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PapaJohn's Newsletter #100

2nd Anniversary Issue

I was in an analog groove, thinking of 52 weeks a year, and didn't expect the 2nd anniversary issue to be here already... a reader mentioned he was looking forward to the 100th issue, which jogged me into thinking digital. I'm now counting anniversary issues in increments of 50, nice round numbers.

Anniversaries are traditional events to reflect on things gone by, celebrate the moment, and look forward to what's ahead. Let's do it.

To help reflect and celebrate, here's a commemorative video showing some of the things that happened over the year. It's a 60 MB file that runs 10-1/2 minutes...

2nd Anniversary Video

it's made from a number of Photo Stories from snapshots of the 'What's New' page of the website, mixed with video clips...

... before getting into it further, here's a couple notes...


Vista Corner... another week with nothing much to say about it. I guess I'm just waiting for the next release to give things another work-out.

I've seen many forum posts by those using YouTube, so I signed up on Tuesday night to take a closer look... it asked for a minimum of personal info, the process was easy, and it worked... some notes:

  • when you want to upload a movie, it sends a confirmatory email with a link that kicks off the uploading process...
  • movies are limited to 100 MB in file size (pretty big limit) and 10 minutes in duration (more than enough for my typical videos)... there's no limit in the number of movies you can put online, and they'll stay online until you remove them
  • it says ".... YouTube accepts video files from most digital cameras and camcorders, and cell phones in the .AVI, .MOV, and ..MPG file formats..." I didn't know if would take a WMV file saved by Movie Maker. I tried it, uploading a 1 minute file saved using the Video for LAN (768 Kbps) option
  • it was converted by YouTube into a Flash format (I think) and placed online... it said it would take a few minutes before it was ready, but I closed down my computer and gave it overnight...
  • viewing is intended for broadband users...
  • in the first two days, there were 40 views of my sample... I'll be tracking the view stats for a while
  • it's a file-download process, not streaming video, and the temporary internet files go into my C:\Documents and Settings\PapaJohn\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files folder...

Here's a link to my 5.6 MB uploaded file, one from newsletter #96... and a link to the 2.3 MB YouTube copy, if you want to compare them.

I'm finishing this up on a train ride, the South Shore RR... going back home from Chicago after an MVP regional meeting hosted by Microsoft. One of the MVPs I met specializes in server security... he's in an IT support role at a TV station in Indiana.... he uses Movie Maker to roll out samples of TV shows for online website viewing...

.... back to the main topic...

Reflections on the Past Year

Scanning the rolling year in the 'What's New' page of the website made it easy to reflect on where we've come from. Here are some highlights...

  • We were using static images in title overlays a year ago... and now we use moving ones if we want to... XML file developments have been significant
  • It's hard to believe that I just started adding links to the online copies of the newsletters last May... it feels like it's been that way since the website started.... thanks to Rob Morris for taking my issued ones and converting them to the files needed for his website.
  • My radio career on the DVShow started last summer... it's been steady, but it's now many weeks between sessions, as we do them only when a listener submits a question. Maybe Movie Maker and radio aren't meant for each other. Or maybe Brian's new parallel job, running a TV station in Boston, is taking more than a fair share of effort. If you remember Chuck Bentley for issue #87, the videographer moving from analog to digital... I introduced Chuck and Brian to each other so Boston can be another outlet for Chuck's TV shows.
  • I'm comfortable telling people that my job is a 'writer' and 'teacher'... even though the planned book about Movie Maker in Vista isn't taking the priority I expected to give it this year. I find myself not even checking to see what happened to my draft proposal. Newsletters are much more fun to write, and the website is an evolving organic production that you write, and re-write forever. The website is more like tending a garden, pruning dead-wood and encouraging new growth.
  • That turtle clip you'll see in the video is the one sent to me last July, taken by a new High Definition camcorder... using it in a 640x480 lower bitrate video for internet-based viewing just doesn't do justice to it.... but a 26 MB file for 24 seconds (figure a meg a second for a 1080 WMV file) isn't practical for website distribution.
  • It was last August that the Persian Gal started her page about XML code for the masses of Movie Maker users. I'm glad it got as far as it did before she had to put more and more effort into her real job, being a high school student. She's doing great in school, starting some college classes in parallel with finishing high school. As always, she sends her regards.
  • The internet streaming service mydeo came on the scene in August, joining the neptune file download service, a menu choice in Movie Maker since day 1.
  • Also on the hosting scene, I moved the website in August from my son's server in his basement to the 1&1 service. The move was easy and the overall performance has been better. And my son, who thought my traffic was the reason for his computer slowness, ended up having to dig deeper to find the real reasons... computer viruses.
  • It's been over 6 months now since I changed laptops... using the HP Pavilion as the Toshiba Satellite fades into the past...
  • The MVP Summit was bigger and better... but as it's a non-disclosure event, I use pix and video of Seattle or the side visit to San Francisco rather than talking about or showing anything about the sessions on the Microsoft campus... it was great just going around the Movie Maker Team's offices and saying hi. Since the Summit, a number of MVPs in the Digital Media group have morphed into Microsoft employees... maybe the Summit next spring will be smaller.
  • Cell phones, camcorders that record to hard drives, digicams with better video capabilities.... more and more file conversions are here to stay.
  • The custom xml files, and Mark Coffman's 'TweakPS' for Photo Story, typify the relentless march of users with creativity and needs combine to add features not included in basic software... and how Microsoft Movie Maker Team members support such activities... a win-win situation.
  • My trips to assist at the Windows Media Galleries in San Francisco and New York... I talked a bit about them at the meeting in Chicago today.
  • Movie Maker for Vista shows that Movie Maker is alive and well, and will continue on into the longer future, with or without my book... someone else will write one while my website pages and newsletters evolve into what would have been mine... unless I change my mind again.

