Converting compressed SWF files to Flash Video on the cheap

Swifty Utilities Web Site I recently helped a friend with some videos for the business they run.  The videos were actually in the form of Shockwave videos.  Since Shockwave videos are similar to Flash, I thought the converter I had purchased months ago, Prism, would do the trick.  And it did. For one of them.  The rest of the videos turned out to be compressed SWF files.  Hmm, I thought.  Got to be something out there to decompress these.  Sure enough, there was.  I found, with the help of BING, the Swifty Utilities. 

Swifty Utilities is a collection of stand alone applications that can do a variety of things, including compressing and decompressing SWF files.  The best part is that most of them are free.  There is an Action Script viewer that appears to be a paid product.  Judging from what I’ve seen with the decompressor, I’d say it is worth what ever they charge.  The Swifty Decompress utility was so fast, I did not think it had done anything.  I must have tried three or four times before realizing that it had, in fact, done something.

Using Swifty Decompress was super simple: simply drag the SWF file onto the program icon.  Decompress performs an in-file decompress, that is, it does not create a new file.  So, if you want to keep the compressed version, then you will have to make a copy and decompress that.  This is a good use for the Windows 7 Aero-Snap feature:  put one Explorer window with the SWF files on one side, put the Explorer window with the utility on the other side and then drag from one to the other…or, put a short cut to Decompress on your desktop or toolbar.

Once the files were decompressed, I was able to batch convert them using Prism.  Once again, I have to praise this little application.  It converts to and from many different formats.  I haven’t found anything yet (well, other than the compressed SWF) that it cannot handle. Of course, I bought the ‘plus’ version because I wanted to convert to the additional formats that the paid version supported, plus I wanted to support the company that put the product out. It is a wonderful little application. It is not the prettiest Windows application, but it works great and is fairly easy to use.  And, in this case, function over form rules.

There are a few free SWF to FLV converters, but none of them appeared to either be Windows 7 friendly, required additional programs or were just not good.  I’m not going to list them here, but I would suggest going to CNet’s Download.com and searching there.  Prism is available $40 through Jan 30 for the Plus version and $60 for the Plus MPEG 2 version.

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