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Tutorial: Sorenson Squeeze 9

Squeeze offers great single- and multiple-file encoding performance, excellent quality, and a range of features that other encoders in its class simply can't match. Here's a look at how Squeeze works and how to leverage some of its key features.

Preset Encoding Options

One of Squeeze’s strengths is the breadth of its preset options (Figure 5, below). You have support for multiple audio formats; multiple flavors of Flash, including both VP6 and H.264; and HTML5 video, which I’ll get into later.

Figure 5. Preset encoding options in Squeeze.

Of course, you have support for MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and both the x264 and MainConcept H.264 codecs for maximum quality and encoding flexibility. Squeeze also supports less mainstream, but still relevant formats such as Ogg Audio, WebM, and Windows Media Video also supported. If you’re editing on the Avid platform, you can export in Avid DNxHD, or output in ProRes for editing in Final Cut .

Applying Filters

Squeeze includes many essential filters you can use to make quick changes to your videos, brightness and color adjustments, deinterlacing, timecode passthrough, and watermarking (Figure 6, below). You can even access third party VST plug-ins like iZotope’s audio plug-ins.

Figure 6. Choosing filters in the New Filter dialog.

Publishing Your Encoded File

After encoding is finished, you can publish the file to Sorenson 360 (which we’ll discuss in detail later in this article), to an Amazon S3 account, to an FTP site, or to YouTube (Figure 7, below). If you have Squeeze Server installed in your organization, you can send send the job there for offline encoding. These delivery features take the drudgery out of manually uploading files after they’re done encoding.

Figure 7. Publishing options in Squeeze 9.

With those basics covered, let’s look at the features that separate Squeeze from the pack.

Unlimited Parallel Processing

When you’re encoding multiple files to multiple outputs, Squeeze offers parallel processing, which enables you to encode an unlimited number of files simultaneously to get the most out of your multicore CPU (Figure 8, below). Some competing products max out at two simultaneous encodes.

Figure 8. Monitoring multicore processor utilization in Squeeze with multiple encodes afoot. Click the image to see it at full size.

If you need to reserve CPU cycles for other activities, you can control that by adjusting the Compression Systems Load slider under the Advanced tab in the Preferences window (Figure 9, below).

Figure 9. Adjusting the Compression Systems Load slider to reserve CPU cycles for other activities.