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Part: IV Output > Outputting Digital Files - Pg. 314

314 Chapter 16. Outputting Digital Files Outputting your video project is like putting a cake in the oven; it's an obviously critical stage, but most of the hard work occurs beforehand. Similarly, most of the video production work occurs before final output, when you trim and arrange your clips and add transitions, effects, and titles. During output, your only decision is to choose a format and data rate and let Microsoft Windows Movie Maker bake the cake. Fortunately, Movie Maker makes the format and data rate decisions quite simple, with wizards di- recting most activities. The only potential complexity lies in all the technical terms surrounding out- put, such as resolution, data rate, format, and compression. For definitions of these and other terms, as well as a good overview of the rendering process, return to the FAQ at the beginning of Chapter 3. This chapter discusses how to create digital files for viewing on your computer, as well as how to burn them to a CD-R, send them via e-mail, and post them to a Web site. To upload video back to your camcorder, see Chapter 15. For an introduction to DVD authoring technologies, see Appendix A, which discusses MyDVD, a simple, consumer-oriented DVD authoring product. Supported Formats and Output Options Movie Maker supports two formats (see Chapter 3 for the details). Here's a quick refresher. One format is Audio/Video Interleave, or AVI. Specifically, Movie Maker produces an AVI file using the DV codec, which is the same compression technology used in DV camcorders. As discussed later in this chapter, in "Rendering for Additional Production," this format is primarily used to create high-quality files to re-input into Movie Maker for additional editing or to import into a DVD authoring program. The other format Movie Maker produces is Windows Media Video, or WMV, which is useful for creating video for a wide range of purposes: everything from posting to a Web site and sending via e-mail to burning to CD and watching from your desktop. WMV is a flexible, robust format that should meet virtually all of your playback needs. Movie Maker can't produce the MPEG-2 files necessary for DVD production and has no DVD au- thoring capabilities for producing DVDs with menus. Nor can it output MPEG-1 files or produce a Video CD or Super Video CD disc for playback on Video CD players and some DVD players. Rather, to produce a DVD, Super Video CD, or Video CD disc, you'll need a product like MyDVD that can accept files produced by Movie Maker (see Appendix A for an overview of MyDVD). Similarly, Movie Maker cannot produce MPEG-4, DivX, or QuickTime files. Apple's QuickTime Pro, available at, is an inexpensive tool for MPEG-4 and QuickTime files. To find the latest, greatest DivX encoding tool, surf on over to