I’ve done a few and, as I went for a paid account ($30 a year), I can create quite lengthy videos and do other things like download the videos I create as well as post them directly to YouTube.
Comparing the DVD and web versions I created from some photos of a family event a couple of weeks ago, the difference is remarkable. As Animoto explains it:
Standard Animoto videos are rendered at a resolution of 432 x 240 at 15 frames-per-second. DVD-quality videos are rendered at 864 x 480 at 24 frames-per-second.
The two-minute DVD video I created was produced as an ISO image file which I downloaded. Then you need to burn it to DVD. I found Animoto’s suggestion for doing this worked perfectly – they recommended Alex Feinman’s ISO Recorder for Windows. A neat utility which works well on Windows Vista.
Then I turned on the TV, popped the DVD into my DVD player, and watched. It’s great!
With the ISO file, you also get a high-resolution MP4 file, so you can play your video from your computer. Looks great at full screen, and would look equally great projected, certainly not grainy as most web video looks when viewed in full screen.
It costs $5 to create a DVD-quality video. That’s a bargain price. There’s also a $20 option if you want Animoto to do it all and send you a DVD in the post.
The one I did was a personal video, family focused. Imagine the business uses. I can think of one example: you have a client or employee get-together (a one-day conference or workshop, say). Lots of photos. So you upload them to your Animoto account, set up your video creation and go for the DVD version.
Once you have the ISO file, you could then burn DVDs for everyone as mementos. Nice for connecting people.
Imagine how simple, easy and inexpensive it would be to do.
[Update June 24] Animoto have launched Animoto for Business, a new service offering commercial accounts at $99 for 3 months and $249 for 12 months.
Subscriptions include unlimited video creation, streaming, viewing and downloading, including DVD quality video. Details.