Why You Should Use the MP4 File Format Instead of FLV

For many years, the preferred file format for sharing video online (whether through a hosting service or on your own website) has been Adobe’s Flash Video format, or FLV. This was once the default video file type for Camtasia Studio productions. In Camtasia Studio 6, the default file format for video production was changed to MPEG-4 (or MP4). Why the change?

Video technology never stops evolving, and Camtasia Studio changes as well to continue to offer the best production options to our customers and their viewers. FLV became a popular choice for video on the Internet due to the ubiquity of the Adobe Flash plug-in, but advances in browser technology and the Flash plug-in itself mean that more traditional video file formats are now commonplace. FLV files themselves are rarely served up by video hosting services anymore. Instead, MP4 has taken its place (often with a Flash controller playing the MP4 file) as the new standard for video on the Web. Other pages use HTML 5 to directly play the MP4 video file.

MP4 is a great way to provide high quality videos along with compression that gives great file size. Specifically, Camtasia Studio (and its Mac OS X counterpart, Camtasia for Mac) create MP4 files that use H.264 encoding. When a video provider like Vimeo, YouTube, or the iTunes store streams a video, they use an MP4 file with H.264 encoding. Additionally, MP4 with H.264 encoding is one of the video codecs that a Blu-Ray player must be able to decode.

Many hosting services, such as Vimeo, now list MP4 as their preferred file format. Additionally, some video distribution platforms, like Vimeo or Apple’s iTunes store, do not support the FLV format.

The rise of video on mobile devices has changed things as well. For the most part, Adobe Flash content on websites isn’t available on mobile devices. For video that can be viewed anywhere, on any device, the MP4 format has become the latest standard.

If you aren’t already making MP4 videos, maybe you should be. For more on how to produce MP4 videos in Camtasia Studio, see Produce and Share an MP4 Video.

Title Category Level Format
000 - Getting Started: 1 - Record Full Screen Getting Started I Video
001 - Getting Started: 2 - Editing Dimensions and Save Project Getting Started I Video
002 - Getting Started: 3 - Overview of Camtasia Studio Interface Getting Started I Video
003 - Getting Started: 4 - Apply SmartFocus to Zoom and Pan Getting Started I Video
004 - Getting Started: 5 - Cut Unwanted Video and Audio on the Timeline Getting Started I Video
005 - Getting Started: 6 - Add a Title Clip Getting Started I Video
006 - Getting Started: 7 - Add a Transition Getting Started I Video
007 - Getting Started: 8 - Share Your Video on Screencast.com Getting Started I Video
008 - PowerPoint: 1 - Add-in Toolbar PowerPoint Series I Video
009 - PowerPoint: 2 - Record a Presentation PowerPoint Series I Video
010 - PowerPoint: 3 - Editing Dimensions and Save Project PowerPoint Series I Video
011 - PowerPoint: 4 - Cut and Split Clips Using Markers on the Timeline PowerPoint Series I Video
012 - PowerPoint: 5 - Use Markers to Create a Table of Contents PowerPoint Series I Video
013 - PowerPoint: 6 - Audio Enhancements and Noise Removal PowerPoint Series I Video
014 - PowerPoint: 7 - Custom Production Settings PowerPoint Series I Video
015 - PowerPoint: 8 - Share on the Web with Link to HTML File PowerPoint Series I Video
016 - Captions Overview Caption Series I Video
017 - Add Manually Caption Series II Video
018 - Import and Export Options Caption Series II Video
019 - Make Your Videos Searchable Caption Series II Video
020 - Speech-to-Text Caption Series II Video
021 - Sync with Script Caption Series II Video
022 - Callouts - The Basics Edit I Video
023 - Callouts - Tips and Tricks Edit II Video
024 - Clip Speed Edit II Video
025 - Copy and Paste (Quick Tip) Edit II Video
026 - Hotkeys (Keyboard Shortcuts) Edit II Video
027 - Save a PowerPoint Slide as an Image (to fix or update your recording) Edit III Video
028 - Set Your Default Durations (Quick Tip) Edit I Video
029 - Working with Transitions (Quick Tip) Edit II Video
030 - Produce and Share an MP4 Video File Formats I Written
031 - Why SWF Is Not Actually a Video Format File Formats I Written
032 - Why You Should Use the MP4 File Format Instead of FLV File Formats I Written
033 - Embed Video on Webpage Share III Video
034 - Export Your Project as a Zip (Quick Tip) Share II Video
035 - Share to iPad Share I Video
036 - Share to iPod or iPhone Share I Video
037 - Share Your Video on YouTube Share II Video