I use one of the Firefox plugins for embedded video to download content from Youtube and other sites. The program downloads these videos in FLV format, and I have VLC Media Player to play them, which seems to be pretty highly recommended around here.

The downloaded video quality is as good as it gets, so the FLV file format is no problem in itself. However, my girlfriend and I use Picasa for pretty much everything since it's so easy to upload and share with friends using the GUI. I really like Picasa as a program and would prefer not to use another media organizer for these FLV videos.

I guess there are at least 2 possible answers to this question:
1) What is the best way to convert FLV format to a format that Picasa can read?
2) Should I find another media organizer program to use specifically for FLV videos instead?

Some people might say I should use VLC to play the FLVs and leave it at that. However, (and I'm no VLC expert) I can't find a way to preview video thumbnails in the way Picasa does it, and that's what I would really like to be able to do.


Format Factory can do this without a hitch. It can convert between MP4,3GP,MPG,AVI,WMV,FLV, and SWF. The choice of format is yours, it supports them all!

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Format factory is freeware.

  • Worked great for me converting several DRM-free 1+ GB files from FLV to MP4. Be aware though that the Format Factory installer will by default install several pieces of junkware (browser toolbars, etc.); read carefully and be sure to uncheck checkboxes and click "Decline" as applicable. – Jon Schneider Oct 20 '14 at 14:58

ffmpeg will do it too.


ffmpeg -i video.flv -ab 56 -ar 22050 -b 500  -s 320x240 video.mpg
  • could you add some comments on what each switch does? – Nathan Fellman Dec 2 '11 at 19:41

Simply rename the FLV file to AVI like so:

Original file name: example.flv

New file name: example.flv.avi

Picasa will now correctly display the video as well as create a thumbnail for it. I've tried this with Picasa 3.8 in Windows 7 64-bit.

For more information, see my post in the Picasa Google Group

  • I like this solution because it does not lose any data by re-encoding streams. It's also true that FLV files can be losslessly converted to MKV or AVI files by rehashing the internal stream data (say, "Direct Stream Copy") but I don't trust this lossless conversion as I have undergone several issues in playing those "losslessly converted" files. – Scott Rhee Sep 7 '14 at 22:36
  • This produces weird results for me. In Windows Media Player (Windows 8.1). The video won't initially play; I need to move the time index control manually to get it going. Also, the total length of the video (for a long hour+ video) is too long; if I move the time index control to a point past where the video should end, the video starts playing from the beginning from that point. – Jon Schneider Oct 20 '14 at 13:05

VLC itself can convert your FLV files. Media >> Convert/Save.

You can also use the Firefox plugin VideoDownloadHelper, which has built-in conversion based on FFMPEG, permitting you to download and convert with one click.

  • I tried this, but I couldn't find any setting that would give me the same quality as the original FLV – Nathan Fellman Dec 2 '11 at 19:40

you can use SUPER © (Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer) to convert FLV into pretty much anything.

  • Input Video format: 3gp, 3g2, amv, asf, avi, dat, dvr-ms, fli, flc, flv, m2ts, mpg, mkv, mov m4v, mp4, nsv, ogm, qt, rm(vb), str, swf, ts, trp, ty, ty+, tmf, viv, vob, wmv

If you need a simple, yet very efficient tool to convert (encode) or play any Multimedia file, without reading manuals or spending long hours training, then SUPER © is all you need. It is a Multimedia Encoder and a Multimedia Player, easy-to-use with 1 simple click.

SUPER © is freeware.

protected by Community Apr 20 '15 at 10:47

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