Converting .Mov Files to .WMV Using Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker logoRecently I’ve been using the highly recommended consumer level video editor, CyberLink PowerDirector (version 9, for a 64 bit system), to edit AVCHD clips, which it does quite handily, even though my computer is not built for video editing.  Although PowerDirector is reported to handle a wide variety of video formats, I’ve discovered that it does NOT handle the sound tracks of .mov files well. They do play, but  the sound track of each .mov clip takes a moment to begin playing.  Moreover, one misses the first few moments of sound not just while editing, but also in the playback of rendered movies containing .mov clips. This is completely unacceptable!  A Google search revealed that many other users are encountering similar problems with the sound tracks of .mov clips.  Indeed, for many users, there is no sound at all.

My immediate thought about correcting this problem was to invest in format conversion software so that I could convert my .mov clips, taken with my point-and-shoot camera, into AVCHD, the format that my camcorder uses.  However, I kept looking around for an alternative to spending more money.

I noticed that when I put .mov files on the timeline of Windows Movie Maker, the free program that’s part of Windows Live Essentials, the problem with the sound in .mov clips did not occur.  The sound played from the very beginning of clips, as it should.

So then I thought that I’d use Windows Movie Maker as my format converter.  I put several .mov clips on my Windows Movie Maker timeline and then rendered those clips as a .wmv file.  CyberLink PowerDirector handles .wmv files equally as well as AVCHD ones.  So, using CyberLink PowerDirector I can now edit the AVCHD clips from my camcorder and the .mov clips from my point-and-shoot camera in the same movie project; and I didn’t have to spend $30 or so on conversion software!  Of course, when you use this method of converting, your clips on the Windows Movie Maker timeline end up one long clip in the rendered .wmv file.  To alleviate that you could render your clips one by one.  But, it would be much simpler to resplit your scenes once the .wmv file is on your new project timeline.

To convert .mov files to .wmv ones, here are the steps:

  • Open Windows Movie Maker
  • Drag and drop your .mov files on the timeline.
  • Open the pull down menu in Windows Movie Maker which you access at the top left of the program’s window.
  • In that drop-down menu select “Save Movie”, and then “for high definition display.” This ensures that the quality of your rendered .wmv file will be equally as good as your other HD files in your project.
  • In the window that opens, give a name to the file you will be rendering.
  • When the file has finished rendering, select the “open folder” choice to access your rendered .wmv file.

6 thoughts on “Converting .Mov Files to .WMV Using Windows Movie Maker

  1. This does not work it was very unhelpful because .mov files are incompatible with windows movie maker so you cannot drag them into the timeline!

  2. Thanks, Amy, for alerting me to this problem. You are correct. The present version of Windows Movie Maker will not play an .mov file on the timeline. i tried this. Failed! However, this was not true of the earlier version of Windows Movie Maker which I was using when I wrote the post. Alas, software evolves and blog posts may not remain helpful forever. Rather than pull the post, I’ll leave it up for users who may have a copy of the former version of Windows Movie Maker.

  3. You’re welcome, Rebecca. I get lots of hits on this post. Evidently, converting .mov files is something that many users need help with.

  4. Many of my friends use iDealshare VideoGo to convert MOV to WMV with high video quality.

    It also can convert MP4 to WMV, AVI.

    It even can convert Windows video format like WMV, AVI, ASF, MPG, RMVB to MOV or MP4

    Hope it is what you are looking for

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