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Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!

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Ian Smith
Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 15, 2008 at 4:34:56 pm

I'm having a nightmare trying to render out HD video for Vimeo using Sony Vegas Pro 7 on a PC running Windows Vista. I purchased Sorenson Squeeze to help with compression but find this software more frustrating than any other video software I've had to use.

On the advice of Sorenson Support I've already had to uninstall and reinstall it when simple tutorial examples just wouldn't work. I've got past that stage but am currently trying to compress a 1GB wmv 1280x720 video ready for Vimeo and after failing with the pre-canned Squeeze settings (which gave me a 320MB wmv file which plays fine locally but "fails" on Vimeo's server-side compression) have switched to "custom" H.264 codec settings as outlined in Sorenson's own tutorial, trying best to match the advice given out by Vimeo for compression.

After several hours processing Squeeze gives me a 28MB file that has no video, only sound. I can see nothing in any of the settings that says "Don't bother with the video". Can anybody help me with understanding why after so many hours of processing all I get is a small 28MB mp4 file that plays audio only?

My "custom" settings are shown below:

Total Data Rate: 5128 Kilobits/Sec
Format Constraints: None
Stream Type: Non-Streaming (Not Hinted)

AUDIO
Audio tickbox: checked
Codec: Coding Technologies aac
Data Rate: 128 Kbps
Sample Size: 16
Sample Rate: 44100
Channels: Stereo

VIDEO
Video tickbox: checked
Codec: MainConcept H.264
Method: Multi-pass (also tried 2-pass VBR - still no video)
Data Rate: 5000 Kbps
Frame Size: Same as Source (1280 W 720 H)
Frame Rate: 1:1 Frames/sec
Key Frame every: 240 frames
Auto Key Frame on Scene Change: ticked. Slider set to 50 midway between "Rare" and "Frequent"
AVC Profile: Baseline
Encoding Effort: Best
Slices: Auto


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Daniel Low
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 16, 2008 at 12:12:55 pm

Nothing wrong with your settings. I don't use the Windows version but in the Mac version I have a choice of Video CODEC, you too should have a choice of MainConcept or Sorenson AVC. Try the Sorenson CODEC if that doesn't work there's something amiss with either the Squeeze installation or something deeper in Vista.

You could try installing Squeeze on another machine

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 16, 2008 at 5:58:16 pm

Thanks for the response Daniel.

Indeed I have several possible settings "Sorenson MPeg 4 Pro", "Sorenson H.264", "Apple H.264" and "MainConcept H.264".

Sorenson's tutorial strongly advised using the MainConcept H.264 as it was more efficient giving smaller sizes and better video.

I will try the "Sorenson H.264" setting next, but don't have high hopes.

I'm very disappointed with this program given its price. The initial install wouldn't allow the "Squeeze It" button to be pressed when following the sample in the user guide and I had to chase Sorenson support.

Sorenson's Support instructions for uninstalling the program forgot basic stuff like deactivating the software before un-installing it (luckily I was paying attention), the fact that Vista has different options than XP, and gave instructions to remove registry entries and folder contents that just weren't there. It hasn't inspired any confidence.

Beginning to wish I'd just paid for an upgrade to Microsoft Expression Encoder 2 instead :(




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Daniel Low
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 16, 2008 at 8:16:51 pm

I don't think you'll see too much quality difference between Mainconcept and Sorenson H.264 seeing as your video is just going to be re-compressed when uploaded to Vimeo anyway.

Many developers have been struggling with the train wreck of Vista, don't blame Sorenson for that.

Expression Encoder, while a nice package, only offers Windows Media output, as such, it's a one trick pony that can't be compared to the likes of Squeeze or Procoder.

Many recommend Squeeze based on its price and apparent ease of use, however far too many report problems with it and the license restrictions are are plain stupid.

Please let us know how you got on.

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 16, 2008 at 9:19:28 pm

While I'd agree that Vista has its problems I really don't see it as being the culprit here.

Sony Vegas Pro 8.0 running under Vista happily renders out video in many different formats (albeit at too large a size for me to upload to Vimeo) and the rendered output from it can be loaded and previewed in Sorenson Squeeze 5 with no problems. It's only when Sorenson steps into the frame and applies its compression that things start falling apart.

I've used Expression Encoder very little but couldn't help noticing that the main Encoder guru (gave the best talks at MIX08 on Encoder) seems to be Ben Waggoner - who wrote the only book I've seen available on Sorenson Squeeze, so I'm guessing he took the best of what he knew about Squeeze to make sure that Encoder could do similar stuff.

