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Windows Live Movie Maker Review

To make a good video, you need good editing software. Though sometimes that software may cost you a pretty penny, so there are times where you will want to opt for some free versions. Windows Live Movie Maker happens to be one of those free versions of video editing software. Is it worth downloading?

Keep in mind that Windows Live Movie Maker is an editing software ONLY. It cannot record footage off of your computer. First, use different software to record the footage, then either send it directly to Movie Maker or save the file and open it up in Movie Maker. You can also load in static images, and you can change the time in which the image stays up.

Once you’ve loaded in any necessary videos or images, editing them is pretty simple. And I mean simple. Tools-wise, you get the bare minimum needed to adjust the length of your video, add music, and add credits. You won’t be doing any fancy editing with this program.
Here is a screenshot of me editing an episode of my Youtube channel, Antio Plays.

 

MovieMaker4

As you can see from this screenshot, Windows Live Movie Maker supplies you with five tabs: Home, Animations, Visual Effects, Project, and View.

 

MovieMakerToolbar2

 

The Home tab is where the meat of the editing will be done. I lets you cut/copy/paste parts of the video, and you can add music and images from your documents folder from here, too. They work as expected, except my only gripe with adding pictures is where they’re added. Say I’ve got a long video, and I want to add an image to the beginning. When I open up an image to add it, the image gets dropped right smack at the end of the video, and it won’t let me cut/paste it to the top. I have to manually click and drag that sucker to the very top of my video as the screen scrolls up very, very slowly. It’s hard to explain, but to put it simply, it’s a pain putting images in the front of your video. I found that a way around this is to cut a sliver from your video, click on that section, and add the image there. Then you can easily click and drag the image over to the top, no hassle. Yes, it isn’t the end of the world that I have to do this, but it is pretty annoying.

The last thing on the Home tab is Theme, which to be honest I didn’t really mess around with that much. They let you put an opening title or credit to the beginning of your video in a fancy way. I didn’t feel a need to use them because of the next tab – Animations.

If you’re making a video with multiple segments, then you’ll want to put some transitions in them. This is what Animations is for. You can choose a wipe, fade, or open, among others. To place it, all you have to do is click on the segment you want, and choose the desired transition. Pretty simple. You can also change the duration of the animation if you wish.

The next tab is a bit similar, Visual Effects. Unlike Animations, this tab lets you choose a filter to last throughout the entire segment. You can make your video black and white, fuzzy, fade out, etc. It works the same as with Animations. Click on the segment and choose the filter. The filters provided are really simple, but it isn’t too bad for free software.

The next two tabs are Project and View. Project lets you line up the music with the video, of fit the screen to your liking. View is pretty self-explanatory. It lets you zoom in or out of your video.

The last part of the toolbar is the Edit tab. There are separate Edit tabs for music, video, and text (captions), depending on which one is selected at the moment. Fundamentally, they are all the same. It lets you choose the speed of which the media fades in or out, or lets you decide the volume of the video/music. You can change the duration of the selected media and at what part of the video it starts. For video and music, this is where the trim/split tool is located for simple edits. Caption edit allows you to also choose how the text enters the screen. You can also change the font, color, and duration of the text, as expected. All of these features are simple and easy to use, and they are very accessible to someone who is inexperienced with video editing software. My only complaint is that you can’t stack captions, such as putting on a caption, and keeping that one up while adding another one on the screen. Mover Maker only allows you to put up one caption at a time, which I found disappointing.

Once you have finished editing your video, you can head over to the File tab to save it, post it directly to social media, or render it for high-definition display. Rendering the video will vary in time, depending on the length of it. I’ve found that 20-30 minute videos will take between half an hour to a full hour to render.

In summary, Windows Live Movie Maker is a very simplistic, yet useful free video editing software. It is best used as an introductory to video editing. The tools given are the bare minimum needed to make a video, but as a result aren’t too hard to grasp. Using it over time, you will learn what certain edits do and can develop your own editing style to use in more advanced software. I don’t use Windows Live Movie Maker anymore, but I can say that when I did, it showed me what the fundamentals to making a video are so I could learn more complicated techniques down the line. If you’re itching to make flashy videos, Windows Live Movie Maker will disappoint you. If you just want a free way to edit videos on the fly, then you’ll find that Movie Maker does the job.

