Quick and Easy Memory Makers

Need a last minute gift … want to send a creative thank you or capture a memory from a recent trip? We’ve found a way to create your own photo videos where you’re the stars. Animoto.com is a cool website that lets you create your own photo videos set to the music of your choosing. Imagine pictures of the kids set to your family’s favorite hits, or snapshots of good friends over the years with memorable tunes playing in the background. Just upload your photos and music, insert text, and arrange it all the way you want it. (This part is so fun, even kids will beg to help!) In a matter of minutes you can have something that looks TV-worthy. Founders Brad Jefferson and Jason Hsiao have produced shows for MTV and ABC, and knew that with the right technology, even absolute beginners could create a professional-looking photo montage that makes a perfect gift. Thanks to them, the recipient will be impressed— and you’ll have something adorable to share with your Facebook friends. Phew.

Animoto

Turns Photos Into Slideshows

Quick and Easy Memory Makers

Need a last minute gift … want to send a creative thank you or capture a memory from a recent trip? We’ve found a way to create your own photo videos where you’re the stars. Animoto.com is a cool website that lets you create your own photo videos set to the music of your choosing. Imagine pictures of the kids set to your family’s favorite hits, or snapshots of good friends over the years with memorable tunes playing in the background. Just upload your photos and music, insert text, and arrange it all the way you want it. (This part is so fun, even kids will beg to help!) In a matter of minutes you can have something that looks TV-worthy. Founders Brad Jefferson and Jason Hsiao have produced shows for MTV and ABC, and knew that with the right technology, even absolute beginners could create a professional-looking photo montage that makes a perfect gift. Thanks to them, the recipient will be impressed— and you’ll have something adorable to share with your Facebook friends. Phew.

Grommet Launch Conversation

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Erik
    Erik

    Hello Daily Grommeters! We’re excited to introduce you to Animoto. Created by film and television veterans from ABC and MTV, Animoto automatically turns your photos into killer video in minutes. With the energy of a music video, Animoto videos are perfect for showcasing Saturday’s pool party, your daughter’s soccer game, even Fido’s new sweater. And sharing your videos is easy – email them, upload them to Facebook or YouTube, carry them on your iPhone, post them to your blog, or burn them to DVD and play them in high-resolution on your TV. 30-second videos are free to create, so try us out! I’m eager to hear your comments, and I'll check in and answer your questions.

    Remember: Daily Grommet customers get one free 3-minute video with code “DailyGrommet09”. Click on the promo/referral code button at the bottom of the sign-up form to take advantage of the promotion.

  • Laura T.
    Laura T.
    5/8/2009 1:15 PM

    How hard is this to do? I'm not very tech savvy, but I do have my photos up on Picasa. I love how the video you showed here came out, but I'm wondering if I would be able to add all those effects.

  • Marynell
    Marynell
    5/8/2009 1:48 PM

    This looks awesome - I've done other stuff with books on Shutterfly, but I'm excited to try this.

  • withdrake
    withdrake
    5/8/2009 1:51 PM

    I'll be making a slide show of "mom and me" sort of pictures to send to her, as I cant be around for mothers day. Super easy, fits my budget and she will love it.

  • Erik
    Erik – Special Guest
    5/8/2009 2:34 PM

    Creating an Animoto video is super easy. Just upload your photos (you can even pull them directly from Picasa, Smugmug, Facebook, Flickr or Photobucket), choose your music, and hit "go." Animoto will automatically analyze your song, choose appropriate motion design and sync your images to the music, and you'll get a custom video back in a matter of minutes.

  • sam
    sam
    5/8/2009 2:34 PM

    Those Shutterfly books are so expensive and actually take a lot of time. I like that with this I can send it out to more than 1 person. So what kind of file do I get in the end so that I can save it and continue to watch it?

  • JS
    JS
    5/8/2009 3:59 PM

    wow, great video tool. just made a video for my ma too - so easy! pulled pics from my flickr. she's not very tech-savvy so will be very impressed. and def cheaper than sending flowers.

