Good Flash player for playing Quicktime (.mov) files?
October 29, 2008 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Good off-the-shelf Flash player to play Quicktime (.mov) files? Or get one custom-built?

I have videos of a recent event, all in Quicktime .mov format, nicely edited. I want to post them online, on a site that I host myself.

Problem, of course, is that lots of users don't have Quicktime installed, and/or the default Quicktime player isn't very friendly (starts and stops as things are buffering).

So I want to use a Flash player (like every other site with video does) to allow users a more convenient way to play the files.

The off-the-shelf Flash players I've found so far either gak on something in the format - they can't play my edited .mov file - or they degrade the quality significantly - or the UI is horrible.

Commercial video-site players, embeddable things like the Revver player, look much better, but they throw ads into the mix. I don't want ads. I'm hosting the files and am willing to pay to own the flash player.

So: is there a good off-the-shelf solution I'm missing, or is this a case where I should go out and get someone to custom-code a decent Flash player (and if so, where do I find that person)?

P.S. Yes, I've read this 2005 post about encoding Web video - figuring things have developed in the ensuing 3 years.
posted by mark7570 to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
mark7570, Flash can't play Quicktime videos. It can only play FLV videos. So you'll need to convert your .mov files to .flv files. Most video-editing software (e.g. final cut, premiere, avid) can do this. You can also google for free mov to flv conversters.

The quality is as good or bad as you want it to be. It's often bad on the web because people are super-compressing to save on bandwidth.
posted by grumblebee at 6:39 PM on October 29, 2008

Flash can now play some Quicktime movies; if yours isn't working then it's not in the correct format.

Also, the stopping and starting to buffer is going to happen with any streaming player, as your movie's demanding data faster than your net connection can supply it. The only way to stop this is to apply more compression or use a player that forces the user to wait until everything has preloaded (usually not a good idea unless the video is very short).

So you need to re-encode your movie, either as a MOV that'll play in Flash or as an FLV (there are free tools available on all platforms), and set a suitable bitrate so that most people can view it smoothly. Yes, the quality will suffer, but you have to work within sensible limitations.

If you need to hire someone to produce a simple custom player (e.g. via MeFi Jobs) it shouldn't cost much, or just use a reskinnable player such as the JW FLV Media Player.

Or take the lazy option and use a site like Vimeo that offers slightly better quality than YouTube.
posted by malevolent at 1:39 AM on October 30, 2008

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