First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!

Posted by abedenmark 
First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
February 22, 2012 12:00PM

I didn't expect to run into this problem, as I was told it was "a breeze" to do this. But so far, no success. I'll start by saying my FCP 7 sequence is 1920 x 1080i, DV project upconverted to HD, as a film festival we're accepted to only screens Blu-Ray. I went this route because i was able to re-do all our subtitles from within FCP and they look MUCH better this way than just letting the Blu-Ray player upconvert the DVD copy. Anyway, here's what I'm experiencing. And I'm using a DIGISTOR portable blu-ray burner that blugs right into the USB port on my Mac.

After setting up the blu-ray burn as instructed and letting it run all night, I walk in this morning and the blu-ray drive has ejected the disc and Compressor has given me the following pop up message:

The media in this drive cannot be used. Please insert another disc." I am using Sony BD-R 50GB stock, also recommended by someone I trust.

I take that disc out, and put in new one and hit the "CANCEL BURN" button, which is the only option I'm given. The drive thinks about it, churns a bit, and spits out that disc too. I look for the files compressor has created and notice the the movie file, which is about 7 gigabytes (pretty small for what I was expecting, is just a white rectangle with H.264 written on it. It's not even a movie file. I try to open it but I have no application that lets me.

My list of steps in setting up the burn:

Since I am adding the six tracks of a 5.1 mix I had professionally done, I take all the audio OFF this FCP sequence. So I'm left with JUST the video tracks. Some parts of it a stacked high with all the animation and graphics, but everything is completely rendered out.

I hit SHARE. "It tells me "There is offline media in this sequence. Do you still want to export?" Problem is, there ISN'T any offline media in the sequence. I've checked and re-checked ten times. Everything's online. So I hit "YES".

Now here's where it gets confusing. The pop up lets you choose that you want to burn a BLU-RAY...and it gives you the options to do the menu or no menu, etc. I make all the correct settings because we want NO menu...just for it to play on insertion. Now...there are two option buttons: SEND TO COMPRESSOR and EXPORT. I will admit I didn't really know what to do here. So I chose SEND TO COMPRESSOR, since that's what needs to happen when we are going to burn a disc right? Why would we have an EXPORT button here? I'm really not sure.

Anyway Compressor opens, and it shows me the sequence has already been assigned to the video track...and already has the H.264 for Blu Ray upconvert setting applied. Strangely enough, even though there is NO AUDIO in the sequence, it wants to create an "ac3 Dolby" file for the audio. I delete that and do the ADD SURROUND SOUND option with the six droplets, with my six tracks of 5.1 mix. Now, it doesn't automatically apply settings and destinations for the I take a wild guess and use "Dolby Digital Professional (Auto)" setting, as it creates Dolby Digital 2.0 or 5.1 audio based on number of channels in source. The only other 5.1 option was Professional 5.1 which makes a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio at 448 kbps. I have no idea what that last number meant so I didn't use it.

Then everything's set and I clicked SUBMIT. 9 hours later...epic failure. I have no idea why Compressor created a 7 gig file, which could have easily fit onto a 25 GB Blank Blu-ray...but even more so, why it created a file that could not even be opened. I got the SONY BD-R stock that was recommended, so why would it tell me the media in the drive cannot be used? Was it referring to the BD-R stock or the weird video file that Compressor created?

Do I need to just export the movie with current settings (file will be enormous) then try to make the blu-ray with THAT rather than trying to do it form the sequence? I am literally at my wits end.

Thank you...

Re: First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
February 22, 2012 12:57PM
Compressor is not great to burn a Blu-ray disk. It will let you create the files. You should look into Toast, or Adobe's Encore to do the burning.

Burning a Blu-ray disk going through the SHARE menu: Many reported that it works, and sometimes it does not. For me, It never worked except for one time.

If you do try the SHARE again. Don't go to Compressor. Just try EXPORT. Compressor will do it's thing in the background without you knowing it.

As far as using a Blu-ray burner that runs off your USB port. The bandwidth might not be fast enough. That could be your problem. But I'm not sure.

Apple is not big on Blu-ray. They don't support much of it. So you are not alone with these problems. The cheaper way to go is to get Toast. If you want to build great menus, get Adobe's Production Premium, which has Encore.

Get yourself a rewritable Blu-ray disc. This way you won't waist good money on drink coasters.

Here's link to past experiences:,263227,263227
Re: First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
February 22, 2012 02:24PM
Thank you Russ. I'll look into that. This has been one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. If I'd known all this, I wouldn't have spent a week upcoverting all my animation and graphics files. I'd have just sent a DVD and let the BD player do what it will. But the movie looks SO much better...getting a playable BD would be ideal. I actually have Encore at home and have never used it. Will give that a try as well as some of your other suggestions. I appreciate your taking the time to respond. Not many do.

Re: First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
February 22, 2012 10:57PM
Russ is right- Toast is the way. Share dropped dead for me re BluRay.

Also, get a reliable Blu-Ray burner. I upgraded my MacPro with a Pioneer 206D internal- off the shelf at MicroCenter Cambridge- and it delivers DVD and BluRay very well. Cost: last year $120.00.

I only had to shave down the front lip of the sliding tray by 1/8" to avoid catching the portal edge. Since the lip snaps off for easy tailoring, this was a breeze. Of course not everybody has a Dremel router table but you get the idea.

So I've exported hour-long HD from ProRes422 standard quality to QuickTime native and right to Toast 11 Titanium and the disk played big screen in a Miami Beach theater premiere last year.

- Loren

Today's FCP 7 keytip:
Invoke the big TimeCode Viewer with Control -T !

Your Final Cut Studio KeyGuide? Power Pack
with FCP7 KeyGuide --
now available at KeyGuide Central.
Re: First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
February 22, 2012 11:13PM
I go the compressor to encore route with an lg external burner. There was a bit of a learning curve especially for bluray menus. Toast is simple though, I just couldn't get a disk to look as good. Probably user error.
Re: First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
February 22, 2012 11:28PM
I use FCP Share going to Compressor (where I can make lots of settings) and output an .img file. Then whenever I need a Blu-ray from this I use Toast 10 in Image File mode. The Samsung SE-506 burner connects by USB. So far so good.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
Re: First time Blu-Ray Burn using Compressor!! Epic FAIL!!!
March 02, 2012 11:59PM
Those of you using Toast, have you had stuttering issues on playback in certain players? My editor has been burning BR discs for approval on my feature, and though they played well in his machine (a Samsung?) they did not look great on my Playstation 3. Normally the PS3 is rock solid on playback of commercial discs, but the ones burned in Toast had a stuttering frame rate that was extremely irritating. When he used Compressor to burn the disc it worked great; YMMV I guess.

FWIW, he's on Avid so he was just dropping his QT export into Compressor and using the BR shortcut. When I'm in FCP I rarely use the 'Share' function, I always export a full QT copy before compression -- I've never trusted that shortcut.


SCQT! Self-contained QuickTime ? pass it on!
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