October 23rd, 2011, 01:17 AM
I'm using FCP/Studio. Was looking for a way to convert Quicktime MOV to FLV/Flash as Compressor doesn't seem to offer that option. It's a request from a client — have never had to do this before.
So I was was searching on YouTube and found this video. It claims that all you need to do is change the extension of your video from .mov to .flv
Now hold on a second . . . that sounds ridiculous and couldn't possibly be true, right? Well have a look at the video.
Convert A Quicktime Movie To Flash In 5 Seconds - YouTube (http://youtu.be/iomIYQuC378)
So I tried it with a copy of my video which was already an H.264 encoded MOV. I opened it up in VLC and it plays fine. When I click "get info" on the file it does show it as FLV with the flash icon.
So the key seems to be that a video has to first be in H.264 format. Anyone see any "gotchas" on this, or could it really be that simple?
October 23rd, 2011, 05:02 PM
I'd recommend a conversion using Handbrake. It will take more than 5 seconds, but not a lot more - HB is an extremely fast encoder, great picture quality for a given bitrate, and it's free.
That will give you a flash-compliant MP4.
As to renaming an h.264/mov to flv:
1) flv is the wrong extension for an h.264 to be played with flash player components. Should be mp4 or m4v.
2) a lot depends on QT's implementation of h.264, and it's easy to get h.264 settings wrong such that this trick wouldn't work.
3) if the mp4.flv is working today, it might not work tomorrow, since it's a workaround.
4) VLC will play just about anything. You'll need to see how your video works with a flash player embedded in a web page to really know what a typical user will experience.
Properly, an flv contains the Sorenson Spark or VP6 codec.
October 24th, 2011, 04:47 AM
Hi Seth and thanks for your reply. I guess the real question is why they requested FLV. I'll find out. (Not in direct contact with them, it's through a 3rd party). I can output an MP4 (H.264 + AAC) right out of FCS/Compressor. I really like Handbrake and have used it a lot for various things. I looked up the "On2 Flix Standard" encoder that the gentleman in the video mentioned. Turns out On2 was bought up by Google and those products are no longer available — but I see their codec seems to be integrated into Sorensen Squeeze 7 (Flash Video - On2 VP6, Sorenson Spark). I don't have Squeeze, so I will simply use MP4s for clients asking for "Flash video".
I looked up the specs for the popular JW Player, and they have a great little article on playing nice with various browsers. Some interesting little tips in there.
Supported Video and Audio Formats | LongTail Video | Home of the JW Player (http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/jw-player/jw-player-for-flash-v5/12539/supported-video-and-audio-formats)
October 24th, 2011, 10:07 PM
...Turns out On2 was bought up by Google and those products are no longer available — but I see their codec seems to be integrated into Sorensen Squeeze 7 (Flash Video - On2 VP6, Sorenson Spark). I don't have Squeeze, so I will simply use MP4s for clients asking for "Flash video"...
MP4 everywhere is certainly the coming thing for web distribution. After several years of working with both VP6 and MP4 for flash distribution, I think I'm ready to say goodbye to VP6. VP6 does have a transparency channel, unique among web codecs... but there isn't that much call for it.
A low-cost version of Flix with VP6 (http://www.wildform.com/products/flix/flix_standard.php) is again available from wildform.com. I'm guessing with a stripped down set of encoding parameters.
But, the last time I downloaded Super-C, I think VP6 might now be available as an included freeware codec. This is just since the Google purchase of On2.
Regardless, VP6 is getting less important, unless you have particular concerns about viewers with non-recent processors in their computers. MP4 has greater complexity on the decode, and can bog down something less than, say, a Core2 Duo, depending on exact encoding parameters.
October 26th, 2011, 01:22 AM
Thanks for the "Flix" link Seth. I'm going to dig deeper into this whole encoding and compression topic. I really need to know it better — e.g. encoding for mobile devices and phones, things like Apple TV, etc.
October 26th, 2011, 03:48 PM
Jan Ozer has a new book this year, "Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5" that I'm using as a text in my compression/streaming class. It's really quite good for current and future codecs and compression workflows. Not much on older codecs, not much on HTML coding for streaming players, but really quite good on what it covers.