Product Review: Page (1) of 4 - 06/05/03 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Squeeze It

Sorenson Squeeze 3 a wonder for compression By Stephen Schleicher
The Sorenson Video 3 Pro Codec is probably by far the best compression codec out there. It has the ability to produce some amazing results. In the past, however, the only way to get the codec was to purchase it and then install it with your other compression software. But what if Sorenson decided to create their own compression software based around their great codec? Would the results be worth it? You bet! I recently took a look at Sorenson Squeeze 3 Compression Suite for the Mac and PC platforms and was quite impressed.

Sorenson Squeeze 3 actually comes in two different flavors - the current version 3.1 for the Mac OS X and version 3.5 for the Windows folks. There are some slight differences between the two versions, and Ill explain those shortly. First lets take a look at version 3.1 for the Mac.

The idea behind Sorenson Squeeze is that all you need to do is point to the file you want to compress/encode, select the data rate and format you want to encode in, and then ?Squeeze It! It sounds simple, and it is. Unlike some other compression software out there, you dont have to wade through tabbed panels trying to figure out what compression scheme will work best for you. The interface is so simple to understand, you will wonder why other companies dont follow along.

This simple interface will have you compressing your media in minutes.

You begin by selecting the Output Type you want to create. For the Mac you can select from QuickTime, Flash SWF, Flash FLV, or Sorenson MPEG-4. Not a large selection, but since QuickTime, Flash, and MP4 are fairly universal for cross platform compression it is enough.

Once your Output Type is selected, you can then go to the Filter Settings and make any adjustments that you need to make including Gamma, Contrast, and White and Black Restore. The Filter Settings give you the option of also cropping the image (which is great for video where the blanking area is visible), as well as having your video fade in and out. There is a preview area that allows you to see what effects the changes will have on your video. You should be careful with these controls, especially if you have a long format piece with changes in light and location. Scrubbing through the player controls allows you to see these effects without having to press an update button every couple of minutes. The adjustments you can make to your video are somewhat limited, but should do just fine when preparing your media for delivery on a different format.

With your video tweaked the way you want it, you then select the Compression Settings from a picon menu. There are eight different settings to select from: Streaming 56k, Streaming 100k, Streaming 300k, Progressive Download Small (240x180 200kbps), Medium (320x240 424kbps), Large (480x360 896kbps), LAN, and CD quality (480x360 1128kpbs). Of course you can go in and edit each one of these presets yourself to change frame rate, keyframe rate, as well as the Audio codec used.

You can quickly create a batch list by clicking on the different compression settings and adding them to the Summary list.

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Related Keywords:Sorenson, Sorenson Video, Sorenson Squeeze, Mac, PC, schleicher, review, squeeze it

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