I’ve spent the last few years trying to prove (at least to myself) that Sorenson Squeeze Pro could be used professionally. I initially matched it up against two licenses of Anystream Agility (R.I.P. – too expensive, not enough features). Lately I’ve been running it against two licenses of Digital Rapids.
The benefits are obvious. Systems like Agility and Digital Rapids can cost tens of thousands to get up and running, plus the added license fees for various muxers and codecs. Getting five Squeeze licenses running on the latest hardware should run ~$2500 each. That, of course, leaves out quite a few features and advantages of Digital Rapids; but that was my thought process.
Sorenson Squeeze Enterprise Edition
Sorenson seemed to be thinking along the same lines at one time. A few years ago there was a lot of talk about their “Enterprise Edition,” that should have taken over the world by now. Can’t say what happened, but they aren’t talking about it any more. There seems to be some version of it available via BitTorrent, and maybe someone can tell me what that’s about.
The Enterprise Edition would have made a lot of sense for me. Five licenses on five boxes all centrally controlled from my desktop would be fine. Instead, I’m sending source files out the the five boxes and gathering up the results for distrubution. Sort of a “Manual Enterprise Edition.”
I’ve had a lot of problems with Squeeze. Right from the start, the lack of support for Avisynth is almost a killer. I know, I know, “use MAKEAVIs to create a dummy AVI for Squeeze,” but have you ever tried that for 100 files? Another constant problem was that Squeeze was simply not “bulletproof.” Left to run with 20 or 30 files and 10 or 12 encodes, Squeeze 4.5 would usually fail, and not tell why; just no Squeeze in the morning and no word on what happened. This seems to have cleared up with 5.1.
Other problems are small and hard to get at. I soon gave up on their Support, their bug reports and especially their User Forums. I’ve never been able to talk to anyone there who knows more about Squeeze than I do. Most of their Forum watchers seem completely untrained and will usually point any question towards their FAQ.
Does anyone ever use Forums anyway. Ask a question, then come back day after day looking for the answer. I don’t have the patience for it. I think that streamingmedia.com‘s recent attempt to move their very busy email lists to an onsite Forum should be a glaring example to all companies. People want to have their list interaction come to them, they will not go to it.
I’ve been testing Squeeze 6 for a week now. They’ve fixed a bug I found with Main Concept H.264. They seem to have tried to fix one of my major complaints with Squeeze: unable to create a hinted H.264 QuickTime file. See my previous post for more about that. I’m sad to report that they didn’t fix it. I can still create an H.264 using Main Concept and export the hinted file via QuickTime. They tried to put that into the software, but all it produces is a pixelated mess.
I’ve tried one of my largest profiles with Squeeze 6. It all worked, so that’s fine. I’ll time it the next time through to test their “Sorenson 6 is much faster” claims. Other bug to test: no concurrent encodes using watch folders.
I’d like to think there was a good reason for this to be Sorenson 6 and not Sorenson 5.2. Haven’t found one yet, but more next week.