The utility shows most of the settings... if
you're not intimidated by reading the rest of the story, open the file
One of the more interesting profiles is shown at the right... a
WinSAT test profile from my Vista system. It's for a Hi-def video
sized at 1920x1080, 24fps, with no audio.
Movie Maker only works with profiles that have both audio and
video tracks, so this one won't work in it. I just copied it to the MM2.1
profiles folder and checked... it's not in the list. To prevent trying to use
one that won't work, it's simply not included in the list.
To use this profile in Movie Maker, check the audio option
in the profile, save the change, and it'll then show up as a usable
profile in MM2.1. We just took a HiDef profile from the Vista environment,
made a minor tweak, and used it on an XP system... profiles are
The name you see in the first field of the utility...
WinSAT Test Profile... is the name in the dropdown pick list in the app
that uses it.
Before getting into the subject deeper, here are...
Sticky Note for a few more weeks... Making
Movies with Vista! a six page article in the Spring
2007 Special Edition of MaximumPC, is on
bookstands now to May 29, 2007. Starting on page 78... the
article covers the movie making process from camcorder tape to
viewing on a standard video DVD.
Digital Camera Corner
I shot my first batch of RAW pictures with
the Nikon D40x 10.2 megapixel SLR camera... saving
each to two images, a JPG image in addition to the RAW one. I didn't
notice any difference when doing the shooting. The time between shots seemed
about the same as when shooting only to JPG images.
I've installed the software that came with the camera, and
the RAW codec, on my Vista system... and copied the pictures
from the camera card... nice shots... Bernadette, our local color expert,
is impressed with how well the images align with reality, and she hasn't
seen the RAW ones yet.
I'll run down the apps we're most interested
in... and make some comments about the profiles.
Windows Media 9 Encoder
I have two folders... setup from
the installation of the Windows Media 9 Encoder SDK. They contain the
settings for the built-in options when using the Encoder, and any
project-specific profiles your save.
The Profiles items include any saved ones for
Encoder sessions. One of mine is to use when capturing with my Dazzle80 device,
to a 640x480 video size.
The Settings files are either audio or video, not
usually both... and the video ones sometimes have multiple choices for target
bit rates. These multiple ones would be for streaming packages that sync with
the performance capabilities of the computer accessing them.
These make great study files. I copied one of them to the new Expression Encoder and it
worked fine rendering a video. As the new Encoder supports getting audio
and video settings from different profiles, they probably have more possible
usage there than they do in Movie Maker.
Movie Maker 2.1 in XP
About 18 built-in profiles
come with Movie Maker 2. The settings are all built into the program
so you can't copy them to use elsewhere. To look at the settings, you
need to be a bit less direct. Render movies from them and study the video
You can add optional extra profiles by making
a Movie Maker\Shared\Profiles folder and copying other profiles into it. Use
those from Vista, Expression, the Encoder, or make your own. My folder has 98
profiles in it.
We noted in the intro that, when Movie Maker won't
work with a profile, it'll ignore it and not put it in the drop down list of
options when saving a movie. That's not always the case.
There's a downloadable pack of 14 profiles to use with Expression
apps... when I copied them to the profiles folders of XP's MM2.1 and
Vista's MM6, Movie Maker ignored 10 of the 14. Maybe that's better than
the four it listed.
When opting to render a movie with any of
these, the process seemed to start but the progress meter sat forever
at 0% and there was no indication of the rendering
These will be good to study... why are
they listed by Movie Maker, and why won't they work?
Note the first page of the profile shows the NTSC
option checked, with the option for 'Custom' grayed out. Page 2 of the window
shows the frame rate at 15 fps.
Movie Maker 6 in Vista
MM6 in Vista comes with fewer profiles than MM2 in XP... and about
half of them to produce newer High Definition videos.
As in XP, you can create a Movie Maker\Shared\Profiles folder and
use custom profiles or those from other places. Copies of my custom
profiles from MM2.1 work in Vista, so I can continue doing things as
Photo Story 3 running on XP or Vista
It works the same on either XP or Vista. The standard set of profiles
are in the open as .prx files in the Profiles\1033 subfolder, the same
folder that you use to add custom ones.