  • Erik
    Erik – Special Guest
    5/8/2009 4:09 PM

    Sam, the final video will be an MP4 which is viewed in Quicktime. It is easy to download and easy to watch. Also, if you want to burn your video to DVD, you can upgrade the video to DVD quality and burn an ISO file straight to DVD.

  • Patrick
    Patrick
    5/9/2009 1:20 AM

    This is one of the best things since Caffeine.... It is soon to be my one year anniversary of using Animoto.... All-Access Pass FTW!!!!!!!

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca
    5/9/2009 10:22 PM

    Thanks for this great idea!

  • Mark
    Mark
    5/10/2009 11:03 AM

    There are other products out there, but I like how easy this is and all-inclusive. Looks pretty cool. Looking forward to trying it with the kids today to put together a Mothers' Day gift. Thanks for the free trial.

  • Daniel
    Daniel
    5/12/2009 7:32 AM

    I've heard a lot about Animoto at various technical discussions of "Cloud Computing". Co-founder Stevie Clifton has given many talks about their cool underlying technology. There's also some good information about the company at this URL:

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2009/january/199000.html

    I've been meaning to try it out for a while, so I did for Mother's Day. It does do what it says it does. Unfortunately, at least in the free version, the picture you get is very small and low-resolution. You can play it on the whole screen, but it looks terrible that way. I do understand the technical factors leading them to do this (it takes a lot less computer power and network bandwidth), but I wasn't that impressed with the result, from the point of view of showing to my wife as a present.

    It's possible that I'm doing something wrong. And it's quite possible that you'll enjoy the results a lot more than I did; it's a matter of taste. Also, perhaps if you pay, you get a better service. If anyone knows the answers to these, I'd appreciate knowing them.

  • Daniel
    Daniel
    5/12/2009 8:26 AM

    Ah, I see: you can get high resolution by signing up. You can also download the video, so that it plays back nice and smoothly. It costs $30/year. I'm going to try it.

  • Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound
    Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound
    5/18/2009 5:32 PM

    I love this service and have made several videos. That's the good news.

    The bad news: I hate dealing with companies that don't have a customer service phone number or email or any way to contact them. Any time I have questions about Animoto, I have to go over to Twitter and post there, for all the world to see. Whoever tweets for their company doesn't even accept direct messages. (Animoto guys, what am I missing? Is there a way to contact you?)

    After enthusiastically recommending this service in my newsletter last week, a reader tipped me off to a blog post she wrote about Animoto's very restrictive terms of service at http://www.homebusinesswiz.com/2009/02/animoto_review.html:

    "If your yearly subscription lapses, you are no longer allowed to show the videos that you made while under license. That strikes me as overly restrictive."

    That strikes me as a nightmare. I can't imaging going back to all those sites and taking down the videos I've created if I'm no longer using the service.

    I scanned their terms of service a few times and I can't find anything about this.

    Can anybody help me understand if this is, indeed, correct?

  • Erik
    Erik – Special Guest
    5/22/2009 11:29 AM

    Hi Joan,

    First of, I'm happy to hear that you've made several videos and love Animoto. In response to your customer service question: while answers to common questions are posted in our Frequently Asked Questions page, there is a "help" button within Animoto that let's you easily send a help request to us. We respond to all help requests within 1 business day. If the matter can't easily be resolved via email, we'll make ourselves available via phone to help resolve your issue.

    Due to music licensing issues, videos are approved for commercial use during the entire life of your paid commercial account. (It's quite expensive for us to license music for commercial use.) Although we don't currently take down videos if a commercial user lets their account lapse, we reserve the right to do so.

    I hope this helps!

  • Mac Guy
    Mac Guy
    7/31/2009 6:17 PM

    Um, you can do this for free with iPhoto (it came with your Mac). And you can use music from iTunes. And you don't have to upload your photos anywhere. Why would I pay for that service?

  • Derek
    Derek
    7/31/2009 6:20 PM

    Animoto *is* pretty slick. Couple things:

    -- you can also contact the Animoto folks via Twitter: http://twitter.com/animoto

    -- also, if you have an iPhone, the Animoto folks have a great (free!) app that allows you to share your slide shows right on your phone. pretty great way to torture, er, share your slide shows with others.

