Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between FLV and FLA


FLV and FLA are two file extensions that are associated with Adobe’s Flash. The main difference between the two is where they appear in the entire process of creating Flash files for the web. FLA is the document extension used when you are creating a Flash file. FLA is only recognized by the Flash authoring software and retains all the changes made. In comparison, FLV is the finished product that is ready to be published online. It is a streaming video format that is used by many online video sites like YouTube to provide streaming content to users.

In terms of size, FLV is the smaller of the two. This is because FLA has a need to retain all the associated resources so that no unnecessary loss occurs prior to publishing the finished product. FLV is optimized so that there is a reasonable balance between quality and size. Files that are too big are not optimal for online viewings as it would take a long time to download and will probably cause the player to stop and buffer in the middle or at multiple points of the video.

As a working file, it is understood that FLA is editable. You can do incremental changes to the file or remove some of your changes and they would not have any remaining effect on the file. On the other hand, FLV is no longer editable in the same sense as FLA. If you’ve added certain things like pop-ups to the video stream and exported it to FLV, those pop-ups would stay there, and removing them would leave a void in the image that needs to be repaired.

Because FLV is intended for video streaming, its content is rather limited to simply audio and video. On the other hand, FLA does not have the same restriction as it is also used to create SWF files which can contain animations, interactive menus, and is even used for online gaming. FLA files can contain video, audio, images, and other resources as well as scripting for how the other resources are to be used.


1.FLA is the working document while FLV is the finished product.
2.FLV is a streaming video format while FLA is the format for Flash authoring software.
3.FLV is often smaller than FLA.
4.FLA is editable while FLV is not.
5.FLA can contain more than video and audio which is what FLV contains.

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