madscientist says:

        Yes exactly! I guess they do expect semi-pro and above to be using pro-tools, but to be honest I still prefer the organisation of WLPG and the things it offers like face tagging, plus just for viewing slideshows etc I don’t want to bother loading up anything else, but looks like I will have to! Sucks to want to achieve more!

        • Geoff Coupe says:

          There was a time – back in 2008 – when Microsoft were actively courting the pro photographer market. They had a whole series of web pages with articles aimed at the pro and enthusiastic amateur photographer. And while they were pushing their Expression 2 product (since dropped), they also covered their consumer tools. Alas, these pages have all been pulled.

  3. John says:

    Thanks for this. There’s one issue that still annoys me – you can’t display the captions that many of us have laboriously entered against our photos. I have resorted to using my old copy of MS’s Digital Image Suite 2006, which also lets me use a mouse scroll-wheel to zoom, and forwards and backwards buttons on the mouse work too.

  4. Petrovu says:

    Thank you, Geoff, for the great tip.
    Do you happen to know, is it possible to drop still photos AND short videos into the same slideshow? Before or after the registry change? This is something that Vista Slideshow was able to do and I can’t find it anywhere in Windows 7 or various free Windows programs.

  5. Gary Lippe says:

    When I changed the value of AutoMoviePlayerSlideshow” to 0, the player skipped all movies. I am on W7 home premium win live photo gallery build 15.4.3538.513. Currently Quick time movies plays in a herky jerky manner. Any ideas?

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