Windows Live Movie Maker

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CNET Editors' Rating 3.5 stars

Very good

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out of 129 user reviews

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Chock Full of Crash Scenarios But Better Than Before"

    December 16, 2010  |   By IDAREYOU


    Additional perks (new animations, effects, ful movie formats, uploading options added and one is signed into to Windows Live! while using this product referred to hereinafter as WLMM).


    Many of the new animations and effects are trite. Former tools are now relocated and hard to find. Many many users are having MAJOR problems even after re installation. A "new" feature creates a "working copy" of your movie which often is inaccurate


    I do not yet understand why Movie Maker, (now WLMM) was made part of the Windows Live stable. To read the Forums, users--including this user-- experienced MAJOR problems, including loss of projects and CONSTANT crashing after any Microsoft Windows Live Update.
    There is good news.
    There are new animations and effects. You can allow WLMM to "create a movie" for you with new, more current styles.
    More formats and codecs are supported.
    Yet, if one used previous incarnations of this limited, often unpredictable editing program, you might find yourself secretly wanting your old Movie Maker back..After a recent update downloaded for all Live products, Hotmail, Messenger, etc,) many WLMM users found their in-work projects filled with error messages and previously inserted clips--playable just hours before the Update had been installed--now marked unplayable.
    Let's Face It: WLMM is a free, Windows friendly, editing program that may not be in the ranks with some of the more glitzy and dazzling,...or more often just glitzy, editing programs highlighted here at CNET. BUT it is free, accessible and for many families it's a fairly simple tool for making a family album sideshow or school project, For these and many others, to lose entire projects that have been faithfully backed up, or to go through the hassles of a complete uninstall of all Windows Live products just to attempt a clean install of WLMM is a lot to deal with.
    Fortunately the Windows Live Forums (divided into separate areas based on the product) are frequented by WLMM developers and seasoned Users of Microsoft Products. Oddly, they are friendly and appear genuinely interested in providing help. Could this be real?
    Their answers can seem rote and generic...but many of these problems are generic and able to be resolved with simple steps.
    The more complex problems--and I had one--will bring expert assistance that requires some log and system report gathering formatting and uploading to their team. It's worth the work. Previous, seemingly insurmountable problems seem to instantly vanish and the team provides you with the root cause of the presenting problem, not just the "magic" fix. So in my case, I learned of a larger problem in my system which had only surfaced in WLMM0--so far. I was able therefore to deal with that problem, too.

    Of course one doesn't download a program like WLMM to do a system scan.or act as a Windows troubleshooter.
    So, as an editing tool, albeit simple, WLMM can be a bit tricky for novice and intermediate users not already baptized into to the somewhat arcane formats used by Movie Maker. Yet former users will find tools they used, slow motion effect for example, seemingly no longer part of the program. Well those tools are still there, just moved or retitled. Why? Ask that as your first Forum question.
    I do encourage you to join the Forums. I am not, by nature, a joiner of these groups. My experience is they consist of too much whining, too little attention paid to solutions offered and too little sponsor involvement.
    Happily, the WLMM Forums are not such a place. The staff, while readily admitting the limitations of the program, clearly like their project. They enthuse you to use it too its maximum potential. If you try their suggestions, as I reluctantly did, my projects improved immediately and impressively.
    I have tried so many of the editing suites listed in CNET. I am not a beginner at editing, although some of the products made me feel like an absolute beginner. Yet, even with the editing programs for which you pay money, there is usually an appalling lack of Customer Support. I have found that despite its lack of sophisticated adjustment options, its rather flat-footed editing tools and the (to me) irritating layout of function/enhancement selection menus, that WLMM--even in its new format--is fairly stable, lacking in surprises of the unpleasant kind, is utilitarian but produces a product of a consistent and acceptable quality. Which actually is a lot. This plus the yet to be seen benefits of its new home in the Live gallery--which could produce faster updates specific to WLMM in addition to the already swift technical support (something so many of the other editing suites lack entirely), make Windows Live Movie Maker a quite welcome tool in my video editing, publishing "workshop".
    NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY THIS. Moive Maker always seemed like an editing version of the "Let's Play Mommy Bake Oven" ...a trivialized, extremely limited "child's version" of a "real adult" program,
    BUT its matured in some ways, as have we, its users. For your simple and yet professional looking presentations, you can often thank the program you were embarrassed to have showing on your desktop,a program much like the rather quaint and prim relative whose only vice is Hidden Word puzzles and who cannot discuss anything" current" or "relevant" without becoming dizzy or maudlin: yes, its twoo: WLMM is your friend.

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