About Me

My Photo
I'm from the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. I was a woodworker for about 12 years. Well, up until I had the rug pulled out from under my feet, and I was laid off. I got back into photography in 2008 and decided to give that a try professionally, but haven't made any money so far because rednecks, white trash, and hicks are cheap. So, I'm working in a local grocery store where some days I hear and see the craziest stuff. I tend to complain a lot about things, but I'm too poor to afford a good therapist. So, I decided to make a blog and complain online to all of you instead. But I digress. I really just wanted to do the blog to share ideas and stories with the interwebz. =D
View my complete profile
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Windows Live Essentials 2011 - Movie Maker and Writer

I guess this is my official review of it. I honestly hate the back end of Blogger. Yeah, it's simple and clean, easy to understand and navigate, but it's boring and bland. I hate having to hit "preview" to see what my post will look like. I've tried coming around with it, but as of late, I was writing posts in MS Word and then copying and pasting them into the oh-so-boring Blogger UI. That really didn't solve any problems or help me get over my annoyances, but it I did it anyway.

About a month ago, I read a couple of reviews about Windows Live 2011 products, and I decided to give a couple of them a shot. The main reason I was even interested in the first place was that Windows 7 no longer has Movie Maker built in. I needed to make a video, and was stuck without a free video editor until I found out that it was part of the Live Essentials 2011 suite. The whole suite comes with Messenger, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker, Writer, and a host of other stuff that didn’t really interest me. The good news is that Windows lets you pick and choose only the things you need. I only opted for the Movie Maker and the Writer. I just used Movie Maker for the first time yesterday to make and upload this:

It was simple enough. First complaint was that I had to make a Windows Live account. Great. Another username and password to keep up with. Software wise, the UI took some getting used to. I miss the timeline at the bottom of the screen, but it wasn’t so bad that I gave up on it. They’ve actually added in some nice new features that made it a little easier to add consistent transitions between clips throughout the length of the video. Adding music was a lot easier too. Lastly, getting it online was a total breeze. I'll definitely be using it for simple editing and online posting in the future. Now, if I could just get a better video camera...

This is the first post I’ve done with Writer. So far, I’m liking the ease at which I could insert the video above. I LOVE the what-you-see-is-what-you-get layout too. No more previewing it over and over in a new tab or window. When you first set it up, it will download your theme from your blog and insert it into writer. So you don’t have to worry about fonts and colors and all. My one complaint is getting images into Writer. The back end of Blogger easily connects to Picasa or Flickr’s galleries, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t get an image from a Picasa URL to load into writer. I had to upload the post as a draft, then add the photo from Picasa into Blogger. This is kind of a deal breaker for me as of right now. I tried three different ways to get that photo to load, and none worked. Grrr… It is my first time using it, so maybe there’s a catch I didn’t see.

With writer, you don't need a Windows Live ID unless you want to share your blog there. I opted out for it. I figure the less I have to do with them, the better. I'm grateful for the free software, but I won't be checking in over there at Windows Live any time soon.



Post a Comment