Oct 27 2010

How to use FLV files with Windows Live Movie Maker 2011

imageI hate the idea of having to convert data to be able to use it with Windows Live Movie Maker, but that’s what most people will tell you to do; including Microsoft forum support.

And technically the support technicians would be correct. They even have a page that supports that fact. They’ve a page they reference when anyone after asks about the FLV files.

Normally, I would agree with them, but yesterday I was doing a test and I grabbed the incorrect file and drag-and-dropped it in to Windows Live Movie Maker— funny thing was— it worked!

I was able to import a FLV file right in to Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 and not have to convert it— it just worked.

Here’s what I did…

I had this video file— it’s a FLV file.

Natively, and officially, Windows Live Movie Maker doesn’t support importing it; that’s why it surprised me so much! Everyone else is preaching how it the FLV files have to be converted to AVI first.


Here’s the properties in VLC player, which is what I was using to play the file. VLC is an awesome media player… Here’s the screenshot of the video information to prove my point.

image image

That shows that the file I was working with was a FLV file. The audio stream is MP3 and the video codec being used is FLV1. [see it?]

So, I take this FLV file and then I drag-and-drop the file right in to Windows Live Movie Maker 2011.

When I first drop the FLV file off in Windows Live Movie Maker, I get this…


But I wait a few seconds [about 15-30 seconds] and I get this…


Whoa, right?!

Now, just to clarify it’s not 100%. What I never got was a proper preview on the right hand side. It stays just the way it’s now, but I can edit it.

Now if you trim, or edit the video the preview starts coming back, but that seems to be the catch thus far.


So what’s the key?



The FFa and FFv, blue an red icons pop-up each time a new video, edit or trim is made in Windows Live Movie Maker. It’s handling the conversion of the FLV files, on-the-fly, to make it compatible with Windows Live Movie Maker 2011.



It’s listed right there in the middle… And it converts it automatically.



I hope this helps…

Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr.

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  • Samuel

    Were you able to save your video? I am able to edit a .flv in WLMM with ffdshow installed. But when it comes to saving as .wmv Movie Maker crashes.

    • lehenryjr

      Yes. I was able to save the video. The issue with Windows Live Movie Maker is that it handle resources VERY poorly as confirmed by the technicians in the Windows Live Movie Maker forums.

      From one of my newer posts:

      Basically, Windows Live Movie Maker will let you import and do everything you want until it comes time to compose and/or export it to a WMV; then it crashes. The problem is that they're not handling memory resources properly and they've reported they'll address it in a future version… Nice.

      I hope this helps…

      Until next time,
      Larry Henry Jr.

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  • Bill M

    You don’t really need to install another media player to have the required codecs to process FLV files. Simply install the Windows 7 Codec pack. It’s not from Microsoft and it doesn’t come with a player unlike the K-Lite codecs pack which comes with Media Player Classic.

    Windows 7 Codec pack works on XP/Vista/7. It’s available at download.com

  • spaceyg

    As soon as I downloaded the Windows 7 Codec pack I was able to import .fla files in Windows Live Movie Maker. But I too can't seem to save it in anything without a crash.

  • Alisson

    Wow thanks, this worked here!

  • Tim

    I can import .flv, and it plays and edits in Windows Movie Maker… but as soon as I try to save a video, such as with recommended settings, it crashes. Any ideas?

    • There’s been reports of problems with saving projects with Windows Movie Maker. Some have to do with system resources, but just before I replied to this, I ran a test, my FLV compositions would save without error.

      To cover for the consistent reports of resource issues in Windows Live Movie Maker; the standard response from Microsoft techs is to adjust your PAGEFILE — it’s helpful in some cases.

      Here’s how:

      As a recommendation— In the Initial Size box, enter a value equal to one and a half times the amount
      of the computer’s installed RAM. In the Maximum Size box, enter a value equal to twice the amount of
      the Initial Size value.

      Note: You can change it back to what it was if this doesn’t work for you…

      I hope this helps…


      • Tim

        What a bummer, it still stops responding. The application fails on the save. I have 4 gb of RAM, so the initial was 6033MB and the max 12066MB. It seems to have no problem editing, splitting, etc., just totally bombs on the save.

      • Tim

        …hold the phone, it works! I brought down the codecs you so kindly posted links to, and also applied Windows updates. Thank you so much!

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