RichFLV: free tool to merge, cut, and manipulate FLV video

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RichFLV is a free Adobe Air tool that performs a number of operations on FLV video files, including merging files, extracting sections from larger FLVs, exporting audio as FLV or MP3, converting to SWF, extracting individual frames to image files, and defining cue-points and metadata.

Operations can be performed on the whole video or user-defined sub-sections.

If you’ve been looking for a tool that can work with FLV video (merge, cut, demux, edit) this may be the one you were waiting for.

What is interesting about this tool, aside from being FLV-specific is that it can handle (read/write) FLV without the need to install any external codec packs on your system.

Here are some notes on what this Adobe Air application can do:

  • Merge FLV: do this by first opening a file then from the import menu select FLV (stitch) and select the next FLV in line. Save the combined file and repeat for any subsequent files (note: use a new filename everytime; do not save over a file you are merging). Unfortunately it does not seem possible to simply select multiple files simultaneously in one fell swoop.
  • Cutting sections from an FLV’s: this is extremely simple; all you have to do is define the inpoint and outpoints (by dragging and dropping these visually or from the keyframes section), and saving it from the “export” menu.
  • Export to audio or SWF: once you set the inpoint and outpoint, this can be perfomed from the export menu. Your audio file can be either in FLV format or MP3.
  • Cue points: you can define “cue points” on your video, and add informational “parameters” to these. These can be saved within the video itself or exported to XML files. Having said that, I am unsure as to what the usefulness of this is in practice (somebody please advise).
  • Performance: excellent. Saving and exporting is ultra fast.
  • Metadata: you can define your own labels and values and store them in the video. Again, not sure why you would do that, as standalone players other than RichFLV do not seem to read or display the metadata.
  • Memory consumption: is completely out of whack in that it consumes way too much, depending on the size of the FLV file you are working with (e.g. was using 120 megs when editing a 6a0 meg video). This is due to this software being beta and the developer is aware of this and working on it. Let’s hope it improves with subsequent versions; in the meanwhile if you do not use RichFLV as your main FLV player and only launch it when you need it you should be OK.
  • Interface: warrants a mention. Very good looking, provides a nice user experience. The information and control panels can be minimized at will. Only criticism: no drag and drop support.
  • Keyframes section: seems to be there entirely for navigational purposes.

Wish list (or how this program can be even better)

  • Merging multiple FLVs at once: honestly with a program like this it should be possible to specify a number of FLVs, sort and/or organize them, and merge them all without having to go through the dance described in the “Merge FLV” section above.
  • Splitting an FLV: somewhat baffled that it is not possible to use the cue points I set to split the FLV. This program needs the addition of rules-based splitting (e.g. every 10 mins, x number of equal parts, etc.) as well as the option to use user defined cue point for splitting.

The verdict: overall a nice tool especially given the dearth of free tools that edit/manipulate FLVs. If you need to merge FLVs occasionally, extract video segments, audio or image stills from them or convert them to SWF this is probably the tool you are looking for. Otherwise check out the following tools: FLV Extract, Flash This!, Avidemux, Movica (these last two being generic video editors that can handle FLVs if you have appropriate filters/codecs installed on your system). My favorite video converter SUPER can also split FLVs – see this thread.

Also bear in mind that this is beta software and that as the author takes it to the next level it will continue to improve (keeping my fingers crossed that he will take my wish list items above into consideration).

Video of RichFLV in action:

Version Tested: 4.0 beta

Compatibility: Multiplatform (Windows Vista/XP, Mac). Requires Adobe Air.

Go to program page to download the latest version (approx 503 K).