"Turn your videos and photos into movies."
Windows Live Movie Maker 2012 is a free tool from Microsoft which can help turn photos and video into interesting slideshow and video clips. The software has its own toolkit and a useable interface that includes a ribbon GUI, but it also lacks a certain sophistication.
Video clips can be drag and dropped onto the storyboard to begin putting together something interesting.
There is an AutoMovie feature which can quickly add a title, pan and zoom effects to keep the frame moving, and neat transitions from one clip to another. Songs from the hard drive can also be added to a video. This takes a lot of the fuss out of the whole process, but may not always deliver the type of results the user is looking for. It really depends how specific they are looking to be.
It is possible to split videos out or trim them of some of the content. Start and end points can be allocated to video or audio content. However, editing features for both audio and video are pretty limited compared to professional-level video and audio editing applications.
Completed videos can be burned to a DVD, emailed to someone, or uploaded to Facebook or YouTube (a plugin is required for that functionality). HD video formats are supported, as are mobile-ready formats for smaller file sizes.
The installation package includes Windows Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Mail, Writer, Microsoft OneDrive, and Outlook Connector Pack. The user can agree to install all of the above components or they can individually select which software they wish to include.
The software included no adware, toolbars, spyware or malware setup with the setup package.
Windows Live Movie Maker 2012 requires Windows Vista, 2008, Vista or 7 (32 bit and 64 bit supported).
The interface for the Windows Live Movie Maker has an interface that includes a ribbon GUI and other elements that appear a little bit like Microsoft Word at first glance.
There are tiny application, Save, Undo and Redo buttons to the left of the title bar. There are also tabs for Video tools and Music tools to the right of the title bar.
There is a menu system which includes options for Home, Animations, Visual Effects, Project, View, Edit, and Options.
The toolbar shown will depend on which menu section has been selected. The Home area includes buttons for copying and pasting, adding videos, web cam video and screenshots, AutoMovie theme selection, editing, sharing and signing in.
Movie clips are shown in the viewing window in the bottom left. The playback times, playback controls and volume slider are all shown below the playback window. Various selectable previews are shown on the right side.
- Create videos quickly using AutoMovie automated video creation
- Edit video content, split videos, trim them and fix their start and end points
- Add soundtracks to video
- Create slideshows from images
- Upload to YouTube or Facebook
- Lacks professional video and audio editing features
Sony Vegas Pro is the professional editor of choice for many. It has extensive support for video editing for numerous plugins extending its capabilities further.
Windows Live Movie Maker 2012 is a useful, but more basic free video editing package that might be sufficient for people who take video for the family and want to be able to edit it together in a basic way.
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