I read about Animoto, a web application that automatically generates professionally produced videos and high-end motion design several months ago, and somehow forgot about the site shortly thereafter. Then recently, I read about the Beta and was dying to try it out.

Animoto promises to create videos with a fully customized orchestration of user-selected images and music. The videos are supposed to have the visual energy of a music video and the emotional impact of a movie trailer.

Since I had some free time last Saturday night, I used it to upload my personal photos to the Animoto confabulator (my word, not Animoto’s). All the while, I had the excitement of a child — the glee of a 7 year-old who just discovered a new red truck. I was going to create my very own music video, show it off to all the tech neophytes I associate with, and demonstrate my technological prowess to them.

As I uploaded each photo, I began to write the first draft of this Blog post.

‘Animoto is an incredible innovation and will undoubtedly push the advertising industry onto the balls of its feet. Small, independent advertising agencies beware…Animoto is here!’

Not so fast my friends.

After taking forever to upload my photos, compress them, render them and do whatever else this application needs to do to make these ‘so-called’ fabulous videos, here’s the message that was returned to me:


You\'re Video Has Exploded


Call me a gluten for punishment, but I tried 3 more times to upload my photos and create a video only to receive the same message over and over again…’your video has exploded’. What does that mean and, more importantly, in this day and age, how could you not follow-up with me via e-mail to explain the problem and tell me when it’s fixed?

Needless to say, I’m not convinced Animoto is taking over the advertising industry anytime soon. In fact, I think they have a lot of work to do to make this application viable to the masses.

If any of you have had positive experiences with this site, please let me and this readership know so I can provide a fair and balanced perspective on The Third Place.