the Moment

Most computer users still haven't heard of, or have only vaguely heard about Movie Maker.... and no-one knows about Photo Story. I'm talking about the general public. We're still early on the rising tide of those who will be using their computers for video editing and story telling.

You can tell from my latest videos, including the special anniversary one, that my usual movies are mixed mostly of short stories made for use as video clips, and camcorder footage...

MM2 in XP is my production system... Movie Maker in Vista is just for testing...

Of all of my writings, I enjoy the website and newsletters the most... so they'll keep going, and other things will fit around them.

Newly found issues with Movie Maker and Photo Story are now rare. The challenges seem more in educating the users in the basics and in custom XML capabilities.

The Year Ahead

Vista will roll out... and early adopters will go to it. As I'm already beta testing it, my test system will just keep up with the latest release. I've upped the RAM to the 1 GB max for the system... maybe I'll install higher end video and sound cards too.

Some software comes and goes, but doesn't stick... all indications are that Movie Maker is here to stay as part of the basic operating system. It's good now, and will be even better in Vista. Photo Story jumps from being included in a package, to being a download, to back in another package... we'll see where it goes next, and if it'll be revised to work in Vista.

Yesterday we applied for new passports, marking the beginning of our planning what will be our 3rd vacation in Europe... we're thinking of 4 weeks from late August to late Sept.... start in the Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria area (which we've been to before)... and finish in Spain and Portugal (which we haven't seen) on the way back. The last time we went, I was using a 35mm camera, so it'll be our first chance to take digital pix and video.

While we're in Europe, the Sept 1st date will mark my 5th annual MVP award (I'm pretty sure I'll be given the award again). It's amazing how time flies. I went from the new kid on the block to a veteran MVP in just a few years.

Conclusions and Closing

It's been a great year and the outlook is for more of the same... thanks for subscribing...

I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at:

Windows Movie

Have a great week...


Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 -
Photo Story 2 -

Products and Services

I'm involved in many things that support users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly. Some are free and others reasonably priced.

Radio and Podcasting

theDVShowTheDVShow is the only weekly Podcast having more useful information about desktop video editing and production than anywhere else on the Web. Digital video editing, nonlinear editing, streaming media, software releases, tutorials, business tips, technical help, download of the day and news on the latest products to make everything easier. It's where professional and consumer desktop video users go to stay on the cutting edge.

Call the phone mail machine to get your technical question answered on the air... call (206)-203-3516

The radio broadcast is from Boston, and the website has downloadable podcast files. The June 19th 2005 podcast was the first 'bi-weekly' show with a segment about Movie Maker 2.

Do Amazing ThingsBooks and Magazines

Movie Maker 2 - Do Amazing Things (with its online companion on, published by Microsoft Press...

Movie Maker 2 - Zero to Hero - with support on the publisher's forum - Friends of Ed

MaximumPC's winter 2005 quarterly special... had a 7 page tutorial 'Make a Killer Home Movie with Maker 2'. The special edition of the video made for it is now on my website as a file download.

The November 2005 edition of Maximum PC had a well done reworked 6 page reprint of the same article, starting on page 42 after the Happy 20th Birthday article for Windows.

Learning VirtualDub - published by Virtual DubPackt Publishing, is the first book about VirtualDub software. I wrote the first chapter about downloading and setting up the software: VirtualDub, VDubMod and AVISynth.


Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 3 - - the site's 3 goals are: an online companion to the Do Amazing Things book, a detailed tutorial for PhotoStory 3, and helping you solve Movie Maker 2 problems.

