Variable Bit Rate (VBR) compression: Squeeze 4 is a powerful and versatile Flash video encoding application with a visual, easy-to-use interface and a comprehensive feature set, including both one-pass and two-pass VBR. One-pass VBR compression reduces processing time to non-VBR standards while delivering only slightly lower quality than two-pass VBR compression. Although requiring more processing time, Squeeze also supports two-pass VBR, which produces higher-quality video and is well worth the extra encoding time.
Alpha channels and cue points: Other noteworthy features of Squeeze include Alpha channel support (requires On2 VP6 codec) and embedded cue point support (Flash 8 video only). Squeeze provides alpha channel support at runtime, enabling the ability to overlay video composited with a transparent, or even semitransparent, alpha channel over other Flash content.
You can now embed cue points directly into Flash Video (FLV) files so events can be triggered dynamically during playback. Used in conjunction with the new Flash Video component in Flash 8, this enables the coordination of playback of accompanying graphics and animations when individual cue points are reached.
Batch processing: You can process multiple video clips with Squeeze’s new batch processing window (see Figure 6). Apply your settings at the job, source, or even output level to quickly prepare multiple video clips at the same time.
Figure 6 Three jobs currently cued up to be batch-processed and a fourth ready to be added
Squeeze also ships with some built-in filters, including the following:
- Audio normalization to automatically adjust audio to maximum volume without introducing any distortion
- Deinterlacing to improve video quality by removing interlacing artifacts caused by the two fields-per-frame nature of conventional video
- Telecine removal to maintain video quality by removing the extra frames that are added (3:2 pull down) when film (24 frames per second) is transferred to video (30 frames per second)
- Video noise reduction to improve video encoding quality by reducing video noise in your content without causing it to look fuzzy
- White/black restore (with image smoothness slider) for controlling the levels of white and black in your video
Squeeze also provides several noteworthy features that can streamline your workflow and maximize your job throughput including the following:
- Built-in FLV Player for convenientplayback and preview of all your encoded FLV files (see Figure 7)
Figure 7 The handy built-in Flash FLV player
- Flash Player Skin templates for SWF and FLV that can be customized to change the look and feel of your video projects
- Linked or embedded FLV options for SWF, making it possible to link FLV files from SWF files (the preferred method) or to have FLV player controls located on a remote server
- Source pixel aspect ratio control to provide automatic detection of the source file’s pixel aspect ratio
- Integrated links for Flash (SWF) output to allow ActionScript variables to be encoded as part of the video and Flash Player templates
- Multi-bitrate file creation for Windows Media and RealMedia to allow the encoding of a single file to all common data rates at the same time
- In/out trim points and preview markers to remove unwanted video anywhere in the clip.
- Multiple watch folders with multiple output options to automate multiple output options across several different watch folders
- Customizable interface layout that allows you to expand, minimize, or close unused windows; detach and resize the video preview window; or move it to a second monitor (see Figure 8).
Figure 8 Squeeze interface modified from the default layout with various windows hidden or expanded and the preview window undocked
- Video zoom tool for pixel-perfect cropping