Since you spent the time to make sure your project looks great, it’s important to make sure it still looks great when it’s compressed. While many applications let you "export" or "share" your video, they often don’t give you the controls you might need to eke out the best quality.
Sorenson Squeeze has long been a go-to tool for achieving high-quality compressed files. With this new update, version 9, Sorenson has increased that quality, added several new workflow improvements and ratcheted up the performance. The new interface is elegantly designed, making the encoding process straightforward. First, you import your file. Squeeze will take almost any file type. Second, choose your output format by selecting a preset. Then press the Squeeze It! button, and away it goes.
However, if you really want to get the most out of your video, Squeeze lets you modify those presets. A quick double-click opens up a whole host of adjustments. Each preset contains video, audio, filters, publishing and notification tabs. Instead of an endless list of parameters, the preset window shows the main adjustments you’d normally access. By clicking on the Advanced button you can quickly get to the more expert compression settings.
More importantly, Squeeze 9 now has support for HTML5 encoding, a new web standard for embedding media in web pages. It solves a lot of the cross-platform and cross-browser issues that have made serving up media difficult in the past.
Squeeze automatically creates the two flavors of video files needed for HTML5, a thumbnail JPEG and the necessary web code that can be copied and pasted into a web page. It even creates a fallback to Flash for older browsers, all contained in the single piece of code.
Squeeze allows you to create workflows, so that if you get your settings right, you don’t have to re-create them each time you have a new version of your file. A Squeeze workflow includes a "publishing" section that defines the destination (or destinations) where you want to put your finished encodes. Destinations can include a local or network folder, an FTP site, YouTube or Content Delivery Networks like Akamai or cloud storage like Amazon S3 or Sorenson 360.
Included with the application (and another possible destination) is a free account with Sorenson’s 360 service. This gives you up to 5 GB of storage along with a password-protected review and approval site that you can share with others.
The Sorenson 360 account is also used to help with notifications. As part of the workflow, you can have Squeeze send you an email or even a text message when your file is ready.
Compression takes a lot of computing power. Squeeze 9 has increased the speed of processing, in some cases by a factor of 6. With many compression jobs, it uses a "divide-and-conquer" approach by splitting up the source file into chunks that it can send to multiple CPUs if your computer has them.
Sorenson Squeeze is available in Standard and Pro versions. The Pro version adds closed captioning, adaptive bit-rate formats and the ability to compress to ProRes (on the Mac) and Avid DNxHD codecs.
Both versions require Windows XP, 7 or 8 with a Pentium IV or better, or Mac OS X 10.6 or greater and an Intel-base processor. The software can be integrated into workflows with Avid, Final Cut Pro and Premiere. Squeeze 9 Standard is $549; Squeeze 9 Pro is $749. A trial download is available.
Contact: Sorenson Media, www.sorensonmedia.com.