I've raised an issue with Sorenson Support and will update this thread if we get anywhere with this particular "vanishing video" issue.

Cheers,
Ian



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Daniel Low
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 17, 2008 at 7:11:47 am

I assume that choosing another H.264 CODEC didn't work?

p.s. IIRC Ben did a training DVD on Squeeze 4.5, he didn't write a book on it.

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 18, 2008 at 6:09:34 am

The Sorenson H.264 codec had pretty much the same results as the MainConcept H.264 one. I tried a single pass instead of a multi-pass with the Sorenson H.264 codec but again got a squeeze run that reduced a 1GB mp4 source to about 28MB mp4 and took about 3 hours. The resulting mp4 file has no video when played using QuickTime Player 7.5 (861)



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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 21, 2008 at 10:55:56 am

If anybody has successfully installed Sorenson Squeeze under Vista and used ANY of their Web/Download/MPEG4 filters can they let me know?

Spending almost as much money on compression software as my NLE was a big step for me, and maybe I'm being naive but so far the results make me wonder if I should be contacting my credit card company about goods not being fit for purpose.

Sorenson Support have been in touch but turnaround time is less than impressive and just seems to result in what I (maybe unfairly?) regard as incorrect, time-wasting instructions that just increase the risk of breaking other software I'm reliant on that works fine.

The original Sorenson Squeeze 5 install wouldn't perform even the basic steps shown in the tutorial and I was sent "manual" uninstall instructions that only apply to XP that claim they're for Vista and which omit the rather crucial "de-register your license before doing this" step (it's OK I spotted this one in time). I downloaded and installed a new version of Squeeze 5 that fixed my ability to render out compressed wmv footage but now H.264 of any form seems a no-no and I'm being asked to install 3rd party software for viewing video when it's clear from the resultant file size that it's not QuickTime viewer that's the problem etc etc

Maybe I'm naive but I expected software designed solely for the job of compression to just do what it says on the can, not have me jumping through support hoops every time I try and render something out (I think this is the point where someone says it's all my fault for running under Vista - but if Sony Vegas Pro can cope just fine, so should Sorenson Squeeze :-P)

Just looking for some sign that I've not effectively paid to be a beta tester for this product running under Vista.

Thanks,
Ian




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doug hathaway
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 19, 2008 at 3:14:20 am

I dont have it all figured out yet, but I thought Id muddy the waters with a few free apps that may be of some help. I have been using HDVSplit to capture HDV from my HV30. From there I convert the m2t file into mpg using MPEGStreamClip. You can deinterlace the file and set your output size to 720p when converting. I must say, that when the file is converted to mpg it is perfect...however what I have not figured out is how best to prep for Vimeo. When I upload the file still appears to be interlaced even though I deinterlaced it with MPEGStreamClip.

There are some forums on Vimeo that may be helpful, but when I tried them I got worse results than when I did the above.

So, who knows...maybe one of these apps will do something for you. Both are pretty fast so you wont waste too much time if it doesnt pan out. If you figure something out, please let me know!

Doug


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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:23:47 pm

Thanks Doug!

Having paid for Sorenson Squeeze I'm still holding out that their support will sort out the mess that is H.264 rendering on my Vista set-up (this is nothing to do with Vimeo - as Squeeze just appears to be throwing away the video before I even try and upload it to Vimeo) so that I can then try that with Vimeo.

Adding even more options into the equation that I'm trying to nail down isn't something I want to try just yet, but may be something I have to resort to if I'm still here a couple of months down the road.

Vimeo HD is a minefield and failed uploads seems to be a constantly changing game. The guidelines are too basic and non-software specific. Even though my wmv files are meeting their "compression guidelines" and play fine locally any rendered to 1280x720 size seem to "fail" after hours (days!) of being stuck in their workflow loop.

Unfortunately I'm trying to upload user group videos that are typically sessions running an hour in length and render out from Vegas Pro as 2GB files. Having endless "Talk n Part n" videos just to avoid additional compression and the Vimeo limits is something I want to avoid. Given that Vimeo is in a constant state of flux, with no real specifics for the software I'm using to go by, and seemingly so many problems with different formats being reported on their forums I think I'm going to try one or two other hosting services to see if they avoid similar problems. Viddler has been a complete no-no as all their upload mechanisms just seem to lockout before even 10% of video upload is completed. I hear TheExposureRoom allow embedding of HD video (which Vimeo don't) and have faster turnaround times so am going to try them with my next video, sticking to wmv until Squeeze either offer me a refund on their software or determine why their software loses the video whenever an H.264 codec from their "MPEG4 download filters" list is chosen.

