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How to Import Videos into Windows Live Movie Maker

Before you can begin creating your digital movie spectacular, you need to import the video files from your video camera. And if you want to use the video files with Windows Live Movie Maker, for some reason, Windows 7 requires you to first import them into Windows Live Photo Gallery.

Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker don't come installed on Windows 7. You can download them free as part of Windows Live Essentials.

  1. Open Windows Live Photo Gallery and connect your digital camcorder to your computer.

    Windows 7 should recognize it immediately. If not, try switching the camcorder to playback mode (Some camcorders label that setting as VCR.)

    If you're importing video through FireWire (IEEE 1394), you need only connect a single cable between the camcorder and FireWire port. With that one cable, Windows 7 grabs the sound and video and controls the camera.

  2. Choose Import From a Camera or Scanner. Choose the icon for your camera in the Import Photos and Videos window. Then click Import.

  3. Enter a name for your video.

    First, name your incoming video after the event you’ve filmed, be it a vacation, wedding, or visit to a skateboard park.

  4. Choose how to import the footage and click Next.

    Choose one of the three ways Windows 7 offers to import the video into your Videos library.

    • Import the Entire Video: This option imports all the video on your tape, breaking each shot into a separate segment. (This is usually the best choice)

    • Choose Parts of the Video to Import: When you choose this option, Windows 7 displays a playback window with on-screen controls. Fast forward to the section you want, click the Import button to record your desired snippet, and then click Stop button. Repeat until you’ve gathered the shots you want and then click Finish.

    • Burn the Entire Video to DVD: Choose this to copy your entire unedited video unedited to a DVD. Although it's convenient, this forces your audience to see everything you’ve shot, even the excruciatingly boring bits.

    Your computer needs lots of processing power for importing video smoothly. Don’t work with other programs or browse the Web until it’s finished.

  5. Click the Start menu, choose All Programs, choose Windows Live, and select Windows Live Movie Maker.

  6. Add the videos, pictures, and music you want to include in your video.

    The menu in Movie Maker Live offers Add buttons in two sections:

    • Videos and Photos: Click the Add button, select the videos you want from your Videos library, and then click Open. To add photos, repeat the process, selecting items in the Pictures library.

    • Soundtracks: Click the Add button in the Soundtracks section to add any music files.

    Windows Live Movie Maker’s right pane will be stocked with all the video, photos, and music you need to assemble your movie.

    If you add items to Windows Live Movie Maker’s right pane by mistake, click them and click the Remove button. (That just removes the items from the list, it doesn’t delete the originals.)

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