My guess is that if this was easily implementable, it would have been done. Hopefully someone has more to offer than this.
There are other options out there, but few have the easy management capabilities that this has.
One that does have management, is Slideshow Pro (example), but by the time you have bought the components, including the management system (Slideshow Director) and the flash plugins, it is quite an outlay. You also have to pay for a licence for each site that SSP Director is placed in.
By comparison, this system is incredible value. If and when auto advance is implemented, I can't see anything out there to beat it.
So as far as your client is concerned, it is a choice between spending a wodge of cash or hanging on.