As soon as I've come up with a solution that works for me I'll post something here, but I've a feeling it might be a long wait :(



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Daniel Low
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 21, 2008 at 1:02:23 pm

Ian,

I think to real nail down what the issue is here, and my thoughts are that it's some low level conflict with possibly Vegas or other codec conflict, is too try and install Squeeze on another PC with Vista if you can get access to one.

Obviously if it produces H.264 content with video then there's an issue with your Vista/Vegas PC and that I'm afraid is something that Sorenson support probably can't fix.

If it doesn't work on the alternative PC then it's pretty certain that Squeeze-H.264 and Vista don't mix well but that's very unlikely

One last thing, you haven't installed any of those 'Mega-CODEC-Packs' have you?

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 21, 2008 at 2:21:51 pm

No, I haven't installed any Mega-Codec Packs.

I have another PC here but it's a Pentium 4 XP machine and I really don't want to put Vista anywhere near it given my experience with Vista upgrades in the past. It's also only got wireless connectivity so transferring things like 2GB HD videos from my main PC to that just for compression is a complete pain.

But I'll try installing Sorenson on the this and use a short clip for H.264 tests. At least that way if it fails with the same issue then the finger points firmly at Sorenson (as Vista and Vegas Pro will have been cut out ouf the equation).

If the XP PC works I'll then uninstall Sorenson, install Vegas, reinstall Sorenson and see if that re-introduces a problem.

Sigh! Looks like another weekend faffing around just trying to root out issues - and that's before I even get anywhere near Vimeo :(



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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 22, 2008 at 8:10:35 am

Well the H.264 issues seems to have been fixed by reinstalling Vegas Pro and Sorenson Squeeze on an XP system. Longer term this isn't a solution for me as the XP system is slower and doesn't have the PCI Express slots on it for grabbing my footage so now I have an extra step in my workflow which involves having to copy all footage to a DVD before it can be compressed.

Hard to know what it is on the Vista PC that is causing the problem - either Vista itself or some other installed software (eg it has Camtasia Studio 5 and AnyHDDVD installed) but it just confirms my belief that Vista is an operating system best avoided.

One last set of tests to do - compression of wmv for uploading to Vimeo. If it works then I guess that shows my Vista PC is completely hosed for ANY Sorenson work since H.264 gives me sound only and wmv gives me files that Vimeo can't publish.

Ian



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Daniel Low
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 22, 2008 at 11:35:09 am

Thanks for letting us know the outcome of this.

For others that are reading this, take this as a warning to stay away from Vista.

I've personally witnessed far too many people suffer with it. Like I said in my earlier post, it's a total and utter train wreck and should never have been released in its current form.

Shame on Microsoft.

__________________________________________________________________
Please post back saying what solved your problem. It could help others, and saying 'thanks' is free!


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Ian Smith
Re: Sorenson Squeeze 5 Settings for Vimeo - help!
on Jun 24, 2008 at 10:45:44 pm

Actually it's now looking like Vista was a red herring.

When I installed Squeeze on an XP machine over the weekend I downloaded Squeeze from the web, and it turns out they put a new version up on 17th June!

Today Sorenson Support asked me to uninstall Squeeze from Vista (for the second time) and install the 17th June version (v5.0.2) but this time they also asked me to uninstall ffdshow which gets installed as part of Squeeze but shows up as a separate program in the Add/Remove programs section.

So at this point I'm not sure if it was leaving ffdshow installed after the first Squeeze uninstall, or simply the newer version of Squeeze that fixed the problem, but I suspect it's the latter.

It's early days yet but my first quick test using a short clip and one of their MPEG4 quickstart filters has successfully rendered out video where before it was rendering only audio.

I'm going to leave the original 1280x720 1 hour video running overnight to see if the problem really has gone away.

If that works then it's on to the next batch of problems that I've already faced trying to upload wmv video rathre than H.264 video: Vimeo constantly fails any .wmv files despite the fact they play fine locally, so I am not confident the H.264 versions will be any different. In desperation I tried ExposureRoom to see if that has Vimeo-like problems. Alas, just like Viddler it fails on just trying to upload a file long before it's got even 10% of the way through uploading, so no joy there either.

One problem at a time, I guess. And if it were easy everybody would be doing it?!



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