Editing within Movie Maker 2 ... how to remove unwanted "junk" video
The most useful aspect of computer video editing is that you can weed out all the “junk video” that finds its way into everyone’s home movies. I don’t know about you, but I believe that 95% of home movies are incredibly boring … mostly because you have to sit through hours of inane film in order to get to the few minutes of interesting material. I’ve found that the audience attention span for my own “fantastic” home movies is very short … so I now try to keep all my own movies under 5 minutes long. There are many kinds of “junk video” that you might want to remove from your home videos …
Overzealous use of the camcorder’s zoom function is the number one sign of a beginning videographer. Zooming tends to make your audience sea-sick and should only be used for framing shots (i.e. Zooming between recorded scenes). Fortunately, you can edit these zooms right out of your videos and only show the wide establishing shots followed by close-up shots.
Preparing to speak
If you are filming a narrator or filming a family member, there’s always that couple of seconds where they say “Ok … is the camcorder running?” Now you can cut that part out and start right with your interview.
Good video needs motion … action … something happening. For example, if you are filming a birthday and it takes your small child two minutes to open his birthday present, consider cutting out the middle 1.5 minutes. Your audience wants to see the motion … your child’s delight at seeing the present, and the triumph of getting it open. Unless the child gets an exciting paper-cut, the rest of the video is unnecessary.
There are several ways to get rid of junk video, and a video editing program like Movie Maker 2 makes it easy.
"Manual capture” only the video that you actually want
When you transfer digital video from a camcorder to your computer, Movie Maker gives you the option of “manually capturing” your video, letting you decide exactly what sections of your tape you want to transfer. This allows you to capture ONLY the parts of your video tape that you want in your finished move, thus saving you a lot of precious hard drive space. While Movie Maker gives you the option of capturing an entire video tape, I rarely do this because 75% of my video is “junk” that I never want to watch again.
Cutting clips in half
Movie Maker allows you to “cut” your video clips in half. This is a great way to get rid of large chunks of “junk film.” You cut your clips in two different places within the program … both in the preview monitor, and also while working on the timeline. Simply find the location you want to cut and click the “cut button” located under the preview monitor.
Cutting clips is great way for getting rid of large areas of video (or breaking up clips that you want to place at different places on your timeline). The only problem with cutting is that you must stay organized -- if you cut 30 separate video clips, you’ll end up with a whooping 60 video clips in your video collection and that can be hard to sort through.
Trimming the ends of clips
For the finest control, you can trim the ends off your clips by setting the exact “in and out” points of each video clip. While working on the timeline, simply “drag the ends” of each clip to the exact point that you would like it to start and stop. You can accomplish very fine control of each clips start/stop points by trimming … especially if you zoom in on each clip using the magnifying glass.
As you can see, deleting unwanted film is very easy to accomplish within an editing program like Movie Maker 2. This gives you much more freedom when you actually film … as now it’s OK to film your kids’ entire 2 hour soccer game. You can always edit out the junk (those other pesky kids) using your computer. After all, film is cheap, and you never when you’re going to film that surprise goal!
How to trim the ends of your video clips
You can trim the ends off your video clips ... and this is probably the easiest way to establish precise control of your clip timing. We could write down how to do this, but it is easier to watch a video of this.
The following film is from http://www.mightycoach.com video training series "Introduction to Movie Maker 2" and is a screen captured video that walks you through volume-changing process.
This video is in Apple QuickTime format ... if you have problems watching it, you may need to download the latest (free) QuickTime player.
Video effects in Movie Maker 2 ... which ones are actually useful, and how to apply them.
Movie maker 2 comes preinstalled with a number of video effects that you can add to your movie clips. These effects are numerous and easy to apply. Despite the large assortment of effects, you’ll find yourself using certain effects more often, and some of them not at all. Here are some of the most useful effects and some uses you might not have though of.
Brightness Increase and Decrease
These brightness effects are very useful for fixing your video’s exposure levels. If you filmed an indoor scene that looks too dark, you can simply brighten the video with the brightness effect. If your video still isn’t bright enough, you can repeat the effect several times until you get the look you want.
Grayscale and Sepia Tone
Both of these effects remove the color from your film, and the sepia effect gives your film a pleasant “yellowed old photograph” look. You can use these desaturating effects to make your movie look classy (like those black and white DeBeer’s diamond commercials) or to create a “flashback” or “dream sequence” scene within a larger home movie epic.
There are several rotation effects, but they are not useful for video. However, they work great for photographs, and allow you to align your photos properly. If you hold your digital camera sideways (to get those full-body pictures) these rotation effects allow you to rotate your pictures in the proper direction so you can create “video slideshows” of your picture collections.
Slow down and speed up
These two effects can be useful for creating comedy “movies.” For example, you could make a fake kung-fu movie with your kids and use the speed-up effect to create rapid-motion fighting scenes. Likewise, the slow-down effect could be used to create the clichéd “slow motion punch” that is common in American action movies. You could also use the speed up effect to make funny slapstick comedies … like the British “Benny Hill” skits.
There are many other effects available within Movie Maker, though they aren’t as useful as the ones mentioned here. Some of the effects, like the artistic watercolor effects, seem to be included simply for the “wow” factor. One effect that Movie Maker is sorely missing is the “reverse video” effect, which is unfortunate as there are many special effects you can perform by reversing film. How to apply effects
To apply effects to your film you need to open up the Video Effects collection. You can preview each effect in the preview monitor by double clicking on the effect thumbnail. To apply the effect to a video clip, simply grab the effect and drop it onto the clip in the storyboard.
Another way to apply effects is by right-clicking on the clip and choosing “Video effects.” This mode allows you to see exactly what effects are being used. This view is useful if you have to add or remove multiple effects to your clip.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Transitions in Movie Maker ... how to use them more effectively.
