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Sorenson Puts the Squeeze on Video
Film to Video
I tested a beta copy of Squeeze 3 Compression Suite on a Pentium III-based computer running Microsoft Windows 98 (Sorenson representatives say the company will release an Apple Macintosh version later this quarter). I put Squeeze through its paces by compressing an eight-minute clip from the 1966 movie, The Wrong Box, but the software can compress any length video.
To make a comparison between two-pass Squeeze and the commonly used one-pass QuickTime 6, I used the increasingly popular MPEG-4 output format. I compressed the digital video file in QuickTime using the built-in MPEG-4 encoder. The result was a 21-MB file with video compressed to 256 Kbps at 320x240 pixels and 30 frames per second, and audio using AAC/mono at 96 Kbps. Next I encoded the original digital video using Squeeze at the same settings. When finished, Squeeze had created a 18.7-MB file--15 percent smaller than QuickTime's.
Speed vs. Quality
Excellent video quality.
Supports MOV, MP4, WMV, RM.
Takes time to compress at high quality.
Selected output options can quickly clutter the interface.
The quality difference in the video produced by two-pass Squeeze as compared with one-pass compression tools is so great, Squeeze is in a class by itself. On-screen movement doesn't have the expected blockiness. And the text in the output was sharper--it had cleaner edges than that produced by QuickTime. For text-heavy video, this can mean the difference between an engaged audience and a group of staffers feigning interest while messaging each other from their laptops. Although Squeeze performs two-pass encoding by default, you can turn off this setting if you have a rush job. Unfortunately, the resulting quality would be closer to what you'd get with one-pass QuickTime.
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