Flash Video MX Pro - Batch Convert to Flash

If all you need is a simple conversion to flash format without having to go through all the previously mentioned steps, the application provides you with the right tools to do this. Besides the main app, a converter that responds to all your Flash conversion needs will also be installed on your system.

Flash Video MX Pro can do a pretty good job with generating all the necessary data for easily embedding the video on a website. But this is not all the software can do for you. It can also batch convert video into Flash format, without having to pass through all the customization steps (unless you want to).

The batch converter puts its shortcut on the desktop, right next to the one of the primary application. It launches easily and just from a glance at the interface you will realize that it won't pose any difficulties. The button bar in the upper part of the menu makes available all the options present in the module. You can import standard video or opt for the DVD loader that automatically detects DVD-Video files, allowing you to select the ones you're interested in, together with subtitle and audio track (if available) and the angle.

After defining the output location in the lower part of the interface you can proceed to converting the files. The conversion will create all the files necessary for putting the movie on a website, including FLV, HTML and SWF files.

The Pro Batch Encoder is not much different from its bigger brother and, although its basic task is simple and it accomplishes it great, it also comes with a slightly more complicated side in the “Customize” tab. If you worked with Flash Video MX Pro or if you at least took a glance at it, no customization setting available will seem unfamiliar. That's because customization options include all the steps in Flash Video MX Pro.

So you'll have a chance at editing, adjusting brightness and contrast, adding a watermark, taking the snapshot for the first frame, working with cuepoints, and configuring the Export options, codec used for the procedure or player skin. Special effects and preloader choices are not left out either and the same picks await. Accessing “Customize” will basically throw you into Flash Video MX Pro.

The personalization procedure can be different for each of the videos in the list. The application will take care to save the settings per item and does not apply the same ones for all the videos in the list. A video preview window lets you play the movies in the list before proceeding to the actual conversion process.

Without customization settings Pro Batch Encoder is much easier to handle and in the end it provides the files to put the resulting video online. There are no complications, unless you want them, by getting some custom frills.

The Pro Batch Encoder seems like a good solution for both customizing and converting video into Flash format. For the sake of keeping it even simpler, it would have been nice to integrate the batch conversion module in the same window as Flash Video MX Pro, without placing two desktop shortcuts that can be accessed separately with almost the same goal. As it is now, I'm sure that once users discover the batch encoder and its customization options they will give the main application up.

The Good

Flash Video MX Pro provides a simple way to prepare your video for the web. It converts a pretty wide number of video formats into Flash and also creates all the data necessary to make embedding into a page extremely easy.

It features editing functions that let you trim the video or crop the image. Adjusting the original brightness and contrast is also a possibility in the application, as is watermarking the result with either an image or a string of text. Navigation and Event cuepoints are supported.

You are given the possibility to interfere with encoding settings in order to reach the best output result possible. The codecs supported include Sorenson H.263, Flash 8, F4V and H.264.

Thirty player skins are waiting to be picked and you can also add preset special effects or a nice preloader at the beginning of the video to show the load level of the file.

The Bad

Resource usage is not through the roof, and it is quite normal for a video converter. But in this case even the slightest change to the video (adjusting brightness, contrast or cropping) will increase the levels of the resources used. Working with it on lower-specked machines can easily turn into a nightmare.

During our testing the Goldfish special effect did not work properly and the animation got stuck on a spot and kept flickering.

Also, having two modules for tasks that can be easily accomplished only by one may be confusing for the user. Appending a curtain to the end of the video did not work in our case.

Even with all the advantages provided, the price is still quite a drawback. For this amount of money users definitely expect a piece of software close to perfect, which Flash Video MX Pro is not.

The Truth

Flash Video MX Pro does a good job with the output result and provides easy-to-handle options that even greenhorns can put a harness on with no difficulty whatsoever. The army of 30 player skins cover some of the most popular skins as well as some less used but no less great-looking options.

Preloaders, editing options, brightness and contrast adjusting as well as control over codecs and encoding options used during the video conversion process are part of the suite choices offered by the application.

But there is also a downside, which includes malfunctioning of special effects, elevated resource usage for minor adjustments, or the reiteration of the same options under Pro Batch Encoder module. For a newbie the help file will not be of much help in the case of cuepoints as they are not thoroughly explained.