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Other Encoders

Although the Flash Video Encoder is free and convenient, there are other applications that can convert a variety of video formats into FLV.

Two of the leading solutions are Sorenson Squeeze and Flix Pro. Although not free, in some important ways both of them are better encoding solutions than the Flash Video Encoder itself. Look for future articles covering each of these tools, but for now I’ll provide a summary and comparison of their features.

Sorenson Squeeze

Although Sorenson Media no longer provides the main codec for Flash video, the Sorenson Squeeze application is a powerful and versatile conversion application that can be upgraded with a plug-in to include the latest On2 VP6 codec. Sorenson Squeeze is available in various versions from Sorenson Media.

The full version of Sorenson Squeeze 4 for Flash is $219, and the upgrade from version 3 is $199. The On 2 VP6 plug-in is an additional $149.

Figure 9

Figure 9 Sorenson Squeeze 4.0 application

Although a bit pricey, Sorenson Squeeze is good addition to your Flash toolkit. Its mature interface provides the best workflow and productivity of the three solutions covered here. It is easy to use, has lots of options, and in my opinion does a better job of compressing FLV files than the Flash Video Encoder.

Flix Pro

A suite of video encoders are available from On2 Technologies—the company that provides the latest On2 VP6 video codec for Flash. They are available at the On2 Technologies Web site, where you will find various options, including some low-budget versions. Flix Pro, priced at $249 at the time of this writing, is its flagship Flash encoding application (see Figure 10).

Figure 10

Figure 10 On2 Technologies Flix Pro application

Although cue points are not supported, and the user interface is not as well-designed as Sorenson Spark or the Flash Video Encoder, Flix Pro does provide two-pass coding that delivers superior video quality. The inclusion of this single feature represents a dramatic improvement over the Flash 8 Video Encoder. In summary, Flix Pro can encode excellent quality video and will be perfectly adequate for most users; however, power users may find the interface and limited options frustrating.

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