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Joel on Software

Animoto

by Joel Spolsky
Friday, January 02, 2009

Tom suggested that I use Animoto to jazz up the slideshow of Fog Creek pictures. Here’s what came out of that:

Animoto is very simple: you give it a bunch of pictures and choose a soundtrack, and it gives you a video presentation. The part I liked best was how easy it was to get your pictures... you just point it at one of the five most popular online photo sharing services, and it shows you a list of your albums on that service. One click and all your pictures are imported:

The service is free for 30 second videos (about 15 pictures worth). For longer videos, it’s $3.00, which gets you a low res version. To upgrade to high res is another $5. There are all kinds of packages available if you plan to make a lot of videos. I was pretty impressed by the simplicity of the whole thing. It does take quite a while to render the video, though, so unless you have all day, you can’t make very many adjustments before you get tired of fooling around.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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