Video Conversion Problem Using WinFF to Convert WMV to Flash FLV

Posted on 2009-04-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-20

I have a 68 MB WMV file that is a recording of a webinar held on GoToMeeting. I want to make it available on a UNIX-hosted website. From various other posts I read on EE I see the value of converting it to flash. I use Dreamweaver 8 to create and manage my web pages so presumably once it is in FLV format I will be able to insert it onto a page using Dreamweaver.

I downloaded WinFF and installed it. When I try to do the conversion I receive these messages, ending in a conversion error:

C:\Program Files\WinFF>chcp 1252
Active code page: 1252

C:\Program Files\WinFF>title Converting DiversityWebinar.wmv (1/1)

C:\Program Files\WinFF>"C:\Program Files\WinFF\ffmpeg.exe" -i "F:\Temp\Diversity
Webinar.wmv" -vcodec flv -f flv -r 29.97 -s 320x240 -aspect 4:3 -b 300kb -g 160
-cmp dct  -subcmp dct  -mbd 2 -flags +aic+cbp+mv0+mv4 -trellis 1 -ac 1 -ar 22050
 -ab 56kb "F:\Temp\DiversityWebinar.flv"
FFmpeg version SVN-r15986, Copyright (c) 2000-2008 Fabrice Bellard, et al.
  configuration: --extra-cflags=-fno-common --enable-memalign-hack --enable-pthr
eads --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libxvid --enable-libvorbis --enable-libtheora
--enable-libspeex --enable-libfaac --enable-libgsm --enable-libx264 --enable-lib
schroedinger --enable-avisynth --enable-swscale --enable-gpl
  libavutil     49.12. 0 / 49.12. 0
  libavcodec    52. 6. 0 / 52. 6. 0
  libavformat   52.23. 1 / 52.23. 1
  libavdevice   52. 1. 0 / 52. 1. 0
  libswscale     0. 6. 1 /  0. 6. 1
  built on Dec  3 2008 01:59:37, gcc: 4.2.4
Input #0, asf, from 'F:\Temp\DiversityWebinar.wmv':
  Duration: 00:57:30.98, start: 3.000000, bitrate: 165 kb/s
    Stream #0.0: Audio: wmav2, 44100 Hz, mono, s16, 48 kb/s
    Stream #0.1: Video: wmv3, 1920x1200, 3294 kb/s, 1000.00 tb(r)
File 'F:\Temp\DiversityWebinar.flv' already exists. Overwrite ? [y/N] y
swScaler: Unknown format is not supported as input pixel format
Cannot get resampling context

C:\Program Files\WinFF>pause
Press any key to continue . . .

One post suggested changing the extension from WMV to ASF. I tried that and I get the same result.

Can anyone provide insight into what is happening and how to get the file converted to FLV format?

Question by:Peter Bye
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 24102633
Hi Pete2009,

1) Which version of WinFF did you get?
2) Are you setting any of the options in WinFF or just doing a straight select and convert
3) Have you ever installed WinFF before?

Expert Comment

ID: 24102662
Use Super, this program converts anything to anything video and audio.
Never had any issues. 

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24103958
Hi jason1178 and SWESupport,

Thanks for your comments.

I downloaded WinFF 1.0.0. While it was described as Beta it seemed to have significant improvements over the last stable release (0.46?). This is the first time I've ever used WinFF so there are no older versions hanging around.

I used two of the presents in a straight select and convert:

* To Flash Video (flv) for Web use Fullscreen
* To Flash Video (flv) for Web Use Widescreen

I also tried the above with and without the "2 pass" option set.

All of these gave the same result, included above.

I tried setting the video size to 1900x1200 since I saw that in the message above. I also tried setting the bit rate to 165 kb/s since that was in the message above. That gave a different error message as I recall although I would have to re-do it to get the specifics. (I'll do that if it will be helpful.)

Other than that I have used the defaults.

I should also note: The file does play using WinFF play and using Windows Media Player and VLC Media player. I've streamed it from my website for the moment using the WMV file and assuming the viewer uses Windows Media Player. I would still prefer to convert to flash.

I also posted this in the WinFF forums. I have not heard anything yet there.

Super - certainly has a great name! I'll try that at some point although first I'd like to see if there is a way to get the result with WinFF if for no other reason than it's already installed.
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 50 total points
ID: 24104182
It may be that the video is just weirdly encoded but I kinda of doubt it.

Try this:

Uninstall 1.0.0 and also delete the WinFF folder C:\Documents and Settings\USER\Application Data\

Install 0.46 or 0.47 (whatever is not beta) and try the conversion again with no options selected except To Flash Video (flv)

Also give Super a try if that fails.