Movie Maker 2 comes with a huge selection of transitions that you can place between your video clips. There are 60 transitions to choose from, ranging from simple fades to complex geometric shapes.
When first presented with such a plethora of transition options, you may be tempted to use them judiciously throughout your video. For a home movie, that’s fine, as your audience will probably enjoy them. However, if you are trying to create a “professional looking” video, you may want to go easy on the transitions … after all, you don’t see any transitions in movies or TV shows.
Actually, there are a few transitions that you will see in movies and film, but they are subtle and you probably don’t notice them …
This isn’t really a transition, but a switch in movie clips … when one clip ends, the next one immediately begins. The timing of cuts is very important and there are many funny and amazing things you can do with careful timing. Fortunately, Movie Maker makes it easy to cut your scenes by allowing you to “trim” the ends of your video clips.
The fade is the most useful (and most used) transition. It is simply a cross-dissolve between two scenes, and in movies typically occurs when the story changes locations.
This effect is used less often than the fade, but implies the same thing … a change in location. This effect is more obvious than the fade, and the audience is supposed to “notice” the effect. The wipe denotes a major change in location … and even a change in time. In a movie like “The Gladiator” or “Conan the Barbarian” the wipe might be used to show the main character changing over time … wiping between clips of the character aging and getting stronger.
The audience should be focused and engrossed with the movie and not with your transition effects. So, it’s important to keep your transitions “transparent” or “invisible” by using them sparingly. An exception to the rule
One place that you might want to use fancy transitions, is in a photo slideshow. Movie maker lets you import pictures from your digital camera and lay them on your timeline as a “video slideshow.” You can even add music or a descriptive voice track over these photos.
Because photos are static and non-moving, transitions are great because they add “motion” to your movie. A photo slide-show is one place that you can get away with those crazy transitions and still create a video that looks professional. Other ways to transition …
There are other ways to create “transitions” between scenes that don’t rely on your computer but careful planning. If you ever want to see a movie with clever transitions, rent the 80’s action movie “Highlander.” The main character in this movie (a 1,000 year old sword master living in New York) has constant “flashbacks” to his youth in medieval Scotland. To transition to these flashbacks, the director uses only clever editing. In one scene, the camera will zoom in on the character’s eyes while he drives his car, cut, then zoom back from his eyes while he is in the middle of a ancient sword fight. In another scene, the camera pans over to his office aquarium and moves up to the aquarium water’s surface … then the scene cuts to the water surface of a medieval lake. Clever stuff … but it takes a lot of preplanning!
Rules are meant to be broken, and the above transition recommendations are only observations. If you want to use crazy transitions in your video … go right ahead! After all, you are the creative genius behind your film!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Add music to your video using Movie Maker 2
A music background can really spice up a home movie. Music is easy to apply on your computer with a program like Movie Maker 2. In fact, this program has as audio track specifically for music … all you have to do is import a song and drop it onto the music track in the timeline. It’s really easy.
After your song is in place, you can trim the end of the song (so that it is the same length as the video) and adjust the volume so it doesn’t drown out your video.
You can use any song for your video, and some are perfect for home videos. Some of these include:
The Bear Necessities (Disney’s Jungle Book) -- great for the zoo or any video with animals
Under the Sea (Disney’s Little Mermaid) -- perfect for the beach or water sports
Yellow Submarine (Beetles) -- water sports or the aquarium
I want to ride my bicycle (Queen) – kids on bikes
Born to be wild -- the ultimate driving music
The Little Rascals – useful for any kid movie (they just released a “little rascals” soundtrack that you can find at Amazon. COM)
Where can you find these songs? Moviemaker 2 can import most sound formats, including MP3 songs … If you already own a CD with a song you like, you can always import that song onto your computer using Windows Media Player. If you need royalty free songs, you’ll need to find royalty free CD collection or online buy-out music (these are typically expensive, though).
A simple background music can turn a dull, monotonous video into a snappy musical montage … you just need to find a song you like and stick it in.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Recording a narration in Movie Maker 2
Movie Maker 2 makes it really easy to record a voice narration over your movie. The program even has a built-in recording wizard that allows you to record over a microphone while you watch a preview of your movie.
This feature is very useful, and allows you to quickly narrate descriptive videos. For example, if you are selling a house, you could film all the rooms and later record a running commentary to go with it. Another great use for a voice track is in creating picture slideshows. You could take pictures from your digital camera, lay them on the MovieMaker timeline, and then record a narration for your “slideshow!”
To use this function, you’re going to need a microphone. Fortunately, most cheap desk microphones work fine for voice recording. For the best results, you may want to invest in a headset mic – the earphones will give you real-time feedback of what your voice sounds like. This allows you to annunciate clearly and correct for voice-popping and inadvertent mouth noises.
To use the voice track wizard, simply press the “Narrate timeline” button located to the left of the timeline. When you click this button, the narration wizard will pop-up and give you some recording options. Most of these are pretty obvious … you can click “show more options” to see more recording choices. You’ll need to pick your recording device (your sound card) and plug a microphone into your computer’s microphone-in jack.
Inside the pop-up wizard is a microphone level bar that moves up and down as you speak. If this bar does not appear to be moving, your microphone may not be set up properly. Setting up a microphone for the first time can be frustrating, but here are the major things you should check.
Your microphone isn’t set as the “recording device.”
You may need to go into your sound properties panel, and make sure that your microphone is set as your recording device. You can also do this within Movie Maker’s recording wizard.
The “microphone boost” is on or off.
If you find that your microphone sounds distorted or is too loud/soft … your microphone boost may be on or off. You can find this option under sound properties under the advanced settings button. You can try altering this option, also called “Mic 20dB up,” to get the best sound quality.
The sound isn’t loud enough.
