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.