    --ditto for Facebook. you can add the Animoto Facebook app and share your slide shows on your Facaebook page.

    -- if you're a teacher, Animoto has an education version for students to create and share slide shows: http://animoto.com/education

  • Jeanne
    Jeanne – Grommet Team
    8/26/2009 4:23 PM

    Derek - thanks for adding that info in. I also want to post an update from Animoto:

    As of today, you can add video clips to your Animoto videos! Watch a few sample videos and find out more here:



    http://animoto.com/video


    You will not believe how good your vids are going to look. And using video clips in your Animoto videos couldn't be easier--no need for a complex video editor! Just follow these three steps:

    Upload clips from your camera or phone (iPhone 3GS anyone??), or use some from our collection (thanks to iStockphoto and Getty Images).

    Choose your highlights. You can choose highlights of up to 10 seconds each, though we recommend using only 3-5 seconds as that works best within the flow of an Animoto video.

    Create the rest of your video as normal, and you're done.

    To celebrate the launch of the video clip feature, we're holding a contest in which you can win a TRIP FOR TWO TO NEW YORK CITY! All you have to do is submit your best video. Sooooo easy. Here's the deal: each week for five weeks, we'll announce 2 finalists, and just for being a finalist you'll get a Flip Mino HD (awesome) or a VholdR ContourHD helmet camcorder (really awesome). Then at the end we'll announce the grand winner, which could be you!

    For full contest details, head here

    P.s. We don't want to upstage our video launch, but we've also just added some amazing songs to our library from Downtown Music, including tracks from hiphop legend Mos Def, indie rock favorites The Walkmen, and hot new dance/electro artist Kid Sister. You'll find them in the Featured Tracks genre--let us know what you think!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/1/2009 12:34 PM

    Animoto has just launched animated holiday greeting cards. Three new greeting cards kick off Animoto's launch into video greetings; the most fun, personal, and easy way to send your holiday greeting cards this year!

    Today they are releasing two holiday video greetings, one in a charming pop-up card theme, and the other, a whimsical odyssey into a starry night, both rich in texture and warm winter scenery.

    They won't just be making greeting cards for the holidays. Starting now, they'll be making unique, elegant video greetings for every holiday and occasion year-round! Check out their first birthday card, released today as well.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

 

Animoto

Turns Photos Into Slideshows

Quick and Easy Memory Makers

Need a last minute gift … want to send a creative thank you or capture a memory from a recent trip?

We’ve found a way to create your own photo videos where you’re the stars.

Animoto.com is a cool website that lets you create your own photo videos set to the music of your choosing. Imagine pictures of the kids set to your family’s favorite hits, or snapshots of good friends over the years with memorable tunes playing in the background.

Just upload your photos and music, insert text, and arrange it all the way you
want it. (This part is so fun, even kids will beg to help!) In a matter of minutes you can have something that looks TV-worthy.

Founders Brad Jefferson and Jason Hsiao have produced shows for MTV and ABC, and knew that with the right technology, even absolute beginners could create a professional-looking photo montage that makes a perfect gift. Thanks to them, the recipient will be impressed— and you’ll have something adorable to share with your Facebook friends. Phew.
Read More Read Less
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Erik
    Erik

    Hello Daily Grommeters! We’re excited to introduce you to Animoto. Created by film and television veterans from ABC and MTV, Animoto automatically turns your photos into killer video in minutes. With the energy of a music video, Animoto videos are perfect for showcasing Saturday’s pool party, your daughter’s soccer game, even Fido’s new sweater. And sharing your videos is easy – email them, upload them to Facebook or YouTube, carry them on your iPhone, post them to your blog, or burn them to DVD and play them in high-resolution on your TV. 30-second videos are free to create, so try us out! I’m eager to hear your comments, and I'll check in and answer your questions.

    Remember: Daily Grommet customers get one free 3-minute video with code “DailyGrommet09”. Click on the promo/referral code button at the bottom of the sign-up form to take advantage of the promotion.

  • Laura T.
    Laura T.
    5/8/2009 1:15 PM

    How hard is this to do? I'm not very tech savvy, but I do have my photos up on Picasa. I love how the video you showed here came out, but I'm wondering if I would be able to add all those effects.

  • Marynell
    Marynell
    5/8/2009 1:48 PM

    This looks awesome - I've done other stuff with books on Shutterfly, but I'm excited to try this.

  • withdrake
    withdrake
    5/8/2009 1:51 PM

    I'll be making a slide show of "mom and me" sort of pictures to send to her, as I cant be around for mothers day. Super easy, fits my budget and she will love it.

  • Erik
    Erik – Special Guest
    5/8/2009 2:34 PM

    Creating an Animoto video is super easy. Just upload your photos (you can even pull them directly from Picasa, Smugmug, Facebook, Flickr or Photobucket), choose your music, and hit "go." Animoto will automatically analyze your song, choose appropriate motion design and sync your images to the music, and you'll get a custom video back in a matter of minutes.

  • sam
    sam
    5/8/2009 2:34 PM

    Those Shutterfly books are so expensive and actually take a lot of time. I like that with this I can send it out to more than 1 person. So what kind of file do I get in the end so that I can save it and continue to watch it?

  • JS
    JS
    5/8/2009 3:59 PM

    wow, great video tool. just made a video for my ma too - so easy! pulled pics from my flickr. she's not very tech-savvy so will be very impressed. and def cheaper than sending flowers.

  • Erik
    Erik – Special Guest
    5/8/2009 4:09 PM

    Sam, the final video will be an MP4 which is viewed in Quicktime. It is easy to download and easy to watch. Also, if you want to burn your video to DVD, you can upgrade the video to DVD quality and burn an ISO file straight to DVD.

  • Patrick
    Patrick
    5/9/2009 1:20 AM

    This is one of the best things since Caffeine.... It is soon to be my one year anniversary of using Animoto.... All-Access Pass FTW!!!!!!!

  • Rebecca
    Rebecca
    5/9/2009 10:22 PM

    Thanks for this great idea!

  • Mark
    Mark
    5/10/2009 11:03 AM

    There are other products out there, but I like how easy this is and all-inclusive. Looks pretty cool. Looking forward to trying it with the kids today to put together a Mothers' Day gift. Thanks for the free trial.

  • Daniel
    Daniel
    5/12/2009 7:32 AM

    I've heard a lot about Animoto at various technical discussions of "Cloud Computing". Co-founder Stevie Clifton has given many talks about their cool underlying technology. There's also some good information about the company at this URL:

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2009/january/199000.html

    I've been meaning to try it out for a while, so I did for Mother's Day. It does do what it says it does. Unfortunately, at least in the free version, the picture you get is very small and low-resolution. You can play it on the whole screen, but it looks terrible that way. I do understand the technical factors leading them to do this (it takes a lot less computer power and network bandwidth), but I wasn't that impressed with the result, from the point of view of showing to my wife as a present.

    It's possible that I'm doing something wrong. And it's quite possible that you'll enjoy the results a lot more than I did; it's a matter of taste. Also, perhaps if you pay, you get a better service. If anyone knows the answers to these, I'd appreciate knowing them.

  • Daniel
    Daniel
    5/12/2009 8:26 AM

    Ah, I see: you can get high resolution by signing up. You can also download the video, so that it plays back nice and smoothly. It costs $30/year. I'm going to try it.

  • Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound
    Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound
    5/18/2009 5:32 PM

    I love this service and have made several videos. That's the good news.

    The bad news: I hate dealing with companies that don't have a customer service phone number or email or any way to contact them. Any time I have questions about Animoto, I have to go over to Twitter and post there, for all the world to see. Whoever tweets for their company doesn't even accept direct messages. (Animoto guys, what am I missing? Is there a way to contact you?)

