Argh – Tricksy Movie Maker

Well I’ve just spent about an hour fiddling on with Windows Movie Maker, it’s frustrating.

I use Movie Maker in the process of getting my video onto YouTube:

  • Edit the raw footage in Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Save the video sequence as an avi file
  • Open the avi file in Windows Movie Maker
  • Drop the whole file onto the timeline and save the video using Movie Maker’s compression – to a wmv file
  • Rename the wmv to an avi
  • Upload to YouTube

So why do I do it like this? Well, that’s half the point of this post: this information might be useful to some of you, and/or, some of you might know a better way to do things and you can let me know 🙂

The reason I do it like this is that I’ve had very little success with the compression options in Premiere Pro. Most likely due to my own lack of knowledge I ended up with big files that didn’t look that great. The Network suggested that I should try using Movie Maker… so I imported the full .avi into Movie Maker and used the compression available there.

In my opinion the options are a lot easier to understand – and I got better results. I ended up with small files that still looked good. The downside of this approach though is that you don’t get an .avi out. You get a .wmv file. YouTube only accepts .avi, .mov and .mpg files.

So, we tried simply renaming the file to be an .avi instead of a .wmv and it worked. Well, kinda. The renamed file will play in Media Player and YouTube etc., which is exactly what we needed. But I’m sure this isn’t a fool proof method… for example, Premiere Pro won’t let me import one of these cobbled .avi files.

Now on to the other point of this post. Movie Maker can have an annoying habbit of dropping the end of the video part of a clip, if it’s a picture (I think). I tend to put an image at the beginning and end of my sequences to provide a title and to acknowledge the source of the music.

So Movie Maker was dropping the last (image) clip of the sequence and I couldn’t figure out how to stop it happening. Argh. In the end I decided the simplest thing to do was return to Premiere Pro and put two identicle image clips at the end of the sequence. Make the second one really short and let Movie Maker drop that one.

It worked. It was annoying. Exporting files and waiting for compression can take a while… I can’t complain though as I ended up with the compression that I wanted. Result.


  • Reply April 10, 2010


    Hey, I used to teach Freestyle at Castleford but now have a business mekkin films in Les Deux Alpes. Got a blog here . To help with this problem, if I were you I’d export as an apple movie ‘.mov’. Quiktime movies tend to have the best compression for web, use h.264 if it’s available in your premiere, or h.263 or Sorensen can also give good results… Good little thread on this forum for more info;

  • Reply April 13, 2010


    Hey Gavin,

    I’ve been dinking around with ms movie maker and I have had no problem uploading the .wmv files it creates directly to you tube. Most of the videos I have online right now came from movie maker.

    About the ‘loosing the end of your file’.. I haven’t experienced that problem. However, if you don’t use MM much, I think I *might* have a clue whats happening.

    When you import a clip, it often tries to cut the clip up automatically by trying to find natural break points in the movie. Usually, this doesn’t work very well. You can highlight all the pieces and merge them back together.

    My first thought was that maybe it’s autocutting that last little bit of your movie… maybe this isn’t the problem at all… you might be more familiar with MM than I realize.

    Either way, your latest video clip post shows some really fine riding. I hope I can start developing some ground work like yours over the next many years 😀

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hey Zaskoda,

    thanks for the comments on the latest video 😉 Appreciated!

    It’s not the thing with splitting the clip up… in this case I’ve simply dragged-and-dropped the file into movie maker and it remained whole. When I play the clip in the little preview window it is exactly as it should be.

    It’s after putting the clip on the timeline and then playing the timeline that the last image gets dropped…

    Probably just a little bug in Movie Maker, but I’ve found an easy work around.

    Thanks guys.

  • Reply April 13, 2010

    Gavin Hope

    Hey Marcus, thanks for the info, I’m gonna check that stuff out. Cool blog btw. So what’s it like living in Deux Alpes?

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