How to Convert FLV videos for Free

So you’ve downloaded an FLV file, and now you’d like to convert it to another format, to view it on another device, edit it, etc? I’d like to share with you some great open source software I’ve found for converting FLV videos.

I recently tried to convert an FLV file to another video format that could be opened by my video editing software. To my surprise, Adobe Premiere could not import the FLV file directly. Adobe Media Encoder (CS 5.5) could also not import the file for conversion (though that’s what I always use for converting things to FLV files). After trying a few “free” solutions, I was disapointed as well, because they seemed to mess up the audio sync.

Then I searched for open source solutions, and found not many listed as converting FLV files (at least it didn’t come up that way on the Google search). So then I just looked for video converter software in general, and found HandBreak and WinFF. I installed and opened them both, and was immediately attracted to the simplicity of the interface for WinFF.

WinFF seems to show you just what you need to get the job done, and convert the videos quickly. HandBreak seems to show you a bit more options all at once, that are things you might not want to look at right away, or would never need to look at entirely. After converting the file with WinFF, I was pleasantly surprised that the audio did not drift out of sync with the video, like it had when I used other free solutions.

Overall, my recomedation for converting FLV files to other video formats (MPG, MPEG-4, DVD, DV, etc.) is WinFF. Either HandBreak or WinFF both seem like great open source software, and will probably get the job done for you. One additional thing I’ll note is that HandBreak is available on more platforms (including on the Mac), whereas WinFF is available for Windows and some Linux distributions.