Sorenson launches Squeeze 8, new 'lite' version, too

Sorenson Media rolled out the latest iteration of its Squeeze encoding software today, bringing new features to what already is a workhorse in the space, including a lower-cost for its full version and the introduction of a low-cost "lite" edition targeted at education users and the "prosumer" market.

Squeeze 8 is designed to make video encoding simpler, by increasing the amount of automation in the process with a more robust product, Coby Rich, the company's director of Marketing told FierceOnlineVideo.

"Video encoding is a time consuming, CPU intensive process," Rich said. "Our goal with Squeeze 8 was to simplify the process and make it easier."

The new version builds on its ability to integrate seamlessly with Squeeze Server. It gives high-volume users the ability to offload encoding jobs to a separate server, whether behind a user's firewall or in a Windows-based server environment, including the cloud. Squeeze 8 also added GPU acceleration using NVIDIA CUDA, which Sorenson sees as the best option for creating .mp4 proxy files in terms of both speed and quality.

The new software also includes optimized support for all three leading adaptive bitrate streaming platforms: Adobe Dynamic Streaming, Apple HTTP Adaptive Streaming and Microsoft Smooth Streaming.

"We simplified encoding for multiple adaptive bit rate platforms," said Rich. "We wanted to make sure it was easy for our users to use adaptive bit rate and to deliver high-quality video, which is key to user engagement."

Sorenson also added support for the x.264 codec, which is increasingly gaining momentum because of its improved quality.

As it has in previous versions, Sorenson focused on making the software easy to apply across a broad range of users.

It added features like tooltips, which gives users details by hovering the curser over any button or control, fine-grain controls associated with each codec and new preset naming conventions for greater control and organization of more than 246 presets shipped with Squeeze 8.

Taking advantage of the growing Squeeze community, the software also includes enhanced preset exchange, which gives users broader and more intuitive access to presets developed by other encoding professionals.

Sorenson's Squeeze user base stretches from mom-and-pop video shops to companies like NBC and Gannett, which use the software on hundreds of their machines.

The new Squeeze 8 Lite version--with its $199 price tag--brings the software more downstream to hit an even broader audience, like education users who might not be willing to spend $599 per user, or content producers and videographers looking to publish online in formats including Flash FLV, Flash SWF, MPEG-4, QuickTime, Windows Media, WMA and WebM.

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