Mac Software Review: Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite

Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Mac software review

We first used Sorenson Media’s Compressions Suite almost 2 years ago. We haven’t since had a chance to use it, really. So we’ve decided to analyze this prestigious video compression suite in detail. Sorenson Squeeze is available in Universal Binaries for Mac OS. So both PowerPC and Intel-Mac computers can run it normally.

For those who have never used Sorenson Squeeze Compression Suite, let us go over its basic functions. First of all, you need to import a file to compress. So extend your Mouse to Import Source under File. (See Screenshot 01.) Next, you should see several video format names under Format & Compression Settings. So pick one and click on the plus sign at the bottom of the frame. For example, if I click on the plus sign with QuickTime (.mov) selected, a window like the one shown in Screenshot 02 will open. Under Video, there is a pull-down menu next to the label that says Codec. So choose the video compressor. (See Screenshot 03.) Likewise, you have a short list of audio compressors in a drop-down menu in the Audio section. After customizing compression settings, close the window by clicking on OK at the bottom right. Then you should see Custom under QuickTime (.mov). (See Screenshot 04.) Select it and then click on APPLY. Then the button at the bottom of the entire window that says SQUEEZE IT! will become accessible. Finally, if you click on this button, Sonrenson Squeeze will start compressing the video.

Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 01
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 02
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 03

Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 04
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 05

Let’s take a close look at the media formats that Sorenson Squeeze supports. The first one is MPEG-4. You may have noticed, but you won’t find MPEG-4 Part 2 or Part 10 (H.264) under QuickTime’s video compresson pull-down menu. These two video compressors are listed under MPEG-4. The next formats are Macromedia Flash Movie (.swf) and Macromedia Flash Movie (.flv). In the QuickTime language, SWF is a reference file that points to the self-contained movie formatted in FLV. So if you select Macromedia Flash Movie (.swf), Sorenson Squeeze will first convert the video into FLV. Then it will create an SWF file that references the FLV video file. If you choose Macromedia Flash Movie (.flv), then you will only have the self-contained FLV video file. The next format is WMV. It appears that Sorenson Squeeze only supports Windows Media Video 9 as a video compressor. (See Screenshot 05.) And there are MPEG-1/2 and MP3 Audio at the bottom. The default MPEG-1 format has limits for resolutions and video data rate. Sorenson Squeeze actually uses MainConcept’s software to break these limitations for MPEG-1. (See Screenshot 06 & 07.) For example, the video data rate of the common MPEG-1 format is limited to 1,500 Kbps. And you can set a higher bit rate in Sorenson Squeeze.

Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 06
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 07

Are you impressed with Sorenson Squeeze because it allows you to compress videos in Flash and Windows Media? The use of WMV encoder actually requires that you have the Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro plug-in. Open Preferences and look under the tab that says Plug-ins. (See Screenshot 08.) If you have a license to Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro, then you should see your license code here. It will be a separate purchase if you don’t have a license to Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro but want to use the WMV encoder.

Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 08
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 09

How about Flash (FLV)? Sorenson Squeeze will give you a Flash compressor called Sorenson Spark Pro. Whether or not you have Adobe Flash, you will have access to this video compressor. That could save you a lot of money as the latest version of Flash Professional costs as much as US$699. But what are the advantages of using Sorenson Spark Pro over On2 VP6 (Adobe Flash’s default video compressor)? As you see in Converting MOV into FLV, On2 VP6 or Sorenson Spark? Part 2, the video quality produced by Sorenson Spark Pro is visibly worse than by On2 VP6 with the same bit rate. Furthermore, if you create a Flash movie (SWF) that references an FLV video file, you won’t have a video player menu (Play, Forward, Pause…).

Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 10
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 11
Sorenson Sqeeze Comression Suite
Screenshot 12

There is another disadvantage in using Sorenson Squeeze over Telestream‘s compression suite Episode or Autodesk‘s Cleaner. We tested Sorenson Squeeze with a sample video whose audio and video streams are compressed with AC3 and M2V, respectively. (See Screenshot 10.) Sorenson Squeeze quickly converted the MPEG-2 file into MP4. If I open the new video file with QuickTime and then open Properties, I notice something strange. There is no audio track. (See Screenshot 11.) If I hit the space bar on QuickTime or VLC Media Player, I get no audio. Let’s go back to Screenshot 10 and take a good look at it. In the Sorenson Squeeze window, the video file is listed. Then you see Custom and Apple AVC. If I apply the same MP4 settings to an MOV file… (See Screenshot 12.) Under Custom, do you see aacPlus v2? Right… Sorenson Squeeze cannot decode AC3 just like QuickTime Pro can’t.

In summary, Sorenson Squeeze looks like a sophisticated compression suite that will let you compress a video in Flash and Windows Media. In order to use the WMV encoder, however, you must purchase a separate license from Telestream for Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro. Likewise, you must have Adobe Flash to use On2 VP6 for Flash. Sorenson Squeeze comes with its own Flash encoder, which actually creates bigger files with worse video quality than On2 VP6 with the same video bit rate. In conclusion, we don’t see many advantages in using Sorenson Squeeze. Apple’s QuickTime Pro cannot decode AC3. Neither can Sorenson Squeeze. If you just want to convert a QuickTime movie into WMV, using QuickTime Pro plus Flip4Mac WMV Studio Pro will make more reasonable sense money-wise. Likewise, if you just want more options for MPEG-1/MPEG-2, buying a standalone application (MPEG Encoder Mac) from MainConcept will be a lot cheaper. (We don’t know if MPEG Encoder Mac runs natively for Intel-Mac computers.)

  • Developer: Sorenson Media, Inc. (
  • Developer’s location: Sorenson Media, Inc., 4179 Riverboat Road, Suite 208, Salt Lake City, Utah 84123, USA
  • Latest version: Sorenson Squeeze 4.5
  • Prices: US$499.00
  • MacHouse recommendation: The company says that their product has won ‘Choice Award for Encoding Software’ this year. That’s impressive. But there is no award from us. We won’t give a ‘Buy-It!’ recommendation to Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite because we don’t see the point of using it beyond QuickTime Pro plus Adobe Flash.

    Sorenson Squeeze 4.5 Compression Suite is a product of Sorenson Media, Inc.
    The video clips appearing in the screenshots above comes from Internet Archive.

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