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[Review] SWF to Video Converter 2.4

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for May 19, 2009 is:

SWF to Video Converter 2.4 [1]

Version reviewed:

v2.4 Build 80312

Software description as per GOTD:

Sothink SWF to Video Converter is a professional Flash converter for Flash SWF to video conversion. It converts Macromedia Flash SWF to AVI, MPEG, iPod/PSP (MP4), 3GP, animated GIF, image series and more other popular formats.

Features

  • Convert Flash SWF to AVI, MPEG, iPod/PSP (MP4), 3GP, animated GIF
  • Convert Flash SWF to image series (BMP/PNG/GIF/JPEG)
  • Crop Flash movies freely before you convert Flash to video files
  • Add watermark, logo, copyright image onto the created video
  • Adjust the position and transparency of watermark
  • Adjust volume easily with a slider
  • Support adopting different Flash to video encoder (XviD, DivX, MS-MPEG V1/V2/V3)
  • Support Flash movies including Action Scripts, movie clips, and sound
  • The Flash file with human interaction can be captured interactively or frame by frame before Flash conversion

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{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”10″}Everything is there.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}A little bit of video related knowledge is needed (not anymore more than the average video converter though) but otherwise is very easy to use.
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{for=”Performance” value=”7″}Program crashes when I try to load a Flash 8 SWF video but otherwise it works great. Not too heavy on computer resources either.
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{for=”Usefulness” value=”10″}A good SWF converter is very rare. This program is extremely useful.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”9″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
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{rw_verdict}[tupr]
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Registration and installation went fine. You must manually enter registration information; grab it from the readme.

SWF to Video Converter is an excellent SWF to AVI/MP4 (iPod/PSP)/3GP/3G2/(animated) GIF/JPG/PNG/BMP/GIF converter. I only had one problem with it, and that was trying to convert a Flash 8 SWF but otherwise this program works great.

SWF to Video Converter works like a step by step wizard. When you run the program you see “step 1”. At “step 1” you must browse your computer and load the video you must convert:

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When you load your video you will be shown the video’s current “settings”. You can also preview the video:

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Click “Next” to continue to “step 2”.  At “step 2” you can crop your video and/or add an image watermark:

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You can add a JPG, PNG, GIF or BMP watermark.

When ready, hit “Next” to go to “step 3”. At “step 3” you need to choose your output format, change your output videos settings (if you wish) and decide if you want to convert in “interactive” mode or “frame by frame” mode:

AVI

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For AVI, you can choose “XVID”, “MS-MPEG V1”, “MS-MPEG V2” and “MS-MPEG V3” for the “Encoder”.

MPEG

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For MPEG, you can choose “VCD_PAL”, “VCD_NTSC”, “SVCD_PAL”, “SVCD_NTSC”, “DVD_PAL”, “DVD_NTSC” for “MPEG format”. The quality of your output MPEG video will depend on the “MPEG format” you choose – you have no control over the output video settings otherwise.

iPod (MP4)

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PSP (MP4)

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3GP

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3G2

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Image series

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For “Image series” your image type can be BMP, PNG, JPG, GIF and animated GIF. If you choose BMP, PNG, JPG and GIF, each frame of the SWF will be exported as that respective image type. If you choose animated GIF, your video will be turned into an animated GIF.

As mentioned, for each video output you need to decide the “Conversion mode” – either “Interactive” or “Frame by frame”. The difference is:

When you have selected your output format and are happy with all your settings, hit “Next” to go to “step 4”. At “step 4” you will begin the actual conversion process:

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If you cropped your video or added a watermark it will not be reflected at this step. However your end video will reflect the crop/watermark. To start recording/convert, hit “Play and capture”. If you did “interactive” mode you will be able to “stop capture” and resume capture whenever you want. In other words, you can record/convert select parts of the video instead of all of it. If you did “frame by frame” you can also choose to only record a select part of the video but you can’t stop/resume capture… once you stop capture the capturing is done. Also if you did “interactive” mode the video will literally play in real time. “Frame by frame” the video plays in fast forward.

After your capturing is done, the conversion will start:

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Once the conversion is done, you will be told so:

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That is basically the whole program. Here is the performance of it.

Computer Resource Usage

Conversion Speed

The “capturing” time will vary drastically depending on how long your SWF video is because you are literally playing it and capturing it. After the “capturing” part, the “conversion” part is done fairly quickly: for a 22 second output video it took less than 5 seconds.

Output Video Quality and Size

The original Flash 6 SWF was 2.57 MB and the output AVI (at the default settings… I didn’t change anything) is 1.35 MB (this includes the watermark). The quality of the AVI isn’t exactly 1:1 to the SWF but it is extremely close; a little loss in “sharpness” is the best way I can describe it. You can download the two (SWF and AVI) videos by clicking here [16] if you want to compare yourself.

Overall SWF to Video Converter is an excellent program. It is easy to use and works well. Two thumbs up! However there are a few problems with this software. The most major problem I ran into was:

Other minor things are:

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

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SWF to AVI [18] #1

SWF to AVI [19] #2

Super [20]
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{rw_verdict2}SWF converters are rare because converting SWF to other formats is not the same as converting, say, an AVI to WMV. Finding a good SWF converter is even more rare. SWF to Video Converter is a rare and excellent program: two thumbs up! The only major con with this program was that I could not convert Flash 8 videos; however I hope, and am guessing, this problem is just with me and not with the program in general. Regardless of the cons though, I highly recommend SWF to Video Converter.
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