Creating a slideshow using Windows Movie Maker

There is a post over at Mindy McAdams’ blog about converting Soundslides to video. The comments make for interesting reading too, especially the tips on Flash and Myspace. But the overriding question seems to be ‘why would you want to do this?’

My answer to that question is ‘you never know’.

Although Flash is getting close to 90% penetration in some markets,you would still have to question it’s efficacy at streaming video. Besides, why alienate some of your audience. If they want QuickTime then let them have it. Especially as someone has done the hard work for you.

I have lost count of the number of times I have surfed round the web looking for a little app that will convert, repackage or open some arcane file format. So I think little widgets like this are really useful; or should that be ‘will be’ really useful?

Moviemaker logoWindows MovieMaker

Still, reading the post got me motivated enough to post something I have been meaning to comment on for a while – Microsoft Movie Maker. I know. A Microsoft app! And there’s me a confirmed macademic and everything. But stick with me.

In the UK most large organizations rely on a Windows base for their IT provision and whilst things like Soundslides and flash are available for all platforms I think it’s a shame to ignore this little app, especially as it comes for free.

It will import a number of formats:

  • Video files: .asf, .avi, .wmv
  • Movie files: MPEG1, .mpeg, .mpg, .m1v, .mp2
  • Audio files: .wav, .snd, .au, .aif, .aifc, .aiff
  • Windows Media files: .asf, .wm, .wma, .wmv
  • Still images: .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .jpe, .jfif, .gif
  • MP3 format audio: .mp3

MovieMaker only outputs WMV and AVI files which some see as a limitation but file conversion is a fact of life these days. . You can if you wish output to a ‘full-res’ DV-AVI file which will run through any conversion app to make it QuickTime. (Rivavx is just one of them) That’s a process you would follow anyway if you where working on the output of an edit suite so I don’t see that as too much of a downside.

I’m not doing a hard sell here. I know it isn’t going to be the right solution for everyone.But it seems to me that there is a flexible, free and relatively easy to use package sitting on your machine. Why not give it a try.

Here are a few flash movies that outline the start of creating a sound/image slideshow with moviemaker.

Importing Images in to Moviemaker(Flash)

Changing the duration of images (Flash)

Adding fades to the images(Flash)

Adding movement to images(Flash)

Exporting to a movie file(Flash)