Superstring Review – Lyric Slideshow Software
Superstring is a software that allows you to create lyrical slideshows to your songs.
The software is built on Adobe Air, and created by Simplest Ways.
Superstring provides a very clean and minimal look, is pretty easy to use, and exports a pretty impressive slideshow!
Before we get into it, they do have a free version if you’d like to try it out!
Here’s the video review:
I’ve also snipped my demo slideshow from the video above, and put it on my personal YouTube channel:
So those are the videos for those who like to watch. And for those who like to read, do so by reading below 😉
At first glance, as with any software, it takes a few minutes to warm up on how to use it, but I was up and moving pretty quickly.
Currently I am reviewing Version 1.1.2 Pro, so be sure to check what version is currently released before purchasing; a lot of my points may have been added!
Let’s Get Into the Written Review!
After writing a few lyrics, I quickly felt Superstring was lacking a lot of simple shortcuts – I really like shortcuts; they save so much time!
Moving around the lyrics is pretty simple, but can quickly turn into a stressful job because of its click and drag way of doing it. The slides don’t allow for precise placement, so it takes a bit of planning ahead of time trying to figure out if you should cram lyrics into one slide, or break them up into two or more.
I found many of Superstrings slide transitions too slow – my lyrics were hard to line up at the exact time I wanted them to. There is a workaround though, just choose one of the basic slides, and your lyrics appear much quicker.
Since I’m still on transitions, I’d like to mention the very beginning lyric slide, which is labeled, “Intro”.
Intro is the very beginning slide, I couldn’t figure out how to remove! – You can put it to one second, or expand it to make a longer intro.
But in my case, my lyrics start at the very beginning of the song, and I couldn’t figure out a way to delete this Intro slide! So at the beginning of my demo slideshow, you will notice that my lyrics don’t pop up right away.
(This is just a minor thing, and an easy fix for the software developer – Sometimes it’s hard to get solid feedback from users!)
Needs Improved Workflow,
As mentioned above, because of the click and drag workflow, I found it caused me some headaches, making the job harder than it needed to be.
I think being able to adjust the beginning and end timings to the millisecond is a necessity for a software like this.
By clicking and dragging, you can get close, but not exact. You’ll see in my slideshow demo that some words don’t show up in time.
In addition to adjusting the beginning and end timing, it’d be powerful to adjust the transition timing as well, or somehow incorporate it so that the transition and beginning/end of each slide are blended together.
Easier Copy/Paste … Or Clone Option!
Now, when it came to the chorus.. I had to copy and paste the lyrics when ever the chorus popped up in the song, or re-type them.
I found this was extra work that is not necessary when we have computers! Being able to “clone a track” would of made life much easier here.
In addition to the cloning, being able to move slides where ever you’d like, such as in between other tracks, would be very handy, instead of the slides just expanding the current track, or moving up/down the track to the sides of it.
Precise Numbers is a Must for Music!
When making this slideshow, I was trying to be precise to make the lyrics show up in the most powerful way I could – I thought about zooming in to the audio wave form to fine-tune my slides – I couldn’t find this feature, but it would sure be nice!
Zooming in would allow the user to precisely put the lyrics where they want. And if the user was able to type the values of beginning/end of each slide, Superstring would be moving forward to becoming a very solid product.
I feel Superstring has some major potential to be an amazing piece of software! – The idea is there, the clean look is there, but just some fine-tuning is all that is needed to get an awesome user workflow going on.
While working on my song, I closed and saved it for another day’s work.
My next time opening Superstring, I noticed the the bare image of my song.. and thought to myself, “It’d be nice if I were able to ID3 tag this song with an image, and some meta data (Author name, Song Title, etc)”.
Upon export, your slideshow could be professionally ready to showcase to the world! – And for those who know about ID3 Tagging, it is another free alternative of advertising your brand/name.
While writing my lyrics, I came across a few words where I wasn’t confident on the spelling. I quickly realized.. Superstring didn’t have spell check!
I feel this is such an important feature to have! If words are spelt wrong anywhere representing you as an artist, brand, or producer, it can sure make you look silly!
Imagine a your slideshow playing to a crowd, and a word or two is spelt wrong that you didn’t notice. That kind of stuff can have an impact on your brand, plus take away from the message/power of the slideshow!
(You may actually know how to spell the word too, and it could just be a mistype – So spell check is a must!).
Exporting – My Thoughts,
I think the exporting needs work as well.
At first, I tried exporting at 1080p for the best quality.. but after about 5-10 minutes, and it not being even close to 1/4 way done.. I cancelled, and thought to myself, “I’ll just do 720p.. that will be good enough”.
720p still took quite long, and the project turned out to be about 1GB in size for a 4 minute 320 kbps MP3 song! (Imagine what 1080p would be!).
After you export your song, it will probably be quite a large file – And that means, long upload times to YouTube!
Here’s a solution to solve it!
Download a software like HandBrake, and compress it a little bit.
Handbrake turned my 931 MB file into a 38 MB file with hardly any noticeable artifacts! – So there you go! 😉
Overall, I think Superstring is an AWESOME IDEA! – It’s still in it’s beginnings, and does the job it’s intended to do; create cool-looking slideshows to your songs.
I feel it has a lot of little things to work out to give the user a faster workflow, such as cloning slides for choruses, bridges, and pre-choruses etc. (Then being able to click and drag the slide to slip it in between of what ever slide you’d like).
A lot of my negative points in this review are constructive criticism so that hopefully the software developer will improve their software to make it the best lyric generating software out there!
Even still with my points, Superstring is a powerful product, priced fairly, which allows you to create a lyrical slideshow to your song.