Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Windows Live Movie Maker

CNET Editors' note: The "Download Now" link will download Windows Live Essentials. An installation window lets you choose to install Windows Live Movie Maker and any other Windows Live applications. To install Movie Maker only, deselect the other boxes.

CNET Editors' review

Functional freeware that's aimed squarely at the casual consumer crowd, Microsoft's Windows Live Movie Maker easily turns photos and video clips into slideshows and movies on Vista and Windows 7. However, its toolset and interface lack a certain sophistication that users of all levels would appreciate. The app comes bundled into the bulky Windows Live Essentials suite of apps; to separate it out, you'll need to uncheck the other boxes before installing.

Like Microsoft Office 2007 apps, Windows Live Movie Maker tucks its actions and menus into a visual ribbon. You'll get started dragging and dropping video clips and photos into the storyboard. You could finish a minute later with a click of the AutoMovie button, which populates the movie with a title, transitions, and pan and zoom effects. It'll also prompt you to add a song from the hard drive. Automating movies is handy, especially for time-restricted users. After all, you can always tweak later with the help of the menu tabs.

The intermediate photo-, audio-, and video-editing features are sparse--you can split and trim videos, fade songs in and out, and pick a start and end point for audio and video. The publishing and sharing options are better thought out. Windows Live Movie Maker can e-mail a finished video, burn it to DVD, or upload it to YouTube or Facebook (with a plug-in). Videos also save in HD format for your TV (standard or wide screen), and can convert to a mobile-phone-friendly format.

All in all, Windows Live Movie Maker is decent freeware that lives up to its promise of making movies fast. You won't find many advanced tools, but more ambitious types can still create interesting videos and slideshows.

Windows Live Movie Maker - Create slideshows from your photos - Download Video Previews:

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    2.2 stars

    out of 121 votes

    • 5 star: 9
    • 4 star: 21
    • 3 star: 16
    • 2 star: 17
    • 1 star: 58
  • Current version:

    2.2 stars

    out of 85 votes

    • 5 star: 6
    • 4 star: 15
    • 3 star: 11
    • 2 star: 12
    • 1 star: 41
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-10 of 85

  • 1.0 stars

    "Unusable. I installed it for about thirty minutes."

    September 26, 2013  |   By natfunk71

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    It is Free.

    Cons

    Horrible UI. Totally counter-intuitive.

    Summary

    I normally use Sony Vegas Video, but I had a quick video to make on someone else's machine. I figured this software would do the job. No good.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Dangerous to your computer and your videos!"

    September 1, 2013  |   By AnnoyedatMicrosoft

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    A pretty litttle Trojan horse.

    Cons

    If you try to upgrade, but you decide that you don't like Microsoft's intrusive new policies and/or don't want additional software that Microsoft wants to force on you, then Microsoft will bar you from using the prior version of the software that you ALREARY PAID FOR! Further, if you try to use system restore to delete the upgrade and go back to using your old version of the software, your computer CRASHES! Then, if and when your startup procedure repairs itself, your original version of the software STILL doesn't work, and all the videos that you were editing with Movie Maker are trapped in limbo. STAY AWAY FROM THIS SOFTWARE! It basically steals your existing home videos and holds them hostage unless you agree to accept an upgrade that installs other unwanted and intrusive software.

    Summary

    A thieving Orwellian intrusion on innocent people who just want to edit their home videos in peace.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "WINDOWS CRASHING MOVIE MAKER"

    August 29, 2013  |   By CHOSEN-WORLD

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    It is free...

    Cons

    I have wasted so much of my time this past year with hang ups [not responding] that I now seek a paid for alternate product for my Win 7 64 bit laptop.

    Summary

    If you are staying with tiny files it works most of the time.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "they all suck"

    August 11, 2013  |   By ajmartinez777

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    they imitated imovie

    Cons

    its allot worst then the previous versions

    Summary

    *** why would they imitate imovie?

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Still a little out of touch with itself"

    August 9, 2013  |   By SeanInCarlsbad

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    *Some social media uploads that save processing time
    *Free

    Cons

    *Assembling clips is a bit weak, moving them around too.
    *Youtube interface does not work (but you must disclose your information through Microsoft sign-on system)

    Summary

    The idea of this being free is the best point I could have made. Nothing like iMovie :-)

    I cannot see the filmstrip details so that I can edit precisely. I have a quad core with 16GB of RAM, two SSDs and an analog HD, the program is frequently overwhelmed and unable to provide accurate thumbnails in the timeline of the filmstrip.

    On an aside, I wish that fonts and captions were cleaned up a bit to have multiple fonts on the same screen (i.e. captions that need to emphasize a word with an italic not possible).

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  • 4.0 stars

    "good for quick videos, not for filming wise"

    July 2, 2013  |   By killgore1223

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    *custom effect are good
    *nice interface pretty clean
    *works on most video/audio formats
    *auto-movie is good
    *great for on the fly video and editing!

