Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Microsoft Windows Movie Maker 2.1
- Free for XP users, good collection of wipes and transitions.
- No DVD output from the application, Windows XP only.
A very good DV editing application for the new user and the price is right although the program is beginning to show its age.
Price$ None (AUD)
Lets not beat around the bush, the original Movie Maker that came with Windows ME was a dog of a program when it was first released, and being a version 1.0 release is no excuse - Apple's first Version of iMovie (also free with the OS) was an extremely strong program. The version that arrived with Windows XP was not much better, although there were some nice tools for making a web movie to share with family and friends.
The latest version of MovieMaker is the first release that could be truly called a DV editing program rather than merely a curiosity and as a second effort, it is an extremely solid and useful application for the new user.
Movie Maker 2 rectifies the significant shortfalls in the original application and even surpassed Apple's iMovie Version 2, its competitor when first released, in some areas. Movie Maker 2 had more titles, effects and transitions than iMovie 2 and unlike iMovie 2, provided support for devices such as analog VCRs or camcorders with the appropriate capture card installed.
Unfortunately, Apple has released three new versions of iMovie while Microsoft seem to have more important issues to deal with, namely completing the new Windows Vista operating system.
Video capture from a camcorder couldn't be easier with Moviemaker 2.1, with the program prompting you for the type of video quality you prefer and the output options to select. During the capture process, you can choose to have the video file separated into smaller clips based on changes in a scene or you can transfer the video as one large clip. If the "create clips for video files" check box is not selected when you import a video file, the video file is imported and appears as one whole clip in Windows Movie Maker. Thankfully, You can run clip creation after the video file is imported into Windows Movie Maker to separate the clip into smaller clips by going to Tools > Create Clip.
Once you have finished capturing your video the program divides your footage into a series of clips stored in a collection area. The collection area contains all the relevant assets you need to make a movie, which could include anything from music and video clips to still images and background patterns for title sequences.
Apple has released iMovie HD recently and it surpasses MovieMaker 2.1 in so many areas it's almost unfair to mention them in the same sentence. However if you just want to make a simple video and have an additional program to make your own DVD movies, then MovieMaker 2.1 is definitely worth a look and for the price, you have nothing to lose.
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