Watching local flash .flv videos with your browser

You got it. You couldn't sleep thinking that your removed due to terms favourite video may have been violations or to some other very good reason. So, you just downloaded a video from YouTube (don't ask me how and ask the master!), and now you have a nice, little, harmless .flv file on your hd. But how to open it? You are thinking about downloading VLC player, or an unknown generic codec; or maybe you're so bright you already thought it's possible to transcode it with your favourite factotum: mplayer. Maybe you could even download a specific application that can only read .flv files! But there's a question silently crawling in your head... Why the hell my friends Firefox and Safari could open and play and even seek the .flv stream, while they don't know how to deal with the same stream coming from my local hd?
And you already know the answer, in the deep. They can. You just simply need to present the .flv under a different aspect; you need to wrap it in a Flash object (swf) you can compile by yourself, or you could ask an existent Flash reader to open the .flv file for you.

[update]
After a very long and difficult work period (two days)1, finally I made a html-knowdlege-independent and effortless-to-use-even-for-dumb-users page; it's a little .flv player written only in html (with a flash object). You can download it from WatchTube (another cool thing is coming soon on that website). This lilttle reader supports also .swf videos and other media files. Finally, we have our free, cross platform, light, fast .flv reader. We do not depend anymore on any specific codec or dedicated reader. Use your own browser and enjoy!

In a nutshell:

  • Lory Player 1.1 Flash player
  • Reads Flash videos (*.swf, *.flv) and other formats (*.mp3, *.jpg, *.png, *.gif, RTMP streams)
  • No installation required
  • For Linux, MacOsX, Windows (virtually any version)
  • Tested on Firefox, IE6, IE7, Safari, Camino (requires Flash plugin)
  • Creative Commons license (it's free)
  • Direct download link (~120 Kb)
An online version (not working with local files, it's just a layout preview) is available here.

1 Note added: when you say you had a "very long and difficult work period", and then you specify that the long period was just two days long, you can't be serious. Evidently it's a contradiction, or simply a (stupid) joke...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you tell people it is difficullt to make a player and ask for donations?

Why not tell people it is really easy and explain how?

Like the people who helped you make a player without asking for donations!

Eugenio said...

Dear anonymous,
I'm sorry you felt offended by a Paypal donate button, but I really don't understand what's wrong with that. It's a free (as in free speech) player, it's open source (under a CC license), it cites the people who worked with me and the original Flash player I used (the great Jeroen's one, there's a link inside the player). I didn't say it was really difficult to implement, though you'll agree with me that just a few webpages have a dynamic layout tested on 7 browsers for 3 platforms (EDIT: were you talking about the joke? I added a note to the post to better specify...). I just said I made something usable even for people without HTML knowdledge, and I still think that's correct.
I knew my browser could play flash videos, so I didn't understand why everyone is installing additional software to do the same thing. Maybe because most of people don't know it's possible, or don't know how to do it. Or maybe most of people just don't want to reinvent the wheel everytime, and they look for ready software (can you blame them?).
It's not a secrect how this player works: you'll find in thousands of websites the instructions of how to embed a flash video in a HTML page, so why should I have repeated it all here? And, being frank, how many people would have implemented their own player if I'd explained the (already clear for programmers) way to do that? Only programmers, or informatic skilled people.
If you're interested in more details, you can look at the source (there are some comments) or ask me, and I'll be happy to explain everything; but I guess you don't need any explanation...

Of course you're free to continue writing here, but I hope you don't mind if I'll move these comments on the proper thread, if they'll continue. Eventually, please feel free to contact me also by mail at jfrusciante @ tiscali dot it.

Anyway, thanks for pointing out this question

Anonymous said...

Somehow it doesn't open flv video on my Mandriva Linux 2008.0 in FF2 or Konqueror with Adobe Flash 9.

But thanks for the idea, that would be good for Linux.

Serhiy

Narcolessico said...

Somehow it doesn't open flv video on my Mandriva Linux 2008.0 in FF2 or Konqueror with Adobe Flash 9.

But thanks for the idea, that would be good for Linux.

Serhiy

That's strange. Could you post some more details please? Maybe we can debug it together.

Did you save the player page locally? Are you trying to open a local file or a remote one? Do you get any error messages?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I wanted to say that this program is a waste of time. Eugenio, some people is not dumb for not knowing html, it's perhaps that they have other vocation. If you are good with computers, then cheers to that. One thing is for sure, your program needs to do something as simple as you said above, but it didn't get my video working. As a result=simple thing=not done=not a very succesufull nerd.
Btw, there were no instructions in the file, just a bunch of places to give you money.
I know that you made this with good faith, but if it doesn't work perfectly, perhaps one can download another program that does.
Keep it up.

Narcolessico said...

Hi, I wanted to say that this program is a waste of time. Eugenio, some people is not dumb for not knowing html, it's perhaps that they have other vocation. If you are good with computers, then cheers to that. One thing is for sure, your program needs to do something as simple as you said above, but it didn't get my video working. As a result=simple thing=not done=not a very succesufull nerd.
Btw, there were no instructions in the file, just a bunch of places to give you money.
I know that you made this with good faith, but if it doesn't work perfectly, perhaps one can download another program that does.
Keep it up.


Dear anonymous,
I'm sorry the player didn't work for you; however, I can assure you that it is working for many other people. Indeed, I have serious doubts about a syllogism from a particular case to a general rule like "it didn't get my video working" = "this program is a waste of time". Thank you for the feedback, but it would be much more useful if you could tell a bit more about the problem.

Maybe you use Firefox 3? A user of the player told me he experienced some problems with it. Unfortunately, I can't personally test Loryplayer on FF3 until some weeks, but it seems that a new security policy is causing some troubles in opening local files. As soon as I'll have detailed information, I'll post it on this blog. Until that, it would be great if you could post which o.s. and browser (including their version) you experienced the problem with.

Regarding the HTML knowledge, I just said that the player is easy to use even for dumb users (just click "browse" and then "play"); I never wrote (and neither thought) that "people who ignore html is dumb". If there is any phrase that is not clear and makes you think that, I can change it.

Finally, if the banners annoy you, just click on "Minimal mode" to make most of them disappear; in next version, they all will disappear in that mode.

Regards
Eugenio

Niger Bird said...

I am going to subscribe, so I can take in more. I can hardly wait to get overhauls through email.
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