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Windows 7: How to manage photos, videos & media

Get more from Windows' new multimedia features

The methods for photo and video importing, editing, and exporting have been all updated in Windows 7. We look at how to get started with these and other entertainment features of Windows 7.

Get Windows Live Essentials

Windows 7's standard installation omits some previously bundled Windows software, including Photo Gallery and Movie Maker, but you can still download these apps at the Windows Live Essentials download page.

Click Download on the right side, and save and run the file. In the installer, mark the checkbox for each piece of software you want to add. If you're on the prowl for useful multimedia options, check Photo Gallery, Movie Maker Beta, and Silverlight.

Click Install, and after several minutes, okay the final prompts to exit the installation. (I skipped changing my default home page and other needy-relationship-style requests.)

You can sign up for a Windows Live ID if you wish, or just click Close. Windows 7 uses the ID to share photos and other media online - and you'll want one for streaming files over the internet - but it's not required for most application features.

Import pictures and video into Windows Live Photo Gallery

The procedure for importing images or video in Windows 7 is straightforward: Launch Windows Live Photo Gallery, and introduce your image source (by plugging in a camera, inserting a Flash card, loading a disc of pictures, or whatever). Choose File, Import from camera or scanner. Select the image source, and click Import.

The import option lets you pick items individually and even group them by date and time if you wish. The Adjust groups slider at the bottom of the screen lets you divide several photo (or video) sessions in one day by reducing the amount of time allotted to a single group.

As a result, if you shot vacation photos at a cathedral in the morning, took a break at lunch, and then resumed snapping later, you can import the two series of photos separately.

Use these groupings to your advantage. Click Next and then click Add tags next to any of the groups. Enter a few keywords from that particular photo session, separating them with semicolons. Click Import.

If you shot RAW files, the program may prompt you to download and install an additional codec. I had to go through that process to accommodate photos from my digital SLR camera; but once you've installed the extra piece of software, Windows 7 can display the higher-end RAW files in the same manner as it does JPEGs.

Home entertainment advice

NEXT PAGE: Publish a Photo Gallery online

  1. We show you how to get more out of Windows 7's new multimedia features
  2. Get Windows Live Essentials
  3. Publish a Photo Gallery online
  4. Import photos and videos into Windows Live Movie Maker
  5. Publish movies to YouTube
  6. Control media streaming on your local network
  7. Activate Windows Media Player lightweight playback mode

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