Photo Story profiles are unique in that...
- they must use the Windows Media Video 9.1 Image codec, one that can't
be used by Movie Maker, the Expression Media Encoder, or other apps
- video codecs used by Movie Maker and other apps can't be used by
The profiles included with Photo Story 3 are all standard 4:3 aspect
ratio. Custom profiles are needed to make widescreen stories.
This week I got a request to help make one for a 9:16 ratio... the
other side of squareness, tall and thin. It worked fine.
In addition to using a custom profile for anything other than 4:3,
the pictures need to be appropriately distorted before importing into
PS3 because it doesn't have a setting to toggle between standard and widescreen
as Movie Maker has.
Expression Media Encoder
14 profiles are included in the in the Encoder... beyond those,
you can add extra profiles to the Profiles sub-folder.
I copied two YouTube profiles from my Movie
Maker profiles folder, and they show up in the Encoder list and work
Movie Maker, you get to select video/audio from one profile.
In the Encoder, something neat is your ability
to select the video settings from one profile and the audio settings from a
If you copy a profile to the Encoder folder that it
won't work with, it'll show up in the list and you can select it....
but you'll get this status when you start the encoding...
I put a PS3 profile in the folder to force this
It's not really a 'bad profile'... more a 'bad
user' trying to do something I shouldn't.
Saving a New Profile
Getting into the advanced profile settings is the
key to making changes and saving them as a new profile.
See the picture below... I've circled and pointed
to the little keyhole to press, which expands or contracts the expanded settings
window. Remembering where things like this are is one of the reasons I write
newsletters, so I can look it up when I forget how to get to such
Where is the new profile saved by default? I found
Settings\PapaJohn\Expression\Expression Media Encoder\Profiles\PapaJohn Test
Will such a profile work in Movie Maker? I
copied it to the MM2.1 profile folder to see. Yes, it does and the saved
movie looked good.
We've seen the Expression Media Encoder with its 14
built-in profiles... in .exe or .dll files, not readily available for studying
or using in other places... but there's another way to
On Microsoft's Silverlight website, there's a downloadable set of 14
in a zipped file (use the link in the Downloads section at
the right of the website page)...
The package has files with the same names as those in the
Encoder, so they make a good study group... as the newest set of
profiles to come along... made for Expression and the online Silverlight
One is for videos heading to a Zune
Another is an interesting 'Motion Thumbnail' profile,
160x120 pixels at 15 fps. We've seen that one above, the one that hung
Movie Maker in XP and Vista.
Those that say VC-1 in their names use the Windows Media
Video 9 Advance Profile codec. The others use the Windows Media Video 9
Copy this pack to the Expression Media Encoder profiles
folder and they'll all show up and be usable. But you don't need them as they're
the same set hard-coded into the app.
Beyond the Microsoft apps, other software can use the same or
other profiles... here's one of interest, the Camtasia app used by many to
do screen captures.
The video codec used by Camtasia is the Windows Media Video 9
Screen one, as you can see in one of the profiles it uses. That's the same
codec used by the Windows Media 9 Encoder when it does screen captures.
Similar to the Image codec used by Photo Story 3, the Screen
codec is used by few apps.
Closing... and What's Next?
With the Profile Editor and Notepad, you have the tools to
study and tweak the profiles. Make a set of backup files if you decide to
Profiles and custom profiles (.prx files) are here for the
long run. If you haven't used a custom one yet, or copied a profile from app to
use in another, you probably will as you continue doing
When is a custom or different profile needed or desired?
they are needed in Photo Story 3 to make a widescreen story,
or any other shape different than standard 4:3 aspect ratio. I helped
someone this week make one for a 9:16 ratio.
Movie Maker in Vista provides a more streamlined set of
profiles than MM2, half of them to render high definition video
files. To continue using the settings you are used to in
XP, custom profiles may be needed.
the new Expression Media Encoder can use custom profiles...
or create new ones.
Next week is issue #150, which I score as the 3rd annual anniversary
one... looking back on my set of issued newsletters, I see that the one was
published May 15, 2004... that's 50
Have a great week and enjoy your video work...