Make sure that you are getting good sound levels within the MovieMaker voice wizard. Try to get the sound meter near the red, but not to the topmost red bar … if your sound is set to high, your voice will distort. You can also increase the voice track volume after you lay it down in your timeline.
Once you’ve got your microphone working, you can record your narration. The narration wizard will play your movie, and you can record your dialogue while watching the movie preview. When you are done talking, click “stop.” The wizard will try to save the voice track file onto your hard drive … you should save this audio file inside your project’s main folder to keep your files organized.
Moviemaker 2 will automatically import your narration into your collections. To place it in your movie, simply drag the audio-clip onto the timeline. You can then move or trim the ends of the voice track, and change the volume level with the volume button.
The “narrate timeline” option is done very well in Movie Maker, and this is one function that Movie maker 2 does better than competing products.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The multiple audio track problem - using both a narration and music
If there was one thing I would change about Movie Maker 2, then it would be the way it handles audio. You see, while it is very easy to add a music or voice narration to your movie … it is very hard to add BOTH a music and voice track to the same movie. That’s because Movie Maker only comes with a single audio track, which means you have to choose between one or the other.
However, if you really need both audio tracks, there are a couple of tricks you can do … though each of these workarounds has its own problems. Method One: Render your movie twice
One method you can try is to render your movie twice. After adding your first audio clip (background music), you can export your movie as a high-quality video file. Next, you can create a new Movie Maker project and import that video file as one big video clip (don’t let Movie Maker automatically split the file into multiple clips!). You can then lay this video clip onto the video timeline and place your other audio material into the “now empty” audio track.
The problem with this method is that your movie goes through an extra encoding step and loses some quality during this process. However, if you keep your export settings really high this degradation won’t be noticeable. Another problem with this method is that you have to “complete” your video before you can export the first file. However, this rendering method does give you a blank audio track and allows you to perform fine placement of many audio elements. If you are going to create a complicated video with music, voice track, and sound effects, than this is the route to chose. Method Two
Another way to create two audio tracks is to superimpose them. MovieMaker allows you to superimpose two audio clips using the same timeline track … though the method for doing this is not obvious.
First, lay down your music clip on the timeline. Then, lay your second audio-track on the timeline AFTER the first one. To superimpose the two, you first have to move the second clip so that its starting edge touches the end of the first audio clip.
Now, pick up the second audio clip again and move it to the left. You’ll see a blue “triangle” form over the first audio track … that means they are superimposing.
Unfortunately, there is a problem with this method. If you try to “completely superimpose” both audio clips, (so they both start at the beginning of the movie) the second clip will try to jump in front of the first one. It’s really hard to get that second audio clip to start where you want it.
As you can see, running two audio tracks in Movie Maker 2 is problematic. However, in the program’s defense, MovieMaker is meant to be a simple video editor. If find yourself needing multiple audio and video tracks that run concurrently, you may be better served with a professional editing package like Adobe Premiere. Movie Maker 2 is meant to be an easy-to-use program, so they’ve simplified much of the interface to accommodate novice users.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How to change the volume in Movie Maker 2
Movie Maker allows you to change the volume of your video clips, but the method involved is not obvious ... you can actually expand the video track and change the volume clip-by-clip. This is useful when you have background music that is drowning out portions of your video.
The following film is from the mightycoach.com video training series "Introduction to Movie Maker 2" and is a screen captured video that walks you through volume changing process.
The movie is in QuickTime format. If you can't see the movie, you may need to install the latest (free) QuickTime player.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- How to take a snapshot of your video within Movie Maker 2.
Movie Maker comes with a really nifty feature … the program lets you take “snapshots” directly from your movie! This means you can go to any point within a video clip, capture a freeze frame picture, and save this image to your computer’s hard drive.
There are many uses for these snapshots …
You could e-mail “hi-light pictures” of your video to friends and family. Not everyone can receive or view .wmv videos, so these pictures are a great alternative (and they don’t take as long to download).
You can use the snapshot feature to transform your camcorder into a low-resolution “digital camera.” Simply point your camcorder at your subject and later you can go through your video and take virtual snapshots directly off the captured video. I don’t have a digital camera so I use this method to take pictures of items I sell on EBay … while the resulting pictures aren’t good enough for printing, they are fine for WebPages.
You can also use these video pictures to create title slides. I like to find an interesting video scene that seems to “symbolize my movie” and capture a snapshot of it. Then, I’ll import this picture back into my project and turn it into a “title picture” by adding an introductory title animation on top of it. You could also add a title directly to the picture using a photo-editing program.
The actual process of taking these snapshot is quite easy. While viewing a video clip in the preview monitor, pause the clip at an appropriate spot, and click the “Take Picture” button under the preview monitor. Movie Maker 2 will then ask you where you’d like to save the picture. By default, Movie Maker will try to save your picture in your “My Pictures” directory.
If you plan on actually using this picture in your current project, I recommend saving the picture into your project’s own directory. This will keep everything organized and keep all your projects files together where you can find them. (you can find out more about this organization structure in this article)
If you run into problems capturing pictures this way, this may occur because you don’t you’re your hardware acceleration turned on. You can check this by going into your display settings, clicking on the troubleshoot tab, and setting your acceleration all the way up.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Turn your Artwork or Photos into a "video slideshow" using Movie Maker 2.0
If you have a series of images on your computer, say, from a digital camera, you can turn these pictures into a video. Movie Maker 2 has a storyboard mode that makes it really easy to turn your photos into a “video slideshow.” Simply import your photographs and drop them onto the storyboard in the order you prefer.
After you’ve placed your pictures, you can do a bunch of great things to your photos to spice up your video presentation:
Rearrange your pictures.
