Microsoft has just made available the updated version of Windows Essentials. It is the ‘2012’ edition. This package was formerly, titled ‘Windows Live’ as a set of free tools that you can download and install to your Windows computer. They are now branding the updated version of the tools without the ‘Live’ part of the name. It is now called 'Windows Essentials’. This means that Windows Live Movie Maker is now just simply ‘Movie Maker’. This new version will be tightly promoted with the upcoming October release of Windows 8. It will in fact only work with Windows 7 and Windows 8.
When you install the package, you can choose all the tools or just some. For me, I’m interested just in the photo and video tools. Windows movie maker has been a decent entry in the video editing choice list, and it is really hard to beat the FREE price point. With the new 2012 edition, they just made it extremely more compelling. The list of added features is impressive.
Movie Maker (2012) now has up to three audio tracks. So you have the audio associated with the video plus option for music track AND voiceover track. Also, they have added waveform display back into the editing. When you are editing video, looking at waveform is extremely helpful to tell you where the clipping points are when you are trimming video.
Also in the 2012 version, MP4 is the default output format. Before the only option was WMV (windows media video) which isn't as globally compatible as the mp4 format (H.264 encoding) is.
Add video stabilization to the equation and this tool is looking very good!
A fuller list of new features is available on the microsoft blog post.
Important note: older computers (like my laptop, grrr) may not be able to utilize the 2012 version. It requires a newer video card and also Windows 7 (or Windows 8 soon). The application depends on some newer technologies that older computers and windows versions are not able to keep up. (I guess after 5-1/2 years, maybe I should update my laptop finally??)
Video is a powerful marketing tool for your business. How is your YouTube channel looking these days? I have just opened an online class called “Video Essentials for Your Business” where we teach you all the fundamentals that you will need to get your videos out there for people to see. In the class we teach Windows Movie Maker, plus Sony Vegas Movie Studio, plus iMovie. So you have a choice which editor you like best! The training is in pre-recorded classes so you can watch any time day or night, according to your pace.
Will I see you in class? :)