PhotoStory 2 - - a detailed tutorial about using it. It's not a problem-solving site.

Online Support - Forums and Newsgroups

I'm a regular on many online forums and newsgroups, the key ones being:

Forums are open to all for viewing, but require registration of those who want to post. Moderators actively participate to ensure the forum discussions move forward and stay on track.

Movie Maker and Photo Story forums at Windows Movie Makers

Movie Maker 2 forum at

Newsgroups are wide open for all to view and post... moderation is collective by the participants.

Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup - microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker

Photo Story 2 newsgroup -

Photo Story 3 newsgroup -

Weekly Newsletters

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story newsletter. The annual subscription is $20 and the link to subscribe is on the main page of my Movie Maker website at:

Topics for upcoming newsletters (always subject to change):

#101 - April 29 - open

#102 - May 6 - open

#103 - May 13 - open

Newsletters issued more than 6 weeks ago are posted by Rob Morris to an Archive Site on his Windows Movie Makers' website. Links from my website pages to specific newsletters make it easier for viewers to see the content of both while browsing a topic.

Drop an email to suggest a newsletter topic... I can use more requests rather than fewer.


Add-On Transitions and Effects

Transition Maker 2 (TM2) is a utility for the ultimate in making your own personal and custom transitions for Movie Maker 2. It's a joint product from Patrick Leabo, the programmer, and myself.

I've beta tested some of the Pixelan packages and think very highly of their people and products.


ProDAD's Adorage package for Movie Maker 2 is an additional source of very professionally developed transitions and effects. And here are the links to the two new packages

PapaJohn's Video Effects Collection

PapaJohn's Transitions Collection


Personal Database

Managing your personal information is more of a challenge as hard drives get bigger and the internet more robust.

My personal database has been an ongoing project over many years, and is now available to others. A tutorial about using it is on the Managing > Personal Database page of my site, and more info is in the database package itself.

It's free for the asking to regular newsletter subscribers... send an email request and I'll return it with the zipped file, which is less than 1 MB.

To others it's $10. To order, use the button on the top of the Managing > Personal Database page.


Online GalleryNeptune Gallery

An online gallery that fully aligns with the main priority of the website is the 'PapaJohn Expert Zone' at neptune.

Check it at Neptune and the Distributing > Neptune page of the website, where there's a developing tutorial about how to use the service.


in conjunction with the Portage, Michigan library, I offer two free training sessions about Movie Maker and Photo Story, an intro session and a workshop. Scheduled sessions are:

Monday - May 8 - 7-8:30 pm - Intro to Movie Maker and Photo Story

Monday - June 5 - 7-8:30 pm - Workshop

Monday - July 10 - 7-8:30 pm - Intro to Movie Maker and Photo Story

Monday - August 7 - 7-8:30 pm - Workshop

The classroom has a large screen overhead projection system... and individual laptops for each attendee to use. You learn by doing, with a little guidance from me.

Other fee-based services

If you can't save a movie because your project has become too complex, e-mail a copy and I'll divide it into manageable sub-projects, and provide detailed instructions about how to render the parts and assemble them into your final movie. $49.95 (no cost if it's not the right solution or doesn't work) - for details, see the sidebar on the Problem Solving > Can't Save a Movie page of

Movie Maker 2/Photo Story training and support services start at $75 per hour - send an email - and I'll help you determine your needs, and work with you to plan and implement them.

Wedding combo website/video packages - check the bottom branch of the Movie Maker 2 website for a sample of what you can expect for the online portion of the package.

© 2006 - PapaJohn; Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.


About John 'PapaJohn' Buechler from
John 'PapaJohn' Buechler John "PapaJohn" Buechler, of Kalamazoo, Mich., goes by PapaJohn online. An avid user of Movie Maker since its first release, and a regular supporter of the community of Movie Maker users, John received a 2003 MVP award from Microsoft for that support. In March 2003, he started a comprehensive website about Movie Maker 2 at He maintains the website, writes books and articles, teaches, and provides support services - all for the community of Movie Maker 2 users. An engineer by formal education, John is a computer database and multimedia expert by business and personal experience. He co-authored the first book about Movie Maker 2 and is actively working on a second one. You can find his advice in the Windows XP Movie Maker newsgroup and in the Windows Movie Makers Forums.

This newsletter is republished with permission of John "PapaJohn" Buechler.
Please note that this is an archive of newsletters and some information may become outdated. PapaJohn, and the webmaster of this site, provides this information "AS IS" with no warranties.

Visit - PapaJohn's Movie Maker 2 and Photo Story 2 Newsletter Index



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