"An interface has too many methods to fire events from" Error in Windows Movie Maker: Difference Between MPEG-2 and DV-AVI Files & Why You Get This Error

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Why? Two Main Possibilities

Why am I getting error message “an interface has too many methods to fire events from” in Windows Movie Maker? My searching research shows two reasons users are looking for answers. They’re either:

  1. Trying to use an MPEG-2 video file in Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker and it won’t work… if that’s you, continue reading.
  2. Running a script on a server that has nothing to do with digital video files… this article isn’t for you… search some more.

The early versions of Movie Maker were made to edit Digital Video (DV-AVI) files. That’s why many to most MPEG-2 file imports fail. Let’s explore the differences between those file types to better understand what’s happening when you come across the error message.

It wasn’t until Movie Maker 6 in Vista, when Microsoft issued an MPEG-2 decoder as part of the operating system, that the file type was supported… and that’s only in the Home Premium and Ultimate versions. Movie Maker 6 in other versions of Vista continue to not have built-in support for MPEG-2 files.

What’s an MPEG-2 File?

MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, formed in 1988 to develop standards to put videos on discs. Their MPEG-1 standard was designed to make video CDs (VCDs). The desire for bigger, better video files on discs led to the MPEG-2 standard finalized in 1995, and the roll-out of DVDs. We know how much DVDs have captured the hearts and wallets of those who watch movies at home. The format was and continues to be hugely successful.

MPEG-2 files were made for disc distribution and local playing, not for consumer editing. But we want to do it anyways.

The spread of MPEG-2 didn’t stop with professionally produced DVDs… today you find them on many camcorders, those that record on min-DVDs and many of the hard drive models. Also, capture devices that record from TV often make MPEG-2 files. Topping those off are personal computers with their DVD burners and DVD making software. Consumers want, and have, lots of MPEG-2 files, and they want to use clips from them in their movie projects.

Note that MPEG-2 files can come with various file extensions such as: .mpeg, .mpg, .mod, .vob. To compound that, file extensions are hidden by default so you may not be seeing them. If you’re getting the error message, you’re using an MPEG-2 file.

So why the error?

To understand the error message we need to look a little deeper into the file type. MPEG-2 files are more highly compressed then DV-AVI files.

MPEG-2 are just too complex

They have full frames/images every so often. Between them the frame info is only the differences between one and the next. The decompression codec needs to know how to put the pieces back together. It’s too complex an issue for us to get into; suffice it to say for now that, if the pieces at the receiving end can’t be put back together exactly as needed, the process doesn’t work.

Think of it as the error message saying: ‘…. hey, there are too many pieces in this file for me to put it back together!’

What’s a DV-AVI File?

While DVDs with MPEG-2 files were being made by professionals, the first digital video camcorders for consumers used cassette tapes with Digital Video (DV) files recorded on them. These mini-DV and digital8 camcorders, when connected to a computer by a firewire (iLInk per Sony camcorder manuals) let Movie Maker import the files as DV-AVI.

Think of DV-AVI files as being a set of frames, with each frame having being a self-contained picture. Such files are large but much easier than MPEG-2 files to put together and edit. You can chop off the frames you don’t want and use the good stuff. Movie Maker loves them.

Why Does Movie Maker Use One Type and Not the Other?

When Movie Maker was first released, Microsoft didn’t provide an MPEG-2 decompressor (codec). They thought users could get them elsewhere, add them as needed, and Movie Maker would work with MPEG-2 files. The problem was they mostly didn’t.

Codecs that let Movie Maker work with MPEG-2 files were elusive, few and far between. Over time, the collective wisdom of users shifted from finding the codec to doing file conversions instead. It’s only in Vista’s Home Premium and Ultimate versions that a new Microsoft MPEG-2 codec is provided, and such files might work in Movie Maker version 6. My experience with Vista Ultimate is pretty good but not 100%, and I still recommend the tried and true file conversions to create DV-AVI files from MPEG-2 ones.

Bottom line: consider converting from MPEG-2 files to DV-AVI

This post is part of the series: An interface has too many methods to fire events from

How can it be that such a long phrase that expresses so little in meaning is by far the leading query term by those searching my personal website for help? This series of articles explains why it occurs and what you should do about it.

  1. “An interface has too many methods to fire events from” Error