Animoto on Wednesday is launching long-promised functionality to include videos in its animated next-gen slideshows. Animoto CEO Brad Jefferson stopped by the brand-new GigaOM office on Tuesday and we played with the new feature. He explained that Animoto (see our previous coverage) is able to incorporate video like this because it does all its processing up in the cloud, rather than within Flash like, say, Slide. Since Animoto’s core competency is basically turning photos into videos, in a few ways it’s actually more efficient to process already-moving videos, according to Jefferson.
What’s cool about the video feature (and Animoto in general), is that if you feed in raw footage, mix it with b-roll and music, you get something that looks extremely snazzy. Jefferson said the model is a TV segment, which spotlights and packages snippets of videos and graphics. But simple tools have their downside, and that’s lack of customizability. You’ll notice in our clip that our recorded audio and overlaid soundtrack don’t comfortably coexist. Further, Animoto is actually dictating how users incorporate video, by limiting clips to 10 seconds for paid users and 5 seconds for free users. Jefferson said that’s to maintain “punchiness.”