Windows Movie Maker tips, tutorials, forums and more...

Visit the Windows Movie Maker forums

Community Forums

Getting Started
Learn Movie Maker 2
Capture Video
Improve Video Capture
Saving Projects

Editing Video
Video Editing
Video Trimming
Video Effects
Using Transitions

Adding Sounds
Adding Music
Adding Narration
Multiple Audio Tracks
Controlling Volume

Taking Pictures
Making Slideshows
Advanced Titles
Photo Story 3

Exporting Movies
Saving Movies
CD-Rom Backup
Create a DVD

More Articles
All Articles
Movie Maker 2 Review
Movie Maker Tutorials
What are Codecs?
Streaming Video
Create a Movie CD
Using Photo Story 2

MM2 Newsletter Archive

Download Windows Media Player 11

Digital Media BooksView Books about Digital Media

PapaJohn's Newsletter #101

'Free' Online Video Hosts

There seems to be a big wave of interest in 'free' video hosts... sounding almost too good to be true. Are they?

It's been almost a year since I first signed up for Google video, but it was before they were actually accepting submittals, and I hadn't gotten around to trying it until this week.

There are now many services to pick from... I joined 5 of them for this newsletter, and submitted the same movie and story to each.

  • Google Video - converts files to Flash at the server
  • YouTube - converts files to Flash at the server, using a proprietary format with no file extension on the downloaded files
  • Putfile - downloads the same file as the uploaded one
  • VideoEgg - converts files to Flash prior to upload
  • - streaming video

Here are links to my two samples. The files are on my website at 1&1... use them as the baseline to compare the free services to.

  • 1 minute parade clip from newsletter #96, a Movie Maker 2 video - 5.6 MB - standard aspect ratio, 640x480 pixels
  • 45 second Photo Story 3 video - 2.1 MB - standard aspect ratio, 640x480 pixels

Besides giving links to the online videos, to use in emails or newsgroup/forum posts, each of the services gives Java and/or HTML code to embed in website pages... so I made a sample page for each of the services to show you how the pages look when presented that way. I used the code for the sample movie, not the story.... it should look the same.

This issue doesn't go into details about subscribing or uploading files... it's limited to showing you the samples, and providing some info about the fine print you'll need to agree to....

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


Vista Corner... I downloaded (3.1 GB) and installed build #5365 on Tuesday... the High Definition VC-1 saving profile choice that newsletter #94 was about has been replaced by a High Definition one for XBox 360. The picture of the choices on the Setup Movie Maker > Vista Preview > Publish Movie page is up to date...

We've applied for new passports to start our vacation planning. I've turned my blog site over to the subject of Europe 301, our 3rd trip to Europe. Our last one was many years ago, before my first camcorder. We'll be re-doing Switzerland and Italy, and adding Spain and Portugal.... the itinerary is on the blog but changes daily as we think about it.

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

Let's take them one at a time. First the individual links to the samples, and then the sample website page. Check them all and see what you think.

Google Video

Give Google at least a few hours to process your uploaded file, before looking for the link to share it with others. WMV files don't align with what it prefers, but my samples worked.

MM2 Sample - 3.5 MB Flash file

PS3 Sample - 2.9 MB Flash file

Web Page Sample


The terms and conditions include your right to charge for viewing and split the proceeds with Google, and Google's non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty-free license to use Your name and logo in connection with Your Authorized Content...

You Must Have the Right to Use All of the Images, Music and Data of Any Sort in Your Authorized Content, and You Must Have the Right to Grant the Licenses.... and You are at least 18 years of age

You can upload as many videos as you like, without any size or length limitations. They prefer that you encode your video files using mpeg-2 or mpeg-4 codecs with mp3 audio... but accepted my two sample wmv files.

While they support other digital formats such as QuickTime, Windows Media, and RealVideo, submitting your files in these formats may significantly delay their being added to Google Video. In some cases, they may not be able to add your video at all. The preferred video specs are:

NTSC (4:3) size and framerate, deinterlaced
Video Codec: MPEG2 or MPEG4 (MPEG4 preferred)
Video Bitrate: at least 260Kbps (750kbps preferred)
Audio Codec: MP3 vbr
Audio Bitrate: at least 70Kbps (128 Kbps preferred)


Downloaded files were smaller than those from Google, and lower quality. They are Flash files, I think, but don't play in my local flash file player when I rename them with typical extensions... so I'm calling them Flash files with a proprietary format.

