New Photo Gallery and Movie Maker for Windows 7 and Windows 8

Video stabilization, better audio controls, auto collage

Movie Maker and Photo Gallery, two essential Windows applications that hundreds of millions of people already use, have just received a series of enhancements on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

There are new features for that both applications can now offer, along with a series of improvements that are based on advancements included in Windows 8, Microsoft notes.

When it comes to making the most out of photos and videos, the new release of these apps should prove a great option for all users, Microsoft says.

With Windows Movie Maker, people can come up with great videos out of photos and clips they shot on their own.

The new release comes with features that take advantage of the hardware accelerated graphics in Windows 8, so that users could benefit from state-of-the-art capabilities.

“Movie Maker has taken advantage of new technology in Windows 8 to smooth out your wobbly videos. By selecting ‘shaky video’ and choosing from a variety of video-stabilization options, Movie Maker will smooth it out,” Microsoft’s Brad Weed explains.

The music and audio controls of Movie Maker have been improved as well, providing users with the possibility to easily find music that can be added to a video and which also has the proper rights, courtesy of agreements with AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store.

“So, you have the music but what about a way to control how well it plays with your videos. We’ve added waveform visualizations to both the music track and your videos so you can quickly see where you need to cut or trim your video to match your music,” said blog post continues.

Moreover, the new release provides users with the possibility to narrate their movie, courtesy of a third audio track added specifically for that.

“Often times the easiest way narrate a video is to talk while you’re taking a video, so we’ve made it possible to add narration either as an audio file or as a video file,” Weed continues.

“When you want to add narration to your video, just select the video with narration and we’ll strip out the audio and include it in the narration track. Of course, if you just want to record your voice using your PC, you can do that too.”

Additionally, Movie Maker now offers support for including texts into videos, and also comes with default support for H.264, the most popular video format out there.

The Photo Galley has got its share of enhancements as well, especially in Windows 8, where it represents the main way of organizing, finding, sharing and fixing photos and videos.

The application comes with features such as Photo Fuse and Panorama, and has just got enhanced with the addition of Auto Collage, through which users simply select a number of at least seven photos to create collages.

“Making a new collage out of existing photos has never been easier, whether you want to make a special print, collection of photos or create a nice start or ending to a movie highlight with some of your favorite scenes,” Weed notes.

Another important feature that both Photo Gallery and Movie Maker offer now is the ability to publish to Vimeo. In addition to being able to share videos and photos to SkyDrive, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook, users can now share on Vimeo as well, though simply clicking the ‘Vimeo’ button in the share gallery.

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