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24109844
Some further results, although no success yet:

I uninstalled WinFF 1.0.0, removed the separate folder, and also used JV16 to confirm there were no remnants in the registry. Release 0.43 is the current stable release on the WinFF site. I installed that, tried doing the recoding used the standard options for FLV 4:3 format, and it failed in the same way as 1.0.0.

I viewed the entire original WMV file in Windows Media Player and it plays fine in WMP.

I went to the Super site, downloaded the current 2009 build 35 version and installed it. (File version 2009.1.4.941.) The first time I did a recode I used these output settings:

video: same size, 30 fps, 288 kbps, high quality, stretch, 48K audio
audio: 22050, 2 channel, 64 kbps, default
direct show decode not checked

There is a green status bar on the Super display. It went through about 2.5 passes and got to an flv file size of 20.761 MB, paused, and then terminated with IO error 131. The full error message is attached in a JPG.

I used Super's diagnostic to examine the file. That report is attached in PDF format. To my (inexpert on this) eye, it seems normal.

Following the error message I tried the following two sets of settings in two additional attempted recodes:

second try:
video: 560x304 output size, 15 fps, 288 kbps, no high quality, no stretch, 48 kbps audio
audio: 22050, 2 channel, 64 kpbs, default (same as before)
direct show decode not checked

This failed in the same way as the first attempt although a bit sooner - at the beginning of the third pass of the green status bar.

third try:
video: 560x304 output size, 7.5 fps, 288 kbps, no high quality, no stretch, 48 kbps audio
audio: 44100, mono, 64 kpbs, default (matches the WMV original)
direct show decode checked (enabled)

Shortly after starting the recode operation  a blue/white message flashed onscreen - way too fast to read or capture. Then shortly after that, Super declared an error and stopped. No IO message this time but the detailed error message was the same one as in the first two attempts and in the attached JPG.

Any thoughts about what to try next?
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 24110682
Is there DRM on the video?  That would cause stuff to fail.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24110970
560 x 304 is certainly a weird resolution. Super doesn't seem to like it.
As Super suggests try checking direct show.
But change the resolution to 320 x240 with a fps of 30fps and of course choose Flash as the carrier
and FLV when prompted. 288kbps should be ok but go higher if you like or if Super spits out a higher default with the other settings.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24111006
Alternatively if you want to cheat. Upload the file as is to YouTube, which will do the flv encoding. Then download it using SaveTube and change the name back to the original ( it won't carry the YouTube logo when you download it).

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24111410
The file has no protection or DRM.

Your question spurred me to use Windows Explorer to look at the properties of the file. In the general tab of propoerties below the attributes options there was a security note that the file came from another computer and might be blocked to help protect this computer. There was a box to click to unblock it, which I did. Unfortunately, this had no effect. The encoding still fails in exactly the same way.

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24111437
Is the fact that the original is 1920x1200 a potential problem?
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 24111462
Sorry, Pete.  I'm fresh out of ideas.  The only thing I can think of is corruption, codec, or DRM that would cause the behavior.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24111735
<Is the fact that the original is 1920x1200 a potential problem?>

That's a High Def resolution. In fact it's higher than the standard of 1920 x 1080. Super would indeed have a problem with this. But further porblems would occur when trying to stream a file of this size given that most of your audience wouldn't have the transmission speed to receive it.
You need to decide what resolution (size) that you need to stream. Youtube uses 320 by 240 but you could go higher if you need. Try my suggestion (above) for a test.


Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24113060
Some further results based on fredshovel's thoughts and suggestions:

I did three tests:

video: 320x240, 30 fps, Directshow Decode ON: Failed with IO error message and the decode error detail message.

video: 320x240, 30 fps, Directshow Decode OFF: the decode completed with no errors although the resulting flv played only the audio and not the video that is in the original WMV file. I tested this in Super, VLC media player, and Windows Media Player. I also tried Nero Showtime 4 (the version that was part of Nero 8 Ultra) but Showtime crashed when trying to start playing the flv file.

video: no change, 30 fps, Directshow Decode OFF: Failed with IO error message and the decode error detail message.

By the way: I was trying to use 560x304 since it was the widest Super stand choice that would fit within my company's website page. The video is a recording of a webinar done on GoToMeeting. We want to include the replay inside a regular webpage. For now we're providing a link to a streamed version of the WMV file. The viewers will mostly be people working for companies with high-speed connections.

Any further thoughts on how to get this recoded into an flv file, preferably at 560x304 although I would certainly take a look at 320x240 to see how it looked.

LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24113759
Try the option of uploading it to Youtube and then downloading it in SaveTube and changing the name back to something with an flv extension.

