Microsoft Announces Beta of Windows XP Movie Maker 2

Reprinted from a Microsoft press release:

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) today released the beta version of Windows(R) Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP, a new and completely redesigned video editing feature of the Microsoft(R) Windows XP operating system. Using state-of-the-art technology, Windows Movie Maker 2 offers dramatic improvements for Windows XP customers to remove the complexity and confusion from home video editing. Beyond breakthroughs in ease of use, Windows Movie Maker 2 offers deep and powerful new features with over 130 new kinds of video effects, titles and transitions to help even novice PC users create their own home movies with a professional touch. The beta version is available today for download at .

“We designed Windows Movie Maker 2 from the ground up to make creating home movies as effortless as possible with Windows XP,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “Our development teams have applied some of the latest Microsoft Research technology to redefine ease of use for people who want to get more out of their home video collections.”

“Easy, intuitive home video editing allows millions of PC owners to better enjoy their camcorder-captured memories,” said Richard Doherty, research director for The Envisioneering Group. “Because it simplifies many of the most popular, previously complex video effects, many consumers trying out Windows Movie Maker 2 will e-mail videos, burn CDs and re-edit digital video tapes they are truly proud of.”

Create Home Movies in Minutes

Windows Movie Maker for Windows XP redefines fast and easy home video creation with a new, more intuitive, task-based user interface, improved timeline and storyboard views, and a new breakthrough feature called AutoMovie, which allows anyone to create a home video with music, professional-looking titles and transitions in just minutes. In just a few clicks of a mouse, home video from an analog or digital video (DV) camera and digital photos can be transformed into fully edited home movies ready to be easily shared via the Web or e-mail, recorded back to a DV camera burned on CD or burned on DVD using third-party software. Developed with technology pioneered by Microsoft Research, AutoMovie in minutes analyzes audio and video clips chosen by the user, selects the highest-quality sections of video, synchronizes the scene changes of the movie with the beats of the music, adds titles, transitions and effects, and creates a fully edited home video approximately three to five minutes long.

Jazzing Up Home Movies With a Professional Touch

Windows Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP is more than easy to use: It also offers powerful new features with more than 130 effects to make professional-looking home movies. They include the following:

  • Nearly 30 video effects. New attention-grabbing effects include the ability to make a video look older, show film grain and add sepia tone — all available with no additions or plug-ins.
  • Sixty video transitions. Professional scene changes include a host of creative fades, wipes and other effects commonly used on television shows and in Hollywood.
  • More than 40 titles and credits. The titling and movie credit options are easy to apply and allow for custom layouts, motion paths and effects. The flexible offering of titles and credits lets users quickly and easily put the finishing touches on a movie, with titles that fly in, spin or appear as a ticker tape across the bottom of the screen.

    Sharing and Storing an Entire Video Library on a PC Easily

    Windows Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP offers the most efficient way to edit and store a home movie and share it with friends and family using the industry-leading compression of Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series. Windows Media Video 9 compression offers the ability to store in native resolution the equivalent of 15 one-hour DV tapes in just 10 GB of hard drive space — 1/20th the size of DV-AVI 9 (1.5 Mbps). Using DV-AVI, the same 10GB hard drive would store only 45 minutes of video footage – not even enough to store a standard DV tape. Using this new technology, users can easily take their completed home movie and share it any number of ways:

  • Sharing home movies on CDs. Built-in CD-burning features can automatically set the best resolution and bit rate and take advantage of new HighM.A.T. technology for faster and more flexible media playback on future consumer electronic devices.
  • Sending in e-mail, saving to the Web, sharing on a Pocket PC or saving back to a DV camera. New and improved features intelligently take the complexity out of sending home videos in e-mail, posting them to the Web, saving edited video directly to a DV camera, or taking digital memories on the road by creating a digital video album on a Pocket PC.
  • Creating DVDs and VCDs. Users can easily export in Windows Media Video 9 Series or DV-AVI with leading third-party DVD-burning software such as Sonic MyDVD or MedioStream neoDVD.

    Windows Media Player 9 Series Release Candidate Available Today

    Microsoft also posted on the Web today the release candidate for the Windows Media Player 9 Series. The release candidate includes numerous enhancements based on user feedback from the beta releases earlier this fall. For Windows XP users these enhancements include the following new features:

  • Media Link to e-mail shortcuts to highlights from streamed news, presentations and home movies.
  • HighM.A.T. CD Burning to make it easy to save personal digital music and video created on a PC to recordable CDs that work seamlessly with next-generation consumer electronics devices
  • Synchronized lyrics support for viewing or adding synchronized lyrics to music files that can be displayed in Now Playing and Full Screen modes
  • Auto Playlist Enhancements that expand support for more types of criteria when creating or editing Auto Playlists
  • A host of performance and usability improvements that further improve startup time and media library access times as well as usability improvements based on user feedback over the past several months


    The beta version of Windows Movie Maker 2 for Windows XP is available for download today at .

    The release candidate of Windows Media Player 9 Series is available for download at

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