Windows Live Movie Maker is part of Windows Essentials 2012, which includes Windows Live Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, Messenger, Writer, and OneDrive.

TFSS-12 – Swaggable Review

A review of a popular free product sample site. Plus, a free six-inch sub and a free inspirational e-book.

Teaser :00

Intro :10

Show Sponsor 1:25
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Discussion Topic 1:46
We review a web site and community called Swaggable that offers free product samples for review. We’ll tell you how it works, what we’ve received so far and what we think of it overall. Watch our video review of a free product sample from Swaggable called Bil-Jac Super Premium Dog Food.

Free 6-inch Sub from Subway 17:42

Free eBook – Take This Life and Love It! 18:57

Wrap up and Close 20:59
Comments, questions or suggestions? Do you know of some freebies to share? send them in to comments[at]thefreestuffshow.com. Or submit them to our web site at thefreestuffshow.com! Like our show? Take our Audience Survey!

©2016 Savoia Media. All rights reserved.

Hemp Pro 70 Chocolate Review

Hemp Pro 70

Hemp Pro 70

When I got a free sample of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 in the mail, I was pretty excited. Free chocolate mix? What could be better? After I tried it, all I could think of was that I now know just why they were giving it away for free. It’s not worth spending money on. Actually, I wouldn’t even drink it again if I was paid to drink it.

Ok, let’s start with what it says on the packaging. It says on the back to “put in a tasty drink, mix, and enjoy!” If you read the first paragraph of this review, we both already know that there won’t be any enjoying here.
The instructions say:

  • 4 tbsp. of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 Chocolate (the mix)
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favorite original non-dairy or dairy beverage
  • Combine in shaker cup. Shake well. Serve.

Now, for this review, I used milk, since the package did say “your favorite non-dairy or dairy beverage”. Maybe it just doesn’t mix well with milk or something, because I did the exact instructions on the box. I added into a thermos and shook well. Keep in mind that 4 tablespoons of Hemp Pro is basically the whole package, which apparently serves 2-3 people and shouldn’t be a challenge to make. The real challenge is finding 1-2 people who would be willing to drink this stuff with you.

When I tasted it, I was surprised to find that the drink didn’t taste anything at all like chocolate. Sure there was a hint of it there, but otherwise it just made my milk somehow thinner, don’t ask me how. It was like drinking one of those Kool-Aid packages you put in water, except it wasn’t water, tasted worse, and didn’t even have a fun mascot on the packaging. I ended up finishing it not because I wanted to, but because I had nothing else in the house to drink.

In short, I would not recommend Hemp Pro 70 Chocolate. It’s not enough to make you want to spit it out (though it depends on how high your level of tolerance is) but it really adds nothing worthwile to your drink. It’s not “BLECH” per say, but more of “meh”.

 

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories – 130
  • Total Fat – 3.5 g (5%)
  • Cholesterol – 0 mg (0%)
  • Sodium – 25 mg (1%)
  • Total Carbohydrate – 11 g (4%)
  • Protein – 14 g
  • Vitamin A – less than 1%
  • Vitamin C – 2%
  • Calcium – 3%
  • Iron – 21%

Ingredients

  • Hemp Protein Concentrate
  • Organic Coconut Sugar
  • Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Powder
  • Natural Plant Extracts

Then again, if you like Hemp, you may like this. If you want to try it for yourself, fill out this Free Sample Request Form. Note: this is not an affiliate link.

Oral-B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush Review

Oral B Pro 5000

Oral B Pro 5000

I was never a big fan of the electric toothbrush. I considered it an extravagance, one that made people who were too lazy to practice good oral hygene even lazier. I viewed it as just another unnecessary convenience that did little more than increase the budget on batteries or add to the electric bill. Besides, all of the ones I tried were considerably bulkier and heavier than a standard, hand powered model and usually had a heavy duty price tag to match. Most of them offered some good vibrations, but when it came to brushing, they didn’t seem to really clean as well as I could do it manually. Or so I thought.

