Review of VideoBuddy

Well, my stint with VideoBuddy lasted about six days. Unfortunately, it isn’t for anyone who wants to do more ambitious projects like an audio book. It’s more for ads and shorter projects.

It also seemed as if they had been too eager to launch as many features just weren’t there as promised. I had bought Pro version, which didn’t deliver all that was advertised. The unlimited text promise turned out to be a 3000 word limit, which you made unlimited by stitching a bunch of audio clips together. Which is way more work than their claim of “no hard work involved” led me to believe. Except for those little projects, of course. Moreover, that 3000 word limit is eaten up quickly by the HTML tweaks used to make your voice choice sound more human. You end up with 200 -300 words of real text. So imagine trying to get a novel done tweaking 300 words at a time of a 50,000 word story. And stitching all that audio together.

The limits were due to the fact this program operates using the tech of Google Wavelength and Amazon Polly. Apparently they only allow for a 3000 word limit if you were to just go use their software. So, this limitation extends to this software program. And we’re expected to accept that, understand it, and move on.

My novels are more than 50K words. Thomi’s over 250K. And my third novel, a work still in progress, will be that and more, I think. Yeah, when I write a story, I write a story! Since Thomi’s been termed a saga, I guess Stormi’s story will continue that saga.

There was a cute little boy’s voice that would be perfect for any kids’ story, unless you needed a little girl. No little girls were forthcoming. With just a bit of tweaking, he sounded pretty lifelike. Unfortunately, I could only generate two little clips a day using Amazon’s Polly where this boy’s voice resides. I figure it would’ve done the same no matter what voice I tried to use. So . . . imagine if I had to deal with that while trying to get an audio book out. Or any other project, for that matter.

Wavelength let me do as many clips as I wanted to do, but I wasn’t impressed by the choices I had there. Had I the 200+ choice of voices promised in the Pro level, I might have found one I liked. I might even have kept the program a bit longer to see if I could learn to use it for something. But so much of it wasn’t there as advertised, so I put in for a refund. Which was promptly done, I’m happy to say.

I wish the program as worked as claimed. It would’ve been a wonderful piece of software I would’ve been happy to have owned. Paid their monthly fee, which was nominal, and which they claimed was more for maintaining the software than for making a profit. The basic level had no such fee. Lots of limitations at the basic level. Like a 400 word limit and limited to those few voices and audio clips. Probably couldn’t stitch anything together at that level either.

So, I’m back to either doing the audio myself or hiring it out for hundreds or thousands which I don’t have. And, of the two choices, I will attempt it myself. I’ve checked out the voices at the various sites where you can hire a person, still looking for the right one. But, as I say, I really can’t afford that at the moment, so I shall experiment with this aspect of publishing and see how it turns out. I’ll likely start with something short and then try out the novels.

So, folks, that in a nutshell, is my experience with VideoBuddy. I will spare you the rants some dissatisfied customers raged in the FB group. But, maybe, sometime in the future, a better system can be worked out, and then we’ll all be in happy audio creation heaven!