Windows Movie Maker 2

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 pretty disappointing, 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, is another story. It remedies every one of those problems and more. Unfortunately, version 2 probably didn’t come with your copy of Windows XP Pro. You have to download it from Microsoft’s Web site (, or use the Windows Update feature described in Section 9.4.2.

Movie Maker 2 has been so dramatically improved that, frankly, you’d be silly to use the copy of Movie Maker 1 that came with Windows. If you plan to do any video editing at all—and to be sure, this may not be an everyday activity for you if you use XP Pro in some humming hive of a corporation—download the new version and enjoy its flexibility. The following discussion covers only version 2.

Equipment List

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 ...

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