Recently, Oral B offered me an opportunity to try theirs, a premium priced electric toothbrush called the Pro 5000. Since they offered to send me a unit free for my honest review, I accepted. After all, it was free, and you can’t beat free.  So, after over a decade of brushing my teeth by hand, I decided to give the electric toothbrush another try.

I was very pleasantly surprised.

The toothbrush I received was the Oral B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth. First, of all, this is not one of those battery powered toothbrushes you can get at WalMart for under $10. I shopped around and discovered the median retail price for Pro 5000 averaged from $140 to $160. This is definitely a high end product, and it shows in the results. More on that later.

Second, it isn’t just battery operated, it’s rechargeable, which means that it’s a lot more cost effective to operate in the long run and more environmentally friendly, since I don’t have to constantly replace alkalines as I do in the $10 “disposable” battery operated toothbrushes my wife and kids use. According to the manual, the Pro 5000 can last up to ten days of brushing on a single full charge, based on use twice a day for two minutes each session. Since it automatically recharges as soon as I set it back on its charging base after brushing, I can’t verify the claim, but the sealed NiMH rechargeable battery does seem to maintain ample power during my cleaning sessions, so I have no reason to dispute it, either.

Finally, this toothbrush is different because it is equipped with Bluetooth® technology. Think about it for a moment. It’s a toothbrush with Bluetooth. Aside from the obvious association to the word tooth, the first thought that comes to mind is, well, that sounds really cool. And it really does seem cool, for about a minute or two. Then a second thought emerges. Why?

Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s because it isn’t just a toothbrush. It’s essentially a toothbrush system. This electric toothbrush is only half of the brushing experience. The other half is a smartphone. More specifically, a smartphone with an Oral B toothbrush app.

Yes, I said an app. It’s an app for brushing your teeth. Believe it or not, there really is an app for that. When paired with a smartphone running this app, the Pro 5000 uses its built-in Bluetooth to connect to the smartphone and communicate with the app to help you manage your tooth brushing session.

No, really.

More on that later. First, let’s talk about the toothbrush itself. This is a well designed, solidly constructed device. The handle is comfortable and easy to hold without being too heavy. It’s also waterproof, which should be a given, since it is, after all, a toothbrush. Since it is waterproof, the battery is completely sealed, which means that once the battery has reached its end-of-life, so has the handle, and the entire thing gets tossed. However, it should provide at least a few years of service before that happens, and considering Oral B gives the Pro 5000 2 year limited warranty leads me to think they expect it to last at least that long, so it’s somewhat encouraging.

The Pro 5000 is equipped with a Triple Pressure Sensor, which lights up an indicator on the handle to alert when you brush too hard. It lit up a lot the first time I used it, simply because I was attempting to apply the same amount of pressure I normally exerted when brushing manually for the last ten years. I’ve often heard that elbow grease doesn’t work when it comes to brushing your teeth, but I didn’t realize just how little is required to get the job done until I finally had a brush that told me so.

The Pro 5000 has five modes of operation. They include the following:

  • Daily Clean Mode – The standard mode for daily brushing
  • Deep Clean Mode – Allows an extra minute for extended brushing
  • Sensitive Mode – More gentle brushing for sensitive areas
  • Whitening Mode – for whitening or polishing teeth
  • Massage Mode – For gum massage

There is a brush head available for use in each mode (sold separately).

The Pro 5000 also includes a timer, which I think is its best feature. Let’s be honest, who actually brushes their teeth for a full two minutes each and every session? I didn’t. But now I do. Not only does the Pro 5000 time your session, it tell you how long to spend on each quadrant of your mouth. Every fifteen seconds it stutters and flashed a green light to mark 30 second intervals so you can move to the next quadrant. In Deep Clean Mode the time is extended to 45 seconds. At the end of 2 minutes in Daily Clean Mode (3 minutes in Deep Clean Mode) the Pro 5000 will stutter four times and the green light will flash on to indicate the end of the session. Of course, if you want to keep brushing, you can, but knowing human nature as I do, most of us probably will be satisfied when the session times out. All of the other features are nice, but idea of a built-in timer is definitely a winner for me.

