“How do I convert an MP4 video file to WMV so I can use it in Windows Movie Maker?”
Dozens of free software apps and several commercial tools all use a similar core solution called FFMPEG to power video conversion. In most instances, you don’t need to purchase software to convert from MP4 to WMV, because the free solutions work great. Out of all the video conversion options using FFMPEG, the one I like best is WinFF, because it has a simple interface and keeps the confusing choices to a minimum, while offering the powerful option of converting as many files as you can throw at it in one batch.
After you download and install WinFF, you can convert your MP4 to WMV in a few quick steps.
1) Add your MP4 to the WinFF video conversion queue.
2) Choose Microsoft as the format to Convert to.
3) Choose WMV2 Generic as the Device Preset.
4) Click the Convert button.
At this point in the process, a black screen will appear as the file converts. When the conversion is finished, the bottom line of the black screen will read press any key to continue.
The reason for choosing the WMV2 Generic preset is it is the only one of the WMV presets that maintains the same dimensions as your input file. The Xbox 360, Zune, Power Point and WMV for Web use presets will also work but you may end up with a distorted file. For more advanced conversion, you can experiment with changing the video bitrate, aspect ratio, audio sample rate, and other parameters, but for basic conversion following the four steps above will get you a WMV file that should play virtually anywhere.
Note: This tutorial is based on using WinFF version 1.04. The software changes frequently. In older versions, you would choose WMV from the Convert To menu and then choose WMV2 from the Device Preset list.