Sneak peek of what’s coming in Windows Live Movie Maker

moviemaker_5eab4eec News Last month, the Windows Live Movie Maker team made a blog post with a status update on what’s been happening to Movie Maker. To give you a recap, in the post Mike Torres offered some glimpses of what to expect from the new version, including more rich-editing capabilities (more transitions, trim, split, multiple soundtracks), “some sort of a timeline”, and a simple interface that would “allow more experienced people to go deeper when they need to”.

Today I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the new version. The first thing I’ve noticed is a more comprehensive ribbon menu with much more functionalities compared to the version we’ve been seeing since December last year. First things first, here’s a screenshot of the newly updated Movie Maker:

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We can see that the ability to add titles, captions and credits is back. New options such as image/video rotation are also available. One noticeable button is “AutoMovie” – which will automatically “add titles, credits, transitions, and effects, and fits it all together for you.” Here’s a clearer view of the ribbon:

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Many people were disappointed about the lack of a “timeline” in the new Movie Maker. Although as Mike stated that the timeline might not make a return, he promised that there will be something that resembles a timeline. While we’re not sure what the “View” menu will do, here’s a preview of the new “storyboard”-like view now showing you the positions of titles and soundtracks:

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As seen above, Movie Maker also now take advantage of the new ribbon interface with the “Video Tools” and “Music Tools” tabs only appearing when you’re selecting a video or audio section of your movie. Trimming and other editing tools will be available on these tabs which will allow you to edit that section of the movie. In addition, as promised by Mike, dozens of new animations, transitions and visual effects will also be available:

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Finally, as Soapbox on MSN Video is due to be shut down by the end of this month, Windows Live Movie Maker now supports direct upload to YouTube instead, built-in right out-of-the-box:

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It does seem like the Microsoft have added tons of improvements to Movie Maker, however, we’ll still have to wait to see whether the “timeline” view will make a come back or not. Of course, do bear in mind that the screenshots and features discussed here are still in the works, and things might still change before v1 ships. So stay tuned at LiveSide for the latest updates!