Thursday, April 22, 2010

Video: Cheap but Not Easy

Most press releases that come to this blog are about as interesting as a foreign film without subtitles.  A glass of flat gingerale.  A drive through Texas.  A swig of moonshine without the grape Kool-Aid.  Err, you get the idea - boring, boring, boring (and, in the case of the moonshine, life-threatening).  But occasionally, something comes through that makes The Frugal Hostess scratch her head and open her email.  Animoto sent an email that got opened, and FruHo got to take their new web-based service for a spin. 

As a (possibly now former) PowerPoint addict, The Frugal Hostess can safely tell you that she has spent upwards of 30 hours trying to get a deck to do what Animoto does in minutes.   Basically, you upload pictures and video clips, and the magical website fairies turn it into a video of the quality that you usually spend a lot of money or time to achieve.  Best of all, you can set the video to music and add text without an engineering degree. 

The pros: You can make 30-second videos (about 10 pictures) for free.  The user-interface is extremely intuitive and easy, and the outcome is great.  For nine out of ten applications, this would blow your audience's mind.  You can add your own music.

The cons: The music selection is not awesome, featuring songs you've never heard from artists you've never heard of.  TFH also had a hard time getting the music player to load.  It feels like the photos take forever to upload, but that's just because the selection process is so easy that you think it will be instantaneous. 

On the whole, this service is spec-freaking-tacular.  Any marketer or HR pro would be smart to invest in the All-Access level of membership, and there's also a Pro level that presumably has more bells and whistles.

FruHo made a video showcasing some of the projects and parties that have appeared here.  Frankly, it made her a little misty-eyed to remember back to her first couple of posts.  The music is, well, a little cheesy, but please enjoy this video:

You can sign up for Animoto here, and TFH has no doubt your video will be a lot better looking than hers.

(Dear FTC: FruHo didn't have to pay to use this service, and those are affiliate links.  Love ya! TFH)

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