Animoto describes itself as a video slideshow maker with music. The idea behind this application is that a user can take pictures or video that they have on his or her computer or phone and use Animoto’s graphic templates and music to create a quick and easy slideshow.
I primarily looked at Animoto’s web application (there is one for phones too) and found that, even for someone as technically impaired as myself, I could easily create a basic slideshow. The menus and templates are easy to navigate and swap on the fly. From signing up to completing my first 30-second video (using sample images and video), I only spent about 10 minutes.
However, the editing options feel pretty limited. The slideshow I made featured photos that glided in and out of view in stylized ways, but I had no control over which direction they moved to and fro. Animoto’s templates do a lot of filling in for you, that is to say a lot of style will be decided for you according to which template you utilize. The result is, the video looked a little generic, and I think people viewing it will immediately tell it came from a free online program. That may be okay for certain uses like sharing with friends, but if you are looking for something professional, investment in a program with more options might be the way to go.
Also, if you are merely a free subscriber, you will get a fewer amount of templates to choose from and you are limited to making a video 30 seconds long. If you want more options, you can sign up for monthly payments.
Overall, I’d say Animoto is worth the free download. Depending on your needs, a generic video might be all right; they are certainly quick and easy to create. The phone app might be a simple way to create content from your computer or phone into a fast video. However, if you desire more control over your project, you might want to look elsewhere since options to put a personal touch on the videos seem limited.