FLV is the most popular video file format found on the internet. FLV stands for Flash Video. Flash Video is a proprietary file created by Macromedia, which is now under Adobe. Flash player is required to view flash files. Most of the end users are able to view Flash files with a browser plug in. So, the web developers can directly embed the Flash files to the website for the visitors to view. The Flash files can also be embedded within SWF files. SWF stands for Shockwave Flash. SWF file is a proprietary Adobe file format used for video delivery on the internet.
FLV File Format
FLV files have video and audio bit stream. H.263 video standard is the commonly used video bit stream. It is also called as Sorenson Spark. The audio bit stream is encoded as MP3. FLV files also support AAC and ADPCM audio formats.
Video Files Streaming:
When you stream a video, the entire FLV file need not be downloaded before playing. Instead chunks of the file, stream from the website server to the computer. The download process is faster than the viewing process and so video watching in real time is possible. Another benefit is that a video can be viewed at any point in the file. For example, in a 30 minute video, you can simply position the mouse on the Flash player and move the play bar to 28:00 minutes to view the last two minutes.
Some of the popular media players that support FLV files include: VLC Player, Real Player, Windows Media Player and Zoom Player.
The advantages of FLV files are:
- Flash files can be used for a variety of purposes. For example: movies, banner ads, online presentations, animations etc.
- They are very small and can be downloaded easily.
- Flash files are viewed easily by over 90% of web visitors.
- Both broadband and dial up can be used to view Flash files.
- Video files of different types can be converted easily to flash format.
The disadvantages of FLV files are:
- Flash content creation can be expensive and time consuming.
- They are not recognized by search engine spiders.
- If the visitor uses a dial up connection, then they have to wait for a long time to access a webpage with flash.