Animoto Encourages iPod nano Video Camera Users to Create Little Music Videos: Provisional Thumbs Up From Me

I read a press release from…


…that was a bit of head-scratcher. It’s openning paragraph said:

Today, Apple announced that it is building a video camera into the new iPod Nano, now allowing users to take quality video with sound, inexpensively, on the go. But how can you capture videos, tell a story with them — and then easily share with family and friends? Enter Animoto (, the site that creates stylish, dynamic, and professional-quality online videos from your own photos, music and video — and makes the editing process as easy as the filming.

But, wait! Isn’t Animoto’s claim to fame its ability to take still photos, provide slick transitions, and provide royalty free music? The new iPod nano can only record video. It cannot take still photos. So, how is this going to work?

The local Apple Stores here haven’t received their shipment of 5th generation iPod nanos yet. So, I haven’t bought one yet to test. So, I used a recent video segment I created to show samples of video from the iPhone 3GS and Touch Pro2 as reasonable facimiles of the 5g iPod nano’s 640×480 30fps video.

Animoto handles actual video by having you choose 3 second segments from one or more video files. I chose to upload one file and select segments from different parts of the video. Animoto’s web user interface for this particular task is a slow and clunky process since the slider control to select 3 second clips is clumsy to use. I suspect it would be easier if I want to select 3 second segments from multiple video clips.

Choosing the background music (the original sound from the video is muted) and starting the rendering process is simple. The rendering process takes a bit of time though. So, plan to grab a snack or perform some other activity while you wait.

My minor complains aside, I have to say that the final product looks and sounds good. So, what started out as a blog entry complaining about a misleading press release ends as a provisional thumbs up for recommending new iPod nano owners test their videos with Animoto’s service. I hope they redesign their video editing process though.