Which FLV encoding solution is best?

A question I hear frequently is ‘which codec/encoder should I use for encoding my FLV files, and why?’ Well, I usually just answer ‘use your eyes, they’re always the best judge’. And if you need a great place to do exactly that right now without encoding it all yourself, I’d have to say run- don’t walk- to FlashVideoFAQ.com. Seriously.

Thanks to Elliot Mebane (Roguish) and a whole slew of folks helping him out with content, support and hosting (full credits listed on the site), you can easily compare both the Sorenson and On2VP6 Flash Video codecs as output from three different applications (Flash 8 Encoder, Flix, and Squeeze), across a wide variety of video files/types/styles/etc. As codecs will behave differently based on the video you’re actually encoding, it’s very helpful to be able to compare different types of video along with the codecs used, to get a better idea of how each does it’s ‘squeezing’ and where you’ll get the most mileage. The handy split-pane view and zooming features really let you hone in on what’s happening at a low-level in your frames.

Hats off to Elliot and all his compadres for such a great comparitive resource to have at quick disposal! I’ll be referring to it in my Wednesday Flashforward preso on FLV optimization, so get the jump on it now- if you haven’t already. ;-)

(Personal revelation- I was rather surprised to find, in more cases than I would have guessed, that the Flash 8 encoder actually does a nice relative job- even without 2-pass VBR encoding at it’s disposal. Good news for video freaks on a tight budget!)