Editing a song with video and Movie Maker


I come with hat in hand to ask the geniuses on this forum for their kind and understanding help.

I have no budget and I’ve come to realize Audacity is the gold standard for the highest quality of donated programs which does such remarkable work for which I’m so grateful. It has saved my music collection.

I recorded a 50 second (or so) video on a cheap point-and-shoot digital camera while that feature still worked on the camera. It no longer records video although it still take still photos.

I migrated the video to my PC running XP Pro (SP3) and with Windows built-in Movie Maker version 2.1.4028.0 (not LIVE Windows Movie Maker) I was able to create opening and closing credits and include a commercial song I legally own into the entire video project.

The song is longer than the video + opening and closing credits all combined.

I’ve struggled for over 6 months trying to figure out how to edit the song down in Movie Maker. It’s not for the faint of heart and most people don’t know how to do that.

I wanted to keep the opening and closing of the song/music intact but remove as much as the middle of the song so the audio fits the video but without the awkward editing where it sounds like you’ve just cut off lyrics and then patched it back together.

I don’t need any part of the lyrics to fit the video (sync?). I just need the song edited down so it fits the video length retaining the opening and closing lyrics/music and without it sounding awkwardly edited.

I’m not really sure how to approach this.

I understand this is not what Audacity was designed for but it’s my only option as Windows Movie Maker is not as easy as everyone alludes to.

Thank you so very much for all your kind help and suggestions.

Audacity Team does not make Movie Maker and does not offer support for it.

Microsoft offers support for Movie Maker.

You can visit Redirecting , click “Participate”, then in the list that drops down click “Ask a Question”, then sign in with or create a Microsoft account.

If they don’t have knowledge there of Movie Maker 2, you could ask here: http://www.xpforums.com/ .

If you don’t require synchronisation of audio and video then you could perhaps use Effect > Change Speed… or a Nyquist Prompt script to speed up the audio in Audacity so that it matches the length of the video.

If that idea interests you please tell us the exact length of the video and the exact length of the current audio (in hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds).


Hi Gale,

Thank you ever so much.

Speeding up the audio does very much appeal to me.

The video is approximately 34:78 seconds long with the opening credits followed by the video and then the closing credits.

The song is 2 minutes 7 seconds.

Thank you again for all your help.

I wanted to keep the opening and closing of the song/music intact but remove as much as the middle of the song so the audio fits the video but without the awkward editing where it sounds like you’ve just cut off lyrics and then patched it back together.

The trick is to line-up the beats and then crossfade where the two parts join together. i.e. Fade-out the first part, fade-in the 2nd part, and overlap.

This is the same concept as a video crossface transition… In fact, most video editors will crossfade the audio when you apply a video transiston.)

It’s going to take some trial-and-error, and you may not be able to make a perfectly undetectable splice. I’d start with a short crossface (a few milliseconds), but the length of one “beat” (probably about 200ms) may work better, or you might get a better “blend” with an overlap of 1 second or more.

Remember that any overlap will shorten the track. So, if you make a long crossfade you’ll have to make one or both parts a little longer.

Since Audacity can’t save an audio/video file, you’ll still need Movie Maker (or some video editing program) to re-combine the audio & video. I’ve never used Movie Maker but most video editors can do that.


I’ve edited audio & video seperately several times. Usually, the trick is to NOT do any edits that change the timing/length that mess-up the sync, but you’re not worried about that.

How do you do a cross-fade in Audacity?

I imagine you choose a certain point where you wan to start the fade out and place the cursor there?

Then, somehow find a Fade out button?

Then play the song until you reach the point you want to Fade in and place the cursor at that point and find a Fade in button?

Then, choose Export Selection and save that as a separate file?

Thanks so much!

You need to play with the video and make it play longer by adding transitions, pictures, black frames, in and out frames, text, anything tricky that comes from your mind then you can adjust the playing time.
Movie Maker could do this but I would suggest a much better free alternative.
VideoPad, look at this forum link at the bottom of the page there is the recommendation by the admin for the free version: http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/319942-Urgent-Question-about-Videopad!

True. It’s much easier to mess with a video track to match the audio.

The video is approximately 34:78 seconds long with the opening credits followed by the video and then the closing credits.
The song is 2 minutes 7 seconds.

