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Battle of the Movie-Making Tools: Why Windows XP Movie Maker 2 Beats Apple's iMovie HD

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You know you can edit your video using either Apple's iMovie or Windows XP's Movie Maker 2. But which should you choose? Matthew David takes you into the trenches of the movie-making war going on between Microsoft and Apple, giving you a look at the winning app: Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker 2.
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Recently, Apple Computer released an update to their iLife suite of tools that included an upgrade to their video editing tool, iMovie. In many ways, iMovie competes directly with a video editing tool Microsoft has available called Windows Movie Maker 2. In this article, you'll find out why Windows Movie Maker is the tool you should be investing your time in. I have been using Movie Maker 2 for professional projects for over two years. Movie Maker allows me to create movies quickly on Windows XP.

Using Movie Maker 2

When Microsoft released Windows XP, they threw in a klutzy video editing tool called Movie Maker for free. Just after the launch, Movie Maker received a huge upgrade when Movie Maker 2 was released.

Essentially, Movie Maker 2 enables the video hobbyist to quickly and easily create non-linear videos. If you're new to movie-making with Movie Maker then I'll give you the skinny.

First of all, Movie Maker 2 is only for Windows XP. If your copy of Windows XP is an older edition, then you may have Movie Maker 1 installed. If that's the case, you should use the Windows Update service to install the upgrade (it's free).

Movie Maker 2 really makes movie development fun. When you open Movie Maker you will see a series of tasks, located along the left-hand side of the application, which you'll need to complete in order to produce a movie. The Wizard-like interface steps you through what you need to do.

The first step is to have both video and still images to add to work with. You can add these to a "collection" that Movie Maker manages for you. Video and still images can then be dropped easily onto a Timeline along the bottom of the screen. At any time, you can press the play button and review what you are creating. Do I make it sound easy? That's because it really is.

I recently turned my brother on to Movie Maker. He's deputy head for a school in England, and he had been struggling with Adobe's Premiere for the school materials he was creating. It took him less than an hour to get up and running with his first five minute video in Movie Maker 2. Now I can't stop him.

Movie Maker 2 comes with a lot of tools that you would only expect to see in purchased software. You have the capability for titling opening/closing credits and subtitles, you have myriad transitions and video effects, you can easily export your movies to e-mail, the Web and your hard drive, and you can create soundtracks and voiceover tracks very easily.

Finally, Movie Maker is tied into Microsoft's DirectX technology, which is a boon because a lot of third party plugins have been developed that use DirectX. What this gives you, as a movie maker is a massive spectrum of tools.

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