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Jerry Hofmann reviews Sorenson

Jerry Hofmann reviews Sorensonís Squeeze for QuickTime



A Creative COW "Real World" Product Review



Jerry Hofmann reviews Sorenson’s Squeeze for QuickTime
Jerry Hofmann
Jerry Hofmann
jlh productions
Denver, Colorado USA
©2002 Jerry Hofmann and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
Need to do quality compressions of QuickTime movies and don’t know much about it? Jerry Hofmann takes a look at a new product called Sorenson Squeeze brought to us by a company long recognized for supplying the finest codecs used for QuickTime compressions, Sorenson.


Need to do quality compressions of QuickTime movies and don’t know much about it? Join the club; it’s a big one. Long recognized for supplying the finest codecs used for QuickTime compressions, Sorenson has delivered a product for everyone utilizing the Sorenson 3 professional version codec. The product is called Sorenson Squeeze. It’s a very easy to learn and simple to use program that produces very high quality QuickTime video compressions with very little fuss. It even has a capture utility so you can capture material from tape for compression. Squeeze for QuickTime also supports batch processing.

Utilizing state of the art technologies, Sorenson delivers a very deceptively simple interface, which anyone can sit right down with and use. Using the “Intelligent Presets”, I didn’t even need to consult the documentation for my first compressions. It is a dedicated QuickTime compression tool that has it all. For a quick and easy way to produce very professional results in QuickTime only compression jobs, this program can’t be beat. It comes with the Professional Edition of the Sorenson 3 Codec, which allows for custom settings that start with the intelligent preset’s settings.

Sorenson Squeeze's main interface makes it easy to create compressed video for most applications and target data rates by utilizing intelligent presets. Squeeze automatically selects the compression parameters to create the highest-quality video with the smallest possible file size. For a quick set for viewing across the Internet you’re set. You just pick the bandwidth. You can create a set of bandwidths all at once.

But you needn’t stay tied to the presets; you can override them for a more customized compression. Simply double click one of these 7 intelligent presets and it’s customizable and savable for later use. Sorenson Squeeze comes with the professional version of the Sorenson 3 codec. You can even create a mask with the Masking features. Watermarks, custom web streaming settings and more. 2 Pass VBR is selected or not. There’s a curious “quick” streaming feature that can be turned on that costs quality for speed of rendering trade-off.

You can add a Media Key to the stream as well to keep unauthorized eyes from taking a look.



Squeeze for QuickTime also offers many of the advanced features that professional producers have been demanding. Squeeze also includes convenient integration with Sorenson Vcast, a media delivery service that enables easy storage, management, and delivery of video assets in any format.


Take a look at the interface:

See the 7 blue QuickTime Compression settings? You simply open a QT movie you have on your computer into Squeeze, select one or more of the intelligent preset compression settings, and click on the Filters button for further refinement. When you do, this window opens:



With these simple and straightforward controls, you can adjust and crop the video you are preparing compression. Can’t get much easier, eh? The program comes with a very well organized online help system to help you get a handle on things as well. The very best of this program is its simplicity. It’s powerful, produces very high quality professional results, and is a snap to learn. Anyone needing a quality QuickTime movie that’s compressed in any of the custom presets will be pleased with the results.

An additional benefit of the program is that it replaces any Sorenson 3 “lite” codec you may have installed, for example, when exporting from Final Cut Pro, instead of the “lite” version you are used to working with, the Pro version is utilized instead. This alone may make this program a worthwhile addition to your toolset. A seasoned compressionist very well might buy the program for this feature alone. The two-pass variable bandwidth feature supplied by the pro version of Sorenson’s codec alone may make this purchase a must for any professional.

Its incredibly wonderful help system provides links to a myriad of topics, which fully explain the process, and teaches you all of the ins and outs of QuickTime compression and more. I’m very impressed with the included help system. So many programs come with a very rudimentary help system or none at all, but Sorenson left no unturned stones with this one, and it’s a very welcome addition indeed.



Here’s the feature list:

  • Support for One-Pass Variable Bit Rate (VBR) Compression
    One-Pass VBR compression reduces processing time to non-VBR standards while delivering only slightly lower quality than Two-Pass VBR compression.
  • Support for Two-Pass VBR
    Squeeze supports Two-Pass VBR, which produces higher-quality video than standard compression while only adding slightly more processing time.
  • Intelligent Presets
    Squeeze includes optimized presets for connections ranging from modem to high-quality CD delivery. Squeeze also lets advanced users customize their settings.
  • DV Capture
    Squeeze captures digital video through any DV source, whether it is a digital video camera or an analog-to-digital converter.
  • Batch Processing through Watch Folders
    Squeeze saves you time by using Watch folders to process multiple files.
  • Adjustable Cropping
    Squeeze's cropping ability allows you to "cut out" undesirable areas within your video
  • Audio/Video Filters
    With Squeeze, users get maximum flexibility with advanced control of audio/video parameters such as:
  • Inverse Telecine
    Inverse Telecine maintains video quality by removing the extra frames that are added when film (24 frames per second) is transferred to video (30 frames per second).
  • Fade in/out
    Fade in/out lets you create a black or white fade-in segment at the beginning or end of your movie.
  • Smoothing
    Smoothing evens out blocky edges for low data rate video.
  • Audio Normalization
    Squeeze analyzes your video to find the loudest sound and then adjusts the audio to maximum volume.
  • Video Noise Reduction
    The video noise reduction feature reduces video noise in your content without causing it to sound fuzzy. Reducing noise increases video encoding quality.
  • Deinterlacing
    Squeeze's deinterlacing features make your video look better by removing interlacing artifacts caused by the two fields per frame nature of conventional video.
  • White/Black Restore
    Squeeze gives you the option to control the levels of white and black in your video.
  • Support for QuickTime .MOV movie files.
    Squeeze lets you output video in Apple's popular QuickTime .MOV file format.
  • Sorenson Vcast integration
    Squeeze integrates with Sorenson Media's Vcast service for video storage and delivery. Vcast allows you to easily and affordably deliver rich media content to anyone, anywhere in the world over the Web.




Bottom line? Whether you are a novice or a pro, you’ll love the simplicity of this product. It’s not often something as complicated as compressing video is made much easier, but here’s a product that does the job with aplomb.

Sorenson’s Squeeze for QuickTime also allows for sophisticated user selectable custom presets for QuickTime files as well, pleasing any user.

It’s winner for sure.

I give it 4.5 COW’s.
System Requirements
  • Power PC with G3 processor or greater
  • Mac OS 9.1 or X
  • Pentium II-based PC or greater
  • MS Windows 98, 2000, ME or XP
  • 128 MB RAM
  • QuickTime 5


Sorenson Squeeze Encoders

  • Sorenson Video 3 Professional (included)
  • Qualcomm PureVoice (included)
  • QDesign Music 2 (included)
  • Fraunhofer MP3 (included)
  • IMA (included)


Sorenson Squeeze Formats

  • Input
    • AVI
    • MOV
    • DV
  • Output
    • MOV


Sorenson also has a version of Squeeze for Flash, which is sold separately, and has announced a new MPEG-4 encoder in a point release due this fall. Couldn’t have a better company working on one. I’ll update this review at that time, stay tuned…




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