    Cons

    *bad internet=long waiting time for upload to facebook or youtube
    *not enough effects
    *bad transitions (they keep using the same ones!!!
    *only for the basic video guy

    Summary

    Im a 16 year old teen who wants to be in the filming/editing buisness. now since i want to be in editing ive worked with alot of movie makers. this one is pretty ok! in my book really...well i like this cause when i work on small little film projects i have the basic tools i need. clean interface that is good so i can manage my videos and stuff. i like that it accepts most video formats too. now i dont like it too much though cause as i said, i like editing and filming, and if you want effects and transitions and all that other kinds of stuff that makes a movie or something REALLY pop! gotta stick with XP/VISTA windows movie maker for that kind of magic. other than that this has proven GREAT! for my standards and small project. another kinda bad thing is you need good internet to upload things. so if you dont then just save it as an .avi or .mp4 file and upload it manually to youtube or facebook or what ever you use. but this like i said before is a great program for beginners and people who want to create good looking vlogs or videos or basic film stuff. but stick with older versions if you really want different effects and transitions...fonts ETC. but be warned that old movie makers wont accept .MOV or .MP4...so be ccareful and aware of that....so if your a beginner or just want to make "OK" or those on the fly need a video up on my facebook or youtube page...this is for you!

    P.S. i still use this for trailers, quick update videos, intros for my movies and junk

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Make DVD's if you want very little control"

    April 30, 2013  |   By Umfanjana

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    It is easy
    Made for idiots
    Gives nice animated DVD menu's

    Cons

    It is extremely limited
    - DVD name on menu cannot be longer than 32 characters
    - No means to adjust chapter splits
    - The animated menus's is all you get - no more available

    Summary

    I used this software twice and got annoyed both times.
    Do NOT expect Microsoft to develop this software further.
    Do NOT expect to have control over your DVD chapters.
    Do NOT expect to find more animated menu's
    Do NOT expect to create a menu Title longer than 32 characters

    Do expect to be spoon fed when creating your DVD.
    Do expect to be told how your DVD will be split in chapters.


    Half baked software that is free, but should rather be removed from the Microsoft software list. The black sheep of the family that gets no attention but when needed, is peddled as good. Do NOT bother installing.

    Recommendation: DVDStyler. Unfortunately no animated menu's, but it works and allows various custom settings ranging from DVD background, placement of buttons, splitting of chapters.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Even a Caveman can do it. Love Windows products."

    April 29, 2013  |   By BlessedRmeek

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    Easy DOWNLOAD link on CNET. Easy for me to use to paste 5 clips together. Then, upload them from Movie Maker straight to YOUTUBE. I shot the clips with my Panasonic ZS19. Put the SD card in my computers slot, fed them into document videos. Opened Windows Movie Maker, clicked (add videos), selected each clip in turn, and wait 10 minutes for them to be added to the project.Video quality is 100% what was recorded. I don't really know anything more about it, except that I do like Windows products and use windows Live.com email svc. I have two other video editing programs loaded on my computer and I couldn't even begin to start a project with either of them. Windows Movie maker does it for me.

    Cons

    I don't have a negative story about it crashing all the time. Why didn't I try it before, because it has been loaded on my computer for three years and I didn't even know it.

    Summary

    Wow, I actually compiled a video out of 5 short clips. I'm stunned that I David bla bla was able to do that. Love it, Love it, Love it!!!!

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Crash and Burn!"

    April 1, 2013  |   By steffney

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    Didn't see any real pros to this.

    Cons

    Crashes constantly
    Not responding
    takes forever to download and share

    Summary

    This program is not very user-friendly for me. I constantly wait 1 hour to transfer a small album (20 pics) to facebook. Don't even think about trying to upload a video! That also takes an hour or longer. Don't even get me started on trying to edit a video!! Maximum time was 6 hours, and the program STILL doesn't work! Using OS windows 7. Don't waste your time: program is DOWN more than UP! Kodak Easyshare; where are you?

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  • 3.0 stars

    "My rule for using Windows Live Movie Maker"

    March 23, 2013  |   By metemp102502

    Version: Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

    Pros

    Easy to use if one follows my rules below.

    Cons

    Crashes/Not Responding way too much.

    Summary

    Rules for using: 1.Decide on PERMANENT location for photos and videos you are making on your computer or back-up drive (Movie Maker won't be able to find them if you move them after creating movie, 2. create your movie in this order: add photos/video, use Magic now (if you plan to), add captions, titles, etc. and finally add music. Not doing in this order means you will constantly have to fix things moved by Movie Maker when you do the next step. Lastly, SAVE your work constantly as software has tendency to "Not Responding"/crash in middle of working, seemingly always at the worst possible time.

    Updated on Mar 23, 2013

    Also wish I could set the font when working on a project to what I want, instead of having to correct it on every panel!

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Results 1-10 of 85

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