Creating Slideshows: Stay Away from Encore CS5

Recently I was given a relatively simple task: create a slideshow for playback in a conventional DVD player/TV.  My client gave me about 350-360 JPEGs along with a playlist of songs for the slideshow.  My first attempt at the slideshow, I used Apple's iDVD simply as a proof of principal that I could get something my client could use.  After rescaling all the images to 1920x1080, I imported the images into iDVD and had a workable project in about 30 minutes.  Granted it took longer to render and burn to disc (about 90 minutes), I had something that would for my client in about 30 minutes.  Some Apple software that comes bundled with OSX is great....its relatively simple and you can get things done quickly.  Most out of the box Apple software has its limitations, making programs like iDVD more suited for consumer use than professional use.  For example, when creating a slideshow with iDVD, you can only set one transition for the entire show.  Well, for a slideshow with 350ish pictures, this can get rather boring and stale after awhile.  You're also stuck with the Apple themes for menus. I also own the Adobe CS5 Design Premium (on my photo computer) and Production Premium (on my school computer) suites.  I figured that by using one of the programs (After Effects, Premiere Pro, Encore), I could create something a little more professional.  After a little research, I settled on using Encore CS5.  At first, I was really happy with Encore CS5.  Despite the limitations of 99 slides per slideshow, I got something usable with the exact same pics (with exact same dimensions) incorporating individual transitions where I could pan and zoom.  I used photoshop to create my own menus, etc and got those working and got a working slideshow that I was relatively happy with.  Then I started running into problems.  When trying to create a 16:9 version of the exact same 4:3 slideshows, Encore crashes every single time I try to do something pretty much.  Now Encore is pretty much useless.  Granted my Macbook Pro is 2 years old, I still have a dual core processor with 8 gigs of RAM and it should be able to run Encore without a problem.  I mean even iDVD didn't flinch when I threw the EXACT SAME pictures at it.  So now I've got a deadline and an Encore CS5 project rendered useless by a program that crashes every time I click on anything after I open the project.  I'm running the latest version of the software and I don't have the time or energy to uninstall/reinstall the suite (not to mention its expensive and if I have a problem reinstalling, my license could be lost), clear out registries, and do a lot of things suggested by quick searches of Encore CS5 crashes.  My images are within suggested guidelines of the appropriate bit depth so I shouldn't be having this problem, especially if iDVD can handle my project without a hitch.  I could rebuild the slideshow from scratch in a new project, but I don't have time, so I'm pretty angry with the whole situation considering the amount of time I put into the project with Encore.  Maybe my mind will change further down the line (yes I'm aware of the "user error" possibility), but for now, I'd say steer clear of Encore CS5 for creating slideshows.  You'd probably be better off sucking up the learning curve and using After Effects or Premiere Pro to create the slideshow and then import that into Encore CS5.  I'm pretty disappointed...I'm a big proponent of Adobe software and use Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Lightroom on a consistent basis.  For now, looks like I'll be going back to iDVD...its not ideal, but it at least didn't cause me any problems