What Is Windows Movie Maker?

Readers who are looking to make their own movies should be asking, “What is Windows Movie Maker, and how do I use Windows Movie Maker?”. We have the answers here at AskDeb.com, and this article will cover everything from “Windows Movie Maker download” to “Windows Movie Maker update.”

How Do I Use Windows Movie Maker?

In order to answer “What is Windows Movie Maker, and how do I use Windows Movie Maker?”, we first need to look at what the product actually does. As the name implies, Windows Movie Maker allows the user to import video from a camera and then edit the footage. Special features also allow for timeline narration, titles, credits, special effects, transitions and audio tracks.

Windows Movie Maker comes included with all current Microsoft Windows packages. It was first introduced for Windows Me in 2000, but it has also been included in the following: Windows XP, Windows XP SP 2, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 and Windows Vista.

In the Ultimate and Premium versions of Windows Vista, Windows Movie Maker also supports footage from HDV camcorders. The downside is that the latest version of Windows Movie Maker won’t support imports from an analog video source such as webcams or VCRs.

NOTE: It should be noted that Windows Movie Maker was scrapped following the release of Windows Vista. In future Microsoft products, it will be replaced with software known as Windows Live Movie Maker. You can download Windows Live Movie Maker for free at Windows Live Essentials.

Importing Footage With Windows Movie Maker


If you’re looking to import footage to Windows Movie Maker, you have two options. First, you can capture the video from a scanner, camera or other device. You can also choose the “Import Into Collections” option which allows existing video files to be transported to the user’s collection.

The following formats are supported for importing: MPG, WMV, ASF, AVI, WAV, WMA and MP3. The DVR-MS and MPEG-2 formats are supported on the Ultimate and Premium versions of Windows Vista.

I’ve just scratched the surface when it comes to importing footage with Windows Movie Maker. For additional information, visit the official Microsoft site for the product.

Layout of Windows Movie Maker

The layout of Windows Movie Maker can be viewed in Timeline or Storyboard view. Windows Movie Maker Storyboard view breaks down the video into a number of clips (one for each time the record button was pressed during shooting). The Timeline view allows still images to be stretched for set durations and audio clips can even be lowered momentarily to make way for dialogue. Think of the Storyboard view as a broader tool, while the Timeline view is for more precise work.

Editing For Windows Movie Maker

The editing for Windows Movie Maker is incredibly intuitive. In most cases, all you have to do is drag and drop. Movie clips can be split, duplicated and even dragged to other positions. Once it’s been imported, there’s very little you can’t do with your movie footage.

Exporting For Windows Movie Maker

Once you’ve made your movie, what will you do with it? That’s an important question when asking, “What is Windows Movie Maker, and how do I use Windows Movie Maker?”. Just keep in mind that this program is limited to exporting video into DV AVI or Windows Media formats.

In early versions of Windows Movie Maker, files had to be saved as AVI files, and then burned to DVD using separate authoring programs. Luckily, that’s a thing of the past, as the latest version for Windows Vista utilizes Windows DVD Maker to burn your original movies straight to DVD.

Users are also able to publish their videos onto video hosting websites such as YouTube. If your camera supports the option, you can also export edited footage back to your camera.

Special Effects For Windows Movie Maker

The newest version of Windows Movie Maker for Windows Vista features 49 effects and 63 transitions. When it comes to movie titles, users can create news banners, spinning newspaper animation, static, fading and even flying titles. All you have to do is select the title or effect you want and then drag and drop into the appropriate position. Windows Movie Maker makes creating movies a snap.

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