A. Many sites provide Flash Video (FLV) and Shockwave Flash (SWF) formatted video files. There are FLV and SWF plug-ins for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and other Web browsers. To view FLV and SWF formatted files without a Web browser, you need a standalone player with FLV and SWF plug-ins. You can download a popular FLV and SWF player, Wimpy Desktop FLV Player, at www.wimpyplayer.com/products/wimpy_standalone_flv_player.html.

There are also a number of commercial and free FLV players available (some might play SWF or other files, as well), including

  • Web Anatomy's Web Flv Player, which is available at flv-player.web-anatomy.com. The Web FLV player supports FLV, MPEG-3, MPEG-4, and H.264-formatted video files. Web Anatomy offers a free Web Flv player and standard, extended, and master commercial versions.
  • Applian Technologies' Applian FLV Player 2.0, which is available at applian.com/flvplayer/. The free Applian FLV Player supports FLV-formatted files.
  • martijndevisser.com's FLV Player, which is available at www.martijndevisser.com/blog/flv-player/. The free FLV Player supports FLV, MPEG-4, and H.264-formatted files.