Windows Live Movie Maker – get it now

By Kip Kniskern | In Featured, News | Posted August 19, 2009 14 comments

Microsoft has taken the wraps of Windows Live Movie Maker, “the the one-minute way to turn photos and videos into great-looking movies that are easy to share — for free”.  You can download Windows Live Essentials now and get the new Movie Maker (and what appears to be some bug fixes for the other WL applications, no real signs of Wave 4 yet).


(updated to include moviemaker preview link ):

We’ll get to the program and the new features in a minute, but along with the “unveiling” comes a new site extolling the virtues of Movie Maker:  – lots of info there including a number of how-to videos and some sample content to play around with. also has links to the download.  Always best to get it direct from Microsoft ;)

Note: Not sure if the new bits will be live all over the place all at once – you can download and save the installer, right click, select Properties, and check the Details for build number 14.0.8089.0726, just to make sure you’re getting the new stuff).

Easy Easy Easy

We had a chance to try out Movie Maker in advance, but didn’t need much lead time to create a quick video out of pictures and video (the subject: puppies, of course!).  We found it easy to create and manipulate the video, with a few surprises (not being able to use files from a network location, for example).  Actually if anything it was TOO easy to manipulate – we tried to figure out how to change transitions for a few minutes before realizing it had already changed.  Here’s the video we created, not quite in less than a minute, but close: (The music is Mumbles, by Oscar Peterson) (oops, YouTube pulled the audio.  Movie Maker did a great job with laying down the slides and video to match the length of the audio, but I just grabbed an mp3 without thinking about publishing it – the next video we do we’ll pay more attention)

Key Features

Microsoft is touting Windows Live Movie Maker as easy to use and the videos it makes as easy to share, above all else.  Still, there’s a lot packed in to this new release.  First off are an array of features to make movie/slide show creation easier.  These include:

  • Auto Movie: … it’s back.  Just select some images/video and some music, and let auto movie create your production for you.  Yes it’s that simple.
  • Video editing: Select a piece of video, set in and out times, do a simple copy/paste to capture multiple pieces of video out of a longer piece.  Again, very simple.
  • Fit content to music length: with one click, Movie Maker will fit your content to the length of video you select.  Now that’s useful!
  • Share Online: While it pains us to give so much attention to the “G word”, publishing to YouTube, or to DVD.  A publish to Facebook plugin is available, with more to come.

Next are tools and features to go beyond the basics:

  • Live Preview: just mouse over transitions and effects to see what they will look like, making it easy to choose the right transition (or reject the wrong one)
  • Ribbon interface: the familiar Office Ribbon interface drive Movie Maker, making it very familiar to users of Office and Windows.
  • Photo animations: animate your photos for more than a static slide show
  • Audio editing
  • Save in HD 480 and 720, and using Windows 7, in 1080p
  • Work with files in a number of formats:
    • Windows Media Video (WMV)
    • Windows Media, DV-AVI
    • Microsoft Recorded TV Show
    • 3GP
    • 3GPP
    • MPEG-2
    • MPEG-1
    • Motion JPEG
    • JPEG
    • TIFF
    • GIF
    • Bitmap
    • PNG
    • QuickTime .mov* and .qt* (Windows 7 only)
    • AVCHD*                             (Windows 7 only)
    • MPEG-4 files*                     (Windows 7 only)
  • And share to a number of destinations:
    • Save to a mobile device
    • Share via e-mail
    • Burn to DVD
    • Display on your PC
    • Display on TV (Media Center Edition, Blu-ray) in high definition
    • View via streaming media player
    • Display on Xbox
    • Display on Zune
    • Display on iPod
    • Send to file share Web site, such as Windows Live SkyDrive
    • Send to a video-sharing Web site (YouTube, Facebook)
    • Publish to other sharing sites (coming soon)

Windows Live Movie Maker is a free download, as part of Windows Live Essentials, and requires Windows Vista or Windows 7

Posted August 19th, 2009 at 8:25 pm
Category: Featured, News
Tags: Movie Maker
  • efjay

    Downloaded to my Windows 7 pc and as I thought, no support for current WM devices, the Save to mobile device sets the resolution to 320×240. Yet I presume the ipod support will be spot on. Shame on MS for yet another product that ignores their own mobile OS. Uninstalled.

  • paperlock

    Send to file share Web site, such as Windows Live SkyDrive will there bee a folder two store video that i make with windows live movie maker.And you what wood nice have in Windows Live SkyDrive a folder two store podcasts.

  • joeale

    Send to file share Web site, such as Windows Live SkyDrive will there bee a folder two store videos that i make with windows live movie maker.And i sould share that video with windows live frameit.Has any body looked at windows live wave 4 yet.

  • JohnCz

    Only thing missing now is the ability to post/host short videos to your public SkyDrive. For full length video support, I’m looking at my Windows Home Server as my solution there.

    One thing I noticed, and I am curious why they limited it as such…but you cannot add photos/videos/music from a network folder share. Thats a major pain. I spent the time building our library on network folder so it can be accessed from any computer on our home network. Now, I have copy content back to the local PC to edit it. I wonder what the issue is. Any guesses?

  • pato_inbox

    woa, just ran windows live movie maker for the first time and got a BSOD!

    btw, am I the only one who had to download updates for software I didn’t even owned like photo gallery of writer before downloading movie maker?

  • damaster

    @pato_inbox: Windows Live Photo Gallery is a prerequisite for Windows Live Movie Maker (for some reason), hence probably why you’ll need to install that before you get Movie Maker. Not sure why Writer would be installed though.

  • JSYOUNG571

    To be honest..I really do not see the purpose of movie maker. I really wanted Windows Live to focus on Video Message which is still in beta. It would be good for them to add it into Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail along with some new matching themes. What about working on a way to sync our Windows Live calendar information to our phones. What about Windows Mobile 6.5? There are plenty of other projects that could have been worked on besides a boring and useless movie maker.

  • Quikboy

    I understand the need for simplicity, but I find it rather ‘not simple’ when you’re wondering exactly (or at a glance) how much time each piece of media takes in the video. I’d have to click each piece of media to figure it out it would seem. A rethought out more visual timeline I think would have kept some simplicity in place, and not making users rely on the storyboard if they want to get a bit more advanced.

    Would be great if you could make animation paths with selected graphics/text like you can do in PowerPoint, ability to upload to more video-sharing services (including SkyDrive?), and maybe some other stuff.

  • Quikboy

    I do like the Movie Maker Preview site though. Much better laid out and more informative than the version. If only Microsoft would make it that way for all Windows Live software pages.

  • JohnCz

    Regarding the network folder limitation…someone was kind enough to provide a workaround using an undocumented registry switch. To read up more about it, check this blog entry…

  • ian-live

    I am REALLY disappointed in WLMM, I much prefer WinVista MM – simply things like the title & credits. I wonder if it’s possible to use those old ones in WLMM?

  • ian-live

    And tbh, it all looks like powerpoint with all those transitions, sheesh.

  • .Chris
  • webguy

    WLMM works really well I was able to whip out my first movie in a few minutes, output to 1080p from a series of AVCHD files with text overlays, transitions even a sound track. I was agonzing I would have to learn the Sony Vegas software which has like 1 million settings.