|Review: Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite
Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite
$499.00 Sorenson Squeeze
Review by Steve
Check out any forum, listen to a video
discussion, watch a podcast and just as often as not you will
you find that the question of what to use to compress, and what
is the most advantageous codec and settings to use is on the
tips of everyone's tongue. Of course, with such a tremendous
number of diverse types of projects, different client requests
and the peccadilloes of the many, there sadly is no one answer,
no single setting, size or format. However, the one thing all
agree on is that quality and speed of creation is of utmost importance.
Sorenson Squeeze seems to have
been around since the dawn of man, or at least, the dawn of non-linear
editing. The Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite, capable
of running either on a Mac or PC, brings with it several new
features and capabilities not the least of which is much improved
support for H.264, speed boosts for both pre processing and encoding,
the ability to run natively on the Intel based Macs and DVD burning
straight to disc.
Available either on disc or as
a download from the Sorenson website, the installation was certainly
simple enough. You need to just run the installation program
and enter your serial number to activate and that's it.
Easy to adjust interface.
Using the Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 compression suite is quite easy.
Importing projects can be accomplished either by dragging your
project into the batch window at the bottom, use the import file
icon at the top left to locate a project within your computer,
use the Watch Folder, where you can compress several source files
into different formats without having to manually assign settings
for each process, or you may capture your video live by going
to the Capture Video icon found in the Input window.
No capture device
connected but it is simply done within this capture video window.
All the windows found within the Compression Suite interface
are easily adjustable as to size in relationship to each other.
Need to stretch out or enlarge the video playback window for
a closer look at the details; it's no problem. Need a larger
batch window for a good look at multiple projects and their assigned
filters, easy to do. The video window even has an unobtrusive
and easy to over look button at the top right which will completely
disconnect the video window from the rest of the interface. Click
again and it's reconnected. Very cool!
A contextual window found at the bottom
of the interface that explains what each thing will accomplish
or do clarifies any confusion as to what any of the icons or
At the upper left of the interface are
the different filters, which can be applied to improve the final
output of your project. Each filter is customizable and may be
saved for future projects. With the application of filters to
the project you will find a frame-viewer in the video window
that is controlled by a small, sliding button at the top of the
video. Sliding this towards center will provide instant feedback
as to the changes you are making giving you a before and after
preview before deciding to go to final compression.
Adjusting the parameters within the savable filter and being able to see instant results may save you lots of time down the line. Using the slider button over the preview window gives you the ability to see your 'before' and 'after' prior to final compression.
Squeeze 4.5 allows you to apply as many encoding presets and
filters as you want and to as many projects. Just as well because
Sorenson provides a great many presets for you to choose from
whether you will be making your projects for DVD, streaming,
Power Point presentations or CD distribution. Each of the presets
is easily modifiable and may be saved for future video encodings.
at the same time for each project or for different projects is
I was impressed by both the speed of the compression and the
final quality I was able to achieve with my experimentations.
No matter how good an application Squeeze 4.5 is, you must still
experiment with different presets and manual settings in order
to find the one, or the many, which is best for you. There is
no single way to accomplish these compressions, it all depends
upon the length, audio, complexity of the video and quality requirements
needed by any one project. The Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression
Suite does provide you with the opportunities. The choices remain
up to you.
Steve Douglas is an underwater
videographer and contributor to numerous film festivals around
the world. A winner of the 1999 Pacific Coast Underwater Film
Competition, 2003 IVIE competition, 2004 Los Angeles Underwater
Photographic competition, and the prestigious 2005 International
Beneath the Sea Film Competition, where he also won the Stan
Waterman Award for Excellence in Underwater Videography and 'Diver
of the Year', Steve was a safety diver on the feature film "The
Deep Blue Sea", contributed footage to the Seaworld Park's
Atlantis production, and a recent History channel MegaDisaster
show. Steve is one of the founding organizers of the San Diego
UnderSea Film Exhibition and leads both underwater filming expeditions
and African safaris with upcoming excursions to Kenya, Bali &
Komodo in 2007, and Costa Rica and Palau in 2008. Feel free to
contact him if you are interested in joining Steve on any of
these exciting trips. www.worldfilmsandtravel.com
copyright © Steve
This article first appeared
on www.kenstone.net and
is reprinted here with permission.
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