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PapaJohn's Newsletter #178

the State of PapaJohn

I've been thinking a lot lately of the things I do and how Movie Maker fits in. With 6 years as a Microsoft MVP so involved in Movie Maker, we're tightly and forever linked. But things are changing at Microsoft and here.

I was going to title this issue 'the State of Movie Maker' but that's totally in the hands of Microsoft, and being under NDA I wouldn't be able to share what little I know. So I'll write about 'the State of PapaJohn', something closely related and one I can share.

the Past

Movie Maker was my first computer video editing software. My posting to newsgroups started Sept 13, 2001... over 6 years ago. A year and a half later I made my first online forum post... at I've done over 20,000 newsgroup and forum posts since.
Skipping across the years to today and current activities... when asked a usual question 'what do you do for a living?', I now answer 'I'm a writer... books, magazine articles, newsletters, websites, posts...'. Beyond that I'm a teacher, passing along anything I learn to whoever is interested.

My book writing career spanned 2002 to 2005. The idea of another book this year was shelved in favor of smaller writing projects.

the Present

Most everyone today has a website. is my biggest one. It started with Movie Maker, added Photo Story, and recently Expression Media. I update it daily... changing overall directions like a big ship (slowly).
There's still the small website devoted to Photo Story 2, with enough website traffic to it to just leave it be. I don't update it unless something breaks.
Newsletters (started May 04) are great short term writing projects. They provide a good weekly exercise with a deadline.... every Friday night... pick a topic, research it, write about it, and put it in the mail. They go out at first to regular subscribers, and 6 weeks after issue get posted online for everyone. I enjoy the weekly exercise.

the Future

The Internet continues to evolve and I see it being instrumental to my future... starting with the writings. Beyond it being home to my website and newsletters, a major change in topics I cover has come about with the emergence of new Internet ventures. Two start-ups are keeping me busy... Bright Hub and Support Space.
The Internet of the past facilitated writing in words, with a smattering of pictures mixed in. The new Internet, with more users on broadband, continues to support more ornately packaged text, but considerably expands the horizon in the multimedia area, audio and video... using Camtasia to whip out video tutorials like last week's on the database.

Future developments in Movie Maker and Windows operating systems will continue... but the bigger thing for me is honing the computer skills of the general public. The complexity of codecs makes video work too intimidating for most; book publishers, magazines, radio shows would rather cater to the broad audience and not mention such subjects. The Internet is the place to take anyone interested in the details of 'doing amazing things' with multimedia.

I've always explored software for my video editing 'toolbox'. Now I'm testing apps that go beyond my usual, and sharing what I find by writing reviews at Bright Hub.

I'll go into these topics a bit more, but before doing it, here are...

a few notes...



Get it while it lasts... here's a copy of the meat of an email from TechSmith, who is generously letting everyone download a free copy of Camtasia 3... that's the software version I used to make the video last week about the personal database.

Version 5 was recently released, and downloaders of v3 are eligible to upgrade to v5 for 1/2 price... or keep using v3 free forever.

Camtasia Studio is not Mac compatible, and v3 is NOT Vista compatible.

You can access the download of Camtasia Studio 3 by following these steps:

1. Download the free trial version of Camtasia Studio 3 at:

2. Visit the promotion page at the link below. Complete your name, country and e-mail address and TechSmith will send you the software key to unlock the program.

3. Install the program you downloaded from step 1 above and then enter the software key you receive via e-mail to complete the registration process.

the Canopus DV Codec

Canopus ProCoderWe've learned about type I versus type II DV-AVI files... and we know the Microsoft DV codec is a different one than the Panasonic DV codec.

This week was the first time I played with another DV codec, one from Canopus... interesting!!!

  • The Canopus ProCoder trial version makes DV-AVI files, adding the overlay you see at the upper left.
  • Movie Maker doesn't use any DV codec except the one from Microsoft, so I tried VirtualDub, to see if I could use the Canopus DV codec to save a file, as I can with the Panasonic DV codec... I could, but you see the CANOPUS overlay it adds to the video at the upper left.
  • Canopus DV CodecThe Canopus DV Speed Controller utility is pretty neat in applying a varying speed rate to a clip. It's also pretty smart. It works fine if the DV-AVI file was made by Canopus ProCoder, but refuses to open a DV-AVI file made with the Canopus codec by VirtualDub... or any other DV-AVI file.

... back to the main subject.

Focus on the Future...

