Windows Live Movie Maker 2011: Problems Importing Video

zcovw1moWindows Live Movie Maker is a free offering from Microsoft that offers novice and average users the ability to edit video and from there, be able to share/publish it to Facebook, YouTube, eMail, DVD and even custom resolutions. It's a basic editor with very simplified interface, and it's part of the Windows Live Essentials Suite of applications.

Windows Live Movie Maker is a good editor for the price, and it's supported video formats is impressive, when they work; and that's where it gets interesting. 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.

It's a massive flaw in the way video editing should be. If a software vendor says the software they offer is supposed to support X format, then it should support that format right out of the gate— and that's not what Windows Live Movie Maker does.

So, these are some things to know about Windows Live Movie Maker and how to address them…

Nothing is more frustrating than having a video on a device and then wanting to put it on your PC for editing and then to find out it doesn't work. If the software says it's supposed to support a specific format, it should do so.

According to the support forums for Windows Live Movie Maker, a large majority of the users are having problems with just getting video into the application.

Windows Live Movie Maker says it supports a variety of video formats:

According to the support page for Windows Live Movie Maker 2011; it supports an array of video formats; and those are:

     Windows Media Video (WMV) files
     » Native to Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 «

     Windows Media files
          .asf and .wm

     AVCHD files
          .m2ts and .m2t

     Apple QuickTime files
          .mov and .qt

     DV‑AVI files

     Microsoft Recorded TV Show files
          .dvr-ms and .wtv

     MPEG‑4 movie files
          .mp4, .mov,.m4v, .3gp, .3g2, and .k3g

     MPEG‑2 movie files
          .mpeg, .mpg, .mpe, .m1v, .mp2, .mpv2, .mod, and .vob

     MPEG‑1 movie files

     Motion JPEG files
          .avi and .mov


But all these video formats rely on the codec to be installed in the operating system.

CODECS; What you need to know about codecs, in a nutshell, is that they dictate whether or not the audio, video or both are recognized properly by Windows Live Movie Maker, and it's important to have the right codecs installed/updated. It affects the performance of Windows Live Movie Maker and it also affects the rendering of the videos/audio inside the application— And Windows Live Movie Maker offers no automated assistance in resolving the issues of codecs.

And if you're under the illusion that just because Windows Media Player can play the file, it should be good? That'd be wrong. Loading codecs for Windows Live Movie Maker is left to the users/customers to find and install. 

What a lot of users are finding is that as they try to import their video into Windows Live Movie Maker the application is telling them, that their video is not supported and that it has to be removed. This is done through an exclamation mark I can't placed over the video that was just imported.


The exclamation marks; they can mean basically one of two things when you are dealing with Windows Live Movie Maker. They can mean the video you are attempting to work with isn't supported [or is, or has become corrupt], or you are out of system resources. And there are suggestions for both those issues.

Typically, this problem is related to not having the proper codecs installed. from this point the user has a few options:

Contact the manufacturer…
iy4pa2nyMake an attempt contact the manufacturer of the device and see if they offer any download'able codecs/drivers for your device- making it compatible with your operating system.

if specific codecs are required with a recording device, typically manufacturers will include the required codecs, to build use the videos on a PC.

This may not be something you're able to do, but after working with a specific device that you just purchased, it may be worthwhile to contact the support website for your device and see if they offer a codec for that specific device.


Load a battery/suite of codecs…

i1yzl1nnAs mentioned before, Windows Live Movie Maker isn't compatible with a lot of the formats it says it's until you load the CODECS in to the operating system. If you're having issues/problems with opening/editing your audio/video media, it could be your installed codecs [or the lack of] or maybe you need to update your CODECS; ultimately, it's all about the CODECS.

Audio and Video, both, require current CODECS to play the proper media [correctly].

As a suggestion, you can download the most ubiquitous CODECS yourself and installing them very easily...It's FREE, REPUTABLE and updated regularly.


There's a range of resources for codecs for videos, and audio. It wasn't until recently that the Windows Live Movie Maker support forum actually started giving users active links to codec websites, to download collections of codecs.


Converting the video…

crnnv53wIf contacting the manufacture or loading a battery of codecs into the Windows operating system for Windows Live Movie Maker doesn't work, you'll be looking at having to convert the existing video into a video format that will work better with Windows Live Movie Maker; back to something like WMV or a standard AVI file.

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.



So, these are the most common things to do with issues of not being able to import your video in to Windows Live Movie Maker.

If you continue to have problems with your specific video, you need to determine which codec is being used; and you need a program that can do that for you.


I wrote a post on how to find the codec that's being used and how to find the codec for you and Windows Live Movie Maker.



For references:

Windows Live Movie Maker Support Forum…

If you'd like, you can leave feedback for the Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 team for suggestions/improvements:



I hope this helps...

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr. 

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. I wouldn't care but last time I used it edit AVI files, it worked perfectly. Now it only lets me convert them to audio files. I thought I cracked it on Real Player editing but then it took video and no sound.Really annoying when I can't find 1 helpful solution, and I have ticked all boxes and downloaded the said codecs above.

    1. Sorry this information was not more helpful for you. These are/were the common issues/resolutions for Windows Movie Maker and has worked for others.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...