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Fix Your .FLV Files

Updated on November 11, 2013

Fix Your .FLV Files

.FLV or "Flash Video" is the greatest video format around for web viewing purposes. Supported by the vast majority of browsers and critical to the social video networking scene, it is nearly guaranteed to work on all of your visitors' computers. can be glitched, and frustrating when the video stops abruptly. Here's how to fix it!

The purpose of this resource is to help you figure out why your FLV files aren't working. This page was written up from the searching, reading, trial and error I've gone through, at a time when I was frustrated with bad FLV files and needed an immediate solution.

How to Create An .FLV

It might be helpful to those who have no clue what FLV is, for starters: FLV file formats super-compress raw video (such as the .AVI format) into a file that is only a fraction of the size. You've seen them put to good use on sites like Youtube. Essentially, they allow a lot of people to watch videos without having to sit and wait for long periods of time. There is a minimal loss of audio and video quality, depending on the settings that were created for the FLV conversion.

The Flash Video format can be created through Adobe Flash, or more preferably, through 3rd party programs that are much less expensive for the average person. Here are two of the best FLV conversion programs out there:

  • Sorenson Squeeze: Squeeze will compress your AVI and other uncompressed files into FLV format. Its various versions cost a small fortune ($550 for standard, $750 for pro). Their "Squish" program allows visitor-uploaded videos to convert to FLV through the server.
  • RIVA FLV encoder: The free solution to making FLVs, and a pretty good one at that - select many options in your FLV conversion - from frame rate, to audio quality, movie size, bit rate and more.

Typical Errors & Problems With .FLV's

While tiny in size and decent in quality, FLVs do have their run of problems. These issues are typically due to poor (or no) meta data within the FLV file, that gives your video player the necessary information it needs to run the video from beginning to end. Here are typical problems that you most likely will encounter, during your FLV journeys:

  • The FLV video stops too early
  • The FLV video runs too choppy
  • The FLV doesn't start at all
  • The FLV periodically displays the "busy working" logo
  • The FLV doesn't play the first time, but does, the 2nd time
  • The FLV doesn't play on the site, but does on my computer

Thankfully, there are ways to fix these problematic FLV's:

FLVMDI: Add meta data to a poorly-converted .FLV

The FLV Meta Data Injector is a free program that inserts proper meta data into your FLV files [such as video size, length, last keyframe and more], and comes in two formats: a command-line version where you can enter your own commands (for fellow DOS geeks), or a GUI-style version that does everything for you more quickly & easily. (For the GUI, you'll also need the "FLVMDI.exe" file in the same folder as the GUI file, for it to work).

Open FLV Meta Data Injector and select the FLV file on your computer that is working improperly. Select a destination and name for the new file, check off the options you want (which will probably be "Include keyframes" and "Inject OnLastSecond Event") and simply click the "Run" button.

"Include Keyframes" inserts periodic keyframes into the video to assist with "scrubbing" the video, if it was previously not working with the scrubber bar. Sometimes, FLVs don't utilize the scrubber bar at all - and simply clicking the bar will bring the video back to the beginning -- how annoying. "Inject OnLastSecond" inserts one final second after the video, to help remedy situations where FLV videos end too early. FLVMDI can also batch process a folder full of FLV files. Don't even attempt to do more than a dozen at a time, though, as the program will probably crash.

FLVMDI also creates a report, if desired, to show you its progress. The new file *should* be working properly, unless it has deeper problems. In which case, try:

FLVCheck by Adobe Labs

Adobe created the free FLVCheck tool for FLV users, when their FLVs are not behaving properly. It is meant to be a tool that you should use before you upload an FLV file to your website. This is a command line prompt program only - meaning, there is no program that will open up when you install it, you'll need to install the EXE file, read the PDF and go to your DOS prompt.

The annoying part about this, of course, is that you'll have to type in the path to your FLV files, since this is DOS. Just put them directly into your "Documents and Settings" folder, and in the prompt, type "cd documents and settings". Then type:

flvcheck -f myvideo.flv

If there are no errors, it will display nothing at all, except the copyright info of the program. Otherwise, it will give you the code of what the error message is (a list of codes is within the PDF document). This does nothing more than let you know what exactly the problem is with your file. Afterwards, go back to FLVMDI program, that was explained above, and attempt to inject meta into the file again. Here's a more detailed explanation of FLVCheck commands at Adobe's site.

"I Did All This, But My .FLV Still Doesn't Work..."

If you've done all of the above and your video still doesn't work properly, then your FLV player script or program itself is the problem. Try another one. For instance, if a Wordpress FLV player plugin is still showing this behavior, try another FLV player plugin - you might be surprised to see that the new one works! This issue has in fact been addressed for some FLV players.

If this doesn't work, you may be out of luck. It's usually a bad sign if FLVMDI can't fix an FLV file. It may help to re-rip the video, re-convert it to an FLV, run it through FLVMDI, and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, the frustration level on fixing FLV files can be sky high. A big factor in eliminating them is by using a highly trusted commercial FLV converter - which will be an expensive path to take.

