Slide Show Frustrations

I’m new to RW and Stacks: my interest is to create a web page to display photo galleries. I have bought Nick Cates Photo, and it is very good in many ways, but I am frustrated with trying to display large galleries of images. The slide show feature is the problem; it does not seem to like galleries of 40 images much. It is good on computers using OSX, but not very good on mobiles using iOS. On iOS It sort of stumbles along and Autoplay won’t work. Nick has said he’ll look again at Autoplay when time permits, but for now I’m out of luck.

As a non-programmer I am somewhat puzzled by the performance of the stack being affected by the number of images. It’s as if it is trying to hold the whole slide show in memory, and larger numbers of images just chokes it. But why would it do that? I could understand a need to read-ahead if there is processing to be done - and of course downloading to be done to deliver the next image for viewing - but why not just stay one or two images ahead of the viewer? If it were doing that it really should not matter how many images were in the gallery.

What I really want is a stack capable of displaying large numbers of images of mixed aspect ratio and large file size (so it can display a large image on a desktop computer with a big screen), and then being able to run a slide show of the images - preferably both manually and with Autoplay.

Any suggestions?

@ianburden I feel your pain. I can’t say why these do this, however are you using the full file size of your pictures? I use Photobulk to reduce my pictures down to 25% of their original size which has helped tremendously in my site. Not sure if this will help before you put them in your slide show but it could help.

You could try this:

There’s an option to try a free demo before you buy to see if the performance is any better. It shows the images in a gallery and there is a slideshow option built in.

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I did a lot of experimenting with much smaller file sizes - it only made minimal improvement. The key seems to be the number of images rather than their size. Not what I would have expected, but that’s what seems to be the case.

I found the same with Joe’s impact stack too

Thanks. I’ll take a look at it.

Certainly works perfectly for me and I have numerous photo galleries but none with as many as 40 photos but several with around 25-35.

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For years, I’ve been using the Image Gallery from CosCulture. Previously with images stored within the gallery and now with images self-hosted on the server. My biggest gallery consists of 53 photos and it works with no problem.

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Nick Cates got back to me and tells me my image file sizes are way too big. I tried with the size limit he suggests (200KB) and his software works better but still erratically on iOS.

So I’ll concede that he is correct - I should use much smaller file sizes. But I am doubtful about his 200KB limit as it seems to me it degrades the image somewhat.

I like to use a large image dimension (1500 pixels on the long side) so that I can have a large image on a large desktop monitor.

Given the 1500 px image dimension, what file size would you recommend for the best compromise between image quality and rapid loading?

I like both of the alternative gallery stacks suggested (Progallery and Image Gallery) and just have to make up my mind between them.

Nick Cates got back to me again and confirmed that as I had surmised, his stack “Photo loads full images “upfront” to remove the delay of swapping between images”, and as he says, this is great for small to medium galleries but troublesome for large galleries. He suggested Progallery as one option that might meet my needs better because it loads the images one at a time. He gave me half my money back too. Good of him.


Hi, Ian,
Personally, I am less concerned about image file size constrains. For me, the image quality is more important. But certainly, some compromise has to be achieved. Note, that the bigger the image size is, the more visible are all the effects of a compromise in image quality.

I settled for 1024px on the wide side and 70% quality (the absolute minimum I can live with). That gives me a file size between about 140kB and 420 kB – depending on a particular photo.

As I mentioned in my previous post, that scheme works fine for me with Image Gallery. I have also experimented with ProGallery and it seems to work similarly well with my combination of image sizes and the large(ish) quantity of photos.

As far as a choice of the particular gallery, you must take into account not only looks and functionality, but also quality of support and the rate of development/improvement on the part of a developer. In this respect, in my experience, Will Woodgate (ProGallery) is second to none.

I would suggest using JPEGMini and ImageOptim (for PNGs) to reduce the size of your files as well.

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Thanks. I decided to go with ProGallery. I’m very pleased to see your praise of Will Woodgate.

Now I’m plunged into grappling with php! More experimentation till I understand the implications.

Your settings look like a good starting point for me to try. I’m a bit reluctant to reduce the image size, but you have a good point about the larger image increasing visibility of image defects - both my own and those introduced by image compression.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have been using the JPEG engine in Lightroom and following up with ImageOptim, which usually saves an additional 8% on file size. Do you think JPEGMini would improve on Lightroom?

For your information:
This page uses ProGallery with 87 pictures (warehoused).

Usually, if you export from Lightroom at your preselected settings (size and quality), you are good to go. But, as you have found out, JPEG Mini and similar apps shave off additional bytes. However, be aware, that they get this by stripping meta data along with compressing the photo even more. So, if you export from Lightroom with meta data intact, be sure to set the Preferences in JPEG Mini to leave your meta data alone.

What do you think of JPEGmini? They make some very ambitious claims on their web site, but do they stand up? I’ll note your point about metadata.

I have used ImageOptim in the past and it was doing what it was supposed to do. I never used JPEG Mini, so I can’t say anything about it.

If you need meta-data intact, download a trial version from their website and see if Preferences or settings allow to keep them after compressing.

But I still think that using a proper level of compression and quality in Lightroom while exporting is good enough and, perhaps, better than using additional app to compress a photo that has already been compressed (again, I am speaking from the point of view of a guy who cares more about an image quality than an image file size).

Best advice I can give you on this matter: experiment with and without JPEG Mini and compare results.

JPEGmini preserves all EXIF Metadata. It is a serious and very respected tool that many consider to be the ultimate JPG compressor for web images, ImageOptim is a very good PNG optimiser and an OK JPG tool. In my experience both offer better performance than Adobe.

Use JPEGmini for JPGs and ImageOptim for PNGs.

Well, ProGallery has solved my previous problem admirably. But now I’m looking for another gallery stack to meet different needs for another website I am building.

Now I am focussed on Captioning, which is pretty limited in ProGallery. I’m building an artist’s website, and she needs to put a lot of detail into the photo caption (Title, size, media) and it can get pretty lengthy. But I would like to have a slide show, and a thumbnail gallery, that could show that information.

Ideally, I would like full control over the caption in the slide show, including multiple fonts, multiple colours, and multiple lines of text. The caption for the thumbnail could be much simpler to suit the more limited space.

Can anyone suggest a gallery stack that offers this?

As a former Freeway user I guess I’m looking for something that could do what Exhibeo could do.