Sparkbooth Photo Booth Software News

Webcam
Logitech webcams

Not all webcams are built the same, so it is important to use the right webcam when setting up your photo booth with Sparkbooth. Here some quick tips and resources to help you with decisions and setup:

  • Do not use the built-in webcam in most Windows laptops. A lot of these cameras are really cheap, and the maximum resolution of the video is typically 640px by 480px which will give you very pixelated photos. Skip the built-in webcam and get a high-quality USB webcam.
  • The Logitech 9000 and Logitech C910 are the most popular webcams for Sparkbooth. Only install the drivers for these cameras, and do not install the accompanying software - they tend to interfere with the performance of the webcam.
  • Some Sparkbooth users prefer the older Logitech 9000 over the newer the Logitech C910, because of its reliability. I have not experienced any failures of the C910, but it has been reported at the Sparkbooth support site. If this happens to you, it is a good idea to have a backup webcam ready as a replacement to swap out the failed webcam.
  • For Mac laptop users, the built-in webcam or iSight is much better than the built-in ones for Windows laptops. But a USB webcam can still improve the video. There is an issue using a USB webcam on Macs with a built-in webcam, Adobe AIR only sees the built-in camera. Try these workarounds - be warned, it doesn't work for all Macs.
  • Also for Mac users, do not install Adobe AIR 3.2 - it does not scale the video correctly so everything looks squished. Rollback to Adobe AIR 2.7.1 to fix this.
  • If your guests are moving around a lot when photos are being taken and resulting blurry photos, try turning on the countdown in-between shots - it will let them know to get ready before the next shot.
  • Finally, lighting is very important when using a webcam. Check out these lighting tips which will help improve the video and photo quality.

Sparkbooth print prompt screen
Sparkbooth print prompt screen

Just a small fix for the print prompt dialog which does not print for some printers like the Canon Selphy.

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Send It Later Uploader Settings
Send It Later Uploader Settings

With the new "Send It Later" feature, you can now queue up photos to be uploaded at a later time. This is great if you don't have an internet connection available during your event. Photos and prompted information will be automatically saved. Post-event when you do have access to the internet, you can select an uploader and send all the queued photos. Note: "Send It Later" will work with all the uploaders except for the Guest uploaders.

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With Mac computers, the Adobe AIR 3.2 update changes the proportion of the video for Sparkbooth. For this reason, I do not recommend installing Adobe AIR 3.2. If you have already installed the update and are seeing the changed video proportions, here is what you need to do:

  1. Close Sparkbooth if it is open
  2. Uninstall Adobe AIR 3.2. Run the Adobe AIR Uninstall in Applications > Utilities folder.
  3. Install Adobe AIR 3.1.0 runtime from the Adobe AIR archive page
  4. After Adobe air 3.1.0 is installed, run Sparkbooth and the video will be fixed.
  5. Do not update Adobe air to 3.2 when prompted. If you want to disable these prompts, see "Disable automatic updates of the runtime"

I need help testing the "Send It Later" feature in Sparkbooth 3.4. This new feature will allows you to queue up photos, and send them later when you have an internet connection.

If you find any issues, please send me a message


Running Sparkbooth on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
Running Sparkbooth on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

If you are running the developer preview of Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Loin, you may have problems getting Sparkbooth to run on that operating system. It looks like there is an issue with Adobe AIR and the "Automatic Graphics Switching" feature in Lion. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Go to System Preferences
  2. Select Energy Saver
  3. Disable "Automatic Graphics Switching"
  4. Install Adobe AIR 3.1 or later from http://get.adobe.com/air
  5. Install Sparkbooth from download page
  6. And that is it!

Minor maintenance is now available. Changes include:

  • Fixed application updater
  • Start button will automatically shrink to fit label within video display
  • Offline sign in warning text is now customizable
  • Online indicator on About tab

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Windows 8 is currently due to be released on October 2012. If your computer runs Windows 7, it will be able to run Windows 8 since it looks like Microsoft made some operating system improvements in resource usage. I installed Windows 8 and Sparkbooth on a Dell laptop, so I can confirm Sparkbooth will run on Windows 8. Here is how you install Sparkbooth in Windows 8:

  1. From the Start screen, select the Desktop
    Starting desktop from Windows 8
  2. After the Desktop has launched, press the Internet Explorer icon in the taskbar, and go to downloads
    Windows 8 Desktop
  3. Click the Download button to get the Sparkbooth installer and run it.
  4. And that is it! You will see a Sparkbooth icon installed on the Start screen, which you can use to start Sparkbooth.
    Starting Sparkbooth from Windows 8

Sparkbooth Photo Album

Changes include:

  • New photo album feature to allow your guests to view, upload, or print previously taken photos. See demo video below.
  • Improved handling of offline messaging
  • Fixed license permission issue with Mac Snow Leopard and Lion OS
  • Fixed handling of corrupted overlay and/or background image files for photo layouts
  • Improved error logging
  • Other minor bug fixes

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I need help testing the new photo album feature in Sparkbooth 3.3. This new feature will allow your guests to browse through the previous photos taken, and they can print or send them to their Facebook, Twitter, or email accounts. Here is a quick demo.

Download and Try Out Sparkbooth 3.3 Preview

If you find any issues, please send me a message