Making slideshows worth watching

I take a lot (and I mean a lot) of photos. I love sharing them and look for fun ways to share them with friends and family without suffering the “Slideshow Fatigue” that most photo sharing methods illicit.

I’ve made a few Apple photo books, burned a few iPhoto slideshows to DVD, post and organize photos on Flickr, and send the occasional email with photos. Even with the fantastic Apple applications, slideshows and photo books are time consuming. Automated methods of building them never seem to have the right vibe in the end product.

Enter a new Web service: Animoto.

Here’s my first attempt…

The process is dead simple:

  1. Choose your photos from several external services (or upload your own)
  2. Choose your music by uploading your own MP3 or choosing from their (very good) selection. (The selection was so good I found myself looking up songs on the site in iTunes)
  3. Click the button and wait for the video to be created (automatically by the Animoto servers)

Don’t like the results? Remix it to get a completely different output. The results are absolutely fantastic. Beautiful, despite the automation.

What’s really cool about the site is the business model. It’s a freemium model that works quite nicely. I can make all the 30 second clips, like the one above, for free. If you have too many photos, it simply matches the number of photos to what it can fit into 30 seconds.

To create “full length videos”, there are two paid options:

  • $3 for a single video
  • $30/year for unlimited creation

Very slick software, fantastic results, simple to use and understand, and easy to afford. Can’t ask for much more!