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Episode vs. Sorenson

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dkeesey
Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 16, 2007 at 3:03:19 pm

I'm new to the Cow and I was hoping you all could give me some advice. I'm looking for a reasonably priced program for converting from various file formats to MOV, MPG, WMV, MP4, Flash and others. I just recieved the crossgrade offer from Cleaner to Episode. I was wondering if any of you have used Episode and, if so, how you like it. How does it compare to Sorenson Squeeze? What program do you all recommend?

Thanks!

Doug Keesey
http://www.EyeOnCreative.com


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 16, 2007 at 4:30:12 pm

I would highly recommend Epsiode. Squeeze has an easier interface and includes the SV3 Pro codec, but beyond that Episode has Squeeze beat in almost every other category. Episode has superior image processing tools and best-in-class MPEG-4, Real, and FLV encoders.


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Danny2007
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 16, 2007 at 5:47:14 pm

As usual, Charles is right on the money. I actually prefer the Episode interface.


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dkeesey
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 16, 2007 at 9:33:07 pm

Thanks for the info Charles. Glad to hear it works as good as it sounds. One thing I'm a bit confused about, especially as it relates to Flash encoding with Episode is whether or not I should go with Episode or Episode Pro. Also, do I need any other options or plug-ins to do what I need to do? Any thoughts? Thanks again!

Doug Keesey
http://www.EyeOnCreative.com


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 17, 2007 at 12:35:33 am

You'll want to buy at least the $495 edition, as the Flash 8 video codec (by On2) is much better than the Flash 7 codec that comes with it. For most people, the standard version of Episode is sufficient enough, as it does everything the Pro version does except for format specific features and integration with the higher end Episode server oriented products. About the only other reason to go with the Pro editon is for batch encoding. If you plan to do lots of batch encoding and processing, then go with the Pro. If you only need to encode projects a few times a day, then Episode standard should do you well.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 17, 2007 at 1:12:45 am

You can always move up to Pro if you need some of those rarer codecs like MXF. I have Episode Pro and it's got great flexibility. Get the On2VP6 Flash option. It looks good but Episode does Flash 8 encodes relatively fast.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 17, 2007 at 1:18:33 am

BTW here the product comparison between Episode and Pro.
http://www.flip4mac.com/episode_compare.htm
and this will give you more detail
http://www.flip4mac.com/episode_tech.htm

I've had a couple of jobs were I needed to create MPEG2 Transport Streams so that Pro feature is useful to me.


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dkeesey
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 21, 2007 at 7:58:00 pm

Thanks for all of the feedback. This has been very helpful.

I purchased Episode with the Flash 8 option. Actually, I'm pretty impressed with how easy it is to operate. I was encoding files within a minute or two of installing. Very simple. And with the current $200 coupon their offering for upgrading from Cleaner, it was a great deal.

I guess I'm wanting to use progressive download in lieu of streaming video on our website so Flash is the way to go, right? Episode can create FLV and SWF files in all shapes and sizes. Which do I use? FLV or SWF? And then what do I do with the files so that visitors can view videos on our site? Can anyone point me to some resources that can help me with this? I'm sure this is pretty basic stuff, but it's new to me so any help you can offer would be great. Thanks.

Doug Keesey
http://www.EyeOnCreative.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 22, 2007 at 2:02:13 am

Actually all major formats can progressive download (WMV9, MPEG4, H.264, Real, etc.) but of course Flash has great widespread use and Flash 8 offers great quality. I think using FLV and linking to a player would be a good way to go.

See a site like this for a good free player
http://www.jeroenwijering.com/?item=Flash_Video_Player


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Joe Murray
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 17, 2007 at 5:40:29 am

So only the Pro version has a batch encode feature?

Joe Murray


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 17, 2007 at 5:04:53 pm

They both have batch encoding, but I think there is a cap on the number of encodes you can do at one time with the standard version of Episode.

Craig should be able to give more details on this as he works for Flip4Mac (which he really should notify people of in his sig).


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 18, 2007 at 3:13:13 pm

I work for 3rd Planet Video, which does consulting for Flip4Mac (as well as other clients).


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 18, 2007 at 8:10:02 pm

Craig, especially since you moderate the F4M forums (which I imagine is where most of your consulting fee comes from), it would be nice if you included that nugget in your sig. I don't think there is anything wrong with you responding on these forums, but I do believe it would be nice if you made it more clear that you cannot always be unbiased when it comes to discussions involving F4M products.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 1:33:39 am

I'm here as a Compressionist not a Flip4Mac rep. I use Squeeze (and beta test that), Cleaner, Compressor and on PC Window Media Encoder. I started using Episode when it was Compression Master and owned by Popwire. As a compressionist I use all the above for 3rd Planet Video's clients, one of which is Flip4Mac and MANY others are not.


