Sorenson Media has launched Sorenson Squeeze 7, an upgrade of the company's video encoding program. The new version features a trio of key new functions: GPU acceleration, adaptive bitrate encoding, and new input and output formats.

"Sorenson Squeeze 7 takes the pain and drudgery out of the encoding process with advanced graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration and automation of all aspects of adaptive bit rate encoding," said Peter Csathy, CEO of Sorenson Media. "With this new version of Sorenson Squeeze, video professionals and broadcast organizations can encode and deploy top-quality online video in the formats they use most--and will save valuable time in the process, freeing them up to focus on their core revenue-generating business."

GPU acceleration

The new version of Squeeze offers faster encoding times by using the computer's graphics processing unit (GPU), the microprocessors that power graphics cards in personal computers, laptops, and workstations. Squeeze 7 detects whether the user's CPU or GPU is faster and automatically uses the faster resource for the encoding job.

The software is optimized for Nvidia's CUDA computing architecture, including its Quadro and GeForce chips. Squeeze 7 is up to three times faster than Squeeze 6 when encoding in the H.264 format using GPU acceleration, according to the company. (That estimate is based on internal benchmark test results using an Intel Xeon Quad-Core 2.83GHz CPU with an Nvidia Quadro 5000 GPU.) However, users whose Macs do not have Nvidia processors will see more modest encoding speed gains with this Squeeze upgrade.

Additional new features

Squeeze 7 also handles all aspects of adaptive bitrate encoding (adjusting playback encoding to match network and device speed), from encoding multiple renditions of videos at varying data rates to segmenting files and uploading them to user content delivery networks. This workflow, which is designed to free users from labor-intensive, multi-tool processes, is specifically targeted to playback on iOS devices, such as the iPad and iPhone.

Squeeze 7 adds Flash, Apple ProRes, and MPEG Transport Streams to its existing input formats. New output formats include WebM, MPEG Transport Streams with H.264 and Dolby AC3 for broadcasters, MPEG-2 elementary streams for Blu-ray authoring with H.264 and VC-1, DVB for cable/satellite/terrestrial television, and digital signage-specific formats. Squeeze 7 supports audio-only output formats such as Dolby's AC3, AAC, AIFF, M4A, MP3, Ogg, WAV, and WMA.

The new version of Squeeze includes a new plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro (compatible with Creative Suite versions 4 and 5). This new plug-in joins Squeeze's plug-ins for other professional non-linear editing applications, including Avid's Media Composer and Final Cut Pro. Squeeze 7, like version 6, works with the Sorenson 360 Video Delivery Network.

Availability

Sorenson Squeeze 7 is available immediately via electronic download or in CD form. The price is $799 (£505); upgrades from previous versions begin at $299 (£189) with an introductory $199 (£126) price for Squeeze 6 users. For additional information about purchasing Sorenson Squeeze 7, visit the Website. Squeeze 7 works with Mac OS X 10.5 or higher and requires an Intel processor.