Microsoft's Movie Maker sequel previewed

Windows Movie Maker for Windows XP is getting a major overhaul that will make Microsoft Corp.'s bundled video-editing app easier to use, more powerful, and more compatible with popular video formats.

A free public beta of Windows Movie Maker 2 is now available for free download. Also posted as a free download is the first release candidate for Windows Media Player 9, unveiled in September.

The Movie Maker 2 beta arrives on the heels of Sony Corp.'s release of its competing Screenblast, which shipped earlier this week.

Broader Video Support

Windows Movie Maker 2 offers aspiring film auteurs many more options than its predecessors that were bundled into both Windows XP and Windows Me. For example, you can now choose from more than 130 video effects, titles, and transitions, compared to the handful in the previous versions. You can import your video clips from analog or digital video cameras or video capture cards. And in contrast to the previous versions, which let you play back your finished video only in Microsoft's .asf file format, you can now save them in .avi format to CDs, DVDs, or tape.

If you want to turn your video clips into a home movie without actually having to create it, an AutoMovie feature will analyze the clips and music you choose, and generate a three- to five-minute film.

Windows Movie Maker 2 works with Windows Media Video 9 (part of Media Player 9 series) to compress your source video into a format that Microsoft says is one-twentieth the size of an .avi file. This lets you upload far more raw footage onto your hard drive, eliminating problems resulting from insufficient storage space for longer projects.

Microsoft says the new compressed format can easily be burned to CD, sent via e-mail to friends and relatives, or even transferred to a Pocket PC for playback.

Media Player Enhanced

The Media Player 9 Series release candidate has some changes from the beta released this fall. Added features include new High M.A.T. technology for CD burning, which Microsoft says will let you save music and videos to recordable CDs that can be played on future consumer electronics devices.

Also new in the Media Player 9 Series RC: Synchronized lyric support, so that you can add your own synchronized lyrics to music files for display on the Media Player. Microsoft has also added Auto Playlist enhancements, which the company says will increase support for more types of criteria in generating or editing Auto Playlists.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Yardena Arar

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?