I spend a lot of time reviewing video editing software full of advanced techniques like multitrack editing, overlays, keyframes, and chroma keying. For consumers who don’t want to worry about any of that, but still want to make engaging videos with almost no effort, there are simpler products, such as Microsoft’s Movie Moments. It’s a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app—one that works on Windows Phone and Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Like the phone app, the Movie Moments modern Windows Store app lets you easily edit and create one-minute videos, complete with titles and background music. Its limitations make it a hard sell, however, even if it is free.
Getting Started With Movie Moments
The modern tablet app version of Movie Moments is available on the Windows Store. It’s a reasonable 15.7MB download, so it won’t tax your PC’s storage, and it runs on both Intel and ARM-based PCs and tablets. I tested the app on a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. On first use, the app asks permission to use your webcam and microphone—it’s not of much use if you deny these requests. After that, tooltips take you through the mini-movie creation process.
The interface is dead simple. On the home screen you get just two big button choices: Take a Video and Pick a Video. After that, you’re off and running. It’s all very touch-screen friendly, too.
Shooting Video in Movie Moments
When you shoot video with the Movie Moments PC app, you can set the exposure, and that’s pretty much it. Some features in the original release have since disappeared, such as a timer, audio source input selection, and stabilization. You start recording with a tap on the screen, but you don’t have to keep your finger on the screen to keep recording. This, does, however, mean that the app isn’t suited to creating stop-motion videos. For that, check out Editors’ Choice video application, Corel VideoStudio.
After you record your video clip, a large round control along the timeline at the bottom of the screen lets you scrub back and forth through it. You can retake the shot, or simply hit OK to proceed to editing. To edit, you simply drag the endpoints in to trim from the beginning or end of your video; to make a split, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the Split icon, which removes three seconds following the insertion point. You can then extend the duration of the removed footage with the same type of endpoint controls. You get a maximum of 60 seconds for your entire movie moment. These trimming tools work well, but more precise control, like that found in Magix’s Movie Edit Touch 2, would be welcome.
The desktop version of the app is less step-driven than the phone version: You simply decide whether to use the music and caption controls, rather than having the app take you through steps for these actions. You get the same attractive 17 styles for captions or titles, and these include backgrounds for the text, as opposed to just fonts. You can select the text to add emphasis, and you can choose whether your title should be displayed in freeze-frames—a nifty effect.
Background music choices include in-app downloadable prefab tunes with evocative names like Energetic, Strolling, and Funky. You can also pick a song from your own library. The app lets you silence the video’s own audio, but you can’t adjust the relative volumes of the background music and video audio, nor can you add voice-overs after the fact, as you can in Apple’s iMovie.
After you trim, caption, and score your video, the app takes a half a minute or so to render the final product, depending on its length and the power of your PC. The app doesn’t add transitions between subclips as CyberLink PowerDirector does, but there is a nice fade to black at the end of finished productions, and an opening freeze frame provides an appealing start.
Sharing Your Video
What is the point of creating a video masterpiece that no one sees? Movie Moments makes sharing a tad easier, since you don’t have to first tap the floppy disk icon to save the movie to your Pictures folder. As in most Universal Windows Apps, you can simply press the big Share button that lets you send it to practically any app on the PC that’s capable of sharing: Dropbox, email, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, and OneNote are all available. For further editing, the app let me send the final product to another video-editing app, Magix Movie Edit Touch.
When you share via email, the file is attached; I’d have preferred a link to a hosted version of the video, say, on OneDrive. Who wants to send or receive an entire movie in an email, even if it is just a minute of video? My test video emailing arrived in higher resolution with this tablet app than when I tested the Windows Phone version of the app.
A Video Editor Worth Your Moments?
The Movie Moments app is as basic as it gets, merely letting you trim a single video clip, but its clever titles, pleasing background music, and easy sharing redeem it somewhat. More audio control, more precise trimming, and the addition of some transitions and multi-clip support would go a long way towards making it a recommended app. Despite its limitations, though, you may be able to make amusing videos, as long as you’re happy with using but one clip and with a mere minute-long result. For a larger selection of video editing tools in a Windows tablet app, check out Magix’s Movie Edit Touch 2, and for real video editing power that still needn’t be intimidating, look to our Editors’ Choice consumer video editing software Editors’ Choices, Corel VideoStudio and CyberLink PowerDirector.