TechMicrosoftMicrosoft Releases Updated Windows Live Applications

Microsoft Releases Updated Windows Live Applications

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Microsoft updated their Windows Live Essentials applications today, including an update to Movie Maker, Photo Gallery and Windows Live Writer.  Read on for details.

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Microsoft released Windows Live Essentials 2012 today, updating its suite of Windows add-on applications.  Here is what they announced:

Today we’re happy to announce new versions of Movie Maker and Photo Gallery for Windows 7 and Windows 8. We’ve added a few new capabilities while also taking advantage of some advances in Windows 8. Movie Maker and Photo Gallery are two essential Windows applications hundreds of millions of people have come to rely on for making the most of your photos and videos. And with this release, we’ve given you a few more reasons to enjoy them even more.

Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker is a great way to turn your ordinary photos and videos into a captivating story. Whether you’re making a short clip to quickly share or taking your time to make the most of that big event, Movie Maker showcases your skills as a budding film-maker. With major advancements in hardware accelerated graphics in Windows 8, Movie Maker has evolved to include these state of the art enhancements.

Video Stabilization: Sometimes the video we take is just little too shaky; especially as we take more and more videos using our phones and smaller video cameras. Movie Maker has taken advantage of new technology in Windows 8 to smooth out your wobbly videos. Just select the shaky video and choose from a variety Video stabilization options and Movie Maker will smooth it out.

Music: The one thing that can really make a difference in a movie is the soundtrack. But it can be hard to find not only the right piece of music but a version with the appropriate rights. And even if you choose a song from your own collection, it runs the risk of being stripped out once it’s published to YouTube for not having the appropriate rights. So we decided to work with AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store to make it easy to find music that is not only fitting for video, but also has the proper rights. Now when you go to add music to your movie in Movie Maker, you have the option of getting music from your PC or from three varied music services.

So, you have the music but what about a way to control how well it plays with your videos. We’ve added waveform visualizations to both the music track and your videos so you can quickly see where you need to cut or trim your video to match your music.

Text Effects: Including text in movies continues to be a popular way to add depth or highlights but sometimes the font can get lost making it hard to read. One way to enhance the text is to place an outline around your text. Now when you add text in Movie Maker, you can also add an outline that makes the text stand out from the background.

H.264 by default: One of the most popular video formats out there today is h.264 which is rapidly becoming the default format for cameras and video sharing. Now Movie Maker saves to this format by default making it easier to publish your video to popular sharing websites, managing your videos and your files between services and devices.

Photo Gallery

In Windows 8, Windows Photo Gallery is the number one way to organize, fix, find and share your photos and videos. And with advanced features like Photo Fuse and Panorama, Photo Gallery continues to bring creative enhancement to your memories.

Auto Collage: Trying to create a collage of photos on your own is hard and usually requires expensive and complex software. With Auto Collage in Photo Gallery you just select seven or more photos and we’ll arrange them in a collage for you. Making a new photo our of existing photos has never been easier. Whether you want to make a special print of a collection of photos or you want a nice start or ending to a movie highlight with some of your favorite scenes.

Vimeo: We’re excited to announce Vimeo as our new publish partner! Now you can share your videos straight to Vimeo from both Photo Gallery and Movie Maker. Once you have your project saved and are ready to share it with the world, just click on the Vimeo button in the share gallery, choose from a variety of options that Vimeo provides and you’re done. Now your movies can become a part of an ever growing community of film makers who call Vimeo their home.

They did not mention Windows Live Writer as being new, but it is included in the download and works well (I did this post in WLW12).  Unfortunately, WLW12 is not an RT application, so no WLW for you unless you go Surface Pro!  Note that this update is for machines running Windows 7 or Windows 8.

If you are running Windows Live Essentials 2011, go ahead and download the update here.

Download Windows Live Essentials 2012 Here!
Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy
My tech interests include WHS, media streaming, and gaming, among others!

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