Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I tried several programs to convert a SWF file to a video format and so far none of them seems to work.

4media Converter
Video xConverter
Easy WMV 

I expect a video in any format that I could play in iOS, like .MOV, .AVI and other. Any ideas?

share|improve this question
Do you mean an FLV (Flash video) file? That's the format you'll find in common use all over the web (e.g. YouTube). An SWF file is typically the "player" window, and not the video itself. Most free video conversion apps today can handle FLV files. – Austin May 5 '11 at 21:15
Are you sure the swf is a video file and not some custom flash animation? If it isnt you could try something along the lines of – ConstantineK May 6 '11 at 0:37
All I know is that it is a SWF file with an video inside... and I just want to extract (or convert to) a video file – Felipe Sabino May 8 '11 at 12:38
This may not be relevant to the question, but an alternative is converting on the fly. There is a project (the site appears to be down) called SmokeScreen that is supposed to convert flash to html5 on the fly. – styfle May 9 '11 at 3:11
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Because the video is buried inside a full SWF file you won't be able to convert it -- it's much like if you had a Mac app that happens to play a built-in video: you're effectively trying to convert the app to a video, two very different kinds of things.

Instead you'll need to extract the video. You can use a task-specific extrator, and since you asked for a free way to do it, I suggest the Flaex app. There are a couple of other paid extractors for the Mac including Flash Decompiler and SWF Decompiler. I don't have first-hand experience with any of the extractors so I can't specifically recommend one.

The other possible not-free way to extract the video is by opening the swf file with the full Adobe Flash Pro, or have someone do it for you. Note that Adobe provides a fully-functional 30-day trial, so at least in the short-term it's a free option as well.

share|improve this answer
+1 This is what you have to do first. – Austin May 9 '11 at 16:19
Nice, I didn't know Flaex! is a nice free solution to get resources from a SWF file. – Felipe Sabino May 11 '11 at 12:58

Give Handbrake a try.

share|improve this answer
Will not work with SWF, only with FLV. – mspasov May 9 '11 at 13:07

You can jailbreak your iPhone (free), then download Cydia (free), from cydia download OpeniBoot (free), and using OpeniBoot you can install Android 2.2 (Froyo) which has flash player on it. Unfortunately, this upgrade only works on the first gen iPhone, iPhone 3G, and 1st gen iPod Touch. That's probably your best free bet out there. However, if you on the other hand have video, not an animation, most conversion apps (VisualHub, etc.) will do the trick.

share|improve this answer
That is not even close to an option... – Felipe Sabino May 8 '11 at 12:40
Man, that is an insanely complicated way to not even solve the problem at hand. – Matthew Frederick May 9 '11 at 2:48
To each his own. – rab777hp Jul 8 '11 at 22:45

Are these videos from the internet? DownloadHelper (Firefox add-on) normally gives you options on the downloads, and there is usually a non-flash version in there.

Have you tried EasyWMV?

Edit2: FlashVideo Converter might do the job.

share|improve this answer
No, it is a local SWF file.. but, as I can open it with the browser, I will check if this plugin does the trick – Felipe Sabino May 11 '11 at 0:40
Just saw you tried it. Sorry. – FossilizedCarlos May 11 '11 at 0:48
FlashVideo Converter is pricey, but try the demo. – FossilizedCarlos May 11 '11 at 0:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.