Windows Movie Maker/Printable version

Windows Movie Maker

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Capturing video from device

A miniDV digital video camera. Many cameras are compatible with Windows Movie Maker.

Windows movie maker can directly import video from a mini DV video camera.

  1. Connect your video device. Mini DV video cameras can be connected using a FireWire cable. For more on connecting video devices (which usually means video cameras or webcams), see Connecting video devices.
  2. Under the TASKS tab, and under CAPTURE VIDEO, click on CAPTURE FROM VIDEO DEVICE.
  3. This will bring up a wizard. Follow the instructions. When you choose your video settings, recommended is, well, recommended, because although the quality is fairy low, it takes up a minuscule amount of space. DV-AVI has the best possible quality, as it is uncompressed video. However, this means it takes up a lot of space, memory-wise.
  4. Your video will now appear in the form of lots of thumbnails, in the COLLECTIONS space (the main, biggest space in the centre of the screen).

Organising collections

Navigating the collectionsEdit

Above the main space in which the thumbnails are viewed is a small rectangular box with the currently viewed collection's title displayed. Clicking on the blue arrow to the right brings down a box with all of the collections names displayed. Clicking on one of the names brings down the corresponding collection.

Creating a new collectionEdit

Click on the NEW COLLECTION FOLDER box, the icon of a folder with a red star on it. This new (empty) collection folder will be displayed in the main space, and on the far left a folder will appear in the list with the name NEW FOLDER. NEW FOLDER should be highlighted - then you can enter your collection's new title.

Moving video and audio from collection to collectionEdit

Click on the COLLECTIONS tab below HELP. Open the collection which contains the video or audio clip you want to move. Then simply click and drag the thumbnail of your desired clip onto the desired folder on the left of the screen.

Deleting collectionsEdit

Click on the COLLECTIONS tab to bring up the list of collections, then simply click on the collection you wish to delete and press DELETE on your keyboard.

Adding audio

Importing audioEdit

Click on the TASKS tab below HELP. Under CAPTURE VIDEO click on IMPORT AUDIO OR MUSIC.
Browse for your music or audio, and click IMPORT.

Adding it to the videoEdit

Simply drag and drop the thumbnail representing the audio onto the timeline. To move it around, drag it left and right along the timeline while the cursor is in the shape of a hand. You can split and set the volume for individual audio tracks, so if you want to have different parts of the audio louder or quieter you can split the audio into chunks and individually set the volume for each. You can shorten audio by grabbing the end of the audio on the timeline and dragging it when the cursor changes to two red arrows. You can make audio fade in or out, which is useful when it the audio is longer than your video otherwise the music wouldn't end gracefully.

You can also set the volume for video clips' audio. Right click on the bars in the AUDIO row (the added audio/music's row is titled AUDIO/MUSIC).

Finishing your movie

Why save it like this?Edit

The normal save you use (on the file menu) saves your work in Windows Movie Maker format, which cannot be uploaded to the internet, played in media players or burned to discs. So you must click on SAVE TO MY COMPUTER to save it in one of the 'proper' formats, such as WMV (Windows Media Video).

Saving ItEdit

  1. If the movie tasks are not displayed (at the far left of the screen) then click on the TASKS tab below HELP.
  3. Follow the instructions in the wizard. When selecting your format, take these things into consideration: if you transferred your video to your computer DV-AVI or wish to burn the finished video to DVD, then choose DV-AVI. If you captured your video and save it in DV-AVI the quality will be just as it was before you started - uncompressed. Otherwise, just choose RECOMMENDED.


If your video size exceeds your computer's available RAM, it will not save and the time estimate will be ridiculously large. Eventually, the computer will give up and display a message about Virtual Memory being too low. An example of one of movie maker's many shortcomings.

Editing YouTube videos

Many video edit programs are available these days. Vegas Movie Studio Platinum, Adobe Premiere Elements, etc. Windows Movie Maker is one of them. It is usually preinstalled in your Windows XP and located on C:\Program Files\Windows Movie Maker. You can use it to edit video clips from your digital camera or phone, or even use it to make your own home movie. It is not the best one. However, it is the most prevalent one for the conveniently accessible as well as free of charge.

Although with many advantage, Windows Movie Maker only supports a limited amount of file formats like WMV, AVI. If you want to produce your own home movie with video clips catch your fancy in YouTube, a couple of things are necessary. Download the YouTube video and then edit it in Windows Movie Maker

Use a Firefox plug-in to download video from YouTubeEdit

Several solutions can be taken for this process. Input "YouTube download tool" in a search engine, and you will find huge amount of tools. If you use the Firefox browser, the free plug-in, named Easy YouTube Video Downloader, can help you do that job. In Firefox, go to Tools > Add ons, find “Easy YouTube Video Downloader” and download it. After installation, you can see a small icon on the status bar at the bottom of the Firefox window. Click it to download the video you are watching. In Video download window, click “download link”, then you can download the video in the MP4 format.

Convert YouTube video to Windows Movie Maker for editionEdit

Windows Movie Maker often supports video files like asf, avi, .m1v, mp2, .mp2v, mpe, .mpeg, mpg, mpv2, wm, wmv. Edit YouTube video In Windows Movie Maker, we should to convert YouTube video to those video formats that can be compatible in Windows Movie Make. VLC is the all-in-one video file format converter that can be used to convert YouTube video formats to Windows Movie Maker for edition. Once downloaded and installed on Windows XP, you can select your WMV or AVI file to convert for use in Windows Movie Maker.

Be free to open Windows Movie Maker, import the converted YouTube video to start a new project. Enjoy the digital life and share your own home movie around!