Leading Video Encoding Provider to Hold Private Customer Feedback Meetings and Host Industry Mixer
SALT LAKE CITY, UT and LAS VEGAS, NV – March 27, 2014 – Sorenson Media announced today plans to attend the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show. This year the company will leverage the industry meeting hub as a resource in gaining perspective from existing and prospective customers and partners in order to best meet the industry needs with its future releases.
The company will be holding private meetings in its Wynn Hotel salon suite throughout the week, and is hosting an industry mixer from 5:00-8:00pm on Tuesday, April 8 in order for partners, customers and press to inquire about what is next, and give their input as to what they’d like to see in the next versions of Squeeze, Server and 360.
“Global video demand and perception has had an impact on our business with the need to support the latest and greatest at any given time. In an effort to further strengthen our position in the encoding marketplace, our focus this year at NAB is to connect with our customers and partners, and listen to what they want and need from our products moving forward,” said Cathryne Robinson, General Manager, Squeeze & 360. “Currently there is a lot of buzz around the industry’s ‘must haves’ and we want to hear from the most integral voice, the end-user, to recognize what they feel will be pivotal in supporting video playback anywhere, and to ensure we are providing the necessary tools to achieve it in our upcoming product releases.”
President and CEO Marcus Liassides will be in attendance and available for a meet and greet at the mixer. Liassides came to Sorenson Media in June 2013 with expertise encompassing many facets of the digital media ecosystem including video encoding, delivery, connected TVs and set-top boxes, IPTV platforms and applications, search and recommendation platforms, targeted video ad serving and social TV.
To schedule an appointment with the Sorenson Media executive team at NAB, or to request more information or an invitation to the company’s industry mixer, please contact email@example.com.
Sorenson Media has been declared a Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award finalist in the Best Enterprise Platform category for Sorenson 360! You can read the whole story here.
The winners will be announced on November 20, 2013 at Streaming Media West in Huntington Beach, Calif. Streaming Media started out with more than 300 nominees, and over the course of six weeks of voting, their readers let them know which nominees are their favorites in 26 categories. Thank you for your continued support of Sorenson Media. Your votes got us here for the seventh year in a row!
Edit Smarter with Larry Jordan
How do you review a product as complex and capable as Sorenson Squeeze? I mean, video compression approaches rocket science. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed and inadequate just trying to compress a single video for YouTube.
Apple’s Compressor runs only on the Mac, but is tightly integrated with Final Cut Pro X. It is also easy to use and it’s cheap. Adobe Media Encoder runs on both Macs and Windows and is the compression engine behind all of Adobe’s video products. It’s bundled with all Adobe media products and it’s free. Then, there’s the ubiquitous, and free, MPEG Streamclip.
So why would anyone consider spending several hundred dollars to buy media compression software such as Sorenson Squeeze? There’s only one reason to buy any software for your business: it enables you to complete a task faster, better, cheaper, or more easily than what you are doing now.
If all you need to do is transcode videos for video editing or compress a file for YouTube, any of a number of software tools can do the job. But, when your job is to supply videos that play smoothly on different websites with the highest possible image quality, viewed on different browsers each running on different computers and mobile devices — suddenly the world becomes a very scary place.
Sorenson Media was founded in 1995 specifically to focus on the emerging field of video compression. Since that time, they have developed a number of award-winning video compression tools. Their two highest profile products are Squeeze 9, for video compression, and Sorenson 360, for video review and distribution.
This review looks at Squeeze 9 Pro.
WHAT IS IT?
Sorenson Squeeze is a video encoder; which means it compresses audio and video files from whatever they are into whatever you want them to be.
I asked the folks at Sorenson how they would describe their program and they wrote:
For over 10 years, Sorenson Squeeze has been Sorenson Media’s powerful and easy-to-use encoding tool for rendering the highest-quality video and audio files. The desktop software includes NLE plug-ins for Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premier to streamline professional video workflows. Squeeze supports one of the most extensive collections of input and output formats commonly used today and is perfect for rendering media files for the web, cell phones, disc players, and Apple’s iOS devices. The advanced features of Squeeze meet the demands of professional multimedia creators and offers a vast selection of customized encoding presets that require only limited knowledge of the complexities of video encoding.
