Stupeflix releases awesome API to generate 1,000s of videos on the fly

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Stupeflix is a French startup which has come up with a radically new way of creating, processing and editing online video. On the face of it, Stupeflix automatically generates professional looking videos out of pictures, music and videos. If that sounds like Animoto, then you are right, but there are key differences under the hood which make Stupeflix totally different and potentially of much greater value. And I don’t say that lightly.

Where Animoto and Stupeflix completely diverge is in their approach and business model. Stupeflix has effectively come up with an API which describes video, text, using and pictures in flash video based on an XML description. So instead of actually editing the video you edit the XML. That means you can edit video just by changing a tag, or by telling their engine to run a different kind of effect for every video you wants to generate. iMovie would create just one video, and requires a meaty package to edit how it’s presented. With Stupiflix you just edit the XML, with tags like “rotate” or “fade left”. Today Stupeflix launches the web interface to its video editing web application.

Because Stupeflix was built first as an API service, it is designed to create videos from any kind of content on the fly. The API was developed in a similar way to how video games are programmed – as much of the prgramming took place directly on GPUs. As a demostration of its power, they’ve generated over 1,000 videos direct from Wikipedia content, automatically, in under 60 minutes.

Some practical applications of Stupeflix are pretty enticing. An Ecommerce web site could effectively suck in its inventory of pictures and information automatically to create a huge library of product videos – which are a great way to lift sales. The resulting video can increase video SEO, and a site’s reach on YouTube for instance. Another use might be to take a Twitter stream or a term on Twitter search about a breaking news story and create an updating or perhaps live video stream, adding in advertisements, logos etc. You could also take the Google TV Adsense interface, import some pictures and create video with Google ads embedded.

The business model is is to sell each video for a small fee – not unlike like Amazon Web Services as in: the more videos you produce the less you pay. The aim is to do what the Google Maps API did for maps, but do it for video. Their team is ex of DailyMotion and Exalead.

One Stupeflix customer already includes Orange Vallée, a subsidiary from the French mobile operator Orange, which will use Stupeflix in their upcoming consumer website Memory Life.

  • Jason

    VERY clever product. Mike, thank you for taking the time to create a proper article that isn’t amateur hour like your colleagues.

    • dasein

      Agree. Too many TC entries are silly or childish. Nice to get some solid overview of the tech industry and products, rather than a contributor trying to get more views.

      • Ivan

        Agreed! I was surprised when this post didn’t involve Twitter or an Amazon Affiliate link to the book the author wrote!

      • Envy

        I was thinking the same thing… finally no mention of twitter but then “Another use might be to take a Twitter stream or a term on Twitter search about a breaking news story and create an updating or perhaps live video stream, adding in advertisements, logos etc.”…

        You might as well change the name of this damn site to TwiiterCrunch

    • dasein

      It’s also nice to see coverage of European products. The TechCrunch UK site is rubbish, unless one wants coverage of various meet-and-greet functions.

      • Mike Butcher

        Ok, you’re banned :-)

      • dasein


      • dasein

        But why isn’t this also on the UK TC website?

  • john doe

    great idea.

  • Bob

    This just reads like an advert.
    It’s not even spellchecked.

    Sounds like a neat site, but don’t get too excited about a slideshow.

    • Jason

      Schonfield, we know this is you undercover.

  • Diwant Vaidya

    Why are such video remux sites getting popular? I think next inline would be a site that lets you create a collage of Youtube videos. That would be cool.

    • Gabriel Munch-Andersen

      I think they do :) You can add images or videos in the xml description used to generate the video

  • Justyn

    Played with the tool, very cool. I don’t think most people will ascertain the value of the API component. This isn’t a slideshow builder! You feed it data, high-quality videos are created. The potential uses are many.

    They may have to build a more intuitive non-API front-end to appeal to the masses, but I’m not sure that was the point.


    • EH

      This isn’t a slideshow builder! You feed it data, high-quality videos are created.

      What is the difference? That some of the slides can be video rather than still images?

      • spanky

        Get a grip. Its about the control of the media data, not the produced output. The point is that this is very clever, if you can’t see why, break open some programming books and get to work.

    • Kirk K.

      I think they may be counting on 3rd parties to build the front end using their APIs. Let others innovate based on the core functionality, while they focus on the platform.

  • Jyoti Shete-Javadekar

    wow.. sounds great!

