Movie Maker secrets ;-)

In the process of preparing videos for my tutorial I was using Microsoft's free program called Movie Maker. Well it's free if you bought Windows ;-). The biggest problem with it is that editing a 10 minute movie will take hours if not days (depending on your computer). So here's a tip - before any editing convert your movie to lower bit-rate.

It makes editing lightning fast and you will save a lot time and frustration by following this steps:

  1. Make a low bit-rate (not to be confused with low resolution) version of your movie. Around 500 kb/s should be fine, but you may go as low as you wish (I use 200 kb/s on my laptop).
  2. Open the low bit-rate file in MovieMaker.
  3. Add cuts, effects, pictures.
  4. Save and close the MovieMaker project.
  5. Rename the low bit-rate file.
  6. Open the project.
  7. Double click on video frame (thumbnail) and choose the file with high bit-rate (original).

Done. You can now render your movie.

You may ask - how to create the low bit-rate file in the first place. Easy.

  • You can use Movie Maker profiles for that. Just remember to copy all settings except bit-rate from the settings advised for your movie. See: How do I use custom settings to save videos?.
  • You can also use a different program. Personally I use Any DVD Converter, but it's $50 so YMMV. Note that you might need to set speed to 0.5 if your video seem to run too fast (this is true for MTS files). This is done in "Additional MEncoder options" (set it to "-speed 0.5").
  • Edit: You can also use ffmpeg program directly. The speed problem doesn't occur here. A bat file to convert all MTS files in a directory can look like this (of course you should probably change the path to ffmpeg):
    SET ffmpegEXE="c:\Programs\Media\ffmpeg\bin\ffmpeg.exe"
    for %%i in (*.mts) do %ffmpegEXE% -i "%%i" -vcodec mpeg4 -b:v 200k -acodec libmp3lame -b:a 64k "%%i.mp4"