Animoto vs. Google Auto-Awesome #edtech

February 17, 2014 § Leave a comment

I’ve been playing with video tools after our trip to the rodeo this weekend.

Remember when creating a video was a long, arduous process of getting the video from the camera onto your computer, then putting together your clips just so, editing them down, then choosing music, transitions, titles, and the like?

Well, no more! Animoto has been, for several years, the king of quick online video. It started off with just photos, but has progressed over the years and now offers the ability to include video clips and text in your video. Animoto is pretty intuitive to use, and can be done both online and via an app on Android or iOS (so big win for being completely device agnostic). The biggest drawback to Animoto is that free videos are limited to 30 seconds and at 360p resolution. You can upgrade your account and get full length videos and full HD resolution for $5/month or $30/year.

To create your video, you choose the photos and videos you want to put in it. In the free version, you’re limited to 12 items.

Here’s the free Animoto video I created of our day at the rodeo.

Google Auto-Awesome videos are the relative newcomer to the online video space. The feature is meant to be just like auto-awesome photos, where it takes a series of photos and videos you took around the same time and stitches them together automatically to create a video. It is supposed to work with both Android and iOS devices (I don’t have auto-backup turned on, nor do I ever shoot video with my iPad, so I can’t claim for sure that it works on iOS as it does on Android), but I haven’t found a way to put together a video on Google+ yet using these features. When my Android phone creates and auto-awesome video, a notification shows up on my phone, and I can go in to view the video and choose to edit it, save it, or delete it.

Here’s the auto-awesome video Google created of our day at the rodeo:

You can also create your own video using photos and video clips that you choose, just like Animoto. You also have your choice of music, you can edit the clips down, split them into scenes, and choose a theme to use with your video. Again, I only have experience with this on Android, not iOS, and cannot find a way to do it online. The biggest advantage here is that you are not limited on length or time of video, and you can export every video you create with at full HD at no cost.

Here’s the video I created earlier on my own, before Google auto-awesomed a video for me.

I think for students, at the moment, Animoto gets the win just because of the diversity of platforms you can create on. If/when Google allows video creation online using the auto-awesome features, it will be the king. Of course, you do have to have a Google+ account to create these videos, so if your school does not open Google+ for students, that could still be a major drawback.

For me, for personal use, I really like the power and simplicity of Google’s tools. I just wish there was an easy way to edit online, instead of having to do it on my phone.

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