I’ve only used the Pro 5000 in Daily Clean Mode, so to be fair, I really can’t comment on its performance as a teeth whitener. However, I can say with great satisfaction that I really like the way this toothbrush. The first time I used it, my mouth felt almost as fresh as it did after my last professional cleaning session from my dentist. And it feels that fresh every time. I really like this electric toothbrush.

Then there is the second part of this cleaning system, the Oral B app.

Oral B app

Oral B app

When I first saw it, I thought the entire concept of a toothbrush syncing up with a smartphone app to monitor brushing was just plain silly. However, since Oral B sent me a free Pro 5000 for my honest review, and to be completely fair and honest about it, I had to review the entire package, including the app. so I downloaded the app and gave it a try.

As with most smartphone apps, it was a pretty straightforward installation, and pairing the the device with the app was quick and easy. I had already used the toothbrush a couple of times before the install, so when I started them together for the first time, Pro 5000 immediately uploaded my previous brushing sessions to the app, which monitors and logs all brushing activity for review and offers guidance for improvement. The app features a graphic representation of a timer that syncs with the built-in timer on the toothbrush, Once the app is loaded, I can either start the timer by touching the start button on the screen of the app or just turn on the toothbrush and the timer on the app will start automatically. From that point the two are synced and data on my brushing session flows from brush to app in real time.

I must say that although I first thought it was silly, I was very impressed with the results. I had no idea how much data I could get from a toothbrush until I connect one to my smartphone. However, after about two sessions, it seemed silly again.

My wife thought it was silly, too, right from the start. She also had a concern. This app was collecting all this data about my brushing habits, presumably to evaluate them and help me brush better. What else was it doing with this data? Good question, and I didn’t have an answer. I still don’t, because I really don’t know. Probably nothing, but it is a cause for concern, because so many apps do phone home, and without the user’s knowledge. I am a bit wary though, especially since the app does have a live ticker on the bottom of the screen that displays news, weather, random photos and trivia facts in real time. Maybe it’s just something to read while I’m brushing my teeth. But it is unnecessary and seems a little weird. So far, there are no ads, unless I count the menu option in the app called Shop that is essentially a catalog of Oral B products and accessories. Ads or not, the app is just silly. It adds no real value to the package, in my opinion, and isn’t really needed. I think the Pro 5000 is a highly effective product on its own.

Aside from the app, the Pro 5000 is a solid product. It seems to be well made, it’s easy to operate, it cleans well. One more plus is the assortment of replacement brush heads available. It is compatible with the heads used for many other models of electric toothbrushes in the Oral B line, one for each cleaning mode on these models. The typical Oral B brush head is good for about three months of use, so one could expect to purchase a two pack about every six months. They are generally sold in two or three packs, and while somewhat pricey, they can be purchased at a substantial discount from places like WalMart and Amazon. While considerably more expensive than a disposable battery operated toothbrush, and certainly more than a manual $3 model, The Pro 5000 does seem to clean a whole lot better. It sure sold me.

Is it a good value for the price? The Pro 5000 retails for around $160, which does make it a rather pricey product for brushing your teeth. It does clean very well, so it is definitely a high quality toothbrush worth more than a typical electric toothbrush. However, The Bluetooth connectivity is unnecessary and frivolous, and the only reason to have Bluetooth technology in the brush at all is to connect to the Oral-B app, which is completely unnecessary and only serves to make the daily chore of dental hygene more involved and complicated than it really should be. There are other models of Oral-B toothbrushes in the series that do the same job without Bluetooth, and for considerably less. Unless you really, really want to micromanage your oral hygiene, Spending the extra money simply for Bluetooth in a toothbrush isn’t worth the price point.

In summary, I really like the Pro 5000. It certainly won me over, and I was formerly a staunch supporter of the good old manual toothbrush. The Pro 5000 cleans really well, and the built-in timer makes it a whole lot better. The Bluetooth technology is a nice idea, but isn’t needed on a toothbrush. The app is completely unnecessary. Unless you are totally bored with your life and need to be constantly entertained, don’t even bother with the app. I think it’s just dumb. The toothbrush itself, however, is very, very smart.

I think Oral B has a winner.

For a closer look at the Pro 5000, watch our Oral-B Pro 5000 Electric Toothbrush unboxing video!

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