Sunday Afternoon Thoughts with Animoto

I’m sure many of you have discovered Animoto, an amazing software program that synchs music with your photos. It was released in February by a group of techies and tv/film producers.

It works like this: Choose a batch of your slides and music (yours or theirs), upload them and the result is a video that “is a fully customized orchestration of user-selected images and music. Produced on a widescreen format, Animoto videos have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer.” (From the Animoto home page).

It’s based on Cinematic Artificial Intelligence technology that thinks like an actual director and editor, according to the home page info.

I liked the demo and set my students, Matt and Christie, on it. Play with it. Push it to its limits, I told them. They quickly ran through the limited use for the free version so I bought the $30 a year unlimited use version.

With some events like commencement, alumni weekend, homecoming and our Fabulous 1890s Weekend, we take hundreds of photos. Through traditional media, and even our web site, we use a handful. With Animoto, we’re able to use dozens, as you can see in this video.

In the case of most of these events, the use of slides, special effects and music is often more effective than video. It moves faster with more information per second.

The synching of the photos with the music is pretty amazing.

But there are holes. After posting a commencement video, Christie came in and said it looked crappy. I looked at it. “Bad compression. Contact them and ask.”

She did. The guys were quick to respond that yes there were some things that needed improving and they were working on offering high def video but it would be with a small upcharge.

Well, I do want the improvement but I’d rather pay a slightly higher annual fee than get ‘upcharged’ for each posting.

Matt produced a four- minute show of a Mexico experience he participated in. The rendering time was two hours.

Okay, a few bugs but a wonderful program. The ease of use, the intuitive nature of the program, far outweigh the glitches which I know the programmers will fix. I also have the feeling there will be regular improvements. Check it out. Animoto is fast, easy and right in synch with the times.

If anyone else has used animoto, share your thoughts and experience.


2 responses to “Sunday Afternoon Thoughts with Animoto

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Professional Videos with ANIMOTO

  2. Ya, how about their new annual charges to continue with Hi-Def, yipes! But, at least they are going to be adding more features like music intensity/overall mood, dissolves and other effects where and when /if you want them, music mixing (more than one song of your upload, their offerings, or a combo of either or both), hit spots (placing a particular slide or slides on a time line of music or planned music so as to appear at specific points in time), etc.

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