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Sorenson Puts the Squeeze on Mac OS X

First VBR encoder for OS X coming in fourth quarter; Broadcaster for Mac also to get update By Dave Nagel
Sorenson has announced a new off the shelf product for encoding video. The new product, Squeeze, will be the first variable bit rate (VBR) encoder for Mac OS X using the new Sorenson 3 CODEC. Squeeze will be a Carbonized application in its first incarnation, so it will also support Mac OS 9.

In an interview with Creative Mac, Ammen Harper, director of product management at Sorenson, shed a little more light on the new product and also told us about an update for Sorenson Broadcaster for the Mac that's due to go into beta testing in about 30 days. (See below for more.)

Squeeze itself is a standalone encoder that will be available in two versions: a Standard Edition and a Professional Edition. The standard version will include Sorenson 3 Basic, as well as MP3, Qualcomm, QDesign and IMA audio CODECs. The Professional version will include the Sorenson 3 Professional CODEC, the Sorenson MPEG-4 CODEC and Qualcomm PureVoice, QDesign Music 2, Fraunhofer MP3, and IMA 4.

Harper stressed that Squeeze is not a competitor to Cleaner 5 from Media 100. Rather, it's a tool designed for those with less experience in encoding who need a simple solution without all the features of Cleaner.

"It's not a replacement to Cleaner," Harper said. "The Cleaner product is basically for the sophisticated video producer, someone who knows [a lot about] encoding." Squeeze, he said, is targeted more for Web designers who want to introduce video onto their sites and as a companion for users of products like iMovie.

However, Squeeze does not smack of being a consumer product. It offers two-pass variable bit rate encoding, as well as "fast-pass" VBR, which, according to Harper, is almost as good as two-pass and significantly faster. It also supports variable bit rate for MP3 encoding; batch processing; multiple rate encoding; A/V filters; stored presets; and input from AVI, MOV and DV files.

A beta version of Squeeze will be available this summer for those who have purchased the Sorenson 3 Pro CODEC. Pricing for the shipping versions has not yet been set, though it is expected to be priced "competitively." A Windows version will come later, according to Harper, who added that the bulk of its encoding business has come from the Mac side.

And also on the topic of betas, Harper said we can expect a beta of Sorenson Broadcaster 1.5 for the Macintosh this summer. He said the release has been held up on the Mac platform owing to changes in the API, but the beta will be out in 30 days.

For those who don't know, Sorenson Broadcaster is a tool for live Webcasting of QuickTime content. The company recently wrote its own API for QuickTime on the Windows side, which has allowed for faster development on that platform. The new update will support QuickTime 5 and the Sorenson 3 CODEC. (It currently supports only QuickTime 4 on the Mac.) The 1.5 version will be a free upgrade for users of Broadcaster 1.1.

For more information, visit The company is also exhibiting at Macworld this week, showing off both Squeeze and Broadcaster. You can also check out our "first look" at the Sorenson 3 Basic CODEC at our sister site,

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Related Keywords:sorenson, video, codec, sorenson 3, broadcaster, squeeze, streaming

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