How can I convert files to .wmv format with custom options?

A. Windows Movie Maker is an easy way to create .wmv-format videos. However, its fine-tuning options are quite limited. Instead, try using Windows Media Encoder, which you can download from in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

After you finish the download and installation, start the Windows Media Encoder software. You can choose from a number of wizards, but in this case, let’s say you want to convert a video to a format suitable for your Microsoft Zune player, which has a screen size of 320 x 240, the same as most Windows Mobile devices.

1. Select Custom Session from the wizard.
2. Change the source to File, and select the name of the video you want to convert.
3. Select the Output tab, clear the "Pull from encoder" box, select "Encode to file,” and enter the name of the new output file.
4. On the Compression tab, under Video, change the Destination to “File download,” and set Video to "DVD quality video (1 Mbps VBR)" and Audio to "CD Quality audio (CBR)."
5. On the Video Size tab, notice the gray area that shows the input format (e.g., 720x480). You want your new video to fit the 320x240 size. You could change this setting in the output resize area; however, this would stretch the output. Instead, divide the input format (e.g., 480/720 is a 2/3 ratio), then multiply the width of the target device by the fraction (e.g., 2/3) to get the desired height (e.g., 320x2/3 is 214, rounded up). So, set the desired width to 320 and the height to 214. Click Apply. Notice the change in the aspect ratio should be 1:1.00—in other words, no change.
6. You can now go back to the Compression tab, click Edit for the Destination, and select the Output Kbps tab to give more detail on the output format. For example, you can modify the video bit rate (1000K gives a good quality but larger file, whereas 500K would give you a smaller file).
7. Click the Start Encoding button. You can view the encoding process, and depending on the input file, you can watch the video in silence.

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