I learned a great trick in iMovie for making digital photo and video stories with accompanying music. The folks at Alas Media showed how when you open a music track in iMovie and view the "clip trimmer", you can play the song and press the 'M' key to mark keyframes where the photo or video would change. This is much easier than trying to line up clips or photos with the audio wave form (as I used to do in Windows Movie Maker). The result is a movie that has similar effects to those autogenerated movies from Animoto.
Alas Media does a really good job leading workshops about media production. They have a ton of resources and tips and tricks at www.alaslearns.com.
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan