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Flash Video FAQ

What is a Flash media player?

A Flash SWF file which includes components such as a video playback screen, controls, playlists, etc.

Simple media players are often configured to load and play a single video file automatically — sometimes they do not even include controls. More advanced players can include extra controls, playlists, interaction with other Flash content, etc.

Why use the Flash format?

See The Pros and Cons of Flash Video.

Should I make my own Flash video player or download one?

This will depend on your skills with Flash and your willingness to spend time working on the player. If you already have the ability to make SWF files with Flash and you are keen to get creative, it could be worth trying it yourself.

Here are some pros and cons of each option...

Create your own player
Pros: The ultimate in creative control and power over the delivery of your video — if you can master Flash your options are vast. Pre-made components are provided for video screens, controls, playlists, etc.
Cons: Flash is fairly expensive, with a steep learning curve.

Download a player
Pros: Quick and easy to set up, requires only basic HTML skills. Free / donation.
Cons: Less customizable

I'm confused by all the different Flash video formats and options

The Flash video format has seen a lot of changes in it's first few years. Flash 8 uses a completely different codec to previous versions which requires an upgrade for both producers and end users. In addition, there are different ways to display video files from within Flash.

We like to think that the format is settling down and there won't be as many big changes in the foreseeable future. We recommend using Flash 8 with the VP6 codec. If you're making your own video player, start by using the built-in Flash video components (FLV Playback etc).

Where can I see a Flash video demo?

Visit our Video Gallery.