Windows Live Movie Maker – get it now

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:

[youtube_video]RAunmskHRH4[/youtube_video] (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