Animoto Killed the Slideshow

Animoto ScreenshotFounded by former MTV, Comedy Central and ABC studio producers… New York start-up, Animoto was launched a few weeks ago. The service it provides puts PowerPoint to shame and could potentially end the way you look at video slide-shows forever!

Built with Ruby-on-Rails technology and using patent-pending “Cinematic Artificial Intelligence”, Animoto takes your still photos and an MP3 song of your choice and turns it into a sophisticated movie production video in almost no time. The video is filled with professional effects and transitions that normally would take 16+ hours to do manually, even for a professional…

Animoto Videos present the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer using the same sophisticated post-production skills & techniques that are used in television and film. – Animoto

No two Animoto videos are ever the same, even the same exact photo arrangement can be radically different depending on the style of music you choose. The process intelligently synchronizes each of your photos with the style, structure, and tempo of the music you picked. And, if you don’t like the way a video turned out?… simply click the “Remix” button and Animoto will run the photos and music through their AV blender again for a different outcome every time!

Using the free account, you are able to produce as many 30 second videos as you like. If you want to produce feature length videos, it costs $3 per video or a full year unlimited pass costs $30. Animoto uses Google Checkout to handle the payment processing so you will have to create an account if you dont already have one… I can’t really argue with Animoto’s pricing, it’s almost hard to imagine how they will make money… Although, I did notice that while you are waiting for your video to be generated, there are a few custom style ads on the right side of the page referred to as “Distractions”. It would appear that these ads could be Animoto’s business model in time to come. For now, the ads just appear to be placeholders.

Ok, back to the fun stuff… The 30 second short video typically can use about 15 photos on average over the 30 seconds, but it all depends on the music you picked. If you pick a slower paced song, the video will not progress through the photos as quickly as it would if you picked a fast paced song. So you really just have to wait and see how your video looks when it come out at the end. The whole process of creating these videos takes about 5-30 min depending on how long it takes you to upload your media and how many other people are waiting in the que to get rendered.

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To help make this all a little easier, Animoto can automatically import your pictures from certain online photo storage services…

We currently support direct image retrieval from Flickr, Facebook, Smugmug, Picasa, and Photobucket. Unfortunately, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, and Shutterfly, have a closed system and don’t let users access their photos with outside services like Animoto. We hope they do one day. In the meantime, we’ll keep working with the folks who have established more open systems and give their users more choice with what to do with their photos.

You can use and share your video by emailing it, embedding it into your website, blog, MySpace, Facebook, etc… Coming soon, you will be able to burn your video to disc, send it to cell phones (including the iPhone), and download it to your computer for whatever use you want.

At all times, you retain the rights to your videos produced with Animoto!

About the author

RJ Ponzio

RJ founded Shore Web Tech LLC in 2011. The mission of Shore Web Tech (SWT) is to help small and medium local businesses take advantage of today's affordable technology solutions. RJ currently holds Google's "AdWords Qualified Individual" certification.

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