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jaser
compression on the mac
on Apr 26, 2005 at 3:34:05 am

what's the best way to compress to quicktime, real and windows media on the mac? i was thinking of going sorenson compression suite 4.1 plus flip4mac's wmv studio w/in sorenson. is this the ultimate combination? how about cleaner or compression master 3? my projects originate in fcp 4.5. thanks for your thoughts suggestions!


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Charles Simonson
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 26, 2005 at 4:06:14 am

Cleaner definitely is not the answer if you are looking for a product that is still supported and active. Squeeze is a good choice, as it has good SV3, FLV, AVC, Real, and now, WMV encoding. The preprocessing and filters leave a lot to be desired though. Compression Master 3 has excellent MPEG-4 and Real encoding, and its WMV encoding is quite good too. v3.1 of CM will be even more exciting however, as it will add SV3, FLV, AVC, much improved MPEG-2, and any other QT codec encoding that is available on your system. The preprocessing and filters in CM 3.1 are best of breed for any encoding suite on any platform at the moment. If I were you, I would download the Squeeze demo for now, test it out, and wait a few weeks until the CM 3.1 demo is released. The interface in CM 3.1 is much improved over previous versions, but you may still prefer Squeeze's easy-to-grasp UI.

Both Squeeze and CM3 make worthy purchases. The advantage of Squeeze being it is easy to use and includes SV3 Pro, but you have to pay extra for WMV and its preprocessing isn't the greatest. The advantage of CM3.1 is that it is very powerful and fast, has the best preprocessing routines on the market, and has some top-notch encoders, but for great SV3 output, you will need to buy the SV3 Pro encoder module.


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jaser
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 26, 2005 at 5:38:21 pm

thanks charles. so would you say that compression master(3.1) plus sv3pro would be a better way to go than sorenson compression suite plus flip4mac's wmv studio pro? it seems from your post above this is the way to go for it's(cm 3.1) better preprocessing and filters? thanks again.


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charles simonson
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 26, 2005 at 6:17:32 pm

For the preprocessing and total filtering control, plus the speed of encooding, I would say, yes, Compression Master 3.1 would be the way to go. As I stated above though, it won't be released for a few weeks yet. 3.1 is free upgrade to 3.0, so if you absolutely needed an app right now, you wouldn't have to worry. 3.1 also changes the interface significantly (a great improvement IMHO), so if you download the 3.0 demo today, expect it to look a little different in the new version.

I must also say that if WMV encoding is your primary goal, definitely test out both apps before purchasing. Each produces a different looking WMV at the same settings. With Popwire, you get a very sharp and accurate color image. With F4M, the color isn't as accurate, but the overall image quality and motion is preferred by quite a few. It really depends on the type of sources you will be using and which one you personally prefer. The other encoders in each app are all quite similar. For instance, you get better Real encoding with CM, but Squeeze offers better FLV encoding right now. With Squeeze, you get true two-pass SV3 encoding, but because the filtering and preproccessing is so superior with CM, the quality-based VBR options of the SV3 Pro encoder that CM has access to levels out the 2-pass benefit, and CM's SV3 encoding can actually be better.


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jaser
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 26, 2005 at 11:44:41 pm

great...thanks again charles! any cd/dvd training on compression master(such as sorenson training dvd by ben waggoner)?


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charles simonson
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 27, 2005 at 1:53:07 pm

Not yet, but that is a good idea. Another thing about Compression Master, if you ever have any questions or troubleshooting needs, just email the developers. They are located in Sweden, so expect a minimal delay in them answering you, but they generally do so within 12 hours, and will work diligently to help fix your issue. And they are very receptive to suggestions. Its really quite unheard of in the software compression world, but very refreshing.


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Craig Seeman
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 27, 2005 at 5:54:42 pm

Flip4Mac also has WMV HD encoding with surround sound. WMV Studio Pro (which does the 2 pass and HD encoding, etc) also has the new WMV Player Pro which allows you to import WMV files in FCP (as well as QuickTime Pro) for editing. There's also a less expensive WMV Studio (1 pass encoding, no HD) but has WMV Player Pro also. All this works in Squeeze.

The competition is fierce between CM and Sorenson (with Flip4Mac added of course). A refreshingly exciting time for Mac compressionists after Cleaner's"dormancy."


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jaser
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 27, 2005 at 7:24:13 pm

well, it seems like sorenson and compression master are important for what they do. sorenson squeeze for creating quicktime compression such as those movie trailers at apple.com and compression master for encoding better mpeg4 and real content. i'm not hard for cash right now so looks like i will be going w/ sorenson squeeze and will wait for compression master to update to 3.1. that way i'll have the best of both worlds...thanks again!


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charles simonson
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 27, 2005 at 7:42:56 pm

Couldn't go wrong with that setup, jaser. Having both suites, if you can afford it, is what I recommend. Especially if you are mac only, you will have all of your bases covered. Great QT, SV3, FLV, MPEG-4 Part 2 and 10, WMV-9, Real10, 3GPP, and MPEG-2 encoding will now be available on the mac with the combination of each app. Certainly, if you don't like the output of one app, you could use the other, and the difference should well satisfy.


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Nick Story
Re: compression on the mac
on Apr 29, 2005 at 11:59:39 pm

I had the same question to ask as Jaser two days ago- I am using FCP and have been having nightmares with Apples Compressor- and waisted a lot of working hours trying to do mp4s for clients who couldn t play them properly on PCs.
I just got Compression Master and after a few test am really pleased with the result- and so was the client.

I was also impressed with the speed- I am looking at my Activity Monitor and checking the cpu workload and CM looks really efficient here too.

On the test I did- the file I created for WMP was very satisfactory, and tiny compared to the QT files- using given templates.

The lesson I took out from this little adventure was that Compressor is not adequate for a professional job- one needs more choice to offer clients.










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charles simonson
Re: compression on the mac
on May 2, 2005 at 6:29:58 pm

Compressor 1's only redeeming feature IMO is the live playback of previewed output. Maybe Compressor 2 will change that, hopefully so. I do know that the interface is MUCH improved, and the network rendering feature is very useful. I'm definitely willing to give Apple another chance, we'll just have to wait and see.


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