The End Of The Slideshow As We Know It

Everyone’s familiar with the slideshow: those cool online photo presentations that swap your pics methodically one after another. Some are better than others, with various transitions and navigational controls. They’re a great way to present your photos and can be embedded in the pages of personal websites, including wedding websites, as a way to present a lot of imagery in a small space. For years, they’ve been a mainstay of online image sharing. Most social networking sites provide them. But things evolve, and the slideshow as we know it may be going the way of the dinosaur.

The guys at are film and TV producers–and self proclaimed nerds (my kind of peeps)–that have come to a simple but profound conclusion: the fact is, people don’t use their cameras the same way they did back in the day. You know, back when the concept of the slideshow first developed: when photos were captured on actual chemical film and slideshows were created by those noisy contraptions that used a carousel of transparent cards. The ones that projected images one after another onto a pull-down screen in your grandfather’s living room. Yeah, I’m talking back in the day. I know…it’s a stretch. Stay with me.

Remember this dinosaur? Are we still using the online equivalent?

Remember this dinosaur? Are we still using the online equivalent?

Back then, the idea of taking a picture was to capture a moment in time. Naturally. The slideshow presents such moments well. But with the advent of digital cameras, the guys at Animoto realized that most people today approach picture-taking entirely differently: we take a lot more pictures, for one thing. And what we’re doing, they assert, is capturing entire experiences with these streams of imagery, thinking more like a video producer than Ansel Adams.

It makes sense. Many of us grew up in the age of MTV. Professional video presentations, harmoniously pairing the energy of a visual symphony with a perfectly supporting soundtrack, are given to us in custom audio-visual synergy. We expect such artistry now, but it’s something that has evolved, and recently in my opinion. I’m not only talking about music videos, either. Just look at movie trailers done in the 70′s or 80′s. Sheesh, in the early 90′s, even. Compare them with today’s and you’ll see what I mean.

So how does Animoto bring cutting-edge video presentation effects to the humble slideshow? By changing your photo showcase from a flip-flip-flip steady (yawn) series of images into a professional cinematic presentation that uses their own patent-pending artificial intelligence to match the imagery mixup with accompanying music. Their technology does real post-production work just like a video producer would, adding a variety of video effects and taking into account the rhythms, vocals, structure, and even genre of the music to time and style each photo transition. Simply put, it ain’t your grandfather’s slideshow.

An embedded presentation

An embedded presentation

I’m impressed by the results and how easy it is to use. Upload your photos, pick your music, and Animoto does the rest. It’s free, and you can embed the resulting presentations into your website pages to show off your photos like never before. Sure to please the geek and video artist in all of us! There are even iPhone and Facebook apps available. Definitely worth checking out.

Photo credits: Old-time slide projector, Animoto screenshot, video viewable at

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avatar About Jason

Enthusiast of traveling, writing, cinematography, all things tech, good coffee, and craft beer. Founder of Mediasoft Technologies, Inc. & Author of "e-Plan Your Wedding". Follow me at @jason_melendez and check out my blog.

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