Monday, February 28, 2011

It Lives

I really hate having to say this but Microsoft has done a good job with its Windows Live Essentials 2011 applications.

I have had so many bad experiences with Microsoft's one-off applications in the past that I was wary when downloading and installing Windows Live Movie Maker for a project at work. The download wasn't horrible but the install took quite a while - even on my fairly quick work system.

I started the application, dragged the video to the workspace and was able to start trimming right away. The responsiveness of the application on my 64-bit Windows 7 was very nice. I have used Movie Maker and other video editors in the past. They all seemed to take forever to process each task only to end up with the audio and video out of sync by the time the project was done. WLMM did hiccup on occasion but recovered well. In the end I had a very decent video with titles, captions, transition effects and credits. WLMM also allows you to add in audio clips, choose where they start and how long they play for as well as apply affects to the video to give it that old-timey look or many other looks.

The only things I think would make it better would be if you could split the audio from the video and zoom in on the video or parts of it for an extended period of time. These features were available in previous versions and are much missed now.

Additionally, you can add in static photos or images to your project. You can then add captions to your photos, some transition and visual effects as well as some audio to make for a great photo slideshow to share with friends and family.

Once done with a project WLMM allows saving to file, burning to DVD and even posting directly to YouTube and Facebook along with many other options.

Overall, this product is fantastic for both home and business use as long as the project does not require any of the missing major functions. Those can be done using other applications though if necessary.

I would recommend Windows Live Movie Maker to anyone who is running Windows Vista or Windows 7 with a decent amount of RAM and processing power. It will work on any system that meets the OS minimum specs but will run much better with 4GB of memory or more.

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