Fix Audio Quality Issues in Windows Movie Maker 2.6


If you are experiencing low, degraded, or bad audio quality in the movies you created in Windows Movie Maker 2.6 (MM 2.6), check out possible solutions below.

The solutions are aimed at when you are adding audio to a movie such as adding soundtracks with wav and mp3 files. The quality of these input audio files may be high, but for some reason the output file (movie file you save) and the movie preview (storyboard or timeline) in MM has worse audio quality than the audio files you used for the soundtrack of the movie.

Check existing codecs

Playback issues for movies are often related to codecs installed on your machine. Codecs are likely the cause of most sound input issues since MM may use different codecs for playback when the audio files are in your collections as supposed to when the audio file is now part of your soundtrack. Solving issues with codecs is difficult since everyone computer will have different ones installed and being used during the MM preview and playback. Possible solutions are:

  1. Observe if codec icons show up during movie playback or preview. Check the options for these codec icons.
  2. Change audio codecs: you could uninstall audio codecs being used and use the Window defaults or install new audio codecs.
  3. For advanced users, use a tool like G-Spot and check if you have the required codecs for an audio file installed.

Check Windows Movie Maker filters

In Windows Movie Maker, try going to “Tools > Options > Compatibility” and unchecking all the filters ending in .ax. It is possible these .ax filters are causing low audio quality in the movie preview and saving. This solution is common if you have installed a bunch of new codecs and filters. Also, if audio quality was fine before and now is low, it may be due to installation of new filters.

When saving the movie…

Check audio export settings during saving of movie

After you have completed your editing in MM and are ready to save your movie, look in “other settings” and select the appropriate audio settings. Note configuration of settings may work best with WMV output and may not solve problems with people saving to DV formats.

Convert soundtrack files to stereo or use alternative profiles when saving

Use alternative output file profiles (either the Windows Movie Maker defaults or custom profiles) within MM when saving the movie. Sometimes your audio may be configured to be mono only or stereo only which affects the soundtrack in the saved movie. WMV formats may allow more customization.

Audio file tuning

Here are possible solutions to common audio problems. They may not be useful if you really have codec issues, but can work if there are problems with the audio files used for your movie soundtrack.

  • If using MP3s, convert MP3s to wav. Use Audacity/TMPGEnc if you need to convert audio channels on sound files (e.g. mp3, wav) used in your soundtrack.
  • Play around with MP3 bitrate: e.g. if MP3 is at 256Khz, reduce it to 192Kbps @ 44.1kHz.

References

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3 thoughts on “Fix Audio Quality Issues in Windows Movie Maker 2.6

  1. hi! um..i am having problem right now with my WMM.. Whenever I import some audio ,the sound is still fine..Totally fine..
    but when I’ll drag it in the Timeline the sound change.. It sounds like hell..
    I don’t know what to do..Please help me out! I need to make a video right now…

  2. Hi Elaine, you had the exact same problem I had!

    For me, this step worked:
    In Windows Movie Maker, try going to “Tools > Options > Compatibility” and unchecking all the filters ending in .ax. It is possible these .ax filters are causing low audio quality in the movie preview and saving. This solution is common if you have installed a bunch of new codecs and filters. Also, if audio quality was fine before and now is low, it may be due to installation of new filters.

    Have any of the steps I mentioned here http://www.collage6.com/2010/12/17/solving-audio-issues-in-windows-movie-maker-2-6/ helped?

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