Dealing with odd files like: .mpg, .mp4, Powerpoint, Animated GIF’s, Flash .swf .flv .fla

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My secret weapon: The VLC player and screen recording software like Screenflow or Camtasia to make files into a Quicktime movie.
Flash
Read this to learn what an .swf file is.
When you receive .swf flies to use in an edit, ask the developer for the .fla files. Or better ask them to export a Quicktime in dimensions and frame rate of your edit to avoid alignment errors. Flash is vector based so in most situations it can be resized without getting pixelated. This is especially important when something was created for the web and now has to be sized up for broadcast.
The .fla file is the editable project file that was used to create the .swf file, it also holds the audio. When you re-import a .swf into Flash the audio does not get imported.
2 steps to pull audio and video from a .swf
1. VLC and screen recording software to record the audio.
2. Flash app (download free trial) to export the animation. Change the stage-color to black (or ignore stage and make Alpha) and use the Quicktime settings to match the dimensions and frame rate of your timeline.
.flv are flash video files that most software can import. MPEG Streamclip and VLC also open it.