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About FLV Flash Video

The Flash Video Format (FLV) is an exciting new video format that takes the hassles out of preparing and presenting video for the Web.

Traditionally, to present video on the Web, one would have to 1.) prepare a single video a number of times in order to please a wide audience, and 2.) go to great lengths to explain how to play the video. With Flash Video, your video just plays, directly from your Web page.

With the Flash Video Format (FLV), your video reaches the widest audience possible, because everyone visiting your site can play it--without plug-ins, pop-up media players or complex explanations.

Quality vs File Size

The FLV format has a decent quality-to-filesize ratio. The video format is relatively early in development, but is being developed by two of the best technology companies out there, Adobe (formerly Macromedia) and Sorensen means that it will only get better (and more flexible) in the future.

The Real Benefit of the Flash Video format

From a user's point of view, you don't have to force clients to use software they don't like. I don't know about you, but I don't like it when I am forced to use Real Player--hey, I prefer QuickTime. Then there are those who prefer Windows Media and can't stand using QuickTime or Real Player. The reason for this issue is that none of the aforementioned video players has 100% market coverage...

This is where Flash has a huge advantage. The Flash plugin is pretty much "standard issue" on all systems, platforms and browsers--nearly 99% of Internet users already have the Flash plugin. The latest release of the Flash plugin offers some advanced video functionality, which Wimpy takes advantage of. Already, nearly 50% of Internet users have the latest plugin. Click here to see the market penetration of the different versions of the Flash plugin.

Therefore, when presenting video, you do not have to ask the client "which type of video do you want to use?"--you simply present the video... No questions asked. If their existing Flash plugin needs to be updated, no problem; updating the plugin is a seamless process that is not complicated, and takes about 3 minutes.

About Streaming

Wimpy is a "progressive download" type player. This means that the file actually downloads to the client's machine, but only the expert computer users will know how to retrieve and re-format the video. However, the FLV video format will only play in specially constructed FLV players. So even if the client re-claims and re-formats the video, they will have a hard time re-playing the video.

Click here for an overview of the Digital Video Landscape.

 

 

 

 

How to make FLV files:

To convert your video into the FLV format, you will need one of the following:

  • Sorenson Squeeze
    Select the preset for your intended audience and click the "Squeeze It" button. Squeeze automatically creates the highest-quality video possible and outputs it into Flash SWF or the new FLV format.

  • Adobe Flash MX Professional
    Flash MX Professional includes the FLV codec that enables you to export FLV video with industry-standard video compression tools such as QuickTime and Media Cleaner.

  • FFMPEG
    This option is for hard-core programmer-types only. Good for implementing "on the fly" conversion on your web server.

  • Flash Video MX
    A straight forward FLV converter. When using FFMPEG, you will have to run your videos through a "Time Fixer" (see below) so that the proper "duration" (in seconds) is included in the FLV file. If you do not use a "Time Fixer" the Wimpy progress bar will appear to not move.

 

Time Fixers

Some FLV encoders do not include proper "duration meta data" within the FLV file. ("Duration meta data" is a fancy way to say "a small text-based chunk of information that indicates the video's total number of seconds").

The following utilities will modify an existing FLV file so that the "duration" is correctly reported.

NOTE: Wimpy AV and Wasp will still play files that do not have the duration information, but without the duration information, the timeline displayer may not function properly.

FLV MetaData Injector (recommended)
We recommend this utility because it will replace any existing "duration" data with the correct data. This program requires the Java run-time environment to be installed on your PC -- so getting it set up may take a little extra effort. The user interface is a separate program, which means you have to download two files.
http://www.buraks.com/flvmdi/

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