Animoto: An Automated Video Creation Tool

Have you seen this? A web app called Animoto is announcing “the end of slideshows” thanks to their automatic video creation tool. You don’t have to create anything yourself – just point it to your media on the web (or upload from your PC) and Animoto’s Cinematic A.I. technology will create a completely customized video for you including a background track!

After you sign up for Animoto and start creating your first video, you’re promoted to either upload your photos from your computer or direct the app to use images you have stored on an online photo service like flickr, smugmug, Picasa, photobucket, or even Facebook! If you have your photos organized into albums, you can configure Animoto to retrieve the images just from one particular album.

You have to wait for a moment while the application retrieves your images. Ideally, for their 30-second video, you should have around 15 images – more than that, and some could be left off. If you want to make a longer video it’s only $3 – regardless of how many images are used.

For the music selection, you can upload a track from your PC or select one from their online collection, which lets you browse by genre (top 40, indie rock, hip hop, etc.) to find something appropriate. Note: though “Top 40” is a category, I’m either officially old or these are unsigned artists.

Finally, you’ll have your end product – a customized video created with their unique technology. Their app analyzes and combines the images and takes into account every detail about a song – genre, structure, energy, rhythm, instrumentation, and vocals. Every video created will have a distinct set of motion. The video can then be emailed to friends, posted to your social network profile, downloaded to your computer, uploaded to YouTube, embedded on your blog, and more.

Animoto isn’t a new service – they’ve been in the works since 2005 and started receiving a lot of blog coverage last year. However, I personally had not tried the site for myself until today, and now that I have, I have to say I’m highly impressed. The app was fast, slick, and dead-simple to use, and the end product looks great. Looks like I’ll be pimping my MySpace page this weekend!

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