Old 13-09-2007   #1
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Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

I've got some MPG video files that I want to use as source material for building a DVD for my daughter's 18th birthday. They are in two different formats. I have no problems opening these files up in VideoReDo or ULead Movie Factory on my Windows 2000 machine. VideoReDo tells me that their formats are:

type 1: Video is MPEG2, audio is AC3/2ch.
type 2: Video and audio are both MPEG2.

But because I want to use fragments from multiple video files to construct the DVD, I would like to use Windows Movie Maker on my XP Pro SP2 machine to do the editing - it has the right sort of authoring facilities for this task. Trouble is, Movie Maker (version 5.1, build 2600, SP2) won't load any of these files. It says "codec required to play the file is not installed". (But of course it doesn't help me by saying WHICH codec is not installed).

(Incidentally, just in case it's relevant, these files are NOT protected or encrypted. They are home movies captured via two methods: (i) transferred from 8mm videotape to a standalone DVD recorder then ripped using DVD Decrypter - resulting in the files with AC3 audio; and (ii) captured from VHS via a Belkin USB video adaptor using ULead Movie Factory - resulting in the files with MPEG2 audio).

Since Movie Maker won't load either file type, I'm assuming that it's missing the MPEG2 codec, and I guess it could also be missing the AC3 codec. Does any of this make sense? And if it does, is there anywhere I can obtain the necessary codecs in a form that can be installed into Windows XP for use by Movie Maker?

Thanks for any light anyone can shed on this.
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Old 13-09-2007   #2
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Re: Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

Just my $.02, but you'd be better off with Win2000 and Ulead to do the job, however most any good authoring tool will do it. I like TMPGEnc-Author. Anything other than WMM.

If you want to install a nice codec pack that's free, get "K-Lite Codec Pack". That solved some issues here in WinXP.
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Old 14-09-2007   #3
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Re: Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
I've got some MPG video files that I want to use as source material for building a DVD for my daughter's 18th birthday. They are in two different formats. I have no problems opening these files up in VideoReDo or ULead Movie Factory on my Windows 2000 machine. VideoReDo tells me that their formats are:

type 1: Video is MPEG2, audio is AC3/2ch.
type 2: Video and audio are both MPEG2.

But because I want to use fragments from multiple video files to construct the DVD, I would like to use Windows Movie Maker on my XP Pro SP2 machine to do the editing
This is a bad idea since Movie Maker can't export MPEG2. And any recoding of the WMV file will decrease the quality.

I would do this (all software mentioned below are free):
  1. Demultiplex with ProjectX in order to split audo and video --> http://www.videohelp.com/tools/ProjectX
  2. Use BeSweet to convert the AC3 audio to MP2 --> http://www.videohelp.com/tools/BeSweet
  3. Now edit your videos with MPEG2Schnitt (German software, but interface can be set to English if needed) --> http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Mpeg2Schnitt
  4. Author your DVD using DVDAuthorGUI (and let it create an image file) --> http://download.videohelp.com/liquid217/dvdauthorgui.pl
  5. Burn with Imgburn --> http://www.imgburn.com/ or your favourite DVD burning software.
This is the way I am creating my DVDs from recorded TV broadcasts.

I would not play around with any Codec Pack since these can mess up your Direct Show filters and may render some installed software useless.

Michael
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Old 14-09-2007   #4
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Re: Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

Thanks for the replies so far. I appreciate the fact that Movie Maker doesn't offer the highest quality output around, but it's the only video editing program I've yet come across that makes it easy to do something that I want to do in this case, and that is to arrange little fragments from a number of input files (ie. not the entire input files) into a running order. It also lets you stitch on a separate audio track from elsewhere, cross-mixing it with the audio from the video files. Is there another program out there that can do these things?
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Old 14-09-2007   #5
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Re: Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
Thanks for the replies so far. I appreciate the fact that Movie Maker doesn't offer the highest quality output around, but it's the only video editing program I've yet come across that makes it easy to do something that I want to do in this case, and that is to arrange little fragments from a number of input files (ie. not the entire input files) into a running order. It also lets you stitch on a separate audio track from elsewhere, cross-mixing it with the audio from the video files. Is there another program out there that can do these things?
Yes, the one you have, Ulead.
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Old 14-09-2007   #6
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Re: Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDan
Yes, the one you have, Ulead.
CDan, thank you!

One learns something new every day. I only ever bought Ulead Movie Factory as a cheap way of setting up menus and generating ISO images for DVDs. I hadn't really investigated it to any great extent, because VideoReDo has always been the superior video editor for my purposes. But your response prompted me to dig deeper into the program. I think it will do the job nicely. My opinion of Movie Factory has gone up a few notches. (It's still a frightful resource hog, though!)
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Old 14-09-2007   #7
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Re: Windows Movie Maker: Codec Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
I think it will do the job nicely. My opinion of Movie Factory has gone up a few notches. (It's still a frightful resource hog, though!)
No argument there. I have VideoStudio 10+ and never use it. (It contains most of the Movie Factory functions) I prefer TMPGEnc Author and Express for editing and authoring.
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