Malfunctioning movie maker

You'll find problems behind the pretty face of this program.

Portable Movie Maker is a simple program that allows users to edit video clips together into one movie. Although we like the interface and a lot of the features, certain parts of the program didn't work quite as well as they should have.

The program's interface is sleek and intuitive, making the potentially complicated process of editing a movie quite simple. The Collections tabs allows users to view all of the clips that they'll be working with, while the Tasks tabs includes such items as capturing video and editing and finishing the movie. Putting the clips together is as simple as dragging each one to the desired spot on a timeline, and then adding transition effects if desired. The whole thing is very straightforward, and even users with no previous movie editing experience should be able to figure it out. Unfortunately, the program isn't quite as functional as it is well-designed. We were happy to see that the program allows users to capture video from a device, but when we tried this, despite the fact that we carefully followed the instructions, we found that only part of what we'd recorded ended up in the clip, and the video and audio were extremely out of sync. We were also disappointed to find that although the program has both a Help menu item and other places in the interface where tips are offered, trying to access these items results in error messages.

Portable Movie Maker is free. The program comes as a ZIP file and is accessible after extraction with no need for installation. We recommend this program with reservations; it has a lot of potential, but it's not quite where it needs to be.

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