Converting Flash Video to HTML 5 Video

Converting Flash Video to HTML 5 Video

What’s the easiest way to convert Flash video from a content provider service, like BrightCove.com, to HTML 5 video?

The most straightforward way is to simulate browsing from a device that doesn’t support flash, in order to get the host to serve up HTML 5 video. Here’s how to do this, using Apple OS X and Safari.

First, we need to see the Develop menu on the Safari menu bar. Click Preferences, go to the Advanced tab, and select the “Show Develop in menu bar” checkbox.

Safari Preferences – Advanced Tab (Click “Show Develop in menu bar”)

Next, we need to set our browser’s user agent, so that the server we are targeting thinks we are using a device incapable of supporting Flash and will therefore serve up HTML 5 friendly content. Do this by clicking on the Develop menu, selecting the User agent submenu, and clicking on any agent representing a device that doesn’t support Flash (iPad, iPhone, or iPod).

Select a user agent for a device that does not support flash (e.g., iPad, iPhone, iPod, etc.)

Finally, browse to the page containing the content you’re interested in and get a fresh copy of the page. The server should send content that contains HTML 5 video now. Hold down the control key, click the mouse anywhere on the video, and you should see a menu similar to the image below. Select “Download video”, and you’re done.

When HTML 5 video is presented, hold down the control key and click the mouse – and then select download to get your video.

This is by far the most straightforward way at this type of content, rather than trying to install special Flash to MP4 converter apps, or using online file conversion sites.

If you are using another OS, the details may vary, but the process should be identical: emulate a device that doesn’t support flash, navigate to the targeted video content, and download the HTML 5 video to your local machine.

That should do ‘er. I’m interested if anyone else has an easier way to get at this.

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