Apple Final Cut Pro – ...

General Error - Out of Memory - *SOLVED* - *SOLUTION*!

Home / Blog / Apple Final Cut Pro – ...
Wolfgang | 2010/09/21 | 120 comments

I’ve got a brand new 12-core Apple MacPro with 16 GB RAM and an ATI Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card!

While rendering a project in Apple Final Cut Pro (FCP) I’ve got an error message…

“General Error!” and then “Out of Memory!” ***WTF???***

Equipped with a brand new machine, I thought there must be another problem and did some research, but found nothing really helpful.

In fact the the solution is really simple!

I had the following sequence setting, when I first tried to render and the following error message came up:

Wrong setting:

Apple Final Cut Pro - General Error - Out of Memory - *SOLVED*!


I’ve changed the setting a little bit:

H.264 to “Apple ProRes 422” – and that’s it!!!

Right setting:

Apple Final Cut Pro - General Error - Out of Memory - *SOLVED*!


If you want to know which ProRes codec is the best for your project, please have a look at

And if you don’t know how to change the video settings of a sequence: Right click on it and choose “Settings”! That’s easy… ;-)

If you want to see a pretty fast RAID 0 with 4 SSDs,

please click on this link:


  • lou says:

    THANK YOU, blessings!

  • Toby Rogers says:

    Real editors know how to work scene structure, pace, and character performance while leaving the data and codec settings to their assistants.

  • VERY nice corner of the Internet, very helpful. Final Cut Pro has been a freaking finicky BEAST to learn for me, nice to see informed posts addressing many likely problems (including on my project). To sum up what I’ve read here for solutions: Standardize all your still images/photos (PNG preferred); H264 requires much less space than 422; double check any nested sequences/render them; delete previously rendered files & re-render (if necessary); “wash” everything through Streamclip (if you haven’t already); change “render settings” to RGB vs. 8 or 10 bit; anything else?


  • STONEY XL says:

    I’ve been using ProRes since they made it available, I still occasionally get the “out of memory” error. Like right now as I edit a music video. I was Googling to see if it was my MB Looks 2 since that was what I just applied to a clip when I got the error. Ended up here. Been editing since FCP 1 so these buggaboos ain’t nuthin new. I’m on a 2008 MacPro 3.2 16gb Ram 526mb on 2 GeForces, so it ain’t the lack of memory…SL 10.6.8…Any help appreciated…

  • Lenay Dunn says:

    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo

  • jose luis says:

    thank you very much for your assistance.
    I had the same problem and now i solved. v
    Very easy to do when we know how to do that.
    Iam very gratefully!!!!
    jose luis

  • Zac says:


  • andrew says:

    how do i find where the sequence setting page is, im fairly new to this program, any help would be much appreciated

  • John says:

    I looked all afternoon for a solution and didn’t see this one. I can’t believe it was this simple. Thank you!!!!

  • Claudia says:

    Right click on the sequence in your Browser, FCP will display a menu, almost at the bottom there’s a settings option, click on it and it’ll display the settings page.

  • Danny says:

    You’d save yourself ALOT of time by processing all of your rushes to whichever codec you’d like to work with in something like compressor before editing rather than using FCP to do it.
    comments like
    ‘Real editors know how to work scene structure, pace, and character performance while leaving the data and codec settings to their assistants.’ are why so many projects that come in from FCP are such a mess because inexperienced editors have set them up incorrectly and have to be bodged/fixed in the online.

  • Tara M. says:


  • Sam Lewis says:

    Thank you. You are as wise as you are beautiful.

  • A Seriously Grateful Grad Student says:


    THANK YOU!!!!

  • Yes, I noticed that the General Error and Out of Memory problem is linked to still images. And it happens suddenly, with images that worked fine before and suddenly start to fail. In fact, you can quickly search and find the images in your timelines, just double click them to open in the viewer. The image that bugs will not open, it will give a white Viewer! It looks like transforming the “broken” image (I do not believe the image file is corrupted, I tested it on one image. It looks like some bug in FCP) to png format does the job. Otherwise, NEVER use FCP to output to any other format then the format of your Sequence (which SHOULD be the format you shot in or that you transcoded your footage to, like ProRes 422 for example, and which should NOT be H264). Just output your final sequence to a self contained QT file and then use for example Compressor or other software to transcode it to the file format(s) you need.

  • Vandity says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! It worked right away. I have over 600Gb on my hard drive, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Relief!

  • Matt Adams says:

    ““wash” everything through Streamclip”

    I kept getting this error message when I tried to drop a video into the timeline. Not matter what I did, it would “crash” the sequence window. I was still able to drop other videos into other sequence windows, so clearly it’s not out of memory.

    Whatever the issue is, it seems to be just this one video, all of the other 18 videos are exactly the same: screen recordings made with QuickTime Player.

    Anyway, I tried “washing” the clip with QuickTime Player, no luck. Then I came and read this article and comments.

    Thanks to The Rock & Roll Chef for the great tip to “wash” the clip in MPEG StreamClip. Now it works. The only thing is I have to render the entire file now, whereas with the other videos I only had to render the audio.

  • Tizoc89 says:

    WTF!?!? was correct and I found this answer and it worked. Thanks it helped a lot!

  • Here’s another thing that may help prevent your FCP editing project from “hanging/dragging”: In addition to “washing” (standardizing) all your raw video through Streamclip to Pro Res 422 (HQ optional), check the frame rate of each clip and make them the same too. I’m integrating some Go Pro footage with my Canon DSLR footage (shot at 30p and 24p respectively). The converted Streamclip Go Pro footage wasn’t working well until I did it again and saved it at the same frame rate as the Canon clips. FINAL CUT IS ONE FREAKING SENSITIVE PROGRAM FOLKS!