There are two versions of Squeeze:
- Squeeze Standard (MSRP $549)
- Squeeze Pro (MSRP $749)
Both versions have a 30-day free trial, which I encourage you to download and play with.
Squeeze Pro 9 currently includes plug-ins that support:
- Apple Final Cut Pro 7
- Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, 5.5, and 6
Sorenson tells me that they are currently developing plug-ins for both Apple Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro CC, which are scheduled to ship “soon.”
There are also two add-ons to both versions of Squeeze:
- Dolby Pro Audio Encoding (MSRP $99)
- Premium Technical Support ($149 per year)
Larry goes into greater detail about usage and benefits. Read the full review here.
Sorenson Media, a provider of cloud-and server-based video encoding solutions and desktop applications, has appointed Marcus Liassides as president and CEO.
Liassides comes to Sorenson Media with more than 15 years of experience in all facets of the digital media industry, including expertise in over-the-top (OTT) video platform development. Liassides will direct all areas of the company’s operations and strategic initiatives.
“I am honoured to join this dynamic company at a time of tremendous progress and opportunity in the industry,” said Liassides. “Sorenson Media has maintained a leadership position in the video arena for almost two decades, evolving with new consumer and commercial demands. I am excited to execute this company’s vision to innovate and deploy digital media products that fuel the next generation of high quality content delivery across all connected devices and platforms in and out of the home.”
Liassides’ knowledge covers video encoding, delivery, connected TVs and set-top boxes, IPTV platforms and applications, search and recommendation platforms, targeted video ad serving and social TV.
“Marcus’ passion and commitment for delivering TV everywhere experiences makes him an ideal fit for this position,” said James Lee Sorenson, founder and chairman of Sorenson Media. “He is an expert at identifying opportunities in the market and developing the technology and corporate strategy to seize those transformative moments. As global demands for online video solutions increase at a rapid pace, Marcus’ vision and direction will enable us to extend our leadership position and fuel innovation in the delivery of media to all connected screens.”
Most recently, Liassides was executive vice president for online advertising giant Specific Media and president and CEO of Xumo, both entities being part of the Interactive Media Holdings family. In this role, Liassides leveraged his experience and understanding of digital media to bring advertisers a more holistic view of their audience’s changing media consumption.
Liassides has also played a key role in developing other digital media businesses. An early innovator in the IPTV industry, Liassides founded Inuk Networks in 2004 with investment capital from Welsh broadcaster S4C and Sir Terry Matthews, one of the UK’s leading technology entrepreneurs.
Read more: Sorenson Media appoints 15-year industry vet as CEO | Rapid TV News http://www.rapidtvnews.com/index.php/2013101630322/sorenson-media-appoints-15-year-industry-vet-as-ceo.html#ixzz2i0CLJusf
HTML5 with Flash fallback is a great option for websites who need a simple way to create videos that play on desktops and mobile devices. If you’re looking to use HTML5 with Flash fallback, Sorenson Squeeze 9 offers a simple high-quality solution. Squeeze 9 comes in multiple versions, and they’re reasonable upgrades from previous versions. In looking at Squeeze 9, key new features include streamlined workload, pre- and post-roll stitching (which makes it easy to add custom messages to the beginning and end of your videos), closed-captioning support, and optimize for HTML5, which is the feature we’re going to explore in this tutorial.
Here’s how it works. We’re going to be encoding a very short video of my daughter shot on New Year’s Day. We’re going to try and encode this file so it will play back on all browsers whether HTML5-compatible or not, and mobile devices. To support this, in the formats tab Sorenson created a new category called HTML5 video. There are two presets (Figure 1). You can customize these, you can create your own, and you can put them in your favorites if you use them a lot. We’ll use the higher data rate version of the 360p preset. As with all Sorenson Squeeze presets, you apply it by dragging it into the compression window, double click it to bring up the encoding parameters.
Figure 1. Squeeze 9’s HTML5 video category includes two presets. You can customize them or add your own.
