Animoto's iPhone app makes instant slideshows from your junky pictures

Everyone loves slideshows. You sit back and watch as the images before you help you reminisce about a past event. But why wait? Now you can make a slideshow minutes after taking photos thanks to Animoto’s new iPhone app.

You simply select between eight and 16 pictures, arrange the order you want them to show up in, pick a song and let Animoto encode a video pulling it all together. Once you’re done, you can watch the video on your iPhone (in Quicktime format), edit it or share it via email with anyone. By far the longest step in the process is the encoding, and that only takes a few minutes.

But it’s not perfect. First of all, a maximum of 16 photos is a bit low. That’s not going to cut it for say, a wedding. But then again anyone who is expecting a professional wedding slideshow made on the iPhone probably deserves some 16-shot, blurry (thanks to the iPhone’s 2 megapixel camera with no flash or autofocus) footage set to music by some band no one has ever heard of.

And that’s the second problem — despite one of the iPhone’s key features being that it holds your music, Animoto won’t let you use any of it in your slideshow. Instead, it has a collection of songs from artists I’ve never heard of. Some of the stuff isn’t bad, but for sentimental slideshows, isn’t it a requirement to at least have Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”?

The app also doesn’t feature a way to log into your own Animoto account if you already have one set up from the web site. That should be resolved shortly, Animoto chief executive Brad Jefferson tells TechCrunch.

Overall, Animoto for the iPhone is a neat way to make a quick keepsake from a trip, but it’s hardly going to replace more professionally made slideshow videos, like the ones you can make on Animoto’s website.

It’s interesting that this is the second iPhone app in about a week’s time that uses still images and sound to make videos. 12seconds’ iPhone app does a similar thing, though, to be fair, that is just because the iPhone will not yet do video, whereas Animoto is meant to be about slideshows.

The Animoto app is free in the App Store — and yes, I made the awesome video below, including some of my most memorable iPhone screenshots from the past few hours.


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