The storyboard shows little thumbnails of your pictures – this makes it easy to rearrange, move, and delete pictures from your movie. Just click on the thumbnail with your mouse, and drag it into position.
Rotate your pictures.
Some of your pictures may be rotated wrong (if you held your camera sideways for a vertical photo). Fortunately, Movie Maker has a series of rotation video-effects that will fix this. Simply open up the Video Effects collection, and drag the rotation effect onto your picture in the storyboard to make it right-side-up.
Fix your pictures.
The video effects that come bundled with Movie Maker will all work on your pictures as well. That means you’ll be able to perform basic photo manipulation … for example, you could lighten or darken your pictures if they aren’t exposed properly.
You can add transitions between each of your pictures by dragging the transition effects onto the storyboard. Most of the included transitions are rather “over-the-top,” but they look great with pictures.
Add music or a voice track.
You can easily add a music track, or narrate your photo video. You’ll need to do one of these things because your movie won’t have any sound otherwise.
There is one thing you should keep in mind when laying your pictures onto the timeline … and that is picture duration. By default, when you place a picture on the timeline it will stay on the screen for 5 seconds before moving to the next picture. When you start add transitions (which take time, themselves) this time drops down to around 3 seconds. This may not be enough time for you, especially if you are trying to narrate your slideshow, so you may need to change the timing of each of your photos.
By going into the timeline view and “trimming” each picture. Simply grab the beginning or end of each picture and drag it to the desired length.
By changing your timing options. You can change the default 5-second duration to any length of time you like … you could even set your duration very short in order to make your own “stop motion” movie. Simply go to the menu bar, and click [tools – options], then click on the advanced tab and change this setting. Note that this duration change only effect new pictures as you lay them on the storyboard … and won’t effect the pictures you’ve already placed into position.
There are many ways to make an introductory movie title within Movie Maker 2 … and in fact, the program has a series of title animations just for this function. Some of these animations are quite good … fades, fly-ins, outline effects, they all look professional.
The only problem with the introductory titles in Movie Maker is that you have little choice in backgrounds. All the title animations let you choose a background color, but that’s it.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to spice up your introductory title clip:
Use a picture as a background
You can import a picture or background image into your project, lay it down at the beginning of your movie, and create an introductory title on top of this picture. This can give a nice effect, and really spices things up. You might also want to place a fade transition between this title background clip and the next video clip in your movie.
You can find appropriate background images online … just run a Google search on desktop backgrounds or PowerPoint backgrounds.
Use a looping video as a background Along the same lines, you don’t have to use picture as your background. You can actually download looping video backgrounds off the internet and use these as a backdrop to your title animation. You can download some of these video backgrounds from MainConcept … after unzipping them, simply import the video into your collections and drop it onto the timeline. If the video doesn’t last long enough, you can copy it and place multiple copies end-to-end. Finally, place your animation on TOP of this looping video.
Create a title picture
Another option is to not use any title animations at all … but to create a title picture to place at the beginning of your movie. You can create a title picture within any photo editing program like Photoshop (Photoshop elements is cheaper) or PaintShop Pro. If you don’t want to buy new software, you can try editing a background image inside of MS Paint, but you’ll find it difficult to add text using this Windows program.
I use this method the most for my videos … usually I’ll take a snapshot from my movie and find a fancy textured background online. Then I’ll combine these within Photoshop and add a text title. Finally, I’ll import this picture back into Movie Maker to use as a title.
As you can see, there are many methods for improving your introductory titles. I usually don’t go to this trouble for end credit titles though, as the end credits built into Movie Maker are quite acceptable.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Exporting your movie ... which format it best?
At last. You’ve sweated and toiled, and have completed your video. You’ve placed all your clips on your timeline, carefully arranged and trimmed them with transitions and video effects … and you may even have added a music track. Now it’s time to export your movie so that you can share it with your friends and family. .
But what format should you export to??
This is a good question and the answer is not exactly obvious. When you first run the “save movie to computer” wizard, you are going to be faced with several exporting movie formats. You’ll have to choose between the native DV-AVI, or one of the huge selection of WMV formats. Each has its advantages and problems.
While you can save your video into many smaller formats appropriate for emailing and web viewing, you should export at least one copy of your movie into a high-quality format (either DV-AVI or the highest WMV format). You may need this high-quality video in the future for recording to CD or making a DVD, and it’s always nice to have a high quality copy of your movie available in case you accidentally destroy or delete your project. For the highest quality, I generally recommend two settings:
The DV-AVI format
Movie Maker can encode your final movie into standard DV-AVI format. This is the compression format that the digital video on your camcorder is recorded. The format is great, as the quality is outstanding and it can go through many generations of editing before degrading. However, videos saved in this format are very large … every minute of video takes up 200 megs of space. That’s some pretty big file sizes and you can fill your hard drive quickly. However, if you can spare the space, I highly recommend saving into this format … it is the most compatible video type, and it will give you the best results for burning DVDs.
While they aren’t labeled as such, every other export setting in Movie Maker is actually their own WMV9 format. The WMV9 video encoding format is also great format that generates fantastic quality at very small file sizes. Unfortunately, the format is very proprietary, and hardly any programs can open them. You’re going to have a hard time sharing movies in this format with your friends unless they also run Windows XP and are willing to download the latest decompression codecs.
You might want to save a copy in this format anyway, though , as the compression is so fantastic that you can keep a large collections of video on your computer without swamping your hard drive.
So which format do you choose ….?
