Sep 28 2010

How to: Import MOV Files In To Windows Live Movie Maker [easy]

image_thumb36 How to: Import MOV Files In To Windows Live Movie Maker [easy]I’m finally getting back around to a problem that I was having with Windows Live Movie Maker not being able to work with QuickTime movie files [MOV].

Windows Live Movie Maker is still in the beta phase and hasn’t been officially released to the public, a release candidate is expected to be released soon.

A little while back I posted a review about Windows Live Movie Maker [beta] and I talked about all the new features in the performance of the new application, but after the article was posted someone brought to my attention that Windows Live Movie Maker doesn’t handle high-definition MOV files correctly.

During the process of my review I never got a chance to test those types of files; today I did and Windows Live Movie Maker definitely has a problem with handling QuickTime movie file […]

But there’s a solution…

What I found out was pretty interesting…

Windows Live Movie Maker doesn’t treat movie files [MOV] the same way it treats MP4 files. There’s a bad logic in it right now – it’s in beta – maybe it won’t there when it goes official. Who knows?

Here’s what I mean.

I have a digital camera to that records to a SD Card; the camera is almost 5 years old, but still works very well. All the movies are captured in MOV h2.64, or MP4.

The videos I have play perfectly on the Windows Media Player; just fine, but make an attempt put them in Windows Live Movie Maker and it thinks they’re corrupt. Go figure.

Here’s my video:

So that’s the example and here’s what I have to do…

First, I download two different files:


This will install the codec for the high def video for the avc1 and H.264/MPEG-4.

I installed those, rebooted my machine.

Once the machine rebooted, I opened up my movie folder, renamed one of the video files to MP4. I then went to Windows Live Movie Maker and then I dragged the movie file into the application; everything worked fine.

So, now I can drag and drop video files, after I rename the extension to MP4, right into Windows Live Movie Maker.


Sadly, the Windows live support forum for Windows Live Movie Maker is a barren land of canned answers and responses; I wasn’t impressed by the support technicians effort to try to help people who have legitimate problems with Windows Live Movie Maker.

Inquiries made about issues about not being able to import MOV video formats were basically shooed away to an FAQ page that provided no detailed information on how to fix the problem.

Windows Live Movie Maker has no built-in mechanism to intelligently recognize the different video formats that it should be able to support. There should be some architecture behind the application that helps identify the correct video format and then downloads the proper codec.

The responses from the support forum indicate that Microsoft is not going to have any involvement in the process of figuring out which codec you need; they simply turn you loose on the Internet to try to find the miracle files.

I have a video player called VLC that plays just about any file video format, and what Windows Live Movie Maker makes you do to be able to import a MOV file is ridiculous.

I still think that Windows Live Movie Maker is a good application, but it really needs some refining processes done on recognizing video formats and dealing with file extensions and helping the user find the proper codecs to work with their videos; simply putting all responsibility on them, for something so complicated […] that’s a bad design.

I hope this helps…



Until next time,

…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Pro.

zemified_c How to: Import MOV Files In To Windows Live Movie Maker [easy]

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  • Rhonda

    thank you for all the imformation you have shared. It clarified a lot of things and confirmed my initial impression about Live Movie Maker, unimpressed. thank you for all your time and trouble to provide a valuable, easy to read resource with good links provided. Rhonda;)

  • rhonda

    L, u suggested downloading codec converters but I'm worried I will choose the wrong one and will invite virus to my computer. How do you know what can be trusted? thanks

    • Well, I can say that if you go with something shady; yeah sure– it's possible. But you can be certain that the LINK I provided is not going to be to a 'shady' place on the web. The LINK I provided is well respected and used A LOT. There are others, but you can can start with that one– I installed it and it worked for me.


  • mike

    After reading 1000's of posts on the same thing…I am astonished that this is even an issue. I just got a new camera and thought I'd be able to upload hd video to my computer, edit it, and publish it. Wow, apparently that is way too much to ask.
    the fact that canon, nikon, and nearly every other camera out there produce MOV files and movie maker doesn't support that? It is beyond comprehension to me. MOV is THE type of file that these cameras create. If Windows and movie maker had to pick one to recognize wouldn't that be the one????
    It's just crazy.

  • sweety

    how do you rename the extension..I downloaded both files but how do you change the mov file to mp4 first?

    • sounds like you can\’t see the extensions to begin with…
      To change your settings to see the file extension, do this:
      Open Microsoft Explorer, choose TOOLS , FOLDER OPTIONS, VIEW…
      Deselect \’Hide Extension For Known File Types\’.

      You should be able to see the file extension now.
      I hope this helps…

      I hope you have a nice day!
      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

  • Elizabeth

    I downloaded files, deselected "hide extension for known file types," renamed the extension to .MP4, dragged file to WLMM, and it still tells me that it's corrupt or that I'm missing a codec. The file isn't corrupt (it plays in QuickTime, but only audio plays in Windows Media Player. Hm…) and I know very little about codecs. Suggestions? Help?

