I'm still on CS4, myself. But I do use a stand alone app for my MPEG2 DVD encoding simply because it produces better results than the included MainConcept encoder Adobe licenses for Premiere.
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A lot of people seem to feel the export quality of CS5, especially scaling down from HD to DVD is better in CS5.
Thanks, guys. From what I am hearing, Sorenson Squeeze doesn't really provide any benefit in speed or quality, especially with the AME. Correct?
I'm not exactly sure what that means in context to this question...
I am no expert on this, but before I upgraded from CS3 to CS5, I
compared speed and just overall visual quality on CS5 and Squ
eeze, and I thought I would get the best bang for the buck on
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Take this for what it's worth (heh--not much ), but here's my experience:
I purchased Squeeze 4.5 (or maybe it was 4.8?) for Flash back when I was running CS3. I was regularly delivering Flash video files, and wanted to use the VP6 codec--which CS3 had, but only with single-pass encoding. The quality was pretty iffy, so Squeeze was worth the money to get good looking Flash video encodes.
Around the release of CS4, Squeeze 5 came out; I paid to play. However, in CS4, we had multi-pass Flash encoding and the quality was pretty much on par with what Squeeze was outputting, so Squeeze started collecting dust.
Somewhere along the line, Sorenson launched Sorenson 360, their online video distribution and playback system, which integrated with Squeeze. There was also the ability to do client reviews, so I started using Squeeze again. There was the extra step of encoding an intermediate file, but the review system made up for that.
Then came CS5 and 64-bit goodness (plus a new computer ). Encoding to whatever was and is a lot faster than CS4 and Squeeze, but I still liked the review system. About that time, I got a great upgrade price (same deal that I think you're looking at) to go from the "Flash" version of Squeeze to the full version of the new Squeeze 6 with all supported encoding formats. Some of the new filters and options were nice, but I was finding Squeeze to be pretty slow (it's only 32-bit) and I had a lot of problems with stability with some formats and the inability to import others. One thing I have always HATE HATE HATED about Squeeze is that they included ffdshow in the install which is supposed to increase the format support. However, installing that is a big no-no on an edit system with Premiere...
That said, I still liked the 360 review service (I don't really use it for "hosting"), even if it wasn't perfect. I wasn't crazy about still having to export an intermediate file from Premiere to use in Squeeze--especially since I was having to resort to uncompressed AVIs and MOVs because anything else would bring Squeeze to a screeching halt--and there were a number of bugs that I'd discovered and submitted to the Sorenson folks. Surprisingly, many of these were addressed in Squeeze 6.5 (the current version).
But then things changed. Right about then, Adobe released CS Review for Premiere, and with that, the circle was (more or less) complete. No more intermediate files. No more slow encodes (from Squeeze, that is). No more crashing (with Squeeze, that is). Much better and more integrated review system. With some changes to the CS Review service (one of my requests has already come to life!), it will be the perfect solution and I will never have to use Squeeze again.
I really wanted to like Squeeze--as you can tell, I've given it more than a fair shake. However, I think it's turned into a big ball of bloat that is not very stable and really doesn't produce significantly better output than what I'm able to achieve with Premiere and AME. It's far slower, and the fact that I need to feed it a huge space-and-time-consuming intermediate file makes it not very user friendly. There is no communication between Premiere and Squeeze, so those intermediates will be a necessity until an exporter module is in place (which I'd say is never going to happen). And for me, the 360 review system is nowhere near as robust, well-designed, flexible, and integrated as CS Review is with Premiere.
Suffice to say, I will be giving no more of my money to Sorenson for what I feel is a subpar one-trick-pony. Do with that what you will
Thank you Colin. Very helpful summation of what I have been hearing. I have not heard of CS review (I will have to look that up here on the web) but your comments cement for me that I'd be better off saving the upgrade fees and spend it on something useful instead.
You're welcome. And I agree--I think you'll find better use for that hard-earned cash elsewhere
As long as you're all updated with CS5 (when you get it, that is), CS Review is integrated with Premiere as a panel within the interface. You send sequences to it (it has its own encoding presets), and they are uploaded to an Acrobat.com workspace where your clients can review the video and make notes. The reviews appear (basically in real-time) in the panel within Premiere, and you can click on one and be taken directly the point in the sequence that they are commenting on. It's really quite cool--not completely without quirks--but I've not seen anything like it elsewhere. It's free for a year (if I recall correctly) and then will be subscription based after that time.
If you do a lot of client reviews, you'll find that it sure beats timecode burns!