So your video is 93 seconds short. For this show you would be shooting probably fifteen minutes or more of raw footage to have enough to cut down to two minutes. The seven seconds you can probably fudge in post with the speed controls.

A lot of moviemaking magic is bookkeeping and one of the most serious chores is making the sound come out right. For those with enormous budgets, you hire the band or orchestra to compose and record a 34 second version of their song.

That’s too much of a timing spread to do it with simple editing — even with crossfades and other tricks. You have to match rhythm, phrasing, pitch and metre or it’s always going to sound like there’s something wrong, particularly if it’s a popular song. If it’s a vocal or if people try to sing or hum along, you’re dead. It’s the music’s job to support the video, not to attract attention on its own.


The difference in length between video and song is too extreme to speed up the song.

If you want to shorten the song (making it roughly the first 17 seconds and the last 17 seconds) rather than extend the video, I suggest you export a WAV version of the song then upload the WAV to one of these sites:


Then give us the web address where we can download the WAV and tell us what format and bit rate the shortened song should be.


Hi All,

I had a distinct feeling sound was going to be my greatest hurdle in this project.

Audino - Thank you so much for for sharing VideoPad. I knew nothing about it until your post.
Have you enjoyed a good support forum for VideoPad?

Once I’ve finished this small project I will definitely check out VideoPad. Thank you again!

Koz - I certainly appreciate your comments and experience. Sound, like writing, should complement your film/video not lure the spotlight. This is not a commercial project so I’m just trying to “make it work.”

Gale - I have the audio in .wav which is the format I import into Movie Maker. I’m not quite sure what the bit rate is or should be? How can I determine that?

Once determined, I can then upload for your listening pleasure! :slight_smile:

Thank you all so very much again!

That should be OK, just upload it. If it’s other than PCM uncompressed we’ll let you know. We’ll give you the shortened version in 16-bit PCM WAV.



Thank you so very much!

Could we use http://www.hightail.com/?

I can load the .wav file there.

You can use wherever you like as long as we don’t have to log in or start trials to retrieve the file.

Otherwise http://free.mailbigfile.com/ is simple to use for sender and receiver.


Hi Gale,

http://free.mailbigfile.com/ seems to want an e-mail address to send the file to?

What would you like me to enter?

Thank you!

I never used their forums but I already did my research long time ago and found out VideoPad to be absolutely the top (if not the only) alternative (the free version) to Windows Movie Maker so if you know ho to use the Microsoft one, there shouldn’t be any problem by using the latter, its main advantages are more input/output choices, more effects, transitions etc. etc…
With this program you could load Virtualdub filters but I’m not sure if this option is available to the free version of Videopad though it has so many features so you can already do a professional job!
Just start playing with it and see how it goes.

Please see my Private Message. You can enter your own address. What we need is the web address of the file posted here. I’m not going to fix your file for you unless I’m the only one prepared to do it. :wink:



I didn’t realize you could just use your own e-mail addresses to send/receive so thank you for sharing that trick!

I believe this is the link … http://mbf.me/IWYLic

Thank you so much for all your help.

Hi Audino,

I’m a complete newbie to video editing so I’m trying to teach myself as much as possible and started with Movie Maker because it was free (with XP) and easier to learn. I looked at Lightworks which is also free but that program presumes you have expedience and are familiar with the nomenclature of video editing so, at least for me, there is a steep learning curve.

Once Gale kindly helps me with now my finals steps in the aduio, I then plan on trying VideoPad.

I’m not familiar with Virtualdub? Is that another sound editing program like Audacity?

Thank you again for all your help and insight.

I’d probably just use a slow fade out at the appropriate point, and toward the end of the fade out, fade in the actual video soundtrack. Exactly where and how long to fade for is a matter of taste, but this is the sort of thing I’d aim for. (Using Audacity, the fade out was accomplished using the “Professional Fade” effect, which is below the divider in the Effect menu. The Fade-in was just a standard “Fade In” from the main Effect menu. The voice track was from a post to this forum.)

I don’t know if I’m missing the point, but I thought there was no video soundtrack, and that the idea was to trim the Cline song to 34.78 seconds to fit the video by removing all but the start and end then fading the start into the end.



You’re exactly correct.

There is no video soundtrack just music to be trimmed to fit the video.

My apologies to all if I was inadvertently unclear about that.

Thank you for helping me to be as clear as possible.