Working with Flash video files

flash-icon-1.gifIt’s now firmly established that the quickest way to stream video on the net is with Flash’s FLV or SWF formats. All the major video sites, including YouTube and Google Video use Flash to reproduce uploaded content. But what happens if you download a video and want to edit it? Most major video editors won’t accept Flash videos as a valid format to edit with so today we’re giving you a low-down of some of the best ways to turn your Flash clips into something to work with.

The most popular program for converting from Flash to all major formats is CinemaForge. This program allows you to convert to AVI, MPEG, WMV, Real Media and Quicktime formats amongst others. CinemaForge also allows a limited amount of editing if you don’t want to import into another editor, including cropping, interlacing footage and even taking stills and building them into a montage.

If it’s a screencast that you want to create with your Flash footage, then there’s no need to convert it for editing as Camtasia Studio can handle it directly. However, if you do need to put it in another format, it also gives you the option of outputting into a variety of formats including AVI, Quicktime and even animated GIF.

If you’re dealing with some really stubborn Flash files and haven’t had much luck with other programs, then look no further than Flash Video Studio. This is the all-in-one suite for those that need total control over conversion ratios, frame rates and bitrates. You can even convert Flash to DivX although you’ll have to turn the file into AVI format first.

Of course, one final option is to use VDownloader to download video clips directly from a video site into AVI or MPEG format. However, this is not a guaranteed method as there are always some files that for some reason, will only download in Flash format.

So don’t let Flash get between you and creating your own video masterpieces!

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