's flagship video encoding and transcoding application now handles Apple
ProRes and Avid
DNxHD -- as well as other codecs -- in a single product, Squeeze 8 Pro. It's a welcomed addition for many Sorenson Media users.
Eric Quanstrom, Sorenson Media COO
"This is something we've been motivated to do and asked about by customers relentlessly," says Sorenson Media COO Eric Quanstrom. "But codecs aren't plug-and-play operations. You have to optimize for each."
The new Pro version of Sorenson Squeeze 8 also includes the ability to encode for Dolby Pro audio in addition to standard full support for popular video formats such as H.264, Flash, WebM, Windows Media, adaptive bitrate, and DVD Blu-Ray.
Offering support for so many codecs in one product is a reflection of today's work environment, says Quanstrom. "More and more, we're hearing stories of how most post facilities and broadcast operations aren't centered around one codec," he says. "People aren't just using one NLE. No one is exclusively Apple, Avid, Adobe
, Grass Valley
. There's always a mixture of editing tools, graphics tools and all of these go into the mix of creating videos."
Sorenson Squeeze 8 Pro enables users to produce SMPTE VC3-compliant video bitstreams, achieve quicker edits on mezzanine HD formats with Avid DNxHD, and enjoy real-time collaboration across platforms. One new workflow benefit enabled by Squeeze 8 Pro is the ability to export Avid DNxHD files for Avid editing systems without owning Avid software. Squeeze 8 Pro offers full support of all Avid DNxHD bit resolutions up to 10-bit and frame ranges.
On Apple OS X systems, Sorenson Media Squeeze 8 Pro users can take advantage of the Apple ProRes family of codecs, including multistream, real-time editing performance and high image quality with reduced bandwidth. Users can export ProRes files for Final Cut Pro editors directly from Avid, or create Apple ProRes files for Final Cut Pro editors. Squeeze 8 Pro supports a variety of Apple ProRes formats, including 4444 (up to 12-bit), 422 (10-bit), 422 HQ (10-bit), 422 LT (10-bit), and 422 Proxy (10-bit).
Quanstrom points out that Sorenson Media enables users to customize Squeeze 8 Pro. "We did a survey of our users and one thing that was very eye-opening was that about 80 percent of our users tweak and tune presets," he says. "They don't just use the default off-the-shelf presets. That's not surprising to us that professionals want to change even encoding tools. But we give people an easy way to do so and really dig deep. That's one of the strengths of Squeeze."
As the workplace changes, so has the use of Sorenson Media's Squeeze. Most users have traditionally turned to Squeeze at the backend of the workflow, says Quanstrom, "pushing out a file for DVD or Blu-ray or the web, some sort of final format." "But we're now hearing a lot of people are using Squeeze to get files into a conforming format for the NLE timeline," he says. "This pushes it into another level. The same post houses and broadcast facilities are getting in every type of camera output you can imagine. Handling all those formats and getting everything into a timeline in the highest quality puts the use of Squeeze into the province of creative editing."
Sorenson Squeeze 8 screenshot. Please click on image to zoom.
"We really look forward to this next chapter for Squeeze 8 Pro," Quanstrom continues. "Even though the product has just been released, it's just the beginning. I can't wait for even more feedback once it gets into the market and gains traction. We look forward to the stories we get on what Squeeze has enabled in a workflow."
Sorenson Squeeze 8 Pro is available as an integrated standalone encoding/transcoding Solution or through Add-Ons to Sorenson Squeeze 8, both available immediately. Sorenson Squeeze 8 Pro as a standalone solution is priced at $999. Sorenson Squeeze 8 users can purchase any of three Sorenson Pro Add-Ons for Squeeze 8 -- Avid DNxHD Encoding, Apple ProRes Encoding (OS X only) or Dolby Pro Audio Encoding -- separately for $99 each. More information on pricing can be found here
It's just common sense in today's environment to create products that play well in different formats and codecs. That's always easier when it's a brand new product; bringing legacy products up to speed can take longer and be more complex. Now that Sorenson Media has done it for Squeeze, we agree with Quanstrom that the professional video users will stretch the encoder/transcoder to its limits, using it in every part of the workflow process. And, like him, we at Creative COW eagerly await their stories. You'll be reading them here.
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