EZ Tech Tips: Easy Step by Step Internet Tutorials and Videos

Bye Bye Photo Slideshow, Hello Animoto

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“I just got back from an amazing vacation and I want to show off all of my photos …how do I create a photo slideshow with music?”

I get asked this question a lot, especially these days with so many people owning digital cameras.  Photo slideshows with music are very popular nowadays…you see them at weddings, family gatherings, etc. The problem with photo slideshows is that they are BORING to watch after the first few photos. It gets even worse if you have 25 or even 100 photos (I hope they are serving coffee with that photo slideshow).

Photo slideshows are boring. Your photos are not.

The main reason why photo slideshows are boring is because they are ALL THE SAME.  The common recipe for a photo slideshow is to start with some photos, add a transition between them (usually a fade in/out),  and top it off with some music, which usually ends up being out of sync with the photos.  With all the special effects you see in the movies these days, you must be asking yourself how is it that we are still in the “next slide please” stone age of photo slideshows?  There must be another way to bring photos to life.  Lucky for us there is.  Welcome to the end of photo slideshows.  Welcome to Animoto.

What the heck is Animoto?

Animoto is a web application that, with the click of a button, produces videos using images and music that you select.  Using their patent-pending Artificial Intelligence developed to think like an actual editor & director, the resulting video has the emotional impact of a movie trailer and the visual energy of a music video.  Check out this 60 second video that explains what Animoto is all about:

What’s so good about Animoto?

I stumbled across Animoto a few weeks ago and fell in love with it right away! As a video editing professional (at one of my companies, HanimaL Productions) I was blown away at how easy and fast it was to create a stunning, professional-looking video from my photos and music.  They even offer you a large selection of hassle-free pre-licensed music to choose from, if you’d like.  I was able to produce my own video in 6 minutes (yes, I actually timed myself!).  I also love how easy it is to import your photos into your Animoto project, especially if you already have them on an online photo service, such as SmugMug, Flickr, Picasaweb, or even Facebook.  Once my video was created, I was impressed with the number of one-click options I had to show off my new video. For example I could easily email it to my friends, embed it on my own website, send it directly to YouTube, post it onto Facebook, download it, or even get it on DVD.

Create your own Animoto video.

This easy step by step Internet tutorial will walk you through how to create your first Animoto video:

As you saw in the video above, it is extremely simple to create an Animoto video.  Now let’s have a look at the final product.  Remember, this took 6 minutes to create!

What can I use Animoto for?

There are so many ways to use Animoto.  I like to take all my vacation, wedding, baby, and family photos and create videos to share with my loved ones. It’s more entertaining for everyone to watch a video as opposed to clicking though the photos one by one.  If you own a business or sell any type of product, you can also use Animoto to quickly create a promotional video showcasing your products and easily post it on your website.

Try it for yourself.

So go ahead, try it out for yourself. It’s FREE (no credit card is required) to sign up for an Animoto account.  The FREE account allows you to create as many short (30-second) videos as you want. To create unlimited full-length videos you will need an All-Access Pass which goes for $30 US per year ($2.50 per month).

Update – Aug 28, 2008

Today is Animoto’s 1 year anniversary!  Here are some interesting facts about Animoto:

– 4 million Animoto videos have been created

– more than 250,000 users in 200-some countries have registered with Animoto

Animoto vids have been watched over 50 million times on, blogs, social networks, video sharing sites and web sites around the world! (including this site)

Looking for a fun and creative way to use an Animoto video?

Try using it as a: thank-you card, holiday/birthday card, political montage, event/party invite, summer retrospective, travel blog, concert memorabile, back-to-school greeting, presentation visual, or just an I-heart-you message to your special (maybe even secret?) someone!

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Written by Hani Mourra on August 25th, 2008 with 3 comments.
Read more articles on Photos and Videos.


Read the comments left by other users below, or:

Get your own gravatar by visiting Stephen Martile
#1. August 27th, 2008, at 9:30 PM.


You’re so funny! I love when you said,

“Photo slideshows are boring. Your photos are not.”

thanks for providing a creative way for slideshows!

Get your own gravatar by visiting Hani Mourra
#2. August 27th, 2008, at 10:47 PM.

Thanks Steve! I really appreciate your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial. Photo slideshows can be boring to watch in my opinion. Animoto produces amazing professional-looking videos, and the best part is that it is sooo easy (and extremely addictive). I love it!

Trackback Mention from
#3. October 12th, 2008, at 10:33 AM.

ANIMOTO! « My Weblog: EZ TECH TIPS [...]

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