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Is it possible to play all flash videos using VLC because flash is consuming a lot of processing power? In addition with VLC I will be able to record every stream for example Ustream etc.

I am using Ubuntu 11.04.

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You mean using VLC instead of the flash plug in to play the embedded videos on the web?, or just play flv files? –  Uri Herrera Jul 24 '11 at 21:00
Instead of flash plugin –  ntenisOT Jul 24 '11 at 21:55
this question gets a greater scope if related not only to a flash plugin inside Firefox, but to the larger issue of avoiding high use of resources (GPU) through use of external players to play embedded flash in general. see this answer and comments (askubuntu.com/a/169298/47206) –  cipricus Jul 28 '12 at 21:55

3 Answers 3

Get FlashVideoReplacer. The extension automatically replaces embedded flash videos with the original mp4 or flv videos, allowing to watch flash streaming content with a less CPU intensive plugin or standalone external player.

Keep in mind that although VLC is an excellent player, the plugin isn't. FVR won't work well with VLC plugin. The recommended plugin is gecko-mediaplayer. For documentation, supported sites and tweaks see the extension web site

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Do you know if there is a similar plugin for chrome? –  ntenisOT Jul 25 '11 at 1:07
I am the developer of FVR. I had plans to make a Chrome version, but it is on hold. Due to time constrains I am currently focusing on my Firefox add-ons only. –  lovinglinux Jul 25 '11 at 18:04
If it's opensource I can take a look! –  ntenisOT Jul 25 '11 at 19:01
It is open source. See github.com/webgapps/flvideoreplacer –  lovinglinux Jul 25 '11 at 21:21
dead links, aren't they? –  cipricus Jul 29 '12 at 23:21

VLC can play any Flash video for which you have the .flv file. It can also record anything it is playing.

However, you can't always just point it at a webpage and play Flash videos on that page and it can't 'play' .swf files (because they aren't videos). You need to somehow download the .flv file. There are tools that work for some sites such as cclive install cclive, get_iplayer install get-iplayer and youtube-dl install youtube-dl that download the .flv files.

Not all sites are supported by such tools but there is a work around that allows you to download the video file so that you can watch it without using Flash for the actual watching although you do need the Flash plugin installed to do this. This workaround uses Chromium install chromium-browser but a similar method works with Firefox+Firebug.

In Chromium, press Ctrl+Shift+J to open the developer console and click on the 'Network' tab.

developer console

Then, navigate to the page with the video on and start to play it. You can then look for the item in the list with a type starting with 'video/' and click on it.

video item

This will give you a URL which you can copy and download using wget or a download manager.

enter image description here

Once you have copied the url, you can close the page which will stop Flash from running.

This works for any non-live Flash video as long as additional digital restrictions management methods (like RTMP used on BBC iPlayer) are not used.

Live Flash streams such as Ustream are, as far as I know, not possible to play with VLC. However, some sites may give you a proper streaming URL like an mms or rtsp link which VLC can play.

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SMPlayer can do what you ask here, but for youtube only. enter image description here

It starts a separate application, SMPlayer Youtube Browser, to search for videos. One can create a link/desktop launcher to it,

enter image description here

or just run


VLC can also play embedded youtube videos.To a similar question (here) I received a comment on how to do that:

'VLC can stream and play youtube videos directly without needing to download. I always use it because my older PC can't handle flash very well and the system lags, but watching on VLC those problems go away. Check this on how to watch youtube videos on VLC Player: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFg3_ZGsC6k'

(Thaks to Halkinn)

I tried to find an addon for FF to open youtube video in external player. There is one for VLC but it doesn't seem to work (it worked up to v.9 of FF it seems) but its clone for SMPlayer works. enter image description here There is also one working for VLC+Chromium ! - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jldiailifbdkepgpcojllmkbakleicab?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon

The VLC web interface has to be enabled and vlc open (VLC Tools-Preferences-Show Settings -All-Interface-Main-enable Web, restart VLC) enter image description here

I think that the best solution is (the one suggested by user55822):

Using the Firefox Openwith addon and just adding vlc and/or smplayer instead of/beside browsers. And it works perfectly (to play youtube in smplayer, do not add smplayer, but smtube) enter image description here

And while smplayer (smtube) is limited to youtube, VLC works outside youtube too.

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