Vodpod videos no longer available.
Several months ago I wrote a post titled Take That Animoto at which time I laid down some pretty harsh criticism at them. Today I need to take that back. First, let me give credit to Animoto for being able to get me to try the service for a third time after two bitter disappointments. Those who know me know that I rarely give online services a second chance let alone a third. They must be doing something correct in their marketing department.
For those who don’t know, Animoto is an online service that creates slide shows with your images, lets you add royalty free music or your own music and distribute the video throughout the web. They have three levels of service, free, paid, and pro. The free service is limited to 30 seconds and has no control over quality or speed. The paid services are a little pricy at $30 and $249 a year. If you are making the show for resale it makes sense but otherwise it is kind of expensive. Anyhow, getting back to the free service, originally I thought it was pretty awful with very low quality and lots of stuttering. I am not sure how or if they may have updated the service but this last time I tried everything came out quite nice. There is also a good selection of music from which to choose. I still think that doing a full on Keynote presentation is far better but that takes a long time, has issues with audio, and does not convert well into other formats. So now I am recommending the Animoto service. It is so much better for sharing on social media and embedding into websites (WordPress.com excluded!!). Above is a sample of the free level slide shows. The quality is degraded some because it has to be hosted and embedded by a third-party (Vodpod) in WordPress.com, but the original document, flash on their website or Mp4 by download is really good quality for its small size.
The bottom line is that Animoto makes it easy to have fun. Putting together a slide show in a few minutes and sharing it across the web is just plain fun, and that is the name of the game. Crow-I eat you!
You can see more of my photos at www.ronboyddesign.com