Converting Video : MPEG-2 to Flash Video.

Via Email IconThis question on video conversion came in via email from Earlene…

What is the easiest, most efficient way to convert MPEG-2 to Flash? These are files that are already saved as MPEG-2. I want to convert them to flash for web use. Some are 30 or 60 minutes long.

Have you ever heard of http://www.mogulus.com/

Do you like it? Do you know of anything like it that you like better?

Earlene and I wrote back and forth a couple times and her situation became clearer. Her group is looking to bring a Community Access Channel online 24/7 to the web. They’re considering the tools at Mogulus.com as a way for doing that. But first let’s answer the initial question.

The best bet for converting MPEG-2 video to the Flash Video (FLV) format would likely be the Video Encoder that comes bundled with Adobe Flash CS3. Although there’s other programs that could handle this conversion, such as Debabelizer… it always makes the most sense to keep things native to the environment you’re working in, in this case Flash.

  • (ed.note; We also found out that in order to export Flash Video from Quicktime Pro, you needed to have the Flash Video Encoder installed anyway… it’s the installation of Flash that gives Quicktime FLV export capability. Also, to give Quicktime Pro the ability to open MPEG-2 files will cost you a $20 plugin).

But let’s return to Earlene wanting to interface with the live broadcast functionality of Mogulus.com. A quick check of the FAQ’s on their site states their preferred format for incoming video as .MOV format (Quicktime) compressed in h.264.

So what we’re left with is the need to convert MPEG-2 to h.264 .MOV format (Quicktime)…

  • The cheap way is to use Quicktime Pro which will cost you $50… $30 to upgrade Quicktime to the Pro version and $20 to give Quicktime Pro MPEG-2 import capability.
  • The expensive way is to own Final Cut Studio ($1300) which would easily handle this conversion as well as provide state-of-the-art editing, motion graphics, color control, audio editing, etc. I’ve been using Final Cut for a few years now and could no longer live without it.

In Earlene’s case, if she simply has pre-produced MPEG-2’s that require conversion… then the cheaper Quicktime option is her best bet. However if she foresees that her groups broadcasts will require editing, titling, sound editing, etc… then Final Cut Studio would probably be a worthwhile investment.

As to whether I know of anything better then Mogulus, unfortunately I’m not familiar with this particular niche. If anyone out there could direct Earlene to some alternatives… please post it to the comment area below.

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