  • Simon says:

    Hello – switching to Pro Res 422 will not in itself fix the “out of memory” warning. This can often be caused by lack of hard drive space and other issues.

  • mark says:

    Well, you should be able to render into codec you want without it giving you that message, so changing the sequence setting to ProRes, while it might be a work around, is most certainly not a “solution.”

  • mark says:

    And as for the dope who said “real editors don’t bother with codecs” you are a numbskull. This is 2012, you need to be savvy about everything.

  • alia says:

    Thank You so much for the tip. Question though: this doesn’t affect my video too much does it? I thought that when i dragged the video to the timeline and hit ok for the warning saying something about “matching your video settings” that all would be fine. Just making sure. Thanks again!!!

  • Khurram says:

    That’s good knowledge that u People have shared,the really thing is this, if your video codec is supposed in H.264 or it can be other codec but when u will change your sequence settings like u change H.264 to Pro ress 422, or Pro res 4444. would it ask for render at all action and secondly most important that if u r running this exerciser that would be consumed your lot of time, to render and exporting. What u people suggest abut to avoid this exerciser

  • admin says:

    You have to try… but it’s no problem to switch back afterwards! ;-)

  • bakamomo says:

    Thank you sooooooooooo much!!! it’s really easy & reallllllllly helpful!!

  • Susan o says:

    So that solution did not work for me but…i copied my timeline into a new sequence and it e
    Rendered!!! Go figure!!

  • k says:

    Thank youu!! you saved my project :)

  • FOB says:

    Thanks alot! Thats like paracetamol to my FCP headache

  • marduk says:

    I pity the fools.

  • alejandro says:

    ey my problem is red canvas. say: display is unavailable. close and reopen window to restore. what is this? please answer me

  • AD says:

    Best practice is to transcode (Compressor, Sorenson Squeeze, FFMEG) any of the batch video converters will do nicely. Stay AWAY from mgpeg4, MTS, AVCHD, h.264, MP3. As others have stated those are consumer delivery formats, not editing formats.

    Editing formats are: ProRes (any variety) on the Mac and AVI files on a PC, on both you can use the Avid formats too (DNxHD). For audio that’s AAC, PCM or uncompressed WAV or AIFF files.

    Basically you’ll always run into weird render errors, excessively long render times, or playback issues if you don’t.

    The expensive Avid systems all do a transcode on import so it happens, but behind the scenes. FCP needs a transcode too, it just doesn’t force it on you.

    Coming from news and advertising, ALL editors need to keep current on CODECs. Just a note, having worked through both and recession crashes the technically savvy editors stayed. Those with the “the Assistant will deal with that” mentality all got laid off, both times. Who wants to pay for 2 people (Assistant + Editor) when there are plenty of Editors who are also technically savvy and can solve their own problems? Answer, no one, not these days. That’s old skool thinking in a new skool world.

  • stina says:

    So the “General error” doesn’t come up anymore after changing to Apple ProRes 422, BUT I have to render al the clips before I even start editing. Isn’t there another solution?? If not, I’m going back to Premiere…
    The “General error” comes when I just try to put a second clip into my sequence. There’s nothing special with that sequence or the clip in it, but it just wont take another one…
    Oh, and I have the same problem as alejandro, red canvas, display unavailable etc.

  • David Scott says:

    Hi stina
    You need to render it because your clips and sequence have different settings… just go to sequence settings and change them to match your clip, it’s most likely still on H264, so change it to ProRes. You can’t do that in Premiere but you can in FCP.

  • Noe says:

    Really helpful, TKS

  • Joe BOB says:


  • Mike says:

    THIS WAS SO HELPFUL! THANK YOU! You just saved my project :-)

  • Sinéadey says:

    You just saved me a lot of time, thanks!

  • Rob says:

    I F**KING LOVE YOU! Hahahaha

  • shelby says:

    I have switched my settings from H.264 to Apple ProRes 422 and I’m still receiving these messages

  • amanda says:

    Have I told you how much I love you? Because I mean it. I love you.


  • March says:


  • Erin says:

    You saved my night man! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

  • Jen says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  • Lauren says:

    THANK YOU so much you don’t know how much you saved me there. genuis. Ugh.

  • Got the dreaded out of memory error message and figured out that because I have dropbox running on my Mac Tower (with 12 gigs of ram!!) it was contantly updating the files eating away my ram. PAUSE IT..(but be careful not to delete it OR turn it off!! and back all your folders up first cause it will not come back the same!!) Put Dropbox in PAUSE mode and all of a sudden, you have your required 4gig of ram for rendering! This worked great for me!

  • Katie says:

    Wow. It worked for me. Lot of blessings. Wish you happy new Year.

  • aliman says:

    Totally worked! Thank you!!!

  • I changed to adobe premiere because of this and other problems on fcp7. Premiere also has problems. But much less. And render is fastest ever (like fcpx, but i like adobe more)

  • […] Apple Final Cut Pro – General Error – Out of Memory – *SOLVED … – VERY nice corner of the Internet, very helpful. Final Cut Pro has been a freaking finicky BEAST to learn for me, nice to see informed posts addressing many likely problems (including on my project). […]

Add comment




Comment Submit


Facebook RSS Feed Twitter YouTube
Apple Final Cut Pro - General Error - Out of Memory - *SOLVED* - *SOLUTION*!