Playing with a new video tool called Lumen5 today, that I think may just be out of beta.
They use AI to help you quickly create social videos out of existing articles, or from scratch if you so desire. At least that’s the promise. Premise?
In real life, of course, a proper polished product takes a little more time, but Lumen5 certainly automates the beginning of a a video and gives you a structure to edit against, and for many of us wanna be procrastinators, it’s exactly the kick in the pants we need to get started on SOMETHING that we SAY we WANT!
I’m not being cruel, statistically machine learning will kick out some fantastic stuff in moments. But if you have a little more skill, technically, literarily, photographic- and video-ily (I knew the grammar was going to fall apart), you want to demonstrate it, so you’ll want to add back in the human touch.
My straight-up first experience: I created an account and logged in, then fed it a URL for an old post with cameraphone tips that urged editing to make things better. (Wow, the metaphor here runs deep!)
It pulled in the text of the post and all the photos for easy use in their editor. Unfortunately I’d only used two photos (who writes a tip post with only two examples?) so it kindly filled in the gaps with free stock photos from their library, using keywords from the post (lots of camera stuff; actually that was pretty handy.)
It also grabs portions of text from the post (rather than trying to print the whole thing on a hour long slide show.) Great move. It preferred headers and tops of paragraphs and was okay. I edited the text on the separate slides and could move slides and the text boxes around to tell the story better.
Music? Yes, there’s a free library or you can add your own. There’s also a Style section to change colors font and the like.
It’s easier to use on a desktop computer, but I did begin on my iPad and got a basic edit out of that.
I decided I wanted to use my own photos, so I moved to the desktop and dug up my folders of older cameraphone pictures, which you can choose one at a time with the Uploader or drag and drop. Worked very well.
It occurs to me only now that I should have tried to use video footage as well since it’s in the stock library (some items are a “premium”). Wonder how to trim that in the simplified interface, or if it needs to be cut before uploading. 50mb limit on uploads, in jpg, png, gif, mov or mp4.
- It is amazing? Yes, with limitations
- Can you set it and forget it, just giving it an RSS feed to automatically make videos from your blog while you sleep? Yes. They call that Instant Videos.
- Should you? Well, if you want your site to be robotic and surface, then okay. If you are going to consider them as first drafts and spend time editing the details to make it personal, then absolutely.
I imagine if you spend some time with this tool, you’ll learn to format posts for even better initial results. But remember that your final audience is human and give it a human touch.
I do love technology. But the web was built by humans on technology, and if we completely surrender our management of it to robots, it’s just going to be AI creators feeding AI readers that post AI replies to very artificial intelligence accounts. What human wants to sift through that for the good stuff? Make it good stuff first, but certainly put your hands on a cool tool.*
On that note, you can post directly to Facebook from inside the program, also Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, or download your video to share with your own methods.
It’s available at lumen5.com and yes, they offer a free version with some limitations.
I’ll post another test shortly and update this link when I do.
* THAT does NOT sound right.