MM2 Sample - 2.2 MB Flash file (? - no file extension) - lower quality

PS3 Sample - 1.9 MB Flash file (? - no file extension) - lower quality

Web Page Sample


Movies are limited to 100 MB in file size and 10 minutes in duration... there's no limit in the number of movies you can put online, and they'll stay online until you remove them

Here's an interesting CNet article about YouTube and other free-hosting services, and the advertising behind it.


Putfile was the only one of the five services that didn't support embedding a video in your own web page.

The temporary files that are downloaded are the same as the originals... not Flash.... WMV for my samples.

MM2 Sample - 5.4 MB WMV (same as original)

PS3 Sample - 2.1 MB WMV (same as original)... viewer has an 800x600 option, so uploaded Photo Stories of that size should work well....

Web Page Sample


Direct linking/embedding of videos and flash is forbidden. You must link to the media files with the link that is provided to you, such as Putfile reserves the right to protect it's business and thus users who attempt to bypass the media.php page will have all their videos, flash, and images removed.

A link back to must be placed on any site that where users embed images. Link code is provided at the bottom of users file upload history.

... users give permission for the owners of Putfile to publish any such files through any associated media channel or party. Users upload files to Putfile on condition that they release all rights to the image, and give full permission to Putfile and its associates to use and publish the image in any way they wish. No compensation will be payable for the uploaded file being used in any such way.


This service aligns Google and YouTube in converting the WMV files to Flash, but the quality was lower to start with. A note from VideoEgg said I'd get higher quality if I upgraded to Flash v8, and it seemed to work that way. The files got larger in size but I didn't notice a setup in quality. The VideoEgg viewer was the smallest in the lot, and I didn't see a way to make it larger.

MM2 Sample - 2.0 MB Flash file - lower quality - a note said that upgrading to Flash v8 would provide a higher quality one... OK, did it... >> the file size went up to 4.7 MB

PS3 Sample - 1.7 MB Flash file - lower quality >> 4.8 MB after upgrading to Flash v8

Web Page Sample


While there's no technical limit to the length of video the Publisher can post, long videos are expensive to store and stream. To keep things manageable during this free feature preview, the maximum video length has been set to 5 minutes. If your video is too long, try trimming it down with the Publisher's start and end sliders, or erase part of the video with the eraser tool.

.... At some point in the future we may introduce advertising to support the video content you upload during this preview. Before that happens, we promise that you will have the opportunity to support your content ad-free through a subscription service at VideoEgg.

Can I backup a copy of the video that's created by VideoEgg? In future releases of VideoEgg you'll be able to download your videos and save them locally on your computer.

How long are the videos stored? We currently store all videos indefinitely.

Do I have to have ads? For many VideoEgg partners a free, ad-supported service makes a lot of sense. But we know that ads don't work for everyone. Fortunately, The VideoEgg Solution is available on a straight-forward pay-for-use basis without advertising.

I'm calling this service a 'streaming' one because I haven't been able to find the temporary files.

MM2 Sample - steaming video... no temp file found

PS3 Sample - steaming video... no temp file found

Web Page Sample

There are cash rewards if your video takes off and becomes highly popular. 


The Site is intended for adults; children under 13 years of age may not create user accounts. No portion of this Site is targeted to children, and any minor should seek consent of his or her legal guardian before using this site.

Limited to personal and non-commercial uses.

You agree not to post or otherwise make available User Materials that include personal or identifying information about another person without that person's explicit consent...

You are 18 years old or an emancipated minor who possess the legal right and ability to enter into and make the representations and warranties contained in these Terms;

You are the owner of the User Materials you submit to the Site and the User Materials are original to you;

You have the written consent, release, and/or permission of each and every identifiable individual person in the User Materials.

Conclusions and Closing

The five services all worked well. If a conversion was needed, the service took care of it... just upload the saved movie or story and it'll be out there for you and the world to view.

As I was writing this, my local Kalamazoo Gazzette newspaper published an article about video sharing sites... it highlited Google Video and YouTube, and mentioned some others: ClipShack, Grouper, Metacafe, Revver, Sharkle, Streamload, Stickam, TagWorld, Vimeo, and vMix... and there are more.

These services make video distribution painless, easy, free.... what else could be wanted? I think they collectively will be one of the bigger waves in the rising tide of those using digital video.

... and I expect the wave of interest to result in considerable pressure for many to learn and use Movie Maker and Photo Story. I added a new page to the website...  Distributing Movies > Free Host Services... look to it for more info as time goes by.

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):

#102 - May 6 - converting WMV files to Flash

#103 - May 13 - open

#104 - May 20 - 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.

AdorageProDAD's Adorage packages for Movie Maker 2 are  additional sources of very professionally developed transitions and effects. And here are the links

Package for Movie Maker - Volume 1

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



Download more Movie Maker Effects!

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.