The overwhelming popularity and use of Flash (FLV) video online for several years has created an entire cottage industry of software products devoted just to downloading Flash videos. Some of the Flash download products even refer to themselves as a “YouTube Downloader” because of the vast amount of Flash videos available on YouTube. In this post, we discuss how to download Flash video and save it on your computer. However, Flash videos aren’t as prevalent as they have been in the past. In fact, many browsers including Google Chrome are beginning to limit support for Flash video. That said, many content-protected videos use Flash.
In this post, we discuss what’s happening with browser support for the format and how to download Flash video and save it on your computer if you do come across one. We will also cover what you can do with the video you download — such as converting Flash to other file format — and how to download a Flash player such as RealPlayer to watch those videos. It’s easy to use, fast, and free.
DOWNLOAD FLASH VIDEOS
You can’t simply click on a Flash video and expect to download it through your browser. That’s why there are so many specialized Flash download products online.
That said, the free RealPlayer provides one-click capability to download Flash videos. It also answers the question of how to save downloaded Flash videos and then organize them in the RealPlayer library. If you don’t already have RealPlayer, you can download the free version by clicking the orange button in the top right corner of the page. In addition to using it as a way to download Flash video you can also use it as Flash video converter.
First, we have to find a Flash video to download. Since I like math, I went to the Khan Academy to see what videos were available.
Scrolling all the way to the bottom of the list of topics, I found ”Vi Hart –Recreational mathematics and inspirational videos by resident mathemusician Vi Hart.” I started with Doodling in Math Class: Binary Trees and Visual Multiplication. The videos are fascinating and open a new way of thinking about math. They’re short, great fun and you learn something new, even if you’re not into math.
Here’s what you need to do to download Flash video using RealPlayer:
- Select a video to download. This example will use a Flash video on the Khan Academy website.
- Play it.
- Hover the cursor within the frame.
- The RealPlayer “Download This Video” box appears in the upper right corner of the video frame.
- Click on it.
- RealPlayer Downloader opens and shows the progress of the download.
- The Flash video is automatically saved to the RealPlayer Library.
|Convert Videos In A Flash
Flash videos are all over the Internet. Use RealPlayer to download Flash videos and convert them to virtually any file format you need.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD FLASH VIDEOS USING FIREFOX, CHROME, AND EDGE
You can also use RealPlayer for the PC to download Flash videos in the Firefox browser. Flash is also notorious for requiring a ton of updates. You might find a Flash video on the Internet that you can’t play; instead you’ll see a pop-up window requesting you download an update. This is easy to avoid on Firefox when you install the Flash plug-in for Firefox.
However, be aware that Firefox is limiting the amount of Flash content it’s making available to users. Firefox has already started to create a list of Flash content that can be replaced with HTML since Flash tends to create crashes and affect battery life. If you do happen to come across non-protected Flash video on a Firefox browser, you can download it using RealPlayer. The familiar blue arrow dropdown tab will appear at the top of the Firefox browser alerting you that you can download the FLV video playing in the browser. Here’s how it works:
- Visit a site with Flash Videos. We went to DailyMotion to view funny pet videos.
- Play the video and watch for the blue arrow dropdown arrow that will appear at the top center of the browser window.
- Click the blue tab and you’ll have the option to download the Flash video. Click the Download this Video button and RealPlayer will save the video to your RealPlayer library.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD FLASH VIDEOS USING INTERNET EXPLORER
RealPlayer also works with Internet Explorer (IE) and you can use the plug-in to download videos directly from the browser window.
- Open the IE browser and find a Flash video you want to download. For this example, we picked a video on Metacafe. Click play on the video and you’ll see the Download this Video button appear in the top left corner of the video screen.
- Click the Download this Video button and the Flash video will automatically start downloading to your RealPlayer library. You’ll see the progress on the screen as it’s downloaded.
HOW TO CONVERT THE DOWNLOADED FLASH VIDEO TO MP4
After, downloading Flash videos from the Khan Academy website and played them on the computer. Why bother converting to MP4 or another other video format? More and more, the answer is mobility.
Who wants to be tied to a desktop or even to lugging around a laptop computer. People want to really be portable and play that downloaded Flash video on a mobile device such as an iPhone while at the coffee shop or waiting for a flight to board. Only problem is that iPhone doesn’t support Flash video. Apple doesn’t permit Flash to run on its operating system for technical reasons.The Flash video needs to be converted to another format, namely MP4.
You’re not just downloading a Flash player when you get the free version of RealPlayer. It also has several other features including a Flash video converter. You can “Convert” the video through the RealPlayer Converter itself.
One example, is to select a video in the RealPlayer library and click on More from the bottom menu and choose convert. Then you can select the format that you want to convert the downloaded Flash video to.
Choosing MP4 (or another video format) opens RealPlayer Converter and starts the process.
You can also select a video and left-click on your mouse, select Edit and then Convert to bring up the same menu.
The converted MP4 file is also conveniently saved in the RealPlayer Library so you can easily transfer it again to other devices or share.
CONVERTING DOWNLOADED FLASH VIDEOS TO WMV
We can ask the same question here, about why bother converting the downloaded Flash video to Windows Media Video (WMV)? WMV is a popular and powerful format. It can handle highly compressed video, making it good for high definition. Your library may contain several videos in WMV. It’s a good storage format, and converting the Flash video into that format makes it compatible with the rest of your video collection.
The conversion process with RealPlayer is the same as converting Flash to MP4 shown above. Xbox 360 and several types of cell phones also accept WMV, but will not play Flash videos. So, it’s a similar situation to the iPhone requiring MP4. Another reason is to convert the downloaded Flash video to WMV is to edit it. There is special video editing software for FLV, but many other editors don’t accept Flash.
To edit the video you want to integrate the FLV video into some of the WMV clips, and add subtitles or special effects. WMV isn’t necessarily the best format to edit with due to its compression, but many people do. Converting Flash to WMV enables programs like Windows Media Maker and other editing software to import and edit WMV, AVI, MPG and other formats into the same video.
IT’S EASY TO SAVE FLASH VIDEO AND CONVERT IT
That pretty much sums it up. RealPlayer offers a one-click solution for downloading Flash videos from numerous websites. Converting them to MP4 or WMV for use in other devices is equally simple and fast. We hope you enjoy the Flash videos you download, but just remember that some of the material online may be copyrighted. There are laws in the United States and countries around the globe about distributing copyrighted material. Many videos on sites such as YouTube and DailyMotion have Creative Commons license applied so be sure to read those to understand what can be done with the videos you download.
Please let me know if you have any questions on how to save and download Flash videos by leaving a comment below. As always, I look forward to your questions.