New and improved Windows [Live] Movie Maker is officially released

2009-08-20_021603Windows Movie Maker has been the go-to software for quick and basic movie editing needs for a long time. Being bundled with Windows, everyone had easy access to it making it convenient. With the coming of Windows 7, Microsoft found it fitting to give Windows Movie Maker a make over. Today Windows Live Movie Maker (the new name) was officially release and is no longer in beta.

Why bother to get this new Movie Maker? Well according to Brian Hall, the big kid on the block for Microsoft’s Windows Live division, this is why you will want this new Movie Maker:

  1. It’s easy to create beautiful videos. Movie Maker can create great looking movies in under a minute. Just add your photos and videos to Movie Maker, and select your music, then click the Auto Movie button. Auto Movie will knit those photos and videos together with striking effects and transitions, and even fit them to a soundtrack of your choosing. Basic movie – done. If you want to spend more time editing your video clips, adding animations, or visual effects you can, but the heavy lifting is done for you in less than a minute.
  2. More customization features easily add polish to your movie. You told us after the beta came out that you’d like more transitions, effects, and video editing features. The new Movie Maker has more than 60 transitions, 18 pan and zoom options, and 20 visual effects that you can apply to photos or videos, plus video trim, split, and fade capabilities. As a movie maker myself, I love the range of rich editing capabilities in this version and particularly like being able to auto-preview transitions like cross-fade, dissolve, pixelate, and shatter by hovering over the effect and watching it in real time.
  3. It’s simple to share your movie. Videos are for sharing, so Movie Maker makes it easy to share online with a few clicks. Post your video to YouTube right from the main menu, or add a quick plug-in and easily publish to Facebook. We will be adding more plug-ins to popular sharing sites in the future. You can also burn your creation to a DVD or save it in high definition to play on your TV. Save it down to a smaller format and transfer it to a mobile device or send it via e-mail.
  4. It works great with Windows 7. With Windows 7 and Windows Live Movie Maker it’s easy to get your photos and videos off your camera and onto your PC. You’ll also get increased capabilities for creating HD movies and enjoy support for additional file formats – including QuickTime formats, AVCHD and .MPEG4. And most importantly, if you use Office or Windows already, you’ll find Movie Maker easy to navigate because it uses a similar design.

I tried out the new Movie Maker myself and I must say it is an improvement over the old one. The best way to describe it is it has some more features (yes it supports HD now!) and lacks the clumsiness of the old Movie Maker. Is it better than, say, a $300 commercial video editor? No; but it is great for us every day users who need nothing more than basic tools to create movies quickly. Plus the ability to easily share with people via the Web 2.0 is awesome.

Now, unfortunately, this new Movie Maker is only available for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users (XP gets the shaft on this one). However if you have Vista and Win7, in my opinion this new Movie Maker is well worth the download (admittedly downloading the new Movie Maker is annoying since you have to go through Windows Live).

In addition to the download link, here are some interesting and informative links on Windows Movie Maker:

Click here to download Windows Live Movie Maker ***You do not need a Windows Live account to download this nor do you have to install all the other programs it prompts you for.

Movie Maker Homepage

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