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Thread: Flash video from Final Cut Pro

  1. #1

    Default Flash video from Final Cut Pro

    When I started making video content for my websites I dicided to use Flash as it's the most common format so avoids most users having to download a plugin or whatever. (I used Flowplayer on the websites.) At the time I was just using Adobe Premiere Elements and as it could output to Flash I thought that would be fine. It was OK, but to be honest it was a bit blurred and if you clicked on Full Screen it was awful. For various reasons I upgraded to Final Cut Pro and (once I'd learned to use it) the quality of my video editing got better, but as FCP has no Flash output I was exporting my Quicktime files to a memory stick and going back to my PC with Premiere on it. Result: my videos were still blurred.

    I had over-stretched the budget buying FCP and a Mac ( ouch), so I trawled the internet to find out what free or very cheap software I could get for converting my files to good quality Flash. I tried various things and frankly I struggled to find anything that convinced me. Then I found out a little secret that seems not to be widely publicised. Using the appropriate settings in FCP you can make a Quicktime file with H.264 and then just - er - change the file extension from .mov to .flv. Hey presto! Embarrassingly simple. Great quality Flash video files that play on my site.

    Maybe everyone else in the world knew this already, but I was really pleased when I found out so decided to share the info here.

  2. #2


    Don't get too excited - Flowplayer is HTML5 Compliant and the HTML5 browser is simply playing your H264 file via that standard.
    ie - you're not actually playing flash video anymore.

    Flowplayer will play an H264 encoded file using a whole variety of extensions.

    So what you have is not a flash video file at all. It's a variety of mpeg.

    ta da!....

    The xtension is not the codec. It simply points the way to software as to what it is and how to open it. Flowplayer can use a flash encoded swf player to play H264 video - so that's what it's doing.

    You could probably change the extension to mp4 - or m4v or mpeg and it would work.

    Check it out on an ipad - your video will probably play on it.
    Last edited by Thurston Lang; 07-11-2011 at 09:03 PM.

  3. #3


    You may be right, I'm not that technical really. All I know is that when I change it to a .flv it plays on my site which ever browser I use, and also it plays in the Adobe Media Player on my PC. As a .mov it does neither.

    In my (limited!) understanding aren't the various video formats all just proprietary "wrappers" for the same actual video file anyway.

    Of course the really important thing is - it works!

  4. #4


    Ha ha - you actually hit the nail on the head.
    It works!

    Not much need to get bogged down with codecs and containers - it is very dull.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Thurston Lang View Post
    Ha ha - you actually hit the nail on the head.
    It works!

    Not much need to get bogged down with codecs and containers - it is very dull.
    Ha ha! Thanks Thurston - just what I was thinking.

    Mind you, maybe I need to get a bit more technical, or at least test some alternative settings because while it does work the quality is better it takes longer to load and play on the page, even though the file size is fairly small. Guess I will have to keep playing with it, as the actress said to the bishop.

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