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View Full Version : MP4 vs FLV Questions...



Tristan Gray
07-28-2009, 06:13 PM
I am creating a series of online training videos for schools and libraries to educate them about a webtool they have recently purchased. The videos are screencasts shot with camtasia and they are between 10 - 15 minutes in length. My question is which format is more suitable for publishing this media? I know I can obtain a better quality/size ration with MP4 but I know that there used to be compatibility issues. Is that till the case? Which format will be most well-suited to the target audience and please briefly explain to me why.

I can obtain an acceptable level of quality while maitaining a ratio of about 1 - 1.5 MBs per minute of video at 800x600 in both formats. So really the question is now which one should I be publishing in to accomodate the most users?

I thank you for your input.

Apostropartheid
07-28-2009, 07:00 PM
Really, it just depends on which format they can play with the least hassle, assuming that it's for local use.

Tristan Gray
07-28-2009, 07:17 PM
It is going to be delivered over the web, not locally. And so I am more or less asking which will be easier for them to play? Does one have a decidedly better implementation than others?

Apostropartheid
07-28-2009, 08:12 PM
If you use FLVs, you can use widely available Flash players to play in the browser. They possibly won't have the software to handle FLVs locally, but probably will have for MP4s--check with them.

Tristan Gray
07-28-2009, 08:18 PM
If you use FLVs, you can use widely available Flash players to play in the browser. They possibly won't have the software to handle FLVs locally, but probably will have for MP4s--check with them.

This will all be delivered over the web as I will be using quicktime or another format to allow local download for these videos.

But as for the embedded content, I am having a tough time deciding between MP4 and FLV. I know that Flash 9 > is required to play MP4s but Adobe's penetration stats are notoriously unreliable (check their methodology sometime). I have been searching to find a reasonable independent practical study to try to make an educated decision but it has so far come up empty.

If you have advice on WMV vs QuickTime I am happy to hear that as well. But this judgment call on Flash version is proving to be quite an annoyance.

gnomeontherun
07-28-2009, 08:54 PM
Pick FLV. The biggest reason I have is that my mom works at a school and their computers are older. I doubt they have updated their Flash to the latest version.

Schools often get high speed internet, but have out dated computers. The reason comes from the money spent by states to update the internet infrastructure for schools, but many schools can't afford to keep updating their computers since its part of their budgets. So target Flash version 8 at the most, using AS2, and that is my advice.

Tristan Gray
07-28-2009, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the input. I am going to offer mov and wmv for local download as well for each video. So I am tempted to go with the mp4 as it is a much higher quality for the file size. But I too am suspicious of the Flash versions despite the inflated ubiquity reports. Anyone else have views on this issue?

Apostropartheid
07-28-2009, 10:05 PM
Here in the UK a lot of secondary schools have up-to-date clients, so they'd almost certainly have Flash 9, but things are different in the US. I suggest either actually contacting them, or having FLVs (you said the quality was very similar)



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