Video editing is not as scary as it may seem, but in order to get started you have to have your computer ready to go. What are the essentials? Your camcorders software, Windows Movie Maker, Real Player, and Any Video Converter. These programs will help you get the videos onto your computer and into Windows Movie Maker where you can easily edit them into your finished product.
Your camcorders software (if using one of our recommended shoot n share camcorders) is installed the first time you plug your camcorder into your computer. However, keep in mind this software usually never needs to be used again. Why? Because when you plug in your camcorder from then on, a dialogue box appears and you can select “Open folder to view files” and navigate to your files. The navigation is not the same for every camera but will be something along the lines of:
Open folder to view files > DCIM > 100MEDIA > (here are your files)
So to get started right, watch the following video to get the specifics and install your camcorders software.
After your camcorders software is installed the next ingredient is Windows Movie Maker. This program has evolved over the years from it’s beginnings in XP, to a touchy version for Vista, and finally Windows Movie Maker Live for Windows Seven. Of all the versions our favorite is the tried and true version for Windows XP. Luckily, it has kept up with the times and is available for Vista as well as Seven. So download the previous version of Windows Movie Maker and watch the following video for all the details of installing this free, powerful video editing program on Windows Seven.
Next, we have a video player, this is not necessary for every computer. However, if you are having problems viewing your video files, it may be a life saver. This is because video players like iTunes, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player bring codecs into your computer when they are installed. Codecs are magical instruction booklets that your computer uses to understand video files. So if you are having problems viewing your cherished videos, download Real Player and watch the following video for all the details of its installation.
Last but certainly not least is Any Video Converter. This program has saved me time and time again. The problem is that Windows Movie Maker does not understand every type of video file. Think of file types as languages. If your computer speaks italian, french, and russian, but you import a video file in spanish, your computer can not understand it. Same goes for file types, Windows Movie Maker’s favorite type of file is .wmv because it is a Windows file type. So to be safe, I always convert my file types from whatever they might be (.avi, .mov, .mp4) to .wmv and Any Video Converter lets me easily do this for free. So download Any Video Converter and watch this video for all the specifics on getting it installed correctly.
And there we are, everything we need to import, view, convert, and edit our video files is installed and ready to go. Next step? Well, if you have footage that is ready to edit, but are not sure where to begin then let’s dabble is your new best friend. We have free video tutorials that will teach you all you need to know, just jump down to "Editing a Real World Example in Windows Movie Maker" to learn how to use this free, powerful editing program.