Adding FLVs to Windows Server 2003

I’ve been wanting to add flash movies to OCModShop for a while, but there was a lot of work involved, and it didn’t seem worth doing.

One of the reasons I moved from an expensive datacenter to FIOS is so I could start delivering high-bandwidth content without spending an arm and a leg.

Well, SouthPeak sent me a copy of X-blades (review here) yesterday, which was released over a week ago.  In the reviewer scene if you don’t crank out a game review within a week of its release, then you might as well not do it.

I didn’t even ask for this game: they just sent it to me. Normally if a vendor sends something without asking then it gets put on the very last of the list:  I have a backlog of product that we need to review, and most of it we asked for.

Regardless, I felt this was a good academic excercise to try and get some gameplay videos up.  Recording the video wasn’t hard… just use FRAPS.  I lowered the resolution of the game to 1280×720 and recorded the video.

Now I needed to embed a watermark.  Adobe Premiere has a lot of overhead, but is also one of the most comprehensive video editors around.   I opened up Adobe Premiere CS4 and imported the videos. Hmmm… no sound.  After much research, I found that Premiere CS4 has some major bugs, one of them being no sound from some video streams.  I even updated Premiere with all the patches, and no go.  I eventually had to convert the file to Windows Media so I could even use them in Premiere.

BAD ADOBE.  BAD!  Why are you charging thousands of dollars and implementing one of the most horrible rootkit copy-protection schemes of all time when you’re releasing BETA software?

But I digest.

I eventually went through all the hassles of converting the videos.  Now I know what I need to do.  In hindsight I should just rip the audio out and place it down in Premiere as a seperate track.

I finally converted my video to FLV, but needed a player.  I finally found a free one that worked, but it was really finicky, and took a lot of coaxing to get working, but now I have the code snippets saved so it works every time.

In the middle of all this troubleshooting, the Flash Player couldn’t find the video file and spawned an error.  I knew the file existed, even used different URLs and absolute paths, but nothing worked.

Then I found out it was Windows Server 2003, and by default it doesn’t know what to do with an FLV file.  It has no MIME type specified in IIS, so I had to create it… and the type differs depending on the flavor of Flash you’re targeting.

So I did these steps so IIS could serve flash files:

  1. On the Windows 2003 server, open the Internet Information Services Manager.
  2. Expand the Local Computer Server.
  3. Right-click the local computer server and select Properties.
  4. Select the MIME Types tab.
  5. Click New and enter the following information:
  6. Associated Extension box: .FLV
  • MIME Type box:flv-application/octet-stream
  1. Click OK.
  2. Restart the World Wide Web Publishing service.

And of course, ISS hung hard so I had to reboot.  Once it did, then the Flash video finally worked.

All-in-all I spent a good six hours working on this problem, but now I can push out a Flash video in no time flat.  Yippie!

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.