With Microsoft Movie Maker Wave 4 Beta, the Windows Live team has done the seemingly impossible—they’ve made video editing simple, yet powerful enough to create fresh productions. From import to edit to output, the program is a snap, including one-step uploading to online video hosting services like YouTube.
The team behind Movie Maker studied what users were doing with the software, and in the interest of simplifying, consciously cut features most people don’t use. But the app isn’t totally basic: You do get intros, lots of transitions, text overlays, and special effects. Just don’t expect the fancy tricks like key-framing and picture-in-picture. For those, you’ll have to spring for an app like our Editors’ Choice Adobe Premier Elements 8.
Windows Live Movie Maker is pretty much it as far as free, easy-to-use Windows video editors go. Other free options like Wax and Zwei-Stein haven’t been updated in years, and can’t match Movie Maker’s ease of use. YouTube’s new YouTube video editor is free, but it offers nowhere near the power of Movie Maker, nor does another Google product, Picasa. Picasa is wonderful for photos, and more capable at video editing than its Web-based cousin YouTube, but it’s still very limited compared to Movie Maker.
Movie Maker – Video Maker: Windows Live Movie Maker Wave 4 Beta. About Movie Creator, Editing, and Video Maker – not sharing software to download.
Pros Simple interface for clip joining and trimming. Themes. Can rotate video. Easy upload to YouTube. Record movies with your webcam.
Cons Some important files silently omitted from drive-image backups. Advanced options can be confusing.
Bottom Line For a free download, Windows users get one of the easiest ways to make creative good-looking movies from their videos and digital photos, and a super simple way to post them online.
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