Editing DVD Camcorder Files

Rosa writes, "Students recorded a movie project at home with camera using a DVD as a recording. Now they want to edit at school in Windows Movie Maker. They cannot import their movie to Movie Maker."

There's no guaranteed method for importing DVD camcorder movies into the Windows XP version Windows Movie Maker and editing them. Windows XP doesn't include the required DVD decoder software by default. Many of the consumer DVD software solutions available don't consistently work with every camcorder because some of the software packages don't include both the necessary video and audio decoders. The most reliable solution I've found for editing the files created with DVD camcorders in Windows Movie Maker is Elecard MPEG Player. Even if you already have another DVD playback solution on the computer, this method may fail without installing the Elecard software.

Before you begin, download Elecard MPEG Player and install it. You may need to reboot your computer to make sure Windows Movie Maker can access the necessary video and audio decoders.

Preparing to Edit DVD Camcorder Files

Either insert the finalized DVD from the camcorder in the computer's DVD drive or connect the camcorder to the computer with a USB cable. Copy the finalized .VOB files from the camcorder DVD to the hard drive.

After copying the .VOB files to the computer, rename the .VOB files to .MPEG. For instance, if the original file name was VTS_01_1.VOB, it should now be VTS_01_1.MPEG or VTS_01_1.mpeg.

Importing MPEG Files into Windows Movie Maker

After renaming the DVD camcorder file from .VOB to .MPEG, you can import it into Windows Movie Maker just like you would any other video clip by choosing File > Import Into Collections.

While I can't guarantee this method will work for every DVD camcorder file, it should work in most cases.

Additional Tip: If your DVD camcorder movie was shot with a 16:9 aspect ratio, you can change the project preferences from 4:3 to 16:9 from the menu at Tools > Options > Preferences.

If you have the budget to purchase additional video editing software, I strongly recommend Easy Media Creator as the best solution for editing DVD Camcorder files.