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24115104
I will try this. It may take over the weekend to get to it. I will first have to set up a YouTube account and do the upload/download.

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24116736
I got a chance to try this sooner than anticipated. The video uploaded although it was rejected as too long. The duration of the webinar is about 58 minutes, which I gather exceeds YouTube's limit. I think I saw a note that the maximum they allow is the lesser of 10 minutes or 1 GB per video.

If it is a problem with the format of the file, is it possible that a video editing program could fix it? (If so I would need a suggestion of one to try using.)

Otherwise, I'm thinking that perhaps I need to just record the talk again.
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 24123565
I'm Just looking at your original question again because 68Mb for a 58 minute video that was encoded with WMV3, which is really Microsoft's VC-1 HD codec -- looks way to small. It may also be that encoding that the converters don't like. This also accounts for the 1920 x 1200 res because VC-1 was designed for High Def.
 I would try to re-encode it to a simpler wmv format using wmv9 codec. See if you can find an encoder that will re-encode it to WMV9 at 320 x240 at 30fps.
The if this is successful try to convert to flv.

Expert Comment

ID: 24125445
Just download TVC(total video convert)  and convert your WMV file into .flv format

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24126039
I tried TVC. Two observations:

* On some test recodings with a 1.76MB WMV file it created a 45MB FLV (standard quality) or 65 MB (high quality) output whereas SUPER creates files in the range of 4MB to 5MB. That seems an incredible difference. I just used TVC's defaults for the conversion.

* I tried converting the problematic 68MB webinar recording from WMV to FLV. I set TVC to convert to 320x240 resolution and standard quality FLV. It converted the file and created a 205MB output. BUT it only had the audio - no video.

The high resolution of the webinar recording comes from my 27" LCD monitor since it was set to its native 1920x1200 resolution during the webinar.

That 1920x1200 seems very problematic as first observed by fredshovel. Fredshovel - you suggested finding a converter to just get it down from 1920x1200. I don't seem to be able to find one.

We're devoting more time to this than is practical.

If someone has a specific suggestion for a 1920x1200 source WMV file (e.g. a specific downconverter to get it to lower resolution), that would be great.

Otherwise, I plan to give up on the source file, record something similar as a substitute, and convert that to flash. I just need to get this done so I can move onto other things.

If no suggestions specific to 1920x1200 source come in I will gratefully acknowledge your inputs, award points, and close out this question.
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

fredshovel earned 450 total points
ID: 24131876
Of course Super can do this, but it doesn't seem to like your file.
Try Blaze Media Pro -- 15 day free trial.

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24138630
Some interesting and promising partly-successful results. I downloaded Blaze Media Pro.

First I tried the "convert video" button on the right side of the screen. No success. It would not convert to a different version of WMV file at all - put up an error message instead. I tried using this to convert to flash. It seemed to start converting and finished after a few seconds. The resulting FLV file had a few seconds of audio and nothing else.

Then I noticed in the "conversions" drop-down menu a "convert to flash" option. I tried this. It worked! Converted the entire video. The only issue is "jittery" color in the PowerPoint slides (e.g. alternating between 'normal' and extra green) and in the text of some slides. I plan to retry this later today with noise reduction and smoothing to see if it helps.

Very puzzling why the 'convert video" button does not work but 'convert to flash" does.

It also turned the 68MB WMV file into a 200MB FLV file.

Nonetheless, Blaze Media Pro seems to have done what the other programs could  not.

If you have any suggestions other than what I mentioned above for how to get a cleaner conversion and on how to get the "convert video" function to work that would be useful. The 'convert video' button offers more controls than the "convert to flash" option from the drop-down menu.

Author Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 24144541
Using the slight noise reduction and smoothing settings cleaned up the color shifting completely. The compression and jitter noise around text on the PowerPoint slides also got somewhat better although it is still present. This, of course, is a different issue entirely. The noise looks like what shows up on a JPEG photo with too much compression.

So, Blaze Media Pro did the job that the others could not, by creating the FLV. It remains odd to me that it could not produce a simpler WMV from the original 1920x1200 WMV file but that is secondary.

Thank you all. I will now accept and award points.

Author Closing Comment

by:Peter Bye
ID: 31570272
fredshovel - thank you for persisting and offering great ideas including the ultimate thought about Blaze Media Pro. The comment about the WMV3 and VC-1 codecs was beyond my understanding although everything else was very clear and extremely helpful.

jason1178 - Thank you for your ideas and suggestions. Even though they did not specifically lead to the solution, you and the ideas were helpful.

Thank you, both.
Pete Bye

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