[Review] Video to Flash Converter

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for February 13, 2009 is:

Video to Flash Converter

Version Reviewed:

1.0

Software description as per GOTD:

Video to Flash converter quickly and easily converts your digital video to the SWF Flash or FLV format. The program has a simple and intuitive interface and has a built-in Flash player and an HTML generator. You will not need any special software, codecs or knowledge to be able to work with Video to Flash converter. Just drag and drop the file you want to convert onto the program window, select the output format and click Start Conversion.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Very easy to use.
  • Not too slow in converting.
  • Supports AVI, ASF, WMV, MOV, MP4 and MPEG input formats.
  • Has the ability to create an HTML file with flash video inserted in it.
  • You can convert to SWF or FLV flash formats.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • “With Flash Player” (built in SWF flash movie controls) is buggy.
  • Some of my video files are not converted.
  • Prompt to “open flash file”  after conversion is done does nothing if you did not generate HTML file.
  • Does not have .RM .MPG or .3GP input video support.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”8″}I give this an 8 because not all the features seem to work all the time.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”10″}Very easy to use.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”8″}Flash format movies are so popular nowadays, most people will find this useful.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tdown]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Update: After looking over my The Bad list, a thought occurred to me that MPG and MPEG are essentially the same thing. So I downloaded a video that had a .MPG extension instead of .MPEG. Then when browsing for my source file, I selected “All Files” (since .MPG is not included in the 6 recognized extension) and chose my .MPG video. Then I converted it and it converted just fine. Go figure.

Registration and installation went fine. The purpose of this program, if it is not obvious, is to allow you to convert videos into flash videos (SWF or FLV format). This program is very simple and very easy to use. This is what the program window looks like:

2009-02-13_013557

Browse for your source file. You can have .AVI, .WMV, .ASF, .MOV, .MP4 and .MPEG formats for the source file. Once you have your source file selected, the “Destination file” (“Destination File” is where your output file will be placed and what it will be named) box will automatically be filled with the same file path and file name as the source file, just the extension of the file will be different. However, you can change the “Destination file” as you please. Then chose if you want an SWF or FLV flash video. If you want the program to automatically generate an HTML file with the flash video embedded in it, check “Generate HTML”. If you want the embedded video to have video control (like a play button), check “With Flash Player”. “With Flash Player” is only available if you do SWF format – you won’t be able to use it in FLV format. I, however, suggest leaving “With Flash Player” unchecked because while testing this program, I have found that the “With Flash Player” option causes problems with the HTML file, i.e. the video does not play when you run the HTML file. Hit “Start conversion” when you are done. When the conversion is done, you will be prompted with the following window:

2009-02-13_014247

If you had generated an HTML file, the HTML file will be loaded into your browser. However, if you did not generate an HTML file, I find that clicking “Yes” does nothing. Regardless though, you are prompted with this message box every time a file is done converting.

Lastly, the only other window besides the window you see above is the “Settings…” window:

2009-02-13_013609

From this setting window you can set the FPS, kbps (video), Hz and kbps (audio) for your output flash file. Obviously you have to change these settings prior to hitting “Start Conversion” if you are interested in changing them.

Overall, while this program is simple and easy to use but I am giving it a thumbs down. Why you ask?

  • Well for one it only supports 6 input video formats. Sure these 6 formats are 6 popular formats, but other formats like RM, MPG, and 3GP would have been nice to have.
  • Secondly, for some reason, this program is not able to convert some of my video files. Initially with my testing I had an AVI file. I used FormatFactory to convert that AVI file into the different formats supported by Video to Flash. However when I tried converting all those videos into SWF or FLV files, only the WMV format worked. Then I did the same thing with another AVI video file I had. Again the same thing. Finally for my last test I got videos off the internet. This time, all the videos worked. Weird, I don’t know what is up because VLC was able to play all my input/source videos just fine so they were not corrupt video files. It maybe that Video to Flash Converter is only able to convert videos made with a certain codec – I am not sure.
  • Lastly, the “Use Flash Player” feature really only does more harm then good.

{rw_freea}

FormatFactory

With FormatFactory, you can literally convert almost anything to anything. If you have this program, you will never need another conversion program ever again.

This is from the developers website:

Format Factory is a multifunctional media converter.
Provides functions below:
All to MP4/3GP/MPG/AVI/WMV/FLV/SWF.
All to MP3/WMA/AMR/OGG/AAC/WAV.
All to JPG/BMP/PNG/TIF/ICO/GIF/TGA.
Rip DVD to video file , Rip Music CD to audio file.
MP4 files support iPod/iPhone/PSP/BlackBerry format.
Source files support RMVB.

Format Factory’s Feature:

  1. support converting all popular video,audio,picture formats to others.
  2. Repair damaged video and audio file.
  3. Reducing Multimedia file size.
  4. Support iphone,ipod multimedia file formats.
  5. Picture converting supports Zoom,Rotate/Flip,tags.
  6. DVD Ripper.
  7. Supports 42 languages

Super

With Super, you can literally convert any audio/video file to any audio/video file. The interface is a bit overwhelming at first, but if you learn to navigate it, Super will be your best friend. The only problem is, I do not think Super works properly on Vista. I keep getting continual errors.

