The term “mash-up” usually refers to an audio clip that’s a mix “˜n match of two different songs joined into one. Here I am ignoring a related expression which stands for completely destroying, wrecking or mutilating. Masher probably is a take on the word (the earlier one!) as it’s a free online service that lets us string together videos, photos, words, SFX effects and music to create “mashes”. Masher is convergence.
“What’s the great benefit of patching together all these different media clips into one?” you might very well ask.
The obvious benefit is that it’s just a way of digitally expressing feelings, thoughts and emotions through graphics, words and sounds. Doesn’t a picture say a thousand words? A video should definitely say far more and it has special effects and music thrown in. Think of it as a very expressive messaging tool or your own free photo share site with special effects. The second benefit is that it sounds kind of cool. We can create a “˜mash’ and spread it around the web on social networks and blogs.
So let’s get cracking”¦ umm, mashing and see if we can catch a few wows.
Mashing starts with a signing
Signing up is simple but requires an email link validation. The site is totally free without any hidden mouse traps. After the first log-in, you can go into your profile and edit your user details. After that, it’s straight to our first “˜mash’.
My Stuff – onto my first mash
A click on My Stuff takes me into my personal gallery page and the media upload area. The black flash-based uploader is the Masher tool to use for transferring video clips, pictures and music.
- For videos – you can upload videos up to 50MB in size and supported formats avi, mpeg, mpg, mp4, wmv, mov, 3gp and 3g2.
- For images – you can upload photos up to 6MB in size and supported formats jpeg, png and gif.
- For music – you can upload music up to 7MB in size and supported formats include mp3, wma and wav.
Enter the studio
Here’s where the slick online editor presents itself. The flash-based editor is simple and intuitive. It consists of the preview screen, the top menu which gives one touch access to all the media and effects, and the bottom placed timeline. The timeline is where you drag the selected media type after choosing it from the galleries provided. Nothing could be as simple as selecting and dragging.
Creating a “˜mash’ starts with choosing from the media types available. We have the option of clicking on My Uploads and selecting the videos/photos/music we uploaded. If we don’t have our own clips to use, we can go with the BBC Motion Gallery clips provided for use or choose from those provided by Rip Curl or Urban Freestyler. Or if you want to stay neutral, stick to the color block screens.
For music, again the choice comes down to using your own uploaded track or that provided by Masher’s partners – Audio Networks and Slam. These are exclusively for creations in Masher. The collection is large spread over 13 categories. Choose your audio clip and drag it to the timeline.
The Text area is for writing your special line, choosing from the limited fonts and giving it a color. Text orientation features are limited; you can only drag it around with your mouse. After that you drag the purple text bar to the timeline below and position it over the specific picture slide.
Effects can be similarly picked up and dropped over the slides, the same for all or a different one for each.
As a last step you can go with a choice of skins to package the whole thing in.
Preview your little creation in the player. You can always edit any step of the mash by simply clicking the red crossed button on each media clip. If it’s done, click on Save, enter a title, description and tag to be done with your first mash. Since this can be your own free photo share site, when you save a mash you can choose to make available publicly (in the public Masher gallery) or limit it to your friends.
Click on View/Share for the curtain raiser and the buttons for sharing it with your friends across the social networks.
Gallery – the final resting place
All public mashes come here. View the most popular ones or the most recent ones. You will get a lot of inspiration from some of the better ones.
As a free photo share site in the form of doing a photo-story or sharing a small video, Masher is certainly not innovative. It is almost a sister application of two others we covered previously – Animoto and Capzles. What it is, is a hassle-free way to combine media with an idea within ten minutes for an eye-catching picture message.
If you liked creating photo-stories in a jiffy, you might like the ease of Masher. Let us know your story.