I am trying to figure out which compression software to use. I have tried Sorenson Squeeze and compressing straight out of FCP. I am compressing hour long teaching sessions from DVCAM source footage, edited in FCP and then compressed into h.264 streaming videos at 400x300 at a rate of around 300kbps. I need something that will give me exact colors upon compression (i have had troubles with compressing out of FCP with colors being muted, blacks become lightened) and the ability to batch compress. Any help would be appreciated.
The encoder that Apple provides for H.264 is very good, but as you note, there are times with certain source formats where it can produce undesirable color issues. This is where an app like Cleaner 6.5 would help if it were available. Squeeze's H.264 encoder is only so-so, and therefore it may not be an option because of its overall final quality. Compressor offers some color adjusting options so that you can compensate for the source to the output, but the controls are rather basic. The other options on the mac are Popwire Compression Master 3.2, which produces very good quality and excellent color, but the encoding speed may not be ideal if you are in a crunch and using its best quality mode. On the mac, it is probably your best bet however if color is a major concern. The PC has some good encoders as well, but there are currently quite a few issues with most in what source formats are supported (i.e. AVI only) or whether or not the encodes are compatible with QT playback.