Animoto 9/5/13

I found this app in my ‘Waiting Review’ folder so I don’t know how long it has been waiting and as I got started I wasn’t too excited about it. I knew that it required wi-fi access to use it and that a user must be 13 years of age; because it requires personal information (you have to sign in). THEN, I came across the “Unlimited Videos For Educators”. Alright, now we have an app worth looking into.

Animoto is a photo/video mixer app. You supply the photos, the videos & music (or use their music) and Animoto will mix it together with a style that you choose. There are 42 styles to choose from and they include intro’s outro’s and transitions that are matched to music that support that style.

As I started using Animoto I was noting the restrictions based on ‘free’ use because they do charge for full feature access. Restrictions for a free account included limits like, only 12 photos/videos could be in each project and the length of each video uploaded was trimmed to a few seconds each.  UNTIL I applied for my Educator Account. Now I can make unlimited videos.

I was expecting to wait for my account to be reviewed so I could ‘upgrade’ later but I received approval immediately! (Be sure you use your school email account)

So, with my new fandangle account I got a special code and this message:

You may use this six-month free subscription code to create up to 50 Animoto accounts for your students and colleagues. You may not, and must ensure the student does not, provide any student’s personally identifiable information to Animoto at any time, including when establishing student accounts. You are responsible for supervising the use of your students’ accounts in the classroom and ensuring it complies with the Animoto for Education Terms of Use.

Only a 6 mo account? –Well, you can re-apply when your account expires. Using that promo code on your own account adds 181 days to your account. So, you basically get one year free. I understand Animoto’s directive. If they keep every account active forever, and teachers never return after their initial application, why keep the accounts?

I haven’t gone into how to use Animoto very much but it’s very simple. You select photos & videos from your camera roll, or capture something new with your camera. Next, you select a style. If you don’t want to use the sample music that they provide then you can use your own. Watch those copyright laws, they really mean “Your Own” music. Next, you can type a title and ending to your production and if you used photos those can have captions added to them also. Animoto does the transitions and cross fades to the volume if you are using video. Once the video is created you can download it back to your camera roll. Video files are stored as .mov files. For mobile device users you can get your movies off of your device by emailing them to save them to your removable memory. If your videos are longer you can sync your mobile device to your computer. You can also post videos to social media sites to share them with your friends.

If you are a video editor who is used to controlling the timing of stills and used to selecting your transitions, a video mixer like Animoto may be too simple for you. If you want to produce professional looking photo & video montages, but don’t have much time or skill, then Animoto is perfect.  Another nice feature to this app is that you can go back and edit your production. Keep in mind though, each time you re-publish your video, Animoto mixes a different combination. You can keep re-publishing until you get just the right combination you like.  

You can use Animoto on a personal level or at a classroom level. This app is ideal for an assignment such as a Book Review. Students can create a ‘movie trailer’ style presentation where they capture scenes they act out from the book. This is just one idea, I’m sure you’ve got your own and can find a way to include an Animoto project into your classroom after applying for your Educator account.

Remember you don’t have to have a mobile device to use Animoto. They have a web version that you can use from any MAC or PC. Animoto for iOS & Android was designed for the smaller screen (phones) so you will want to 2x’s the view to fill your screen when using this app.

Download from Google Play:

Download from iTunes:

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