    After enthusiastically recommending this service in my newsletter last week, a reader tipped me off to a blog post she wrote about Animoto's very restrictive terms of service at http://www.homebusinesswiz.com/2009/02/animoto_review.html:

    "If your yearly subscription lapses, you are no longer allowed to show the videos that you made while under license. That strikes me as overly restrictive."

    That strikes me as a nightmare. I can't imaging going back to all those sites and taking down the videos I've created if I'm no longer using the service.

    I scanned their terms of service a few times and I can't find anything about this.

    Can anybody help me understand if this is, indeed, correct?

  • Erik
    Erik – Special Guest
    5/22/2009 11:29 AM

    Hi Joan,

    First of, I'm happy to hear that you've made several videos and love Animoto. In response to your customer service question: while answers to common questions are posted in our Frequently Asked Questions page, there is a "help" button within Animoto that let's you easily send a help request to us. We respond to all help requests within 1 business day. If the matter can't easily be resolved via email, we'll make ourselves available via phone to help resolve your issue.

    Due to music licensing issues, videos are approved for commercial use during the entire life of your paid commercial account. (It's quite expensive for us to license music for commercial use.) Although we don't currently take down videos if a commercial user lets their account lapse, we reserve the right to do so.

    I hope this helps!

  • Mac Guy
    Mac Guy
    7/31/2009 6:17 PM

    Um, you can do this for free with iPhoto (it came with your Mac). And you can use music from iTunes. And you don't have to upload your photos anywhere. Why would I pay for that service?

  • Derek
    Derek
    7/31/2009 6:20 PM

    Animoto *is* pretty slick. Couple things:

    -- you can also contact the Animoto folks via Twitter: http://twitter.com/animoto

    -- also, if you have an iPhone, the Animoto folks have a great (free!) app that allows you to share your slide shows right on your phone. pretty great way to torture, er, share your slide shows with others.

    --ditto for Facebook. you can add the Animoto Facebook app and share your slide shows on your Facaebook page.

    -- if you're a teacher, Animoto has an education version for students to create and share slide shows: http://animoto.com/education

  • Jeanne
    Jeanne – Grommet Team
    8/26/2009 4:23 PM

    Derek - thanks for adding that info in. I also want to post an update from Animoto:

    As of today, you can add video clips to your Animoto videos! Watch a few sample videos and find out more here:



    http://animoto.com/video


    You will not believe how good your vids are going to look. And using video clips in your Animoto videos couldn't be easier--no need for a complex video editor! Just follow these three steps:

    Upload clips from your camera or phone (iPhone 3GS anyone??), or use some from our collection (thanks to iStockphoto and Getty Images).

    Choose your highlights. You can choose highlights of up to 10 seconds each, though we recommend using only 3-5 seconds as that works best within the flow of an Animoto video.

    Create the rest of your video as normal, and you're done.

    To celebrate the launch of the video clip feature, we're holding a contest in which you can win a TRIP FOR TWO TO NEW YORK CITY! All you have to do is submit your best video. Sooooo easy. Here's the deal: each week for five weeks, we'll announce 2 finalists, and just for being a finalist you'll get a Flip Mino HD (awesome) or a VholdR ContourHD helmet camcorder (really awesome). Then at the end we'll announce the grand winner, which could be you!

    For full contest details, head here

    P.s. We don't want to upstage our video launch, but we've also just added some amazing songs to our library from Downtown Music, including tracks from hiphop legend Mos Def, indie rock favorites The Walkmen, and hot new dance/electro artist Kid Sister. You'll find them in the Featured Tracks genre--let us know what you think!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    12/1/2009 12:34 PM

    Animoto has just launched animated holiday greeting cards. Three new greeting cards kick off Animoto's launch into video greetings; the most fun, personal, and easy way to send your holiday greeting cards this year!

    Today they are releasing two holiday video greetings, one in a charming pop-up card theme, and the other, a whimsical odyssey into a starry night, both rich in texture and warm winter scenery.

    They won't just be making greeting cards for the holidays. Starting now, they'll be making unique, elegant video greetings for every holiday and occasion year-round! Check out their first birthday card, released today as well.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.