UPDATE: Since writing this article, FlipShare has been updated and will no longer output WMV files. This method will only work for the version stated at the end of the article.

I recently bought a Flip UltraHD video camera. I love this camera. So many good things have already been written about the camera that it's not even worth reiterating those sentiments here. Suffice to say, it's a perfect fit for my life right now.

However, one thing that I was running into was that the videos it records are MP4 videos (using the H.264 video codec). This is normally fine if I want to upload the videos to YouTube or Facebook. In fact, it's perfectly suited for those uses (which is why it uses that format in the first place). But, sometimes I want to just poke around in Windows Movie Maker. Unfortunately, Windows Movie Maker 2.6 (the current version out there) doesn't support MP4 videos. The format Windows Movie Maker likes the most is Windows Media Video or WMV.

I did a lot of looking around online and there is a lot of information about this that is either confusing, outdated, or just wrong. First of all, I didn't want to do anything but use the tools I already had. I didn't want to download special converters or codecs or software. I just wanted to use Windows Movie Maker and FlipShare (the software for the Flip UltraHD). That's all.

I figured out two ways of using Flip UltraHD videos in Windows Movie Maker. One method works fine if you don't really care about the videos being HD and the other is if you still want the original HD quality of the video.

Here's the first method, if you don't care about keeping the videos HD:
  • In FlipShare, select the video or videos you want to convert to WMV.
  • Click on the Share menu.
  • Click on the Online menu.
  • Choose the Others... option.
  • In the window that pops up, make sure the Other option is checked and then click Next.
  • FlipShare will put these videos in a folder on your desktop, so pick a name for the folder that you won't forget.
  • Click the Go button.
  • When FlipShare is done converting the videos, it will let you know. In the window that pops up, you can either click the red X in the corner of the window, or you can click the Go button. The Go button will just take you to a web page telling you that the videos are done.
  • Go the folder on the desktop where the videos were created and you will see standard definition (i.e. not HD) 640x360 versions of your videos in the WMV format.
Here's the second method for converting your videos (one at a time) to WMV, but still keeping the HD quality (1280x720):
  • In FlipShare, select the video you want to convert to WMV.
  • Click on the Create menu.
  • Choose the Movie... option.
  • Click Next when the Arrange Your Items window pops up.
  • In the next screen, do not add a title or credits and just click Next.
  • In the next screen, do not add any music and just click Next.
  • Choose a name for your video and choose the FlipShare folder to put it in. (Note that the WMV file that gets created will not use this file name. Instead it will be named VID00007.WMV or whatever number is next in its list.)
  • Click the Create Movie button.
  • When the movie is done being converted, it will show up in your video list in FlipShare. At this point, you can either "Export" the video to another folder where you have your Windows Movie Maker video clips, or you can just import that VID00007.WMV file itself into Windows Movie Maker. It's up to you.
Keep in mind this was all done in FlipShare version 4.5.0.39816, so if you have an older version, you should probably upgrade. (Or if you have a newer version, don't be surprised if these steps don't match perfectly.)