Get Your FLV On the Web

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Drag and drop to play FLV files. No Flash development environment required.
  • (3 more, see all...)

Playing a new breed of video file can be tricky sometimes. You need the appropriate codecs, not to mention a video player supporting that format. Most video players will support almost anything you feed them, given the adequate codecs. And generally developers struggle to cover as many formats as possible. Not this little fella'. It can stand only one video format and despite its limited abilities, I think it will raise your interest.

Up until recently, Flash video was a tough format to grab. You needed special tools to encode the data and after finishing that you would struggle some more to publish it on your website or blog, in case these preparations were not for uploading it to YouTube or other famous video website. Coding was a must in this endeavor and many users paid big money just to see the short film on their page.

Things have changed now as the tools for converting to Flash video are everywhere on the Internet and most of them are absolutely free. Of course, not all of them perform at the advertised quality, but hey, if it does its job now and then, everything's just fine.

Any FLV Player will not stand other format than FLV and will actually play any FLV you feed it. There is no limitation to using it as the program is absolutely free. At a first look one would say that it is just another tool that plays Flash video. The difference is that its clean cut interface and nifty looks make it very appealing to use. The menu bar is at the top of the application window and in the lower part there are the controls: play, stop, seek bar and volume control. I have not mentioned "pause" button as it is embedded in the "play" control and depending on the action it'll switch.

Besides these buttons, the user will also benefits from information on the video, like time progress and duration of the entire file.

Nothing unusual up to now. There are tens of such applications performing exactly the same or even better. However, Any FLV Player comes with the ability to play directly from an URL address with no additional support. Just copy and paste the URL into Any FLV Player and enjoy.

But the main feature of the application is its ability to prepare the video files for web publishing. No coding, no effort, just a couple of clicks and you are provided with all the code and information on how to publish the video file on your blog or website.

The steps are few and easy. First load the FLV file you want to embed in your website and click on "Publish for Web" option under Publish menu. A dialog will pop up and here you can configure the publish options for the file. You can change the name of the HTML file, the player file name, the FLV URL, set video size (either keep the original size or customize it to your needs), select the output folder and the playback control (auto play at the beginning and auto rewind at the end) and you are set to go.

The elements necessary for playing the video on your site are ready in less then a minute. They can be found in the installation folder of the application in the "output" folder. However, to make things easier the location will be opened and you can even preview the video in your default browser.

The "More Options" button in the right lower corner opens the player's customization options: the way it appears and behaves on the web page. Thus, you can set the control panel position (bottom or top), the way the control panel is displayed as well as the color themes to match your page.

The colors can be saved in presets and the customization goes as follows: there is a set of colors available for control panel, buttons, time, slide, buffer slide and slide background. Choose the ones that best match your web page. This way the player will not be discordant with your page and everything will look smooth as if major geek coding was applied.

The Tools menu lets you associate every FLV file to Any FLV Player. This way they will all be opened with the same application and if you decide to publish one of them the means to do it will be close.

The Good

Any FLV Player is small and extremely easy to use. It also manages to bring video publishing on websites much closer to the home user. There are no coding skills or even knowledge required. It is a mere mater of copy/paste.

The Bad

I tried as hard as I could to play a FLV file from an URL. Unfortunately, utter failure is what I got.

The Truth

Any FLV Player is an excellent application for home users. It can be embedded in a personal web page or web site with ease; you are not required any knowledge on coding or similar things. It is all done nice and clean, with no hassle whatsoever.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 5
features 4
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 

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