Microsoft's Brad Weed announced on Wednesday that an updated version of Windows Essentials 2012 is now ready to download and install, packed with support for the upcoming Windows 8 platform. More specifically, Movie Maker and Photo Gallery for Windows 7 and Windows 8 now have added capabilities that utilize many of the advances offered in the newer OS slated to arrive in October.
For starters, Movie Maker now takes advantage of "major advancements in hardware accelerated graphics" in Windows 8 with the use of video stabilization. "Wobbly" videos taken with phones and smaller video cameras can now be smoothed out using this option. Users simply choose between three selections: anti-shake, anti-shake and wobble correction (low), and anti-shake and wobble correction (high).
Movie Maker also now allows users to insert music from AudioMicro, Free Music Archive and the Vimeo Music Store. Once inserted, users will be greeted with a visual audio track in wave form under the video frames so that they can see where the song ends within the clip. A third track has also been added for narration in video or audio format if needed.
"With sound coming from three different sources, the audio of your movie may be hard to hear," he said. "So, we’ve added some ways to choose which form of audio you want to emphasize. This makes it easy to clean up and enhance the audio for your entire movie project with just a single click. With enhancements to audio and music support, we’ve made it easy to find, add and control both music and narration."
The new Movie Maker also includes new text effects, and saves video in the h.264 format by default. "Now Movie Maker saves to this format by default making it easier to publish your video to popular sharing websites, managing your videos and your files between services and devices," Weed added.
As for Photo Gallery, Weed emphasized that "Windows Photo Gallery is the number one way to organize, fix, find and share your photos and videos" in Windows 8. The app has been updated with a cool Auto Collage feature which crams seven images together to make a unique wallpaper-like arrangement. Vimeo is also now the official publisher for both Photo Gallery and Movie Maker so that Windows 7 and Windows 8 artists can share their creations to the world.
"We’re hope you’re as excited as we are about the new Windows Movie Maker," he concluded. "We’ve listened to your feedback and have added better audio support and finer control within the storyboard. Our new music partners make it that much easier to bring your videos to life with great music that is optimized for making movies. With video stabilization from Windows 8 and other features that help you refine and share your creation, Movie Maker brings you one step closer to being the awesome filmmaker you always knew you were."
To get the updated Windows Essentials 2012, head here.