Windows Movie Maker is the free video editor software that Microsoft has provided for PC user free of charge.
For those of you who know, the Mac is the video editing platform of choice. The Mac is still the first choice for professional video editors so the Windows Movie Maker offering has a lot of ground to make up if it is to compete with the likes of the Final Cut Pro and iMovie programs that are the backbone of the Mac offering.
So where does that leave those of you with PC's? Although there are plenty of programs that provide video editing, Adobe Premiere and Vegas Video spring to mind, none of them have really gained the popularity that was expected. The Mac platform has just been too strong even for video editing novices.
Two major factors have been the high cost of software and the confusing interface of the beginner software. By utilising a more graphical interface, the developers have moved the programs away from the more Windows-like feel and this has impacted usability negatively.
Windows Movie Maker debuted in 2000, bundled with the Windows ME operating system. The program was the first shot at giving Windows users an editing capability but unfortunately it was of limited use. Whilst easy to operate it had limited ability to import common format files but its biggest draw back was the ME operating system itself. Transferring data from camcorders to your hard drive just wasn't worth the effort and hassle.
Following on, Windows XP included a revamped video editing program, Windows Movie Maker 1.1. This was also a bit of a damp squib. Built-in video and photo capture support was a step in the right direction but it just was no match for iMovie Maker. You where able to finally capture and export uncompressed DV-AVI from digital cameras which was another small move in the right direction, but it was just not good enough to recommend.
In 2003, Microsoft released Windows Movie Maker 2.0. Available as a free download, it only operated under the Windows XP operating system. This completely new program, whilst looking the same as previous versions, actually is a vast improvement on those previous offerings.
The problems and limitations, that where the bane of the earlier versions, have been addressed and resolved rather well. There is better DV-AVI import/export from camcorders and video effects as well as multiple transitions and advanced titling features make this a much-improved piece of software.
Movie Maker is a very easy and intuitive piece of software to use for those of you who are used to the Windows interface. The layout is logical and you will find that you will be able to figure out most of what the program can do in under an hour.
Windows Movie Maker is a pleasure to use and the ability to work in both standard timeline and in simplified storyboard format makes for easier use. The new title maker may take a little getting used to, but all in all you will find that the Windows Movie Maker software is more than a match for the competing titles available.