How to Download Flash Video and Play It Back on Your Mac. (And More.)

PerianHave you downloaded a video from YouTube or some other video sharing site? If you haven’t, you might not know about, a site that lets you give it a URL from YouTube and then download the .flv file and keep the video. (Hence, the name.) Another option to downloading videos to keep permanently is to install the Ook? Video Ook! or VideoDownloader for Firefox, add-ons which basically do the same thing. Both of those add-ons are free.

Ok, now you’ve got a .flv file, a Flash Video file. If it doesn’t have the file extension of “.flv,” you might need to manually change it to “.flv.” But how do you play it? That’s the point, right? If you double-click the file’s icon, I doubt you will see the video play back because QuickTime does not automatically know how to play this type of file. What do you need? You need Perian, a component that will give QuickTime the ability to play back .flv video. Once you install the free component, simply drag any .flv file to the QuickTime icon and it just plays. Nice. Even nicer, it gives you the ability to play many other formats as well, like .avi, 3ivX, DivX, Flash Screen Video, MS-MPEG4, Sorenson H.263, Truemotion VP6, and Xvid . What more could you ask from a free add on?

Maybe you also have some Windows Media files, with the extension .wmv, that you want to play? Check out Flip4Mac, another free component that gives QuickTime the ability to play those files. Whew! Now that’s a powerful little QuickTime you’ve got there.

Comments on this post.

Good post on how to grab video from web sites, etc. Also good point to Flip4Mac. I haven’t tried Perian yet, but it looks like another tool to have.

By Antonio on Jun 19 2007
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