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 3:26:15 am

Yes, but you are the moderator for F4M's forums. Do you not see a conflict of bias here when writing about F4M products? If not, then fair enough.

I am not suggesting that you stop posting here or that your comments have been without value. But I still don't understand why you would have a problem about letting others know about your F4M relationship in your sig, even if you only post that when writing about F4M.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 9:18:22 pm

[Charles Simonson] "Yes, but you are the moderator for F4M's forums. Do you not see a conflict of bias here when writing about F4M products? If not, then fair enough."

I answer tech questions. Basically the same many of us do here such as yourself, Ben, Rick, me, others, etc..

Keep in mind Flip4Mac Studio series works in Cleaner, Squeeze, Compressor. I'm fairly well versed in all of them even beyond using Flip4Mac. Episode's precursor, Compression Master, may have been a competitor (Popwire) since it was the only major Mac compression app that did not use Flip4Mac Studio but Episode is now Flip4Mac too.

Also keep in mind I work for 3rd Planet Video and use H.264, MPEG4part2, On2VP6, MPEG2, etc. which, until Episode, had little to do with Flip4Mac.

Being a forum moderator "someplace else" would be where the potential issue/bias might happen and I've made sure there's no conflict in my being a COW participant and that. COW generates revenue when people come to THIS forum. That's a strong reason why NOT to mention the other forum and gives good reason for Ron & Kathy to remove this part of the thread.

I'm here as a COW participant and offer my knowledge of the various compression apps and various codecs (as well as have my own questions answered) based on my professional work with many clients.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 18, 2007 at 3:16:50 pm

Episode is limited to 25 batches, Pro is unlimited. Basically Pro can be geared towards facilities with high volume.


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Joe Murray
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 4:10:05 am

I've started reading through the Episode and Episode Pro user manuals, but if you can answer a couple of specific questions it would be a big help.

1. Do I have to buy Episode Pro to get watch folders?

2. If I'm using watch folders, can I apply different encoding settings to each folder? And can I apply more than one encoding setting to each folder?

For instance, I have one folder I want to dedicate to Client X. Whenever I drop a Quicktime into this folder, I want Episode to encode three different files that the client requires at the end of every project I do for them. Then I have another folder for DG|FastChannel delivery which is also a watch folder, but when I drop Quicktimes into this folder it will automatically encode mpeg-2 files for upload and distribution to stations.

Thanks for your help-

Joe Murray


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 7:27:23 am

Unfortunately, the Episode and Episode Pro products do not support watch folders. In order to get watch folders, you would need to step up to the Episode Workgroup solution, which includes Episode Engine and can monitor watch folders. The Engine is scalable and works in tandem with Pro, and thus offers a nice multi-node/scalable encoding solution. If you plan to do volume or enterprise level encoding, then this is a product you should seriously be looking at, which should fit well for your stated needs.


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Joe Murray
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 9:53:13 am

>>>In order to get watch folders, you would need to step up to the Episode Workgroup solution,
>>>which includes Episode Engine and can monitor watch folders.

I see that now...I found the information about watch folders but didn't realize I had jumped to the Workgroup product page. Too bad you have to jump to that level of product just to get watch folders, something that's taken for granted with other software that has to render/encode a lot.

Any knowledge of pricing on the Workgroup and Engine products?

Joe Murray


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 4:00:15 pm

Here's ProMax prices for Engine and Engine Pro as examples. It's a lot for watch folders.
http://www2.promax.com/Products/Telestream-Interactive


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Joe Murray
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 4:10:28 pm

Yes that's a lot to pay for watch folders, but if I can automate several processes here it might be worth it. Would I have to buy Episode + the Episode Engine in order to make things work, or can the Engine run without Episode present? Also, is that pricing PER node or once you spend the $3K - $9K, can you add CPUs to the workflow as needed?

Thanks for all the info-

Joe Murray


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Charles Simonson
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 19, 2007 at 5:29:24 pm

I think you'll start seeing the watch folder feature disappear in more compression apps in the sub $1K-range as we now have much faster machines that can process files much quicker. In order to maximize return on an app, companies like Telestream sort of have to exclude watch folders to the enterprise/volume encoding market. At least Episode doesn't have total monthly encoding limits imposed on it like Squeeze does (Squeeze also charges a yearly subscription for their volume encoder which doesn't offer scalable node encoding).


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Craig Seeman
Re: Episode vs. Sorenson
on Feb 18, 2007 at 3:57:17 pm

This PDF has a fair amount of detail what both Episode and Episode Pro have.
http://www.flip4mac.com/pdfs/dat_Episode_Nov2006.pdf


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