How to Open a FLV in Windows Media Player

by Theodora Pennypacker

The FLV file extension is an abbreviation for Flash video. An FLV file is a digital video that has been compressed to stream through the Adobe Flash Player web browser plug-in. The FLV format is popularly used by online video destinations like YouTube, Hulu, GoogleVideo, Facebook, MySpace and Dailymotion. Due to its prevalence as a medium for Web video, the FLV format has also been used to circulate digital video downloads. While FLV files can be opened individually in media players like VideoLAN VLC, FLV Player and Media Player Classic, it cannot be directly streamed through Microsoft's Windows Media Player. For an FLV file's media to be opened in Windows Media Player, the file needs to be converted into a digital video format supported by the program.

Convert the FLV file into a digital video format that is compatible with Windows Media Player, either a WMV, AVI, MPG or VOB file. Process the FLV file through a file conversion utility capable of re-compressing FLV files into one of these digital video formats. Some applications that can be used to perform this type of file conversion are iWisoft Free Video Converter, Hamster Free Video Converter and Media-Convert.com (see Resources).

Download and install Windows Media Player. Access the Microsoft product website to obtain the software (see Resources).

Run Windows Media Player. Go to the "File" tab on the program menu and choose "Open." Browse for the compatible version of the FLV file in the file selection window. Double-click on the item and it will load into Windows Media Player.

Play the compatible version of the FLV file in Windows Media Player. Control playback of the video with the play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and stop buttons on the control bar. Slide the volume bar to manage sound levels and monitor running time on the clip timeline. Click "Compact Mode" to collapse the media player, or click "Full Screen" to expand the video viewing area.

Close Windows Media Player when you are done playing the compatible version of the FLV file. Go to "File" and choose "Exit."

About the Author

Based in New York City, I am an online video producer who has more than five years of experience working in digital media. I specialize in video compression and distribution, video software, online video sharing and portable device use. I received my B.A. in Film Studies in 2005 from Vassar College.

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