Sunday, April 4, 2010

Using the iPad to promote your work.

Well, the iPad went on sale this past weekend to a lot of hoopla, and I believe it will turn out to be a revolutionary tool for home, school and business uses.

In the negative comment column, among other gripes, is the fact that it nor the iPhone support Adobe Flash. If you are a photographer or someone in the graphics world, being able to use the new, larger screen of the iPad would make it a perfect portfolio tool. Yes, it's $500 to get in, but many photographer spend that much or more on one portfolio by the time the make prints, a suitable presentation binder, sleeves for the binder, etc. And that is only one portfolio. If you could make several portfolio presentations and put them on one iPad, you now have utility. And you could personalize each of these for the client too.

So I started thinking. If I can't put my Flash-based slideshows on my iPhone, or a future iPad, what could I do to achieve the same effect?

3 Possible Answers

First, the BIG idea. If Safari on the iPhone/iPad won't read Flash, what will it read? The answer that came first (and if there are more, I'll explore them soon enough) was Keynote, Apple's presentation application that is a part of the iWork Suite ($79.00).

I made a 19 slide presentation quickly and easily. The first two pages are title slides, the next 16 pages have solid black backgrounds with a jpeg photo centered on the page. The last page is also a title slide with my web URL listed. So now I had a presentation I could play with transitions between each slide and a soundtrack background (if you want) to roughly simulate a Flash slideshow – without the control bar (pause, forward, reverse).

Now, how to get it into the iPhone/iPad. This was simple, too, for the most part. By selecting Export under the File menu in Keynote, you get choices. Three of the six options offered looked good to me: QuickTime, HTML and iPod. Let's take the last first.

The iPod export put the slideshow into my iPod movie folder on my Mac and when I synced my iPhone, it loaded the "movie." Now, all I have to do is go to that movie and select play and my portfolio presentation plays just as it did on my Mac. Neat.

The other choices are valid in that they work. The QuickTime movie export, shown above, works well and creates a file much like the iPod movie, except ii is standalone and I need to figure out how to access it on the iPhone/iPad once I get it on one.

The third option is pretty cool too. The HTML export option creates an HTML slide show that looks just like the keynote presentation, but it doesn't support the background soundtrack. It also doesn't play automatically. What it does is put Forward, Back and Home buttons on the bottom of the page so the viewer can manually advance the pages. Not as slick, but it works and looks professional. Again, the problem is how to get it onto the iPhone/iPad and then have Safari open a local HTML file – which normally it won't.

More as I discover how to get around the Apple-Adobe Flash feud. For sure, though, an iPad is in my future as a way to market my work in front of art directors, clients, editors and so forth.

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