Memos from February 2009

Hello Animoto!

Well, I final­ly decid­ed to give Ani­mo­to a try. 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, 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.

Street Fighter IV English Trailer

It’s going to be a sick game. Here’s the video of the lat­est Eng­lish trail­er for Street Fight­er IV.1

YouTube Preview Image

PS. is tak­ing pre-orders of the game which will release on Feb­ru­ary 17th. Check out the Col­lec­tor’s Edi­tion below:

  1. The pre­vi­ous video seem to have changed their shar­ing pref­er­ences to not have it played on any domains oth­er than Vimeo. []

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. []