It depends upon what you need to do with your video. I generally do the following after completing each video …
Save a DV-AVI copy to my computer
Save a WMP9 copy to my computer at the absolute HIGHEST setting (“high quality” at 720x480)
Backup my entire project folder onto an external hard drive or DVD-R (as data, not DVD video)
If you back up your project properly, it doesn’t matter what format you save into … you can always re-open your project and re-export your movie into whatever format you like. My opinion on this subject …
It is unfortunate that Movie Maker will only export in these two formats – this is most likely an attempt to dominate the digital video arena with its own WMV9 format. Fortunately, you can save your movie into DV-AVI format, and if you need to encode into other formats (such as MPEG-1, QuickTime, or reel media) you can always re-encode this DV-AVI movie.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Movie Maker - saving video to CD-R, CD-RW.
At some point you may want to export your movie to a CD-Rom. For example, you might want to back up your final movie or mail your movie to friends so that they can watch your movie in high quality.
Microsoft was kind enough to include a “Burn to CD” wizard directly within Movie Maker. To access it, simply go to the task menu and click the “Save to CD” link. A CD-writing wizard will pop-up and you can choose what format of video you’d like to save to CD. However … you might not want to use this built in CD burner function!
You see, for some reason Microsoft decided to limit the output options within the “save to CD” wizard. There are less video formats to choose from … you can’t choose the highest WMV9 settings, but have to make do with a lower quality setting. I don’t know why they did this.
If you do want to burn your video to CD-ROM at the highest available WMV9 setting (you’ll fit about 30 minutes of video onto a CD using the “high quality” setting), you need to export the video file to your hard drive first. You can then copy this file onto a CD using burning software like Roxio or Nero.
Or, you could just use Windows XP’s built-in CD-writing ability. Simply hi-light the video file with your mouse, then click “Write to CD” in the left handed menu bar. The file will be copied into a virtual “ready to be burned” queue. When you are ready to actually burn the final CD, go to My Computer, click on the CD-Writer drive, and click “burn CD.”
Related Article - How to Create HighMAT CD's for Home Videos Using Windows Movie Maker 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Turn your Movie Maker 2 video into a DVD
You can create a DVD movie from your edited Movie Maker 2 project. DVD movies are great because they allow you to watch your movie in high-resolution on your television screen. The disks are portable, so you can take them to friend’s house for viewing and are much easier to store and mail then VHS tapes. Plus, the DVD media itself is much more stable than magnetic tape, so your precious video will stay intact for years.
However, creating a DVD can be a complicated task … possibly more complicated than learning Movie Maker to begin with. The process is certainly more expensive … you’ll have to buy a DVD writer (around $300 dollars) and good quality DVD blank disks cost $4-10. However, thanks to entry-level DVD software like Sonic MyDVD, the task is not that hard … especially if you arm yourself with a little knowledge before you begin. Choosing a writer:
The recordable DVD format has not completely matured, and there are still several competing writing formats to choose from. Among these are the DVD-R, DVD+R and the DVD-RAM format used by Panasonic. Each of these formats has their own advantages and compatibility issues … though the first two (DVD-R and DVD+R) will play on most home DVD players.
I use the cheap Pioneer A04 DVD-R writer to create DVDs. This is a pretty standard drive and is very popular, but you may want to spring for the slightly more expensive Sony 500 drive that allows you to write to many different DVD formats. Make sure your drive comes bundled with DVD creation software … my Pioneer included Sonic MyDVD (which is the same software that Microsoft's Movie Maker website recommends). Choose your media
Unfortunately, all DVD disk media is not created equal, and you’ll find that certain brands (Memorex, TDK, Pioneer) have different compatibility with different desktop DVD players. You can research the compatibility levels online, but from my own experience, Verbatim DVD-Rs have the highest compatibility on the many DVD decks I’ve tested. You may be able to find really cheap DVD brands (such as Princo or Ritek) though I’ve had mixed results with these disks … I’ve gotten bad batches and my video tends to skip near the end of long disks (at the edge of the disk). Exporting your Movie Maker Video
In order to build your DVD, you need to export your final Movie Maker project as a video file. Because most DVD creation software don’t recognize the WMV format, this means you’ll have to export as DV-AVI. Keep in mind that this format is very bulky (about 200 megs per minute) so if you are creating a 1.5 hour DVD, you better have a bunch of hard drive space available.
Now … according to Sonic and the Movie Maker website, the latest version of Sonic MyDVD is supposed to recognize the .WMV format, so this may be another output option for you. However, the resulting video quality won’t be quite as good as DV-AVI unless you knock the quality settings to the maximum during export (use the “high quality” setting). Build your DVD
The next step is to create or build your DVD within your creation software. This process is different for every program, so I won’t go into detail here as these programs have “creation wizards” to guide you. I’ve had experience using MyDVD and DVDit (both Sonic products) and DVD complete. Each of these programs allows you to import your DV-AVI video, create menus, and write your finished DVD to your burner. Choosing DVD creation software
Sonic MyDVD– very easy and quick. I often use it to make quick DVDs. The built-in MPEG compression could be a little better, though.
DVD Complete – A little harder to use, but more options to customize. I like it, but find MyDVD more convenient.
Sonic DVDit PE– Much harder to use, but very customizable. I use this (in conjunction with PhotoShop) for creating professional DVDs, as the program will let me create and import my own backgrounds, buttons, and graphics.
Nero 6 Ultra Edition– Includes full video editing, DVD playback, slideshow creation including audio, backup including multiple modes, and StartSmart project launcher.
Write your DVD
All of the DVD creation programs are able to burn your DVD directly within the software. Keep in mind that the writing process itself can be time consuming because there is a lengthy encoding step involved. You see, DVD’s don’t save video in the DV-AVI format. Instead, they use a non-proprietary video format called MPEG2. Unless you use an intermediate program to re-encode your movie, the DVD program will have to convert your DV-AVI video into this MPEG2 format before it saves it to your DVD disk. If you are writing an hours worth of video, expect your computer to take at least that long to convert and write that data … and possibly much longer. This step always takes me a while (even on my zippy 3ghz desktop) Related -
Bigasoft iPod Video Converter for Mac, a professional Mac iPod converter, is specially designed to convert all kinds of movie formats to iPod MP4 for playing on iPod and iTunes for Mac OS X.