    -Damsel in distress

  • What Am I Missing

    Hi .I am working on Win 7 Live Movie Maker 2011.
    I have added a video file to a project im working on. this file is identical to all the others on the project (an interview I have sliced to many parts) this last bit is probably damaged but I can not get to it in order to remove out of the project. every time I roll down to it the program crashes down. Although it is possible to work on the project all along in all functions as long as its not that bit.and yesturday there was not a problem at all. How can I remove that bit' or maybe from another location?
    I can't find at all the TOOLS function in the LMM. could you please direct me there. I might find The solution there.
    another day is going down the drain…

  • Awesome post! I have been searching how to do this for 6 months….ugh Right? Okay excited to try it out and if I am not back then it worked!!! Thanks so so much and why do we have to go 3rd party for this when we have MIcrosoft and all the big name camera companies?????

    You rock!
    My recent post What an Accomplishment! MLSP Members of the Month

    • I asked Microsoft the same question… they said it'd cost excessive money; I would ask them how much does it cost to keep an army of support technicians on the payroll to address that one issue…
      Thanks for your comments…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

  • Tanya

    The first link that you posted to download for the Haali Media Splitter is coming up as a warning site by my Mcafee Anti Virus as an untrusted site. I am clicking "Download from Developers site". Is there a different version that will work? What would you recommend? Thanks so much!
    My recent post What an Accomplishment! MLSP Members of the Month

    • I'm sorry to hear that; it's not my site [hopefully], but is a good site for resources.
      Thanks for your comments…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

  • Tanya

    OMG it worked! I would hug you if I could…lol!
    Thank you so so much! My hair will stay brown a little longer!!! MAC's look really good when we have these problems….lol.

    Super Cool!
    My recent post What an Accomplishment! MLSP Members of the Month

  • michal

    I still have strange problem, when im opening any video file, in "player" on the left side of live movie maker – still have just black box – after install splitter and ffdshow?

    Any suggestions?

    • A couple of things to check…
      Display drivers; if not already, you should visit WINDOWS UPDATE and see if there are any updates to your video card. This might help you. It's not an absolute, but it has helped others; based on other experiences and responses from the Windows Live Movie Maker forum.


      Windows Live Movie Maker uses several components; one of which is DirectX. You need to make sure that you're using the latest version of DirectX when working with Windows Live Movie Maker. You can also use this link to install/reinstall DirectX if you're having issues.


      I hope this helps…


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    I savour, result in I discovered exactly what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  • Syckle

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the tips! but somehow its not worked for me :(. Do I need to check all the option available when I installing the ffd and Haali things? because I just make it default when installing it.

    Well, actually when I import my HD MOV video to wlmm, its only give me a green screen but the audio is working. And I also try to convert it to a HD .mp4 format, and its give the same thing except doing a video thumbnail instead of green screen. Its only work when I convert it to 720×480 .mp4 format. But the thing is I need to make a HD video. Do you have any idea about this? Do this thing have any relation with my laptop specification?

    And another this is, I try to save my movie in HD, but what always happen is the wlmm not responding or stop working. This is really drive me crazy.
    I am using Windows 7 Home Premium, AMD Phenom II X4 N970 2.2 GHz Processor, AMD Radeon HD 6470M VGA, and 8 GB RAM.

    I will really grateful if you can help me with this, and you are right, microsoft staff is suck at this thing.

    God Bless you man,


    • Your laptop spec aren't going to have much to do with Windows Live Movie Maker performance [in this area]. BUT what I'll say is that if you've got a NVIDIA card; recently there was an issue with importing and working with video with systems that have NVIDIA— so video drivers can play a part in the troubleshooting process.

      You don't have to install all of the codecs with the codec pack, but you should install the ones for MP4, MOV and 3gp and h.264 if it's listed there. Windows Live Movie Maker supports many formats; but what's not provided to the public [regular users] is that Windows Live Movie Maker doesn't recognize those various formats unless the CODEC for that format is installed in the operating system; it's not built-in to Windows Live Movie Maker. And Windows Live Movie Maker doesn't make any attempts to identify or get those codecs for you.

      I have some suggestions for video conversion. I have used all three of these video converters and think are are very good; and easy to use. They all have the video conversion options you'd be searching for and handle plenty of formats— and they're all free.


      A video converter is great if you can't find the right codec, and need to get moving on your project. Just convert the video to a WMV and Windows Live Movie Maker shouldn't have any issues with it.

      Sorry that you're having issues, but that's why I don't use Windows Live Movie Maker for big projects anymore; I use another video editing package. Windows Live Movie Maker became to frustrating to use, and too limited.

      I would recommend MAGIX Movie Edit Pro Plus; it has everything I was searching for in a video editing package, very flexible, lots of effects and options…
      I wrote a post on it [including a video]…
      I hope this helps…

      Thank you,
      Larry Henry Jr.

      • Syckle

        Hi Larry,

        I think I just found out that the problem is from the converter. I use one of your converter recommendation to convert HD MOV to HD mp4. and its work with wlmm. Thank you very much!

        God really bless you dude.


        • awesome=E2=80=94 Glad to help… I hope you have a nice day!Later, Larry =C2=A0

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