There are more than enough places to go and things to do online. Here are the key things I'm involved with, all of which tug at my time. 


Newsgroups are great for simple questions and answers.

My posting activity to newsgroups peaked in 2004. Today there are so many routine posts made by others who refer to my site, I don't need to post as much.
I browse many newsgroups, with two Microsoft ones about Movie Maker being the key ones...

  • microsoft.public.windowsxp.moviemaker for XP
  • for Vista

Those are the only ones where I still read every post... but with people like John Inzer helping posters, I don't feel the need to respond nearly as much as I used to.

Those who want to socialize a bit or a lot, in addition to asking questions and providing support, join forums, facebook or other socializing places.


Two of them have been key to me over the years, SimplyDV and WindowsMovieMakers.

Colin Barrett's started my forum activities when he asked if I'd be a moderator of a new Movie Maker section... in May 2003.

As interests of forum owners and users change with time, like everything else, Colin closed the forum part of his site on April 2nd of this year... only to reopen it 3-1/2 months later in response to the many followers who missed it. That's the socializing aspect of it at work. 

Colin didn't want to simply reopen the forums that had existed, so he's been re-engineering them. He's redone the site and is in the middle of developing a whole new forum section with 7 forums. I'm onboard as a moderator, but it's too early for me to say what the new forums will be about, or when they'll move from back room testing to being available to all. 

Here's a clue.... this link about a new joint British Library/Oral History Society course 'Lives in Focus: Recording oral history interviews on video'.

A few months after the Movie Maker forum of SimplyDV started, Rob Morris opened an entire forum site devoted to it..., which ramped up to become the main forum for Movie Maker users.

I've thought about adding forum software to my website a number of times... but with Colin's and Rob's, what else could I offer? I'll just stay with them.

As my posting at both newsgroups and forums tails off a bit, a couple new Internet ventures have emerged to keep me busy.

Internet Ventures

The Internet facilitates all kinds of innovative services and synergy's. It's amazing how many people in so many parts of the world I routinely touch base with. The country with my highest website traffic rank keeps changing... it's currently Mongolia.

I've been working with a startup venture in the United States, and another in Israel... Bright Hub and Support Space.

Bright Hub...

... is up and running... a bright spot for unbiased software reviews in the midst of an ocean of online marketing-oriented websites and articles. I'm happy to be working with them, and have 11 reviews online. I added website links to my Products and Services page just the other day.

Support Space...

... is in an open beta phase in support of resolving Windows XP issues, during which customers are fully subsidized for their first support session, and then charged a modest $24.95 per session. Experts receive $20 per successful session.

Besides being an expert providing support, I'm a tester of their support software, currently testing the Vista version, and a member of an advisory committee of experts.  

Websites is my big site, one that has had Movie Maker and Photo Story at its core. The number of visitors continues to grow.

To keep it fresh and moving in parallel with my personal interests, I'll keep changing it, perhaps somewhat randomly.

There's still the small site devoted to Photo Story 2. I'll let visitors to it tell me when it's time to fold it up. I'd have done it a while ago, but when I check there's still enough viewing to leave it be.


With 3-1/2 years of weekly issues behind me, I don't see them stopping. Each in itself is a short term project, usually not connected to any of the previous ones. They go first to regular subscribers, and after 6 weeks or more are placed online at Rob's forums for open viewing.  

But I do see them changing by using more multimedia content... audio and video. With tools such as Camtasia and the Internet supporting higher quality audio and video tutorials, expect to see multimedia tutorials. Rather than just writing about how to break a complex Movie Maker project into parts, it's time to show everyone.

With my current website using only a few percent of my allotted space at the 1&1 service, I can well afford adding multimedia content. 

Conclusion and Closing... and What's Next?

I've touched on just some of my activities, those that focus on writings and supporting users. Other activities include my library training classes, beta testing Microsoft and third party software, providing fee-based personal project work, writing occasional magazine articles, working with 
Frank Delaney on a series of KPBX radio segments about Movie Maker.... etc.   

Have a great week!!


I look forward to comments and discussion about this and other newsletters on the forums at: 018d01c833f0$3af8a340$0132a8c0@Hummer

Windows Movie

Movie Maker, Photo Story 3, DVD Maker, Expression Media -
Photo Story 2 -

I'm involved in anything and everything that supports the users of Movie Maker and Photo Story, and adding more regularly. Some are free and others reasonably priced.

PapaJohn's Products and Services

© 2007 - 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.

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