your new video editing software blows goats, windows.

i take back every bad thing i ever said about windows movie maker.

this is the program i was using to edit videos, up until today, and it came already installed in my laptop. when i thought i wanted to get my hands dirtied up some more, i went out and bought sony vegas 9, but have found it too complicated for my taste and with a learning curve i don’t have the patience for. i want my video editing software to be powerful but dead simple, with a timeline, with the ability to trim clips and insert titles without any difficulty, with the ability to accept any file format i throw at it, and to be reliable enough not to crash all the time when i’m in the middle of working on something. for the most part, windows movie maker has fit the bill for me so far. i need to work on getting rid of some rough moments when i’m cutting and trimming bits of footage, but i’ve gotten a lot better at the editing side of things in the space of a few months, and the program allows me to do most of what i want to do with the press of a button or the click of a mouse. the only issue i’ve come up against is a problem with publishing or finalizing my videos; given the length and amount of clips involved, things will often freeze up at the last stage and it’ll take me several tries before it all works out. but as frustrating as that is, it’s a small price to pay for what is otherwise the most intuitive and bullshit-free editing software i’ve worked with.

yesterday i upgraded my operating system to windows 7 (not a mac user over here). everything worked out well, and i didn’t lose any programs or files, with one exception—windows movie maker was gone. imagine my surprise when i discovered the program would only work with older versions of windows. but hey, they made a new version of the program for someone in my position, now called windows live movie maker. i assumed it would be much the same as before, only a little slicker-looking.

i was wrong.

windows live movie maker is the most pathetic, useless, feature-less, do-nothing, can’t-possibly-justify-its-existence piece of shit ever made. they took almost every feature the earlier version of the program had and simply got rid of it, adding next to nothing in its place.  it might be marginally helpful if you want to make a simple photo slide show and put it up on youtube. for anything else, it’s about as useful as paris hilton at a mensa meeting. why on earth would you throw away 80% of what makes something somewhat worthwhile and replace it with nothing? you don’t remodel a car and say, “well, we’ll just get rid of the steering wheel, and the seats, and the seatbelts, and leave them with a cute red button they can press in the hope that having no control over where they’re going and no protection won’t result in a fatal accident. genius!” you don’t go in for a nose job, walk out with your lower body completely amputated, and then tell your plastic surgeon you’re so happy you want to buy them dinner.

who greenlights an idea that stupid? someone who’s never seen a red light, i guess.

the new operating system will let me use an older version of the program that’s more or less identical to the even older version i was fine with using up until it disappeared from my computer, but there’s one difference—it won’t accept mp4 files…which is most of what my videos are made up of, since that’s the format my little flip camera spits out. so that version is useless too.

luckily i still have sony vegas 9…which ACCEPTS STINKING MP4 FILES HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE FLOOR. and now that i’m actually spending a bit of time with it, i realize it may not be quite as difficult to navigate as i first thought. it’s not as dead-simple as what i’m used to, but there’s quite a bit of flexibility and power there, and it will probably pay off by forcing me to learn a bit more about just what i’m doing when it comes to cutting and splicing bits of video. so i guess you should expect the next progress report video to look a little bit different…at least when it comes to transitions and on-screen text. by the look of things so far, it’s a bit tricky editing audio levels, but i’m able to at least boost the volume of the footage i shoot myself to match everything else. normally i would have to go in the other direction and bring down the level of everything else to even things out (hence the relatively low volume of most of my videos so far). so i guess a happy side effect of using this program now may be the overall volume increasing, at least to the point where anyone will be able to hear everything clearly regardless of what they’re working with in terms of computer speakers and sound cards.

in reading up on different video editing software, it seems there are a lot of programs out there that have issues…some are picky with the kinds of files they accept, some are buggy, some crash at random times, some will slow down your whole computer, some don’t let you edit on a timeline (which i think is a must for any video editing program worth its salt), and some just plain suck. it looks like i actually made a pretty good choice after all with the program i paid for, because from what i’ve read it’s one of the few that doesn’t sound like it has any serious issues, it does pretty much what i want it to do (now that i’m starting to figure out how to use it), and so far it seems pretty crash-proof. the preview window is a little jittery when you’re editing and you want to see how things are looking, but i can live with that as long as things look good when the video is finalized.

happy endings are so sexy.

elsewhere, MY HELLHOUND CROOKED HEART is in the top 10 on CJAM’s charts again. it floated around the top 10 for three weeks in a row, dropped off the top 30 for a week, came back into the top 20 the next week, and now it’s back at #10. that’s absolutely insane. i’m not sure even CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN got that kind of airplay. and i don’t even know who all is playing my music at this point. i haven’t really heard it on the shows that normally play me in the past week or two. where am i coming from? who is where i am going? what has sent me there?

speaking of CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN, i’ve decided to repackage it. i basically came to the decision today, with no buildup, while working on getting more inserts made for a few albums like AN ABSENCE OF SWAY that are running low. my line of thinking is, there’s no getting around the fact that it’s one of the more important albums i’ve made, and i’ve gradually come around to thinking the lyrics are probably worthy of being printed after all…so hopefully, by sometime next week, i will have a special “limited edition” (ha) reissued version of the album with a booklet full of lyrics (even including some of the ones that were improvised and left off of the lyrics page here), and a cover that is in full colour. that’s right! colour! i’m not remixing the album or anything like that, and i’m perfectly happy with the way it looks in its original issued form. i just think it would be fun to give it a slightly different presentation, mostly for my own amusement, and so a few of the people who are interested can read the lyrics while listening if they want to, without having to sit at a computer to make it happen. besides, the version of the cover art katie coloured for me a few months after the initial release is far too cool-looking not to share.

you’ll see what i mean soon enough.

3 comments

  1. I would really encourage you to explore the interactive learning features that come with Sony Vegas.

    Most people are put off by the user interface and for good reason, but in Sony’s defense it does have to provide access to a bewildering array of… well… stuff!

    Of all the consumer level video editing software Vegas wins the features and control competition hands down… it’s just a pain in the butt trying to find it all and how to make it work.

    A couple of hours in the learning modules will open your eyes to possibilities and a degree of control you may not have been aware of.

    1. i appreciate the encouragement…and i think you’re right. in the past i was just lazy, and i thought, “well…i’m shooting video with a $200 camera using the built-in microphone, so nothing i do is ever going to look world-class anyway.” but from digging in a bit, vegas doesn’t seem as difficult to navigate as i thought, and it’s fairly intuitive once you start to get used to the way things work. if i can just figure out how to edit individual audio tracks instead of the volume adjustments effecting every video/audio segment at the same time, i’ll be flying.

  2. man, were you ever right. i never got around to the interactive learning tools — i just jumped right in and figured it out through trial and error. but after the initial awkwardness wore off and i started to get the hang of it, i was shaking my head at the fact that i’d had this program on my computer for a good year or so without ever really using it. the free video editing programs pale in comparison, and i’ve gotten a lot better at putting videos together largely because of what vegas allows you to do. good stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s