MovieMaker vs. iMovie: No Contest

If you teach video tech. or broadcasting, then you need editing software – preferably NLE (non linear editing). Today, I attended a workshop on Windows MovieMaker for XP. Now, it is possible that the Vista version is better, but here are some comparisons to iMovie.

iMovie does almost everything better. Here’s a short list of Movie Maker faults:

-previewing video: very poor
-saving movies: only 1 AVI setting, other MWV

-size of timeline view: resizeable, but still very small, hard to see

-editing & volume levels of audio: almost non-existent, very simplistic

-transition timing: only global, can change individual transitions

-controls: cramped, small and hard to use

-importing: possible, but only if you get a firewire add on card or Analog/DV USB bridge

-only one audio track: two if you count imported audio on video

-too many steps to add transitions or effects in Movie Maker

MovieMaker is better

-generic transition preview: I like their transition previews

-resizeable window

-TV safe areas on screen

-lower system requirements: poorer product results

OK, so you have a lab full of PCs with XP or Vista, should you download MovieMaker – yes. It is FREE! If you have more money, then get a better program, but for FREE you can’t beat the price. But unlike iMovie, your results will be very limited in what you can accomplish. It would work very well in a middle school or even 3-5 grades. But high school kids need more than this. But if money is an issue, then go with MovieMaker.

If you have or can choose to buy Macs, then go with iMovie.

If you do go with MovieMaker, then get some of the following to help you:

a USB analog to digital converter:

a Digital Camera with audio and a digital media card

or a USB MP3/MP4 video camera

Good Luck




  1. Interesting post.

    You’re right. WMM is lacking in better audio but I would argue that “It would work very well in a middle school or even 3-5 grades.” isnt a reason to adopt or not to adopt. Imovie is no more or less high-school.

    You hit the nail on the head with your room full of PC’s comment. If you don’t have macs then it’s your ONLY option.

    If we are talking about video for broadcast then I don’t think I movie takes you any further down the way in terms of edit funtionality because it’s (as is WMM) missing the ability to have more than one video track.

    If we are talking about video for the web, then I think things need to be redefined a little beyond what is 3rd grade or not.

  2. I totally agree – if you have the chance to get Macs and iMovie, then you should because it is a superior product for all grade levels. I wasn’t trying to imply that MovieMaker is better for elementary or middle schools. My district is almost entirely PCs and our feeder middle and elementary schools do not have any Macs, so I will probably suggest that the tech teachers there start with WMM, but try to get their principals to buy a few Macs for video. Yeah, iMovie is still only one video track, but you can use creative editing to reproduce almost any multitrack video effect. And I would recommend Final Cut as your next step up from iMovie.

    Mr. C

  3. Hey folks, maybe you should take a look at the New Full Version of Windows Live Movie Maker.
    Check out their forum and more details on how to install the free version in here:


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