Problems with Windows Movie Maker (Live?)

First, let me say that I am a somewhat noob when it comes to video editing, but here goes. I have a DSLR that can take HD video. I recently came back from vacation with loads of clips and pics from my camera. I wanted to keep the highest quality of my video intact as much as possible. Not wanting to spend any extra cash at this point, I decided to use the Windows 7 version of Movie Maker. After compiling and editing both my jpegs and video, along with sound clips and music, into a “project”, I wanted to save it in the highest quality format. The option I picked was “1080 for High-definition display”, which gave it an extention of .MP4. Not knowing much about this, I tried to play the file on my PC. Windows media player could not recognize the file nor could anything else that I tried. Since then I have downloaded a myriad of software tools and programs designed to either convert this file, or allow me to burn this file to a media disc. None of them have worked for me so far. Some of the recommendations were Handbrake, Aimersoft converter, and a few other things that I have either forgotten about or deleted. Anyway, I am frustrated with the amount of time that I have invested in the editing process and not being able to see my final work displayed. I have seriously contemplated going to a Mac (probably the imac) for dedicated video editing purposes, but in the mean time I still want to make as high a quality video as I can. Any suggestions on the already completed project file made in Movie Maker? Like I said, it took me a while to compile all of it, and it would be a waste to delete the whole project and start all over again. But, if that is what I need to do, then I will. Is it possible to convert the MP4 file (which is 4.9GB) into as ISO image and burn it to a DVD disc? If so, would it play in my Blu-Ray player? Thanks!

If VLC media player won’t play it, the file may not be salvageable.

The first thing we need, in order to help you, is to find out exactly what you have in this movie you’ve made.

Download and install a program called MediaInfo. This program will examine the file and tell us the exact specifications and codecs used in making it. Be careful with the installation of MediaInfo. Like many other free programs, it sometimes offers “extras” when installing. Just opt out of any of these.

I find the Tree view within MediaInfo to be one of the most informative. You can copy and paste what it shows into this thread.

Thanks for the info. I will download this program and submit the specs after I run it.

I downloaded the program and opened the mp4 file. Here is the results in XML format:

<?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“UTF-8”?>
<Mediainfo version=“0.7.62”>
<track type=“General”>
<CompleteName>G:\2013 video project est of celebration video\cousin give away day rev4.mp4</CompleteName>
<Format_Profile>Base Media / Version 2</Format_Profile>
<FileSize_String>4.75 GiB</FileSize_String>


Or in text format:

CompleteName : G:\2013 video project est of celebration video\cousin give away day rev4.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format_Profile : Base Media / Version 2
CodecID : mp42
FileSize/String : 4.75 GiB

I’m not sure it is giving you any pertinent info, though.

Using the Tree view within MediaInfo and exporting as a text document, this is the type of information we need:

Unique ID                                : 232731893452395021326512424555412260872 (0xAF168842485215A283920DCDC7010808)
Complete name                            : H:\TV episodes\redacted
Format                                   : Matroska
Format version                           : Version 2
File size                                : 1.36 GiB
Duration                                 : 43mn 19s
Overall bit rate                         : 4 507 Kbps
Encoded date                             : UTC 2012-10-15 02:21:29
Writing application                      : mkvmerge v5.8.0 ('No Sleep / Pillow') built on Sep  2 2012 15:37:04
Writing library                          : libebml v1.2.3 + libmatroska v1.3.0

ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames                : 5 frames
Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                                 : 43mn 19s
Bit rate                                 : 4 033 Kbps
Width                                    : 1 280 pixels
Height                                   : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 23.976 fps
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.183
Stream size                              : 1.22 GiB (89%)
Writing library                          : x264 core 128 r2216 198a7ea
Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=8 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=12 / lookahead_threads=2 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=23 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=50 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709

ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : AC-3
Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension                           : CM (complete main)
Format settings, Endianness              : Big
Codec ID                                 : A_AC3
Duration                                 : 43mn 19s
Bit rate mode                            : Constant
Bit rate                                 : 384 Kbps
Channel(s)                               : 6 channels
Channel positions                        : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                                : 16 bits
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 119 MiB (9%)
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

This was from a tv episode, not a dvd movie.

Sorry for not replying sooner. Evidently the mp4 file may not have rendered fully or something, because that is all the information that was given. I will try to format another “project” in high-def display again and see if it will either work or give more info. Thanks! I will get back with more info.

I took the “latest revision” of my project and tried rendering it again in high def display 1080p. Originally, when I saved it, I did so in the “MPEG-4/H.264” format (which gave it an MP4 extension). This time I had the option to save it in WMV format (where I previously had the option, but did not realize it). After it rendered, it was viewable in WMP [U]and[/U] in WLMM, where as it was not in the previous render. So, I took the project again and this time rendered it (again) in the MPEG-4/H.264 format, and it still would not work. I ran both files in MediaInfo. The WMV gave me lots of code information, whereas the MP4 gave me nothing. I know that WLMM and some of the other “inexpensive” movie maker programs are pretty basic, it seems that my choices at this time are to either purchase a more powerful program or resign myself to render only in WMV format if I want to burn to media discs. Any suggestions as to why WLMM gives the option to render in MP4, but does not recognize it later? I am baffled.

Sorry, no I don’t know what is going on there. Movie Maker only added H264 output last August, so it is relatively new to the program. And I don’t use this editor at all.

From what I’ve read, Movie Maker is a relatively good choice amongst the free options, so you may want to invest in a better editor if you plan on doing this very much. Sony Vegas Movie Studio, Adobe Premiere Elements, and Corel Video Studio X5 are well known consumer level editing programs. And there should be trials for each available for testing.

Regarding your current .wmv file, do you want it in another format? If so, it is certainly possible to convert to H264 mp4 or mkv using VidCoder or Handbrake. And you can convert to dvd-video as well. Any conversion will degrade picture quality to some degree, but if done well, you might not notice it in playback.

I have thought seriously about upgrading my software. As I mentioned in my first post, I actually thought about and am still thinking of going to either an imac or possibly a refurbished mac pro. Any feedback on the Final Cut Pro X for iMac? I have read earlier that this is possibly consumer or prosumer version, not a professional version. Anyway, thanks for the information. I will try to burn this WMV file to a DVD to see if it degrades much, then go from there. Thanks again!