Key here is that Squeeze is creating two files, an H.264 file and a WebM file. Within H.264, you can choose from the MainConcept H.264 file, the CUDA codec ·which uses GPU hardware acceleration), or the X.264 codec (Figure 2). This file is going to play in IE10, IE9, Safari and Chrome. It’s also going to play on all mobile devices because all recently shipped smartphones and tablets—whether iOS, Android, or Windows—play the H.264 codec via HTML5.
Figure 2. Squeeze creates two files, H.264 and WebM. Within the H.264 output options, you can choose from the MainConcept, MainConcept CUDA, and x.264 codecs
The other output is the VP8 file. This is the WebM file that’s going to play in the two browsers that don’t support H.264, Firefox and Opera. Sorenson is going to apply the same basic encoding parameters to both files, 600 Kbps, one-pass VBR, 96 Kbps mono audio, 640 x 360. If you want to change any of these for both files you certainly can. If you want to customize the encoding parameters for either file you can also do that.
If you prefer X.264 you get great access to all the different configuration parameters available for that codec, and the same goes for VP8. Sorenson did a really nice job a couple of versions ago when they added VP8 support of duplicating pretty much every function you can access in the Google command line and coding interface. So you get great access to all the configuration parameters, and Squeeze does a great job producing very high quality, very efficient files, meaning they meet the target data rate, and the video quality is generally pretty competitive against all other encoding tools. Simply name the file, then press “save,” and press “squeeze it” to encode the file.
Figure 3. A look at the various files Squeeze creates when it does an encode, including the HTML code (Disney.html).
You can see all the files that Squeeze created (Figure 3). There’s a Squeeze project file, which we can ignore. There’s the WebM file, there’s the MP4 file, there’s the SWF file for Flash playback, and there’s the HTML code. If you open that file in a program like TextWrangler, you’ll see the code that Squeeze created and inserted into the HTML file that we just opened, including the famous HTML5 video tag (Figure 4). Squeeze tells us that the MP4 file plays in IE 9, IE10, and Safari. Chrome also plays the MP4 file.
Figure 4. When you open the HTML code file in TextWrangler, here’s what you see.
And then we see the WebM file for Firefox and Chrome, and then there’s the Flash fallback. So this is the code that, if the browser isn’t HTML5 compatible, will tell the browser to play the Flash version of the file, which obviously will be the H.264 version or the MP4 file.
You could do this manually; there’s nothing magical about it. But if you’re not a coder this can get pretty complicated, with a lot of trial and error, so what Squeeze does is really create a very efficient way of both encoding the two files and creating the necessary HTML file. And once you have that, you go to your FTP utility, you drag the files up to your website, and you’re done.
Now, what happens when we try and play this on various browsers and various mobile devices? Well, if you go over to an older computer, such as one with IE6—which according to NetMarketShare, is still about six percent of the installed basic browsers out there—and right click the video file, you’ll see that IE6 is calling the Flash player to play this file (Figure 5). That’s the Flash fallback that we talked about several times. If the browser isn’t HTML5-compatible it will call Flash to play the video file.
Figure 5. If a browser that’s not HTML5-compatible, such as IE6 shown here, tries to play the file, it will fall back to the Flash version.
On more current browsers it will play either the H.264 file or the WebM file natively. If you open the video in Chrome, right click and choose “save video as,” you’ll see that Chrome is playing the MP4 file. Back in January of 2011, Google a huge announcement that they were going to drop H.264 from Chrome. They haven’t yet, and I’m guessing they never will.
If we look at Firefox, you’ll see that Firefox is playing the WebM version. If try to right click in Opera, it’s going to save in HTML file, which tells us nothing, but since Opera doesn’t play H.264 natively, it’s a pretty good guess that it’s playing the WebM file. And finally, if you check Safari, there’s no right click commands available, but since Safari is HTML5 compatible and only plays H.264, it’s obviously playing the H.264 file as well.
So what about mobile devices? The video should play on all iPads and iPhones, and it should play on pretty much every recently shipped Android device, because they all support H.264 playback and they all support HTML5.
Basically, as long as you don’t need features like adaptive streaming, closed captions or DRM support HTML5 with Flash fallback is a great alternative. And as you’ve seen, Squeeze 9 makes supporting HTML5 with Flash fallback exceptionally easy to implement.