Animoto vs. Photostory 3 – Side by Side Comparison

Yesterday I reviewed Animoto and shared how impressed I was with it. Someone asked how it compares to Photo Story 3 from Microsoft. Having never used Photo Story 3 I had to do a little research before I could offer a good response. This morning I installed Photo Story 3 and put together a little slide show/ video. What follows is my comparison of Photo Story 3 with Animoto.

System Requirements
Animoto is completely web-based so it works on any Internet-connected computer regardless of operating system. Animoto officially supports Safari, Firefox, and IE 6 and 7, but it also works on other web browsers although not as smoothly. Photo Story 3 only works on Windows operating systems and requires Windows Media Player v.10 or higher. Advantage = Animoto

Editing Options
Animoto allows users to select their images and music after that Animoto does the rest of the editing. Animoto produces the transitions and timing for the slide show video. Animoto does allow users to go back and edit some elements like the number of images and the music although not as precisely as you might get with proprietary software. Photo Story 3 allows users to select their images, music, record voice narrations, and edit timings and transitions. Advantage = Photo Story 3

Sharing / Web Publishing Options
Animoto videos can be shared across numerous social networking, blogging, video sharing platforms with one click. Animoto also has the option of copying and pasting code to use for embedding a video into other websites. Additionally, Animoto videos can be sent to your cell phone, emailed, or downloaded for use on your local computer. Photo Story 3 videos can be saved to your local computer, emailed, or saved for use on a Windows equipped mobile device. Sharing or publishing to the web requires uploading to a third party before sharing across some social networks and blogging platforms. Slight Advantage = Animoto

As I compared Animoto and Photo Story 3 side by side I realized that I was almost comparing apples to oranges. Animoto and similar web-based programs (see Photo Show) seems to be going after a market that is interested in free, quick, and easy methods of generating splashy content for social networking and blogging audiences. Photo Story 3 appears to be targeted toward an audience that is interested in controlling all aspects of editing and content generation. Animoto is the tool I’d use if I needed to produce something quickly if precise timing wasn’t a key issue. Photo Story 3 is an application I might turn to if I had a lot of time to produce a video slide show and timings were critical to the quality. For me the biggest knock against Photo Story 3 is the need for installing new software and the Windows only requirement. Kaltura and Gorilla Spot are free online editing tools that do what Photo Story 3 does.


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