Making movies in the cloud: Windows Live Movie Maker

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The latest suite of Windows Live "Wave 3" betas is now available for download, which includes the beta of Windows Live Movie Maker. Can you really use it to edit a motion picture? Yeah...in a sense, as we found out first-hand.

Microsoft's new Live Movie Maker -- the latest beta in "Wave 3" of its Windows Live services -- leaves quite a bit to be desired at this point, as it lacks the ability to do anything except arrange clips and photos with the option to include background music.

In its current state, it's really just a skeleton of Windows Movie Maker, with functionality limited to import and arrangement of video clips, photos, and music. There is promise, however, of more features. While there is only a single built-in dissolve transition and two filter effects (black & white, and sepia), the menus are built for many more, and third party plug-ins are supported.

Developers can build their own plug-ins with the Photo Gallery SDK, which works with both Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Movie Maker.

Live Movie Maker can output .WMV files or publish directly to MSN video. In BetaNews tests this afternoon, we made a movie containing copyrighted music in the background, in an intentional test to see how the service would respond. MSN caught the audio fingerprint and rejected the video before publishing it to the site.

Movie Maker comes bundled with Windows already, and that acts as a stripped down version of home movie editing software, a version truncated even further seems quite unappealing to even the hobbyist who has used Windows Movie Maker or its OS X cousin iMovie.

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