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Today’s web pages contain high quality graphics and streaming media. Inserting quality audio and video elements in your web page is possible thanks to Adobe's Flash technology. Using the popular Adobe Flash multimedia authoring and playback software, webmasters are enabled to embed vector-based animations, quality background audio and full-length videos.

What is the .FLV extension used for?

The .FLV file, which stands for a Flash Video, is Adobe's proprietary Flash format. The .FLV file itself contains video streaming bits and is used to deliver Flash-based videos over the Web. The .FLV extension is very popular and is used on famous video sharing and news networks like YouTube, Metacafe, Google Video and others.

The .FLV format was originally based on the H.263 (FLV1) video standard. Since the release of the Flash Player 8, there has been support also for the On2 TrueMotion VP6 (FLV4) codec, which provides a higher video quality at a lower bit rate. The current version of the .FLV format also supports the new H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) codec, which offers a significantly better quality/bitrate ratio. Thanks to it, Flash files can contain high definition quality videos with an ACC sound.

How to create and play an .FLV video

The creation of .FLV videos is possible by using Adobe Flash. Also, .FLV producing is possible by using third-party video converter software. Once the Flash video is created, it can be uploaded to the server and played by a Flash Player software application embedded into the web page.

In the most common cases, .FLV movies are being played by an Adobe Flash Player software solution which opens an .SWF player applet. The .FLV file can be downloaded and played on a client’s PC by a media player software application as well. There is a long list of .FLV-capable players, but some of the most popular are the open source cross-platform VLC player and MPlayer; Media Player Classic, RealPlayer and Winamp for Windows; and QuickTime for the Mac OS X operating system.