The powerful Mac iPod video converter allows to easily convert almost all video files to iPod video MP4, including MOV, MP4, MKV, AVI, MPEG, WMV, RM, RMVB, DivX, ASF, VOB, 3GP, FLV, MOD, TOD, MTS, and more, and convert music files such as APE, WAV, WMA, MP2, AC3, M4A, OGG, AAC and so on to iPod MP3. Moreover, it can fast extract audio from your favorite movie or music video to play on iPod.
Besides, the Mac movie converter is equipped with more advanced features, you can easily play movie before converting, capture favorite images, rip movie segment, crop black margin, automatically shut down computer after conversion, convert files in batch mode, merge movies, and more.
The professional Mac iPod movie converter supports play on all iPod models including iPod classic, iPod nano, iPod touch, iPod shuffle, and iPhone.
The Spring Festival had finished, we have to go to work again. Though I am a little unwilling to start new work, there is something happy that I have recorded some funny videos of my family and friends with Sony's camcorders, and I can enjoy these videos on my iPod using perfect MTS Converter. MTS Converter is fast MTS file converter to convert HD video to general video, convert general video to HD video, convert among HD videos, such as HD TS, HD MTS, HD WMV, HD MPG, HD MPEG4, H.264/AVC , HD AVI, HD ASF, etc.
* Enjoy your favorite DVDs and videos on portable devices on the go.
* Burn videos or physical DVDs to DVD discs to view on your big screen TV.
* Provides optimized presets for iDevices, mobile phone and more.
* A simple way to save your favorite online videos for offline watching.
iMedia Converter Deluxe for Mac Key Features
Broad Video Format Support - Quickly convert High-Definition video like AVCHD MTS/M2TS, AVCHD Lite, TS, HD MKV, HD WMV, HD MOV and standard videos to any popular format including WMV, MP4, AVI, MOV, MPG/MPEG, FLV, MP3, and more.
Simple Way to Rip DVDs - Take the hassle out of ripping and converting DVD movies or homemade DVDs to pretty much any format of your choice or directly for mobile devices. You can now simply accomplish the task with a few simple clicks.
Presets for Portable Devices - Straightforward presets allow you to easily rip DVDs and convert videos for your iPad, iPod, iPhone(iPhone 4 included), and Apple TV. A hassle-free way to enjoy your videos, movies and TV shows anytime and anywhere.
Convert or Extract Audio - An easy, fun and inexpensive way to greatly expand your music library by extracting audio from almost any format videos or concert DVDs to MP3, AAC, etc. Take these cool music or sound with you on iDevices!
Powerful Video Burning Tool -Copy and preserve your favorite video clips and photos to DVDs. Or burn movies stored on your Mac to DVD and you can play it anywhere you like: On the DVD player in your kids' room or on the road in your car DVD player.
Copy of DVDs and DVD Files - Copy encrypted DVDs or DVD files (VIDEO_TS, ISO, dvdmedia) to DVD discs for playback on portable DVD players. Or duplicate homemade DVDs for family members who also want a record of those special moments in life.
Download Streaming Videos - Easily download online videos from a wide range of popular video-sharing websites like YouTube, Yahoo, Vimeo, Break, Metacafe, Facebook, etc. for playback on Mac or any popular video players you like.
Easy Access to DVDs and Videos - Embedded Media Browser takes the convenience of adding any media files on your Mac to a further step, by allowing users to easily browse and add video/DVD/Audio from media library panel.
Tanbee Video Converter for Mac is the ideal video converting tool for Mac OS X to convert various video formats including AVI, WMV, MOV, MPEG, MP4, 3GP, FLV, MOD, MTS and MKV. This Mac video converter also enables you to extract audio from video, movie and convert audio to audio, like MP3, M4A, AAC, etc...
Video Converter for Mac supports most multimedia devices including the iPad, iPad 2, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, PSP, BlackBerry, Google phones, and mobile phones. In addition, you can also edit your video files by clipping/cropping/merging, adding effects using this perfect Mac video converter.
* Convert AVI, WMV, MOV, FLV, MP4, MPEG, MKV, 3GP video.
* Convert AVCHD Video (*.m2ts, *.mts), MOD, TOD video formats.
* Extract audio from video and convert video to all popular audio.
* Edit, clip, crop video. Merge several files into one file.
* Optimized presets for Apple iPad, iPad 2, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, mobile phone, MP4 players, Google phones, etc.
* Convert multiple files simultaneously with batch processing.
Many AVCHD camcorder users may have the trouble with playing AVCHD videos on video players or portable devices. Tanbee AVCHD Converter for Mac is designed to help you convert AVCHD videos to common video formats like AVI, WMV, MP4, MPEG, FLV, SWF, MOV, 3GP and HD videos like HD AVI, HD MOV, HD MPEG, HD WMV. So you can enjoy your masterpieces shot by Panasonic, JVC, Sony, Canon, Hitachi AVCHD camcorder on iPad, iPad 2, iPod, PSP, Zune, iRiver and more multimedia players.
AVCHD Converter for Mac also features the editing functions: Merge, crop, clip videos; adjust video effects; and set video/audio parameters.
* Supports a Wide Range of AVCHD Camcorders and DVs like JVC, Sony, Canon, Panasonic and many others.
* Convert AVCHD videos (MTS, M2TS, TOD, MOD, etc.) to common popular video formats or HD videos.
* Enjoy AVCHD videos on iPad, iPad 2, iPod, iPhone, PSP, BlackBerry, iRiver and other media devices.
* AVCHD Video clipping/cropping/merging, add effects.
