Opinions have differed over the years on the Windows Movie Maker line, but it’s a capable enough product. You’re not going to be creating cutting-edge media with WMM, but for the cost (free), well… you get what you pay for.
There was some excitement when it was announced that Windows 7 would have access to an entirely new, refreshed version of Windows Movie Maker. I say “have access to”, because the new version – Windows Live Movie Maker – would, instead, be a separate download – along with Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Writer, and a few other things. Certainly leaving some of those *core* products out of Windows 7 wasn’t everyone’s favorite decision, but it keeps the OS slimmer & trimmer. That’s a good thing.
Sadly, the new Windows Live Movie Maker is probably not the follow-up that most folks were hoping for. While it does utilize the updated ribbon bar interface, which is nice, most of the improvements end there. The ever-usable “timeline” view is gone, taking a “picture from a preview” is no longer offered, and the ability to manually “stretch” objects out to adjust the timing has been replaced with manually typing in values. It’s too bad, too, because the updated Windows Movie Maker could’ve really hit it outta the park, but the more I use it, the more I find things that I cannot do that I used to be able to.
Thankfully, there is some good news.
For starters, WMM 2.6 is available for download, and seems to work just fine on Vista or Windows 7 – both 32-bit and 64-bit. Even better, the WMM version that was updated for Windows Vista (ver 6.0) works on Win7 as well, provided you download the proper version for your OS, and then run a simple batch file. Version 6.0 (released with Vista) included new effects and transitions, support for hardware acceleration, and some newer file formats. Also, the UI is a refreshed & improved version of the WMM 2.6 interface.
Why offer both versions? Well… the 6.0 version offered some hardware acceleration features that not every Vista machine supported. For those users, the refreshed XP version of WMM was released as version 2.6. Confused? Don’t worry about it. For most folks, the shipped Vista version (6.0) is the best of the bunch, so…
Let’s take a look at installing that.
- Download Windows Movie Maker 6.0 (32-bit) for Vista/Win7
- Download Windows Movie Maker 6.0 (64-bit) for Vista/Win7
- Extract the “Movie Maker” folder and copy it to your C:\Program Files directory. (Note: for 64-bit users, the “C:\Program Files (x86)” folder will not be used in this case, since the 64-bit version of WMM is a true 64-bit application.)
- Open the “Movie Maker” folder that you just extracted.
- Right-click on the “reregdlls.bat” file and choose to “Run as administrator”. Choose ‘yes’ when prompted and allow the batch file to run. It should only take a moment.
- Finally, left-click on the “moviemk.exe” file and drag it onto your Start button to “pin it to the Start Menu”.
- Open the Start Menu, click on “Windows Movie Maker”, and go!
- Although both versions of Windows Movie Maker (2.6 and 6.0) can function along side Windows Live Movie Maker just fine, it appears that the 2.6 and 6.0 versions stomp on each other somewhat. I recommend that you choose just one of those versions to have running on your Win7 system – with 6.0 being the better of the two.
- The 2.6 (XP) version works fine on Windows 7, but seems to have a few issues – either by design, or by running on an OS that it was not intended for. For instance, the “collections” view won’t show your imported video files – those have to be selected directly. Also, importing video files takes quite a while, and then breaks them into “chunks” rather than the whole video file.
- The 6.0 (Vista) version is obviously not intended to be ripped from Vista, so your experience under Win7 may vary and/or be problematic. Haven’t heard of any issues, though.
Windows Movie Maker 2.6 (Vista/Win7 refresh of the WMM XP version)
Windows Live Movie Maker (Downloadable for Windows 7)
Finally, a special thanks to this forum for pointing me in the right direction!
Hope you enjoy using Windows Movie Maker on Windows 7!