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 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


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?