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Select a Preset

The most complex part of working with Squeeze is choosing which of the many presets you want to use. If the Preset Data Rate settings do not meet the needs of your specific audience, you can customize your output compression settings by double-clicking the preset to bring up the Compression Settings dialog box (see Figure 3).

Figure 3

Figure 3 Compression Settings dialog box, displaying the settings for the SWF VP6_Med codec

For example, if you are compressing to the Flash SWF video format, you need to pay careful attention to the file frame rate to avoid audio syncing problems. SWF video has two frame rates: a) the video frame rate, which is the number of distinct video frames per second in your video; and b) the SWF frame rate, which is the number of SWF frames in your larger Flash project. These are not the same thing, and you have to keep track of both. If your larger Flash movie plays at a different speed as your embedded SWF video the audio might play back out of sync. Flash SWF video is different in this way because standard video has only a single frame rate to worry about.

To avoid this problem, you need to set the video frame rate in the Compression Settings dialog box to a factor of your Flash project frame rate, which in most cases is 12 frames per second (the default). A factor is a number that divides evenly (without a remainder) into another number. For example 1, 2, 3, and 6 are all factors of 6. In this case, I set my SWF frame rate to 24, which is a factor of 12, the frame rate is the Flash file (FLA) where I will be embedding this video.

Flash FLV video uses only one frame rate—a video frame rate—so no worries there.

Another custom modification you might want to make to the FLV presets is that Sorenson recommends using the Uncompressed Audio option when you are creating FLV files that will be imported into the timeline of a Macromedia Flash file (see Figure 4). Flash compresses the audio portion of FLV files, and if you do not select Uncompressed Audio, the audio is compressed twice—resulting in undesirable quality loss.

Figure 4

Figure 4 Compression Settings dialog box, displaying the Uncompressed Audio option for the Audio codec

Although the Audio/Video Compression Settings dialog box can be a bit overwhelming at first, customizing your output by making changes in the Compression Settings dialog box is easy.

To select the desired preset, highlight the preset by clicking on it, and press Apply. Press SQUEEZE IT! to start the actual encoding. The progress bar in the Batch Tree begins to indicate the progress of the current compression job (see Figure 5).

Figure 5

Figure 5 The encoding progress indicator.

Squeeze places the finished, compressed movie(s) in the folder containing your source movie file, unless you have specified a different output folder location.

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