YouConvertIt.com

You can convert your files via this online website. They will convert your files then email you a link to them.

Any Video Converter

Any Video Converter is an all-in-one video converting freeware with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed, and excellent video quality. It can convert almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, RM, RMVB, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, and AVI to MPEG-4 movie format for PSP or other portable video device, MP4 player, or Smartphones.

-Download.com

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}Nice and easy to use program, but has very limited function since it only supports FLV and SWF output formats. With a program that has such limited function, you really need to be 100% error free. This program is not. Thumbs down and not recommeneded. My recommendation for today is FormatFactory. Get FormatFactory and you will never have to use any other converting program ever again – for video, audio, or images files. However, it seems FF is only for 32-bit users, so for 64-bit users, you can try either Super or Any Video Converter (Any Video Converter cannot output in SWF but it can FLV).{/rw_verdict2} –>

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9 comments

  1. Ashraf
    Author/

    Um, I don’t think officially it is. However, it may depend on situation from situation. If you are putting up someones email just so people can harass him…ya that is not right. But if it is for a legitimate reason, like to email a developer for a major bug fix, that I think is OK. As a general rule, if the email you are going to post is available on the public domain, meaning anyone can find it if they search for it, it is probably okay to post it. However if the email is private, it is a big no no to post it.

    And as for your trick, all you need to do is find the URL of the video file you want to embed on your webpage (you can either use URL Snooper or View Source on the page) and insert it into the proper HTML code. This HTML code can be rather long and hard to memorize, so just go to FreeVideoCoding.com, chose the type of video you want to embed, paste in the URL and generate the HTML code you want.

  2. giovanni

    Ok..

    But I knew a trick with wich you can directly embed any video into your website with a video player without uploading it from its original source (You Tube etc….)

    Anyway, just out of curiosity, I profit by occasion to ask you a question about a controversial issue related to the web.

    In short: is in US the WEB MOBBING considered as a “crime” punishable by law ?

    I mean if I published on my blog the email of a guy, without his consent, asking everybody to send him tons of crap email to complain about an issue, do you know whether or not I could be prosecuted for that??

    In my country it looks like this kind of behaviour is lawful (but I’m not 100% sure about that).

  3. Ashraf
    Author/

    Secret2008,

    That would actually depend on your IE internet security settings. But this program does not even try to open the video in any browser, much less IE, if you did not generate an HTML file. If you did generate an HTML file, the program will open it, and depending on what your browser and settings, you may have to enable ActiveX or such to view the video.

  4. secret2008

    Ashraf, the “open flash file” after conversion only does nothing because by default, when you try to open a swf file in IE, it does nothing. It is IE’s problem, not this software’s.

  5. giovanni

    Hi Ashraf,

    it seemed to me that one good and maybe UNIQUE feature with this program (which converters like SUPER and FORMAT do not have…right??) was its ability to generate HTML, meaning that it allows you to easily integrate your own Home Movies directly on your own website.

    But after reading your review I’m not sure about it anymore although “jelpys-CHALLENGE.com” said the opposite about it on the GAOTD forum…LOL!!

    Do you know another converter that allows you to generate HTML from a video to embed it directly on your website??

    Actually I knew a trick for that but don’t remember the link now…

    Anyway, another great and easy way to convert any IMAGE, DOC, MUSIC and VIDEO FORMAT (so not just videos to SWF Flash or FLV format like this GAOTD) into whatever else file format you like, without installing any program on your PC, is to use FREE ONLINE FILE COVERTER SERVICES, such as ZAMZAR and MEDIA CONVERT:

    http://www.zamzar.com/

    Maximum File Size: 100MB
    Download Converted Files link sent via email
    Output Format: 53

    http://media-convert.com/

    Maximum File Size: 150MB
    Immediate Download Converted Files
    Output Format: 179

    What do you make of it?

    If you want to convert a VIDEO FLV in POWERPOINT, no problem:

    http://www.sameshow.com/ppt2flash/how-to-insert-flv-to-powerpoint.html#110

    Cheers

    Giovanni

  6. Joe Brazzeal

    Hello Ashraf,

    Thanks again for ALL of your reviews.

    What I look at everyday when I come here is:

    1. Quick verdict
    2. Rating
    3. Free Alternatives
    4. Final Verdict

    Then I download one of the free alternatives, if needed.

    Since I found GOTD around Jan 1st, I’ve downloaded more of your free
    alternatives recommendations (about four, give or take) compared to
    GOTD (only one).

    Thanks again.

    Joe

  7. Peo

    Thanks for a good review. There’s always talk about the “Super” converter, but it won’t even install on my Vista system. Now I know it can act strange on some others Vistas too. :)
    I’ll have a close look at Format Factory and Any Video Converter.
    Man, there’s a million converter programs out there! :)

    Regards,
    Peo