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Convert Windows Live Movie Maker to Windows DVD Maker (approximately)

What does this menu choice from Windows Live Movie Maker look like to you:


Well, to my wife, it looked like Windows Live Movie Maker could make DVD’s. I don’t blame her. I mean, the thing has “Movie Maker” in its name—and it has a “Burn a DVD” menu option. She spent about an hour putting together a slideshow for her grandmother using Windows Live Movie Maker.

Except Windows Live Movie Maker isn’t the same thing as Windows DVD Maker. How ever would you confuse the two. Windows Live Movie Maker can’t make DVD’s—at least not the kind that you play in a DVD player. It can, however burn a movie file (windows media video file) to a DVD—which is playable on a computer, but not on a DVD player. So, it lets you do things that you probably would just use a flash file for.

I had to figure out how to get all her pictures into DVD maker. The one great thing about Microsoft is that they’ve embraced XML file formats—everywhere. So, all these programs read and write XML. I wrote a small Python program to translate (approximately) from Windows Live Movie Maker to Windows DVD Maker. It’s in Python 3.1:


import xml.etree.ElementTree as etree

tree = etree.parse(‘D:/Users/Poojan/Documents/My Movie.wlmp’)
outfile = open(‘D:/Users/Poojan/Videos/2010-12-28 For Grandma.xml’, ‘w’)

root = tree.getroot()
media_items_roots = root.findall(‘MediaItems’)

for m in media_items_roots:
media_items = m.findall(‘MediaItem’)
media_items.sort(key=lambda m: int(m.attrib[‘id’]))
for media_item in media_items:

outfile.write(‘<ContentFile Filename=”{0}”/>’.format(media_item.attrib[‘filePath’]))

outfile.write(‘</Content><Title>12/28/2010</Title><Style>Soft Focus</Style><Font Name=”Segoe UI” Color=”0xFFFFFDA4″ Bold=”1″ Italic=”0″/><Button Play=”Play” Scenes=”Scenes” Notes=”Notes”/><Notes></Notes><InsetVideo></InsetVideo><BackgroundVideo></BackgroundVideo><MenuAudio></MenuAudio><SceneButtonName>Circle</SceneButtonName><SlideShow Transition=”Cross fade” PanZoom=”1″ MatchMusic=”0″ Length=”7.000000″/></BurnWizard>’)



One thing you should be aware of is that WLMM supports .mov files (quicktime movies), but Windows DVD Maker does not. In fact, Windows DVD Maker will fail–but only after going through the process of trying to transcode all your files to DVD format. If the .mov files are at the end of your slideshow (which was my case), you’ll watch patiently for a long time, and then be dissapointed.

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