How to easily edit home video with free software from Microsoft

Back in the day I used to be a news video­tape edit­or. This was before cam­er­as were digit­al — think back to the days of VCRs, Beta and VHS. Yep, that was the media of the day to record music and video. That was called Ana­log.

The reas­on I bring that up is because edit­ing on tape, is sig­ni­fic­antly dif­fer­ent than digit­al edit­ing. The whole work­flow for Ana­log edit­ing is, well, ana­log. You start at the begin­ning and work to the end. If you need to change some­thing you’ve already com­pleted, on tape you have to redo everything from the change point for­ward, so things ten­ded to get planned out very very care­fully. And mis­takes tend to take a long time to fix.

Today, the work­flow is dif­fer­ent. I’ve nev­er pro­fes­sion­ally edited digit­ally, so the work­flow I use is likely not a best prac­tice, but it gets the job done for me.

And one of the tools I’m start­ing to use is Microsoft’s Win­dows Live Movie Maker. You’ve likely seen the I’m a PC com­mer­cials with the kids mak­ing videos — well I’m about the same speed as those kids, so yeah, the tool is easy to use 😉

Edit­ing is pretty intu­it­ive. Drag clips into a pal­let. Trim them to include only the bits you want. Place them in the prop­er order. Insert some trans­itions, maybe some titles off the top and cred­its at the end, and you’re done.

It took me maybe 2 hours to load, edit and pub­lish my video to You­Tube. The second one, below, took maybe 30 minutes — the hard­est part was select­ing the edit points and trans­itions.

Cue the cute puppy video.

Of course, what took the most time was transcod­ing and pub­lish­ing the video to You­Tube. Then the ver­sion pro­cessing on You­Tube takes time too, but it’s auto­mated so you’re doing some­thing else while your movie is get­ting pol­ished 🙂 But back to the soft­ware.

Microsoft Live Movie Maker comes full of all sorts of bells and whistles, some are pretty advanced too.

I’ve just star­ted down this road of video pro­duc­tion (as you can tell by the home movie qual­ity of that video), so yes, I’ll be try­ing oth­er video edit­ing soft­ware in the com­ing months.

But for now, for me on my simple home PC, Live Movie Maker is what gets the job done.

And here’s the bonus, it’s free from Mcrosoft.

Published by Brad Grier geek.hack