Hello Animoto!

Well, I finally decided to give Ani­moto a try.

Animoto.com is a web appli­ca­tion that cre­ates MTV-style videos with the click of a button.

Users sim­ply choose a song and images. Ani­moto then auto­mat­i­cally gen­er­ates a unique video for them. No two videos are ever the same.

Many of the post-production tech­niques that the founders used while work­ing as pro­duc­ers for MTV, Com­edy Cen­tral & ABC are used in Animoto’s patent-pending Cin­e­matic Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence devel­oped to think like an actual edi­tor and direc­tor. The result­ing video is pro­duced in a widescreen for­mat, con­tain­ing the visual energy of a music video and the emo­tional impact of a movie trailer.

Ani­moto Pro­duc­tions is based in New York City with an office in San Francisco.

Here’s my first trial run video using my BYOBW 2008 photo set on Flickr.

I’m dig­ging it. I only wish the free account gives you more time. Maybe when they get their social net­work going, users can vote or give props to slideshows that have “poten­tial” to be remixed even fur­ther due to the amount of images and/or how good their sound­track is. But I’ll let Ani­moto decide on that algo­rithm. Another thing that would be cool is the idea of using tracks from Last.fm, Pan­dora, or ones like it. But I’m guess­ing Ani­moto would need ample time to ana­lyze those tracks before­hand to inject into their magic factory.

Mean­while, the ser­vice is priced well for Per­sonal Use, $25–30/year… just like Flickr’s. Don’t know if this is a long shot or not, but maybe incor­po­rate a deal with Flickr of get­ting a dis­counted mem­ber­ship. Any­ways, I can see myself pur­chas­ing a mem­ber­ship for Ani­moto. I fig­ure edit­ing a 3–5 minute video, and queu­ing music at the same time, takes a lot of time and patience and is well worth the $25–30. That’s only about a week’s worth of Lee’s Avo­cado Turkey sand­wiches that I can pass on—not bad at all.

Use the Cavalry 2TB CADA002SA2-B External Drive in OS X and Windows

I recently pur­chased an exter­nal drive to upgrade from my West­ern Dig­i­tal My Book 500GB Essen­tial Edi­tion. I needed the upgrade as I am plan­ning to upgrade the hard drive on my Mac­Book Pro some time this year to at least a 500GB (from a 120GB). I decided to go with the Cav­alry 2TB CADA002SA2-B exter­nal drive (aka. CADA-SA2).

It was sell­ing for a good price (~1GB/$1) a cou­ple of weeks ago. That and hav­ing the addi­tional eSATA inter­face helps with trans­fer­ring huge files (3.0Gbps vs 480Mbps, about 6.25x faster). Any­ways, my My Book was cur­rently setup with the fol­low­ing partitions:

  • 120GB for HFS+. I just use SuperDuper1 once or twice in a month, and/or when I want to do a OS X update, to have a bootable backup just in case of Murphy’s Law.
  • And the rest, 380GB for­mat­ted on NTFS. I use that space for back­ing up music, pho­tos, videos, appli­ca­tion install files, etc. both for Win­dows and OS X

I some­what wanted to do the same with the Cav­alry, but I’ve read on their site and their man­ual that it doesn’t work on OS X 10.5+. Luck­ily, some­one posted a review on NewEgg that they have suc­cess­fully got­ten it to work with Leopard.

You can get this drive to work on Mac OS 10.5. The way Cav­alry Tech sup­port told me to do it was to find a OS 10.4 machine, for­mat it on that and then plug it into the 10.5 machine. All I did was put in my old 10.4 disc, boot from the CD and use disk util­ity to for­mat it. How­ever, if you don’t have a way to boot OS 10.4 you are pretty much stuck.

I hope that helps for those who decide to get the same exter­nal stor­age and use it with your Mac products.

  1. SuperDuper is the wildly acclaimed pro­gram that makes recov­ery pain­less, because it makes cre­at­ing a fully bootable backup pain­less. []

DIY Helmet Cam for Snowboarding & Skiing

I ded­i­cate the fol­low­ing video to the homie Keno for sure! Haha…

He’s been think­ing of doing some­thing like this and usu­ally holds his Pow­er­shot with his right hand while going down the slopes. The only prob­lem with his tech­nique is that it some­what hin­ders his bal­ance. One the other hand, the only down side to prob­a­bly hav­ing the cam­era on your head is that you really got to be care­ful of how you ride, and not get into some sort of face plant, aka. kiss­ing powder =)

Here’s a live shot of it in use:

YouTube Preview Image

Source via Greyscale Gorilla.

PS. Horry cow—it’s still dump­ing in Tahoe since last week’s storm. Check out the con­di­tions via Snow Bomb.