* Extract AVCHD audio to various formats.
* Capture Pictures from AVCHD videos.
Tanbee AVCHD Converter for Mac is a full-featured tool for AVCHD camcorder users, which can convert AVCHD videos (MTS, M2TS, MOD, MOD) to common videos including AVI, MOV, MPEG, WMV, MP4, 3GP, FLV, SWF, and HD videos like HD AVI, HD MOV, HD MPEG, HD WMV. This powerful Mac AVCHD Converter can support various portable devices such as iPod, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, PSP, PS3, Wii and DS, Mobile Phones, Android Mobile, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, etc.
The best Mac AVCHD Converter software also makes it possible to trim your AVCHD (MTS, M2TS, MOD, HDV) video clips, crop video playing screen, add subtitle/watermark/artistic effects, adjust video image effects, customize parameters, preview your shot video, capture desired video images and calculate bit rate.
* Convert AVCHD videos to common popular video formats & HD videos.
* AVCHD videos are convertible for playback on many mobile devices.
* Extract AVCHD audio to various formats.
* High compatibility with various AVCHD camcorders and players
* Powerful editing functions to polish your shot video
* Capture pictures from AVCHD videos.
How to convert AVCHD camcorder videos on Mac?
This tutorial will show you how to use Tanbee AVCHD Converter for Mac step by step. Before you start, please download, install and launch Tanbee AVCHD Converter for Mac.
Step 1: Load AVCHD camcorder video files
Click "Add File" button on the toolbar or go to "File > Add files" from the main menu to load files you want to convert.
Step 2: Choose output format for your players
Choose the file, click "Profile" drop-down button to choose the format you need, then click "" to choose destination folder for saving output files.
Step 3: Start AVCHD video conversion on Mac
After the above settings, check the needed files to convert in the file list, and click "Convert" big button to start converting.
As a Blu-Ray movies lover, you may have been blocked when convert larger Blu-ray to H264 video formats to save the space on your PC. Blu-ray zu H264 will help you settle all the difficulties. With this program, converting Blu-ray video to H.264/MPEG-4 video format, H.264/MOVvideo formats will be very simple. Blu-ray a H264
An integrated media solution to rip DVDs (including DVDs with special copyright protection), convert video and audio files, copy & burn DVDs, and download online videos. And save up to 30% Now on applemacvideoconverter.com/
Video Converter Ultimate for Mac is completely designed all-in-one package for ripping DVDs(copyright protected DVDs included), converting video and audio files, copying & burning DVDs. Besides the powerful main function, it can download online videos in high speed. With the friendly interface design, you can use it without difficulty in an easy and quick way.
Key Features of Video Converter Ultimate for Mac
1. Convert Video & Audio
* SD and HD video conversion - Convert standard and high definition video to all popular SD and HD formats, including (SD) AVI, MP4, MPG, WMV; and (HD) HD MP4, HD WMV, HD MOV.
* Convert audio to popular formats - While converting your video, ensure the video's audio track also converts correctly. Convert audio to most popular formats including MP3, WMA, AIFF, and more.
2. Share to Devices and Online
* Enjoy videos on all your phones, pads and pods - Convert videos to play on Apple devices, mobile phones, game players and so on, including the latest iPad, iPhone 4, iPod touch 4, Windows Phone 7, etc.
* Share videos online - Upload and share your videos through sites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google video, and more.
3. Convert for Use in Your Favorite Applications
* Convert your videos to be compatible with iDVD, iMovie, QuickTime, Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Express, iTunes, and more.
4. Extraordinary DVD experience anywhere
* Rip DVD movies to videos in MP4, MPG, WMV, 3GP, FLV, etc. for playback on iPad/iPhone/iPod/Windows Media Player and more.
* Burn any video in different formats to DVD disc, DVD folder, or ISO files with free provided DVD menu templates to make your DVD unique.
5. Download Video Instantly
* Download with one click - Directly download videos from Safari with one click, including all videos viewed on YouTube, Google, Yahoo, MySpace and other video-sharing sites.
Weave photos/video into FANTASTIC movies by save up to 30%. After that next vacation or reunion, create an eye-catching showcase for your photos and video that your friends and family will cherish and cheer.
Fantashow for Mac is the digital slideshow builder that lets anyone at home achieve a professional-looking movie in no time. Just drag in your photos, video and music, drop in a few of the array of built-in themes and your memories are transformed into Hollywood-style movies you can share on DVD, YouTube, Facebook, Mac HD, all your iDevices and more.
* First-timers look pro with one-click application of artful effects.
* Choose from an array of themes to showcase your story.
* Customize captions, titles and credits for that real film feel.
* Share your shows on DVD, YouTube, iDVD, iTunes, Apple Devices, Macintosh HD and more.
Key Features of Fantashow for Mac
Dynamic Templates, Ready-made to Impress
You don't need to be an award-winning editor, thanks to 18 unique styles like travel, scrapbook, and more
* 3D themes add more impact to your shows.
* Apply different themes in the same show to keep things interesting
* Extend each theme to groups of your video and photos to create chapters
* An array of intro and credit templates let you stylishly present your movie and its cast
* 21 blank slides give your more space to tell your stories with animated titles.
Drag and Drop Your Ideas
Drag-n-drop makes the difference. Drop in media to add it to the storyboard, drag it out to delete, and drop styles directly into the storyboard to apply. It's that easy. One click to rotate, crop and enhance photos with special effects like Black & White, Sepia, X-ray, Flipped, etc.
* Drag and drop to import media from iPhoto, iTunes and GarageBand.
* Trim multiple sections of videos and music with precise control.
* Add animated captions to photos to help tell the story.
Most online media stores provide DRM protected media, so if you want to put these media on different players you must remove DRM protection at first.
