Final Cut Pro: Codec error when exporting as H.264

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.


If you export a QuickTime movie from Final Cut Pro 5 in the H.264 format, it's possible for the operation to result in a message that says, "Codec error."

If this happens, no file is exported. This can occur if you choose File > Export > QuickTime movie, and then choose Custom, and set H.264 as the compressor.


To avoid this issue, you can export from Final Cut Pro via different export options:

You can export using Compressor, which offers a high degree of control over the options available when exporting as H.264.

  1. Choose File > Export > Using Compressor.
  2. Choose a Setting (or create a custom Setting) in Compressor with the H.264 options you desire.
  3. If necessary, refer to the Compressor User Manual for further information on using Compressor.

You can also export using QuickTime Conversion, which offers fewer options than Compressor, but may be simpler to use.

  1. Choose File > Export > Using QuickTime Conversion.
  2. In the Save window, choose QuickTime Movie from the Format pop-up menu.
  3. Click the Options button to open the Movie Settings window.
  4. Click the Settings button in the Video portion of the Movie Settings window.
  5. Choose H.264 from the Compression Type pop-up menu.

This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

Last Modified: Feb 20, 2012

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