Download video from your camera to your computer

Ready to start editing your video files with Windows Movie Maker? Your first step is transfering your files from your camera or video camcorder into your computer. The best way to import your video files into Windows XP depends on what type of camera or computer you have.

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To download Memory card reader

  1. Remove the memory card from your camera and insert it into a memory card reader. While most newer computers have built-in memory card readers, you can buy a card reader that you hook up to your computer using the USB port.

  2. Once the memory card is inserted, Windows XP will detect the connection, and the Removable Disk dialog box will open and ask you What do you want Windows to do?. Click Open folder to view files, and then click OK.

  3. A dialog box will open, showing the folders in your memory card. Double-click each folder to locate the files with your videos. Once you find them, click the first video. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click the last video to select them all.

  4. On the Edit dropdown menu, click Copy to Folder. The Copy Items dialog box will open. Click on My Documents, then click My Videos. Click Copy.

  5. Once your video files are copied to your My Videos folder, you can rename them. You can also delete the files from your memory card to save room for future videos and photos. When you're ready to watch your videos, open your My Videos folder, and double-click the movie you want to see.

i.Link/FireWire/IEEE 1394 cable

  1. If you have an older video camera or computer, you might need to use an i.Link (also known as FireWire or IEEE 1394) cable. If you don't have a FireWire port on your computer, you will have to install an i.Link adapter. To connect your camera to your computer, plug one end of the i.Link cable (often included with your camera) into your video camcorder, and plug the other end into your computer. Turn your camera on, and set it to playback mode.

  2. The Digital Video Device dialog box will open. Click Capture Video using Windows Movie Maker. Click OK.

  3. Microsoft Windows Movie Maker will start the Video Capture Wizard dialog box. On the Capture Video File page, type a name for your video in the Enter a name for your captured videobox (Step 1). Then select a folder in the Choose a place to save your captured video drop down menu (Step 2). Click Next.

  4. The Video Setting page will open. Accept the default setting, Best quality for playback on my computer, by clicking Next.

  5. The Capture Method page will open. Accept the default setting, Capture the entire tape automatically, by clicking Next. If you want to see and hear the tape play as it's being captured, select the Show preview during capture check box.

  6. The Video Capture Wizard rewinds your tape and then begins capturing it. The dialog box will read DV Capture in Progress. Make sure the Create clips when wizard finishes box is selected. If you checked the Show preview during capture box, you'll see your video play as it captures.

  7. After the tape is captured, the wizard stops automatically. If you reach the end of your recording before it reaches the end of your tape, click Stop Capture, and then click Yes. Movie Maker automatically breaks your movie into clips and adds them to a video collection under the name you provided.

Analog video

  1. If you have an older video camera, such as Hi-8, VHS, or VHS-C video cameras, you can still download video to your computer by manually rewinding your video, pressing the play button, and then starting the capture. Connect both the video and audio feeds from your video camera to your computer using a video input adapter. If the video input adapter does not have an audio input port, connect the audio feed from your camera to your computer's line-in or microphone input.

  2. Click the Start menu, click All Programs, and then click Windows Movie Maker.

  3. In the Movie Tasks pane, under Capture Video menu, click Capture from video device.

  4. Movie Maker will start the Video Capture Wizard dialog box. On the Video Capture Device page, click your camera. Then click Next.

  5. On the Capture Video File page, type a name for your video in the Enter a name for your captured videobox (Step 1). Then select a folder in the Choose a place to save your captured video drop down menu (Step 2). Click Next.

  6. The Video Setting page will open. Accept the default setting, Best quality for playback on my computer, by clicking Next.

  7. The Capture Video page will open. On your video camera, rewind or fast-forward to about five seconds before the start of the clip that you want to download. Press the Play button on your video camera, and click the Start Capture button. Click Stop Capture at the end of your clip.

    Note: It's OK if you start capturing video earlier than your clip begins, because you can trim the beginning later. You may also want to capture the entire tape at once, because you can break it into shorter clips later.

  8. Capture as many clips as you need. When you're done, click Finish.

Looking to do more with video?

Built to work with up-to-date video and camera technology, Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 offers faster and simpler ways to turn your photos and videos into polished movies, with more capability to share your creations with your friends and family. To get Movie Maker—part of the Windows Live Essentials suite of products—simply upgrade to Windows 7.