Convert mov to wmv for free using Microsoft Movie maker. There are a few catches however this how to has all the details with screenshots.
Update: Windows Live Movie Maker is no longer supported. And it is no longer available for download for Windows 10. But if you happen to still have it installed on your system these instructions will still work.
Are you having trouble with .mov files? Some new Canon cameras and also the iPhone 4 record video in .mov format. Sadly I know firsthand how frustrating it can be to find a simple method for streaming these MOV files to an XBOX 360 from Windows 7. Fortunately, this story had a happy ending once I found a simple method for converting .MOV files to .WMV format using Windows Live Movie Maker.
Step 1 – Confirm the file format your converting
Make sure the movie you are trying to convert is a .mov file. Granted this process will work for any MOVIE/VIDEO format that’s recognized by Windows Movie Maker but for this tutorial, I’ll be using .MOV.
First, let’s confirm were dealing with a .MOV file. Open up Explorer and navigate to the directory of your movie. Left-click the file to select it and look in the bottom info pane. Right below the filename of your clip, there should be some gray text saying “QuickTime Movie” (see screenshot below.) If this is correct, then we can move along.
Step 2 – Launch Windows Live Movie Maker
Since Windows 7, Windows Live Movie Maker comes bundled into Windows Live Essentials. Most likely it’s already installed, but if it isn’t, you can grab a free download here or if you feel brave, you can get the latest beta here. Before you grab the beta you might want to read about it in a review we did a week ago. One thing to keep in mind, the screenshots below use the latest stable version of Movie Maker, not the beta.
If you already have Windows Live Movie Maker or you just installed it, simply go to Start > All Programs > Windows Live > Windows Live Movie Maker.
Step 3 – Import your video into Windows Live Movie Maker
On the Home tab click Add Videos and Photos. A browser-like dialog box will appear. From there, browse to your video, select it and click Open.
Step 4 – Test the video to ensure
Now let’s see if Movie Maker has correctly opened the file. Try seeking and playing the video. Notice the seeker on the right side too.
Step 5 – Export/Convert movie to .WMV format
Click the “More Options” arrow in the Sharing section of the “Home” tab. Now you’ll have a few different choices. I’d recommend using one of the first options in “Other Settings To Save A Movie On Your Computer.” The first three from left to right are: HD 720p, HQ 480p and Standard-definition (circled in green in the screenshot below.) In this case, I’ll be using HD 720p because the .mov file I’m using is in high definition and I’d like to keep that quality.
Step 6 – Choose where you want to save .WMV file
When saving the movie, use any filename you want but make sure you don’t change anything in the “Save as Type” droplist. You need it to say Windows Media Video (WMV) File.
Step 7 – Conversion process should now begin
Now it’s time to wait. A groovy little window will appear showing the progress of the operation
That’s it! The conversation/saving process time will vary depending on the size of the movie, quality you chose for the WMV and the speed of your computer. However, when it’s finished, you should have a brand new EASY TO STREAM .WMV file ready to stream to your XBOX! When saving my HD .MOV files to 1080p I’ve found that little to no quality gets lost, unlike other more geeky solutions I discovered out there.
How did the process work for you? Do you have a preferred transcoding process or product you like to use? Drop a note in the comments!
A reader recently asked about converting a .MOV to .MP4. If you have a similar question, please be sure to drop it in the comments, and I will try to help you with the transcoding process in short order.