Out of you use Flash or HTML5 to display your FLV clips?

See results

Hopefully this FLV guide helps :) Leave a comment, if you'd like!


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    • billc lm profile image

      billc lm 8 years ago

      This helped solve my problem with 480p files downloaded from Hulu... THANKS!

    • profile image

      special_farces 8 years ago

      The link to FLVChecker is dead. Go to this page at Adobe::

      click on 'Tool downloads' on the right navi panel, log-in / create an Adobe ID, and you'll be taken to the page. But bad news Mac users, it's Windows Server or RedHat only.

    • jjanisse profile image

      jjanisse 8 years ago

      Hey, this is very interesting. I have had problems with my FLV files from on occasion. Now I know what to check. Thanks.

      Take Care.


    • profile image

      J_Edwards 7 years ago

      When an flv file I download doesn't work, I usually just download it again. But then when the link and torrent no longer works, that's a problem. Thanks for this.

    • profile image

      churchGirlCoder 7 years ago

      OK....I think I'm having an incredibly blonde day. I'm using the flvchecker. i'm using the following:

      C:\>Users\Me>flvcheck --file myfile.flv --quiet --help

      and I'm getting this back "flvcheck is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file"

      I've tried putting a path to the flv, putting the file in my doc and set folder and still get the same error. Not sure what I'm doing wrong.

      Can someone please help?

    • profile image

      churchGirlCoder 7 years ago

      Forgot to mention I'm running Vista 64bit

      -Thanks so much

    • profile image

      webprojectmanagement 7 years ago

      Great info! This could help me fix my FLV files in case I got in trouble. Thank you.

    • profile image

      mngtproject 7 years ago

      Wow it's a great lens. Here are some valuable suggestion. I think that these will be helpful for me.

      Thanks a lot

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      projectmanem 7 years ago

      When taking care of a project might be not a very much effortless Task. We have to be experienced about taking care of a project previous to going real action. It one is a nice lens about project management.

      Why I will not thank you?.

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      When project management may be not a too much easy duty. Key drivers of project require to learn about taking care of a project sooner than going real contract. It one is a nice article about project management.

      Thank you very much.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Right now I used HTML5 because before I can't see them due to I suffer from altitude sickness. However, I was cured taking medicines based on Sildenafil. Thanks for this interesting post. Viagra Online Buy Viagra

    • profile image

      andreloxas 6 years ago

      I really liked cos my collection gets corrupted at times.

    • cheech1981 profile image

      cheech1981 5 years ago

      haven't switched to html 5 yet but looking fwd to doing so soon.

    • profile image

      PROTONIX 5 years ago

      Protonix pantoprazole is used to treat erosive esophagitis and other conditions involving excess stomach acid

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I've had good luck Using FLVCheck then if errors show, remove with YAMDI with the -M attribute and re-add metadata back with Buraks FLVMDI. Even wrote a gui to semi-automate it. Corrected all mine so far.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I always encounter problems when downloading .flv files from variety of sites over the internet. My only solution to these is deleting the file where it roots or being using is easy and effective..

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Almost finished with FLV Fixer I wrote. Got permission to distribute freeware utilities used in it and it fixed all the MANY that do not work from YouTube and others such as Google News, etc. I'll be posting it soon for point and click to fix functionality.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi! When I try to run FLV Meta injector theres an error message "Please copy the file FLVMDI.EXE on the following folder...."

      how can I fix this? Pls help. Thanks for your answers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thats because the flvmdi.exe must be in the same directory as your FLVMDIGUI.exe file. If you download the GUI portion (FLVMDIGUI.exe) and put in the same folder as FLVMDI.exe, run the FLVMDIGUI.exe, then just drag your file to the input line and it will take care of it for you. As I said I have written a program that does all this including calling the programs to Check, remove invalid metadata and inject new. Trying to get it posted somewhere...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great post.

      I just wanted to add that there is rather unknown behavior of the MS-DOS command line that you can find very useful. When running a command line tool that requires entering the full path of a file (absolute or relative), that all you have to do is drag and drop the file in the MS-DOS windod and Voila!

      If I remember properly, is wil also add the required escaping ... ie. double quotes and backslashes if required.

      I hope this helps.


    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ok. Looks like no one using this site to post but in case they do, I've got a working GUI program that fixes everything except severely corrupted files using FFmpeg only drag and drop. Right now it isn't released but it's at Anyone care to try it please let me know at before I release it on the net. Thanks Bud Laman

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      OK, uploaded the latest Beta Version of my program to fix incorrect Meta data,time stamp, etc. and check remove the embedded filenames in files that have had them changed unknown to you. It uses FFmpeg but with a Windows drag and drop program Interface. HTTPS:// . Enjoy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice info, thanx!) but as for me, i always use this video to flash converter i heard a lot of positive opinions about it!)

    • profile image

      benpakenham 4 years ago

      I tried and it works well :)

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Great lens and very useful!

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Very useful lens. You answered most of my questions about .flv. Thanks a lot:=)

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