Convert Video on a Windows PC

If you have been asked to create a video as part of your course work, you can use a digital camera, a smartphone, a webcam connected to your computer, or other devices to record the video. However, your instructor may not be able to view the video files produced by such devices. The following tutorials describes how to install and use Windows Movie Maker to convert a video file (of almost any type) to a WMV or MP4 video file, which most computers can play.

We recommend Windows Movie Maker in the following tutorial because it is a free download from Microsoft for all Windows PCs.

Install Windows Movie Maker

  1. Go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows-live/movie-maker#t1=overview and click Download now.
  2. Save the file to your computer. When the download completes, locate the file and double-click to begin the installation.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the installation. Note that Windows Movie Maker is part of a collection of software called Windows Essentials. You will be given the option to choose whether to install all of Windows Essentials or to choose individual components such as Windows Movie Maker.
  4. You may be prompted to enter a Microsoft account ID and password, but you do not need to do this in order to use Windows Movie Maker. You can safely close that window, if it appears.
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Convert Video with Windows Movie Maker

  1. Open Windows Movie Maker.
  2. In the right panel, click “Click here to browse for videos and photos”.Windows Movie Maker: browse for files
  3. Find your video file, select it and click Open.
  4. From the Movie Maker menu Movie Maker menu in the top-left, hover over “Save movie” and then scroll down the options that open to the right and select “Create custom setting…”.
  5. In the Create Custom Setting dialog box, enter a name for your setting in the box beside “Name” (we've used “Compact” in the example image below), and change the values to the following:
    • Width: 340 pixels
    • Height: 280 pixels
    • Bit rate: 150 kbps
    • Frame rate: 15 fps
    • Audio format: 96 kbps, 44.1 kHz, stereo
    Create Custom Setting dialog box
    You can deviate from these settings as required but increases here will increase the eventual size of your movie file.
  6. Click Save; then click Save again; and finally click Close.
  7. From the Movie Maker menu Movie Maker menu in the top-left, hover over “Save movie”, scroll down the options that open to the right and select the custom setting you've just created.
  8. Enter a name for your video file and click Save.
  9. Once the movie has been saved (this may take several minutes), play the entire new file to be sure that you can see and hear the full video.
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Submit Your Video

After you have converted and compressed your video, follow the instructions in your assignment to submit it to your instructor.

  • Submit to a Moodle assignment dropbox
    The most common way to submit your file is to an assignment in CourseSpaces or Moodle. Please see the Assignments page in the Moodle Startup Kit for instructions.

  • Burn Video to DVD
    If you are required to submit your video on a DVD through physical mail,
    1. Locate your video file on your computer.
    2. Right-click the file, hover over “Send to” in the pop-up menu, and select your DVD drive.
    3. If you do not have a writeable DVD in your DVD drive, you will be prompted to do so. Place a writeable DVD in your DVD drive.
    4. The next screen will ask “How do you want to use this disc?”. Select “Like a USB flash drive” and click Next.
    5. If you wish to burn more files to the disk, repeat steps 1, 2 and 4 until all of your files are on the DVD.
    6. When you have finished putting your files onto the DVD, open the DVD drive. The DVD will complete the burning process. After this step, you cannot add any further files to the DVD.
    7. Mail the DVD to your instructor.

 

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