Flash Video is a container file format used to deliver video over the Internet using Adobe Flash Player (initially produced by Macromedia) versions 6â€“10. Flash Video content may also be embedded within SWF files. There are two different video file formats defined by Adobe Systems and supported in Adobe Flash Player: FLV and F4V. The audio and video data within FLV files are encoded in the same way as they are within SWF files. The latter F4V file format is based on the ISO base media file format and is supported starting with Flash Player 9 update 3.
The format has quickly established itself as the format of choice for embedded video on the web. Notable users of the Flash Video format include YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo! Video, metacafe, Reuters.com, and many other news providers. The standards documentation for BBC Online deprecates the use of other formats previously in use on its sites such as RealVideo or WMV.
Though the Flash Video container format itself is open, the codecs used with it are patented. Flash Video FLV files usually contain material encoded with codecs following the Sorenson Spark or VP6 compression formats. The most recent public releases of Flash Player also support H.264 video and HE-AAC audio.
Flash Video is viewable on most operating systems, via the widely available Adobe Flash Player and web browser plugin, or one of several third-party programs.