My friend needs to create a video and she has some source files that are .MOV format. I assume they are h.264. She can view the files with QuickTime. She has a laptop running Vista, and a just-downloaded version of Windows Live Movie Maker (which I'll call LMM for short). LMM shows an 'X' icon when she tries to add one of these files to it.

My machine runs Windows 7 Pro, and a slightly earlier build of LMM and has no problems editing video with these source files.

I assume she's missing a codec but what can I tell her? I've looked at the answer that mentions a QuickTime DirectShow Source Filter Plugin. It mentions only playback through WMP, not editing via LMM, but is that what she needs? I didn't have to load anything like that.

That project's now done (she punted and used iMovie on a Mac). But I did gain another clue. She could play a 720p .MOV file, but these were 1920x1080 files.

  • Download and install mediainfo (mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en) or something comparable and open the MOVs with it. It'll be easier to start speculating with more specific info about the exact files. Also, is there any chance of your friend downloading/trying the "slightly earlier" version you're using to see whether it's something inherent in the version of the app or if it's actually a codec issue? – Uninspired Mar 14 '11 at 4:31
  • I can add that I've sent her some of my .mov files, from a Kodak Zi8, that I can edit in LMM and view in WMP, and they will not play on her machine. – royatl Mar 15 '11 at 4:31
  • @Uninspired: Thanks, I'll check her files with mediainfo and see what the problem might be, but since my own Zi8-made .mov files won't show on her machine, I expect her files are also HD .mov files. – royatl Mar 15 '11 at 4:33
  • I don't think native h.264 ability was added until Windows 7. I don't think that WMP will have the necessary codecs she needs right out of the box as she's running Vista. – Uninspired Mar 15 '11 at 5:24

Try downloading and installing the K-Lite Codec pack. That should install the codecs needed to play .mov files and import them into video editors.

I recommend downloading the pack from Ninite, though you can also get it through download.com and other download sites. You want the basic (free) pack.

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