I have a client who has misplaced the original source video, only has an SWF, and would like to use it in a non-flash environment.

Is there any way to do this?

So far, I've tried ffmpeg but it's failed, complaining about the compressed SWF.

[swf @ 0x101807c00] Compressed SWF format not supported

Any help would be appreciated.

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5 Answers 5


You should get a SWF decompiler (perhaps one of the trails for: Sothink SWF Decompiler or Decompiler SWF) and use that to find the nested movie file, and extract that.

  • Sadly, I think this is the only way out of my situation. Will confirm and let you know.
    – bchang
    Jul 8, 2011 at 18:37

If your lucky, VLC might be able to play it. Then you can use its Convert/Save functionality to get it into a usable format.

  • No dice… avformat error: av_open_input_stream failed
    – bchang
    Jul 6, 2011 at 1:03

swfextract from SWF Tools looks like it does what you want: http://wiki.swftools.org/index.php/Swfextract

It'll probably give you an FLV, but you can then use ffmpeg or similar to turn it into a better container format.

  • Of course having said that without trying it, I'm now struggling to get it to do that. Looks like you could build something to do this on top of it but it doesn't do it on its own.
    – DRMacIver
    Jul 6, 2011 at 14:32

Sony Vegas can read some SWF files and then you can render to any of its supported formats, including H.264. The free trial is at http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/download/trials/vegaspro


If you're on a Mac, there's an app called Adapter that is supposed to handle SWFs.

If you're on Windows, you might try Free SWF Convertor.

  • Also tried Adapter with no luck. I suspect that it's choking on my “compressed” SWF
    – bchang
    Jul 7, 2011 at 7:18

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