  • Felix Fidelsberger

    Great article, really shows the potential of Stupeflix. Congrats!

    – Felix

  • lemon obrien

    i don’t get it; why would anyone edit video from on the web? buy a mac with final pro; then, either sell on or share it on

    • dasein

      Editing with XML makes post-production, editing and changes super-quick and highly scalable, for scores of videos at a time.

      • dasein

        If one was inclined to do scores of videos at a time. But imagine if you just want to edit an effect or time beat… Change the XML tag in 2 seconds and done. Would take 15 minutes or longer via traditional video edits.

  • Brian W.

    sounds like good potential. but man, they have a horrible website / ui. can’t figure out how to make a video for the life of me.

    come on guys, do UK proud.

  • Francois Arbour

    The API is very appealing to me, as a developper, i could actually create a custom web application or AIR application that would generate the XML file on the fly.

    They should have used Facebook connect for the login though, don’t feel like filling yet another signup form…

  • Chris Hopf

    Looks promising . . . would like to know their target audience(s) and if they have any strong data to confirm there is a willingness to pay prices that will sustain the business and position it for ongoing growth / profitability.

    Features that provide benefits that users are willing to pay for.

    • spanky

      What? You want TC to actually put hard work into creating a post? You want real information?

      The number of comments that congratulate TC on finally producing a post worth reading shows how sad the writing has become.

  • who

    This is interesting, but the flash player is not owned by them and anyone that knows the JW Player ,its using the player with the image rotator and the subtitles txt. An interesting concept, but the player allowed you to do this years ago. Hope they have a license.

    Also Cruncyroll uses the same player for their “subtitle” system.

    • Stan Oleynik

      You are not required to have a license for JW player, if you don’t have any ads on the site, plus the license is not a big dealin itself, it’s only around $50 for a site.

  • Avi Muchnick

    This is actually *perfect* for a site like The only question remains the cost of the videos.

    I made a video in a few minutes flat (and I love the interface).

    My only concern is that since they have no information on what pricing will be after they leave beta it’s a bit hard to justify the cost of development right now.

  • ms

    There is something that completely undercuts their technology.

    Can anyone guess?

  • Kirk Ketefian

    Great idea, stupid name.

    This would be a nice tool for generating good quality UGVC. I can see applications in many areas:

    – Publishers/sites that have ample image content and want to add video to their sites. The user engagement and the SEO benefits would be well worth the effort (which in Stupeflix’s case seems very minimal).
    – Small businesses who want to do video advertising (or non-ad content). In this case, Stupeflix would be competitive with companies like AdItAll, Jivox, Spotmixer, etc. Although I’m not sure if Stupeflix can handle actual video as input (I haven’t tested it yet).
    – Social networking users who want to quickly add video to their profile pages. Requires a visual front end since the masses wouldn’t know what to do with XML.
    – Photo sites can offer fast video creation.

    They need to figure out a pricing/monetization strategy quickly to make people comfortable using and developing on their platform.

    Good luck Stupeflix team (I’m in no way affiliated with them). But please change your name.

    • Stan Oleynik

      Couldn’t agree more… the name sounds like “stupid”…

  • bubba

    hmmmm, copyrights issues, anyone? Who will police this?

  • Dragos Ilinca

    The guys have been working really hard on this for quite a while. I know them personally, they are one of the Seedcamp 08 winners.

    They know what they are doing and I’m sure they’ll figure out the best business model pretty soon.

    Good job guys. Also good to see Mike excited about a European startup.

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  • Ajitesh

    This is one so very useful product I was looking for since long time. Tried for myself. It is absolutely amazing…good going guys! You have made one loyal user right away!

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  • Shirish

    Ho la la ….
    Thats great site .. ater a long time

  • Robert

    I just don’t buy that this model has the potential to have greater reach than Animoto.

    Specifically, if the goal of Stupeflix (or Animoto or any other site on the web) is to hit critical mass in consumption, then relying on a knowledge of XML — or even asking users to do their own work — as the “special sauce” will certainly inhibit adoption.

    In all reality both Animoto and Stupeflix create glorified slideshows. Nothing wrong with this. But if what you do is create slideshows, then you need to figure out how to get the most people to create slideshows. And the draw of customization through XML just doesn’t hit many demos outside of elite tech users. Not to mention the fact that the name doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Sorry for being negative, but the truth will set you free.

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