If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a picture with spoken words, explaining the picture worth? Exactly the number of words it takes to explain it? I will leave that to the philosophers. In the meantime, an app called Storyline is making it possible to create audio-visual slideshows, on-the-go.
I gave the app a try this weekend at the Brooklyn Flea in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. You can check it out here.
The interface is fairly seamless. Storyline asks you to pick a photo source (I used the camera roll on my IPhone) before asking you to pick whatever photos you want to include in your slideshow.
Once you have done that, you add a title and author.
Once you have done that, it takes you to the first picture in your slideshow with a button below it to begin recording your voice.
One problem some might have is the requirement to record the audio for every picture at once, while swiping to the next picture. You either need to write a script or be really good at narrating on the fly. The time limit of two minutes is a big hindrance in itself. The app says you can have up to 20 pictures per slideshow, but I found it impossible to record a good storyline with anything more than 10 or so. The fewer pictures, the more in depth your narration can be.
On the whole, this app has some serious potential in the newsroom, or outside of it, to be more precise. For example, if I had been in Manhattan this past weekend, I imagine I could have used Storyline to create a gripping slideshow, covering the aftermath of the explosion that destroyed three buildings in the lower east side.
The value of pictures or words cannot be measured by the pompous, headcheese ramblings of philosophy professors. Pictures and words get their value from those who read, view and listen to them. Storyline will hopefully give more people a chance to make their valuation.