Adobe Flash player plugin is free. However, like in virtually all the free things there are several “mousetraps”. I found them when tried to play mp4 video from my own site. I hope that these notes may help the reader to avoid the mousetraps.
First mousetrap is that Adobe Flash player cannot play mp4 directly. One should convert or “pack” mp4 file into Adobe SWF format first.
The second mousetrap is that if you simply convert (embed) mp4 to SWF it will be played without the regular controls like “Stop” or “Rewind” buttons.
The third mousetrap is that simple “embedded” video in SWF may play only about two minutes.
Fortunately, the “player” in the name Adobe Player is a bit misleading. Yes, Adobe Player is rather limited as player but it is not just a player. It is also the virtual machine to run the programs in SWF format. In short to play your mp4 you need in addition to the free Adobe player another player. Let’s call it SWF player. SWF player is actually the program for Adobe player in swf format. This swf program in general does not hold your mp4 directly. Instead it downloads mp4 from your site as needed and may also show the regular player controls.
So my task was to find such as SWF player. I needed a reliable solution. To keep SWF player up-to-date cost money so I hoped only for the open source solution that does not stimulate me to pay too obtrusively.
I found two popular solutions. When I tell popular I mean that both are also available as plugins to one of the most popular blog engine WordPress. However one of the SWF player (JW Player) did not allow adsence. So I narrowed my search to Flowplayer . I also prefer Flowplayer for the good documentation.
However, it was the fourth mousetrap. Neither Flowplayer nor JW Player could play the Mp4 (Mp4v-es) that I recorded with my mobile. I heard the sound but there was no video. So I had to convert Mp4 to the native for the Adobe SWF flv file format first. Fortunately there are many free converters to flv. I used Pazera Free Video to Flash Converter.
So I countered four mousetraps. Probably it is because the flash player is quadruply free .