June 29th, 2008Convert FLV to MPEG

Converting FLV files to another popular video format, MPEG, is just as easy as converting FLV to AVI. In fact, the steps are almost exactly the same, so I’ll only provide a shortened version of the tutorial here.

  1. Get Pazera.
  2. Launch the program and drag FLV file(s) to the converter window.
  3. Select the MPG button in the “Output file format” panel. Adjust any other conversion options, if you wish.
  4. Click “Convert” and wait while the FLV converter does its thing.

That’s it! Happy converting 🙂

June 27th, 2008How to play FLV files

Here are some free video players that can play FLV files (most of these are for Windows) :

  • VLC media player is my personal favorite. Aside from FLV it also supports a wide range of video formats and is one of the most reliable players I’ve ever used. Doesn’t require any external codecs.
  • FLV Player, an aptly named and simple to use freeware app.
  • Moveya FLV player – not bad, can make screenshots and play online videos.
  • Wimpy FLV player – the main selling point of this freeware player is that it supports both Windows and Mac.
  • nFLVPlayer (requires the Flash Player). Can play videos directly from the web.

On a related note, check out this tutorial to find out how to add FLV support to Windows Media Player.

There’s a number of ways you can convert FLV files to the AVI format on Linux. Most of them involve firing up the terminal and entering some cryptic commands (who would’ve guessed? :P)

  • The open source mencoder is one possibility. See this how-to for a simple usage example.
  • Another common solution is to use ffmpeg. Here’s an example :
    ffmpeg -i myvideo.flv -f avi -vcodec mpeg4 myvideo.avi
    Or, if you prefer the MPG format :
    ffmpeg -i myvideo.flv myvideo.mpg
  • Manolis Tzanidakis has written a bash script that simplifies the FLV2AVI encoding. The script uses mencoder.

Related : How to convert FLV to AVI on Windows

June 26th, 2008What is AVI?

In a nutshell, AVI is one of the most popular video file formats. But there’s more to it than might seem at the first look – AVI (or Audio Video Interleave),is actually a multimedia “container format”. AVI files can contain both audio and video data (multiple tracks supported) in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback. The audio/video can be encoded with a various diverse codecs and quality.

The AVI format was introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology. Most AVI files also use the file format extensions developed by the Matrox OpenDML group in February 1996. These files are supported by Microsoft, and are unofficially called “AVI 2.0”.

While the AVI format is very popular, it’s not the best format for large videos. When AVI is used to store video in popular MPEG-4 codecs (e.g. Xvid and DivX) the files turn out bloated and larger than necessary. Other container formats, like Ogg and MP4, are more efficient.

June 26th, 2008What is FLV?

So what does the “FLV” extension mean? FLV stands for “FLash Video”.

According to Wikipedia, Flash Video is a file format used to deliver video over the Internet using the Flash Player versions 6–10. Until version 9 of the player FLV was a proprietary format. However, the most recent public release of Flash Player also supports H.264 video and HE-AAC audio in the FLV file.
FLVs can also be embedded within SWF files.

You’ve probably seen the videos on YouTube – well, that’s Flash Video. Other sites that use this format include Google Video, Reuters.com and Yahoo! Video. Many television news operations are also using Flash Video on their websites.

Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems, via the widely available Adobe Flash Player and web browser plugin, or one of several third-party programs such as MPlayer, VLC media player (my favorite), Quicktime (meh), or any player which uses DirectShow filters (such as Media Player Classic, Windows Media Player, and Windows Media Center) when the ffdshow filter is installed.

Though the file format itself is open now, the codecs still used with it are patented.

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