I've written about Stupeflix, and showed you a sample digital story I created there by using the online editor to upload photos, then add music and captions. PhotoPeach and Animoto are also great online places to tell stories this way.
Recently Flixtime, a similar service, notified me that they'd made some changes to their site. After revisiting the site, I think they have improved it. You can add a voiceover, change the speed of your presentation and as usual, weave images, music and words to make a digital story.
To test it out, I uploaded the same photos I took for my article, Using Toys as a Springboard for Writing. All I had to do was find where the photos were located on my computer, hold shift and click to select them all, then wait a short time for the upload. After that, I edited out the ones I didn't want, until I had enough for my story. I added that story in the form of captions, by choosing the tiny pencil and editing each photo. I opted not to use voiceover, but that's certainly a great feature. I chose some music, a title, saved and hit "render my video".
When I looked at the finished product, I was disappointed that some of the captions I'd added didn't show up on the slides. There are a lot of fancy transitions, which you can't control. I would have preferred simple transitions and the captions I wanted, particularly to tell a story.Any words we create are too important to us to lose - ask any writer who's lost a text document!
However, let's not be too hasty. Could it possibly be that The Book Chook made an error? I decided to take the remix option offered and try again. I found the slides that had lost captions, and edited them. This time I made doubly sure I saved the caption in the caption window, AND saved again on the slide. That worked. I remixed again, switched music, and changed my speed. Then I decided to change the order of some slides and add a new caption only slide. All of this worked reasonably quickly, and well, so I suspect the lack of captions was operator error. In case the embed below doesn't work for you, you can get an idea of the result at Flixtime.
I'm impressed with Flixtime. There is an excellent choice of music, or you can upload your own. This puts Flixtime ahead of Stupeflix, and I believe the music range on offer is wider than that at Animoto or PhotoPeach. The images available are limited, but I figure most people who want to use the site to create a story will have their own images. I like the fact you can add captions to a picture, or add a separate caption only slide.
Flixtime is free to use for 60 second videos. It would be a great place for your kids to experiment with creating their own short videos. They could make a story like mine for a younger sibling by setting up some toys for a photo shoot. They could tell Grandma about a family holiday and send the video to her via email. Stories can also be embedded on a blog.