Many people like the idea of taking popular songs and adding their own video or photos to them to create their own music video. These fill YouTube, Vimeo and similar sites and are, generally, a violation of the Terms of Service of those sites as well as copyright laws. Sites that offer the music legally along with easy, Web-based tools for building videos have caught on, especially Animoto.
ClipGenerator.com is another of these sites and it has some things that could give Animoto a run for its money. First and foremost, it’s faster and easier to use. The music selection is roughly the same (mostly Sony/BMG and Universal artists) and caters heavily towards Top 40 and hip-hop. The song’s title and info are displayed along with (C) info, meeting both YouTube and MetaCafe’s ToS requirements.
The videos also include advertising, of course, which is how ClipGenerator makes their money and pays for those song royalties.
The effect sequences and setups are about what you expect from these kinds of pop culture sites. Some are kind of nice and very well done while others are just sort of, well, poppy.
You begin ClipGenerator by choosing music. The songs are organized by category and artist and you can preview the song while watching a demo clip (made up of other people’s clips using that track, or generics). Once you’ve chosen your song, you accept the usage terms for photos (ownership, content, etc.) and then you can begin embedding your pics.
These can come from your hard drive, Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, Smugmug, Facebook and more. You can also directly link your Web cam for pics or video clips. You can put in up to 8 items for free, but must pay for more than that. Then your video is compiled with the photos and Webcam shots being inserted and animated to match the music.
You can then link or download it to post to YouTube, Myspace, and other sites.
It’s fun to play with ClipGenerator, but it’s not something you’d use for your professional website or business, obviously.
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