Playing FLV Files in Windows Media Player

Playing FLV files in Windows Media Player is becoming more important as it is the format videos such as Youtube videos are stored in. As a result, this guide can also be seen as a guide on how to play YouTube videos in Windows Media Player. For those that do not have time to read about the technology and simply wish to get straight to playing the videos, scroll down the page to the How To Set It Up It section.

This guide may no longer work due to Youtube having changed its file formats. If you fail to get it working, please return and post in the comment section so I can verify how widespread this problem may be. In the mean time I recommend downloading VLC Media Player to get FLV files working.

Playing FLV Files in Windows Media Player: Nature Of The FLV File?

Before attempting to get Windows Media Player to open and play Flash Video (FLV) files, first the nature of the FLV file must be explored. FLV is basically a decoding format designed deliberately to deliver video content via the Internet. Initially its uses were as the main format of software such as Macromedia Flash player, now Adobe Flash Player. Today, Flv files are the video format of Youtube videos, making them more necessary than ever to work with. Despite having a very specific title for the format, the format still relies on a selection of general video decoding standards of which the most common is H.263. Others relevant to FLV include On2 TrueMotion VP5 as well as On2 TrueMotion VP5. As a result, in order to get a media player to play FLV files one need only be able to play any video decoded in the various standards already mentioned. Thus, below is an explanation for doing just that using Windows Media Player.

Playing FLV Files in Windows Media Player: Why Do I Need FLV?

As the FLV format becomes more and more popular as a result of sites like Youtube, so the need to be able to work with and play these files does. Most people, however, will simply want to be able to play Youtube videos they have downloaded.

Playing FLV Files in Windows Media Player: How To Set It Up

Step one: Install FFDshow

To begin, download FFDshow by clicking here here. Upon completion, begin installing it and when prompted to select from a list of components make certain that the ‘VFW interface’ component is ticked. Immediately following that, an option to selection additional taks will arise and ticks must be placed next to the standards listed:

  • FLV1, FLV4, H263
  • FLV1, FLV4
  • H263
  • VP5, VP6
  • Mp3

Following that, it is important to make sure that under the column titled ‘Decoder’ and beside the aforementioned video formats the option libavcodec is selected. Having done that, it is entirely possible that many media players will already be able to play FLV files, but more is required for Windows Media Player.

Step two: Install FLV Splitter

An FLV Splitter must now be installed, such as this one here here. This installation should be fairly straightforward and require little effort.

Step three: Play An FLV File

Now you should be ready to play FLV files, but at first Windows Media Player may not recognize that it can. Thus, a prompt may arise stating that the FLV file is not a supported media type and will then ask if you still wish to play it. Click yes and play the file, now Windows Media Player should recognize them.

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