Movie Maker 1.0 was Microsoft’s first effort at video-editing software. It let camcorder owners edit the boring parts out of their footage, add crossfades, and save the result as a digital file for emailing to friends or saving onto a disk.
Otherwise, though, it was the very definition of lame, offering only a single kind of transition between clips, no special effects, no way to add credits and titles, and no way to send your masterpiece back out to the camcorder for playback on a TV.
Movie Maker 2, released at the end of 2002, remedies every one of those problems and more; it’s now only slightly lame. Unfortunately, version 2 didn’t come with the original copy of Windows XP Pro. If you don’t have it, you can download it from Microsoft’s Web site ( http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/moviemaker ), or use the Windows Update feature described in Section 8.3.
Editing is the easy part. The hard part is getting equipped to do so, since there’s nowhere to plug a camcorder into a standard PC. To use Movie Maker, proceed in any of these three ways:
Use analog equipment. In other words, use a standard camcorder or VCR, and play your footage into your PC from standard VHS, 8 mm, or Hi-8 tapes.
A quick inspection of the back of your computer, however, should make clear that it has no connector for a VCR. Therefore, you also need to buy a video capture card or one of those inexpensive USB capture boxes designed to let you pour video into your PC. The quality ...