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Windows Movie Maker is a free video editing software, included with the Microsoft Windows operating systems or you can download Movie Maker from Microsoft or other download sites such as CNET's Download.com.
Movie Maker is for PCs only. The first version was available in the old Windows Me operating system, followed by Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. In Windows Vista the original Movie Maker program was replaced by its predecessor Windows Live Movie Maker, which is based on a different code and has a little bit different functionality.
The Windows 7 operating system also has a Windows Live Movie
Maker version that is somewhat less robust than the original Movie Maker
(2.1). The catch on this is that Windows 7 doesn't come with Live Movie Maker installed... you have to download it from Microsoft.
Some users who like the old Movie Maker much more than the Live Movie Maker version have installed the older version Movie Maker (2.1) from Windows XP (or download Movie Maker 2.1) to Windows VISTA, and Windows 7 systems with success. You can download Movie Maker 2.1 and it will work with both of those newer Microsoft operating systems.
You can still get tips and advice for the older Movie Maker 2.1 from various sites like this one.
The layout for the original Windows Movie Maker (2.1) consists of:
A Collections area for organizing and saving imported media (video, pictures and music) for your project.
A Preview pane to see the video project as it is coming together.
A place to view the media you have assembled for editing called the Storyboard view. When in the Storyboard view, the video project appears as a filmstrip showing each segment in the form of clips.
You can switch to a more familiar Timeline view if you prefer. The Timeline view shows the individual media in sequence.
The Storyboard/Timeline area consists of four "bars":
In the appropriate bar - video clips, pictures, and/or music can be added for editing. The media in the Video, Music/Audio and Audio bars can be cut (separated/edited) into any number of short segments (clips) all of which will play together seamlessly or can be rearranged into a different sequence.
The individual segments are isolated editing-wise so... for example... the music volume can be lowered for just a few seconds while someone is speaking.
When you use Movie Maker you are getting a very basic video editing program that is fun and easy to learn and use.
Be sure to get Movie Maker 2.1 if you want the most robust version for video editing.
It's a great editing program for the more experienced video editors as well as, the beginning videographer...!