• 8/3/2019 Flash - Extract Music From Flash


  • 8/3/2019 Flash - Extract Music From Flash


    Download Flash

    After a mini-gathering with some of my friends and acquaitances, I was amazed todiscover that quite a few people do not know that Flash movies on Youtube - and othersites - can be downloaded and later enjoyed on the local machine.

    So, first, let's see how we can download Flash content from the Internet.

    To this end, we will need 1) web browser: Firefox 2) a Firefox extension called VideoDownloadHelper .

    If you need help with Firefox extensions, please refer to my article Firefox Add-ons -Manage browser add-ons in centralized manner - Tutorial .

    After DownloadHelper is installed, you will get a new icon in your browser, similar to therightmost one in the below screenshot:

    Whenever there's Flash content available for download, the icon will turn active; it willbecome bigger and colored (yellow, red, blue), similar to what you see below:

    So, on Youtube, or any other webpage you wish to download Flash content from, click onthe small down-arrow to see what choices you have.

    And that's it. After you download the file, it's on your computer! It will be saved in the .flv(Flash video) format. You can now watch it any time you want. The question is, what with?

    Playing Flash content

    Windows users will soon learn that the Windows Media Player can't do the job. However,there's a number of alternative, open-source players that will.

    The simplest, most sensible choice is the VideoLAN (VLC) media player. Not only will it runan astonishing array of formats (including audio, DVD and whatnot) without requiring any
  • 8/3/2019 Flash - Extract Music From Flash


    additional codecs, it's light and simple - and cross-platform. It runs on both Windows andLinux (and other OS).

    Here's what it looks like on Windows XP:

    And here's on Linux (Gnome, Ubuntu):

    And here's me playing a downloaded Flash in it:

    Another choice for Windows users is the FLV Player (currently at version 2.0):

    So, we've covered the watching part. What about the audio, though?
  • 8/3/2019 Flash - Extract Music From Flash


    Extract audio from Flash movies

    Let's say you like Miami Vice, like me. Let's say you love Jan Hammer's music, like me. Soyou have downloaded the Crockett's Theme clip, but you'd also love to have just the musictrack.

    No problems. This can be done, rather quite easily.



    This is the tool of the trade. I have used ffmpeg on several occasions, to create my Flashmovies in the game article 1942: Pacific Air War or to extract music from the intro movie inmy article UFO: Enemy Unknown .

    Linux users will have ffmpeg quite often bundled into their distribution of choice. Windowsusers will have to download it separately. The easiest way to obtain the Windows versionis from . As always, when dealing with multimedia-related Windows stuff,like codecs, converters and such, do exercise the necessary caution. Now ...

    ffmpeg is a command-line tool. It has many options, regarding to formats, bitrate,sampling etc, but we do not really need all that right now. If you want to extract high-quality audio from Flash (.flv) files, all you need to do is run the following command:

    The tool will take an input file (specified by the -i flag) in the .flv format and create anoutput in the .mp3 format, with 128-bit rate (specified by the -ab flag) and 44,100Hzsampling frequency (specified by the -ar flag - stands for audio rate).

    Here's the typical output of ffmpeg in action (on Windows):

    Don't worry about the torrent of text. You need pay no attention to it. In the end, you'llhave the desired audio file (in any format you like).

    Extract audio from online streams

    ffmpeg is a mighty tool. You can also use it to download audio from online streams, radiocasts etc:

    Convert Flash (.flv) to another video format (like .avi)

    This is something you may want to do, for whatever reason. Again, ffmpeg can serve youwell here. It's rather simple (even more so than audio):

    ffmpeg - i i n p u t . f l v - ab 128 - ar 44100 output.mp3

    ffmpeg - i h ttp :// /xx x.x xx. xxx.x xx/ someth ing - ab 128 - ar 44100 sound.mp3

    ffmpeg -i input .f lv output .avi
  • 8/3/2019 Flash - Extract Music From Flash


    If you're not GUI-dependant and you're willing to invest some time learning all the tricksffmpeg can do, it should be the one and only tool you will ever need to create and editmultimedia files.

    I do recommend you read the ffmpeg documentation .

    Manipulate Shockwave Flash (SWF) files

    OK, we've seen what we can do with "ordinary" Flash video (.flv). But what about thoseFlash files called .swf? What do we do about them.

    Again, not to worry. There's a whole range of goodies available.



    SWFTools are a collection of excellent utilities that allow you to convert movies, pictures,even PDF files to SWF format. The usage is very similar to ffpmeg, so if you're comfortablewith ffmpeg, you won't have any problems using any of the SWF Tools.

    For example, to convert an .avi file to a .swf file:

    That's the whole of magic there's to it.

    You can download the entire bundle or use the tools individually. Linux users will also havethe chance to download software through the Package Manager, if the enabled repositoriescontain it.

    Manipulate Flash Video File (FLV) MetaData with FLVTool2


    You may want to tag your FLV files, whether you downloaded them or created them onyour own. Either way, FLVTool2 provides you with the required needs. Like ffmpeg andSWFTools, FLVTool2 is a command-line utility. Again, it's usage is very simple.

    I have found the examples on yonder site to be quite useful. Furthermore, for more details,you may want to consider reading the man page . FLVTools2 can be found in many Linuxdistro repositories.

    avi2swf input.avi output.swf
  • 8/3/2019 Flash - Extract Music From Flash


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