Are there many GeekDads out there like me, who put together a music/video/slideshow of the year’s family photos around Christmas, to send to friends and family? Well, if you’re that kind of geek, then get ready to save yourself a few days of work next time around. I was listening to the Net@Night podcast with Leo LaPorte and Amber MacArthur today, and they interviewed the co-founder of Animoto, another of those "Web 2.0" service offerings that really seem to get it.
The idea is this: you can either upload your photos, or connect to your Flickr-type online photo storage account, pull your pictures in, order them, and pick some to "highlight." Add music by either uploading your own (copyright-safe) tune, or selecting from their significant library of songs. Then tell them to do their magic. They have mysterious algorithms that detect the beats and moods of the music you send, and then assemble the photo montage with some really high-end overlaps and dynamic effects. All the CPU-intensive work happens on their servers, and once it’s done, you can download the mp4 file, send it to Youtube, or send/embed it to any of a multitude of other blogs or social sites. The final results are very impressive:
The uploading and front-end work on that took about 20 minutes. The processing took an hour, but I didn’t have to sit around as my computer churned through the rendering and kept me from other important blog-related activities. And if you’re not happy with what comes out, you can re-jigger it and re-render it without worry. For three bucks (per long-form video, or $30/year unlimited) including having the video hosted, you can’t beat it.