Total Media Converter for Mac 3.5 is a blazing fast combination video converter/DVD ripper that lets you convert video or DVD to any popular standard or HD format. Convert video to import and edit in your favorite applications like Final Cut Pro, or watch on almost any mobile device, including iPhone, iPad, PSP, Android, etc.
* Convert your favorite videos to virtually any standard or HD video/audio format
* Rip and convert DVDs to view or edit in your favorite Mac programs
* Powerful video editing functions with real time preview available
* Works perfectly with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, iPad, iPhone Firmware 3.1, the latest iPhone 4.
Key Features of Total Media Converter for Mac
Convert Video to Almost any Format - Total Media Converter for Mac quickly and easily converts all kinds of popular media files. Such as HD video format in AVI, MKV (H.264, MPEG-2), WMV (VC-1), MTS (AVCHD, H.264); audio format in MP3, AAC, AC3, M4A, WMA, MKA, WAV, etc. and even DVD files like DVD disc, DVD folder, and DVD media files. Also legally remove DRM (Digital Rights Management) from most purchased media.
Rip DVDs and Extract DVD Audio - A lightning fast DVD Ripper lets you rip and convert commercial DVD discs, DVD-R and DVD files, including DVD folder (Video_TS), DVDMedia file and DVD IFO file.to almost any standard or HD video/audio format available.
Powerful Video and Audio Editing Function - An intuitive on-board editor lets you easily edit and touch-up your video and audio files. Trim and crop, adjust advanced properties like, or to add watermarks to safeguard your copyright, load subtitle or choose from the original subtitles.
Instant Compatibility with Most Mobile Devices - Optimized preset formats to fit almost any device mean you can enjoy your video in no time on popular mobile devices like iPad, iPod, iPod nano, iPod classic, iPod shuffle, iPod touch, iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4(4G), Apple TV, PSP, PS3, Xbox 360, General 3GP mobile phone, BlackBerry, Archos, Creative Zen, Zune, iRiver, Pocket PC, Smart Phone, PDA, etc.
AllMyTube for Mac = Video Downloader + Video Converter + FLV Player, 30% off Download, convert and manage online videos freely and easily now.
AllMyTube for Mac is not only a professional web video downloader, but also a powerful video converter and a FLV player. With this all-in-one application, you can download videos from almost all the popular websites like YouTube, Google, Metacafe and more at ease. Moreover, it enables you to convert the downloaded videos to any video format according to your demand. In addition, enjoying FLV on Mac is also available due to the built-in FLV player. The Library helps you to manage the downloaded videos in order and upload them to Facebook or Twitter just with a few clicks.
Key Features of AllMyTube for Mac
Download Online Videos & Audios on Mac
* Freely download HTML5 videos from YouTube, FaceBook, Vimeo and Dailymotion.
* Totally free to download videos from YouTube sites.
* Download online videos from other popular video-sharing sites such as Google video, Facebook, TNT, Break, CNN, Metacafe, etc.
* Download music from pandora.com.
* Available for downloading up to 20 online videos at a time.
* Three easy ways to download online videos directly: click the Download button that appears on the top of the video, input the video URL to download, or drag and drop URL into AllMyTube icon.
Convert Videos & Audios
* Convert the downloaded videos to both standard and high-definition video formats, like MP4, AVI, MPG, WMV or HD MP4 (H.264, Xvid), HD AVI (Xvid) etc.
* Extract audios from downloaded and existing videos and convert them to M4A, AAC, MP3, AC3, OGG etc.
* Output files for Apple devices, iPhone, iPod and iPad can be directly added to iTunes.
Share, Manage & Play Videos
* Directly share videos on Facebook and Twitter with one click.
* Easily manage the downloaded videos and existing videos in the Library.
* Built-in FLV Player plays FLV videos on Mac freely.
Tanbee Video Converter for Mac is a powerful and easy-to-use video conversion software for Mac users, which helps you convert videos and audios between various formats for Mac easily and fast, such as AVI, MP4, MOV, MKV, WMV, MPEG, 3GP, VOB video and HD Video (MOD, TOD, MTS).
Tanbee Video Converter for Mac makes most video files playable on the iPod, PSP, iPhone, Smartphones as well as many others. This Mac Video Converter can also extract audio from video, movie and convert audio to audio, like MP3, M4A, AAC, etc.
* Convert among all SD and HD video formats on Mac with ease.
* Optimized presets for Apple(iPad/iPod/iPhone/TV), PSP, iMovie, iTunes, etc.
* Clip segments, merge files, crop video size, add special effect
* Extract audio from videos and convert audio to audio for music players.
* Capture your favorite images from videos and save them as BMP, JPEG or PNG.
Tanbee Video Converter for Mac Top Features
Mac Video Conversion Make Easy - Convert between a variety of video formats including MOV, MP4, AVI, MPG, FLV, MKV, WMV, 3GP, M4V, etc. Fully support AVCHD(MTS/M2TS), MOD, TOD, TP, TS, etc.
Convert Video for Portable Devices - Straight presets allow you to easily convert videos for your iPad, iPod, iPhone 4, Apple TV, BlackBerry, PSP, Palm, iRiver, GPhone, etc. An easy way to enjoy your videos, movies and TV shows anytime and anywhere.
Merge or Clip Video - Join multiple video clips together; Clip the required segments from your video, either output them separately or merge and output them as a single video.
Video Effect Editing - Crop the image to remove unwanted backdrops, black borders or emphasize a particular focal point; add different artistic effects such as "Old Film", "Emboss", "Gray" to make your video look special.
Detailed Output Parameter Settings - Adjust a detailed range of output parameters including video brightness, contrast, saturation, bit rate, and frame rate.
Easy-to-use - Tanbee Video Converter for Mac features to easy to use, only a few clicks can complete the video audio file conversion task.
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