FINALLY! Burn Blu-Ray Discs Using Final Cut Pro X

Posted on by Larry

Dick Osso

Editor’s Note: Blu-ray burning on the Mac has been a challenge since Blu-ray Discs were first introduced.

Still, many of us need to burn DVDs and Blu-ray Discs for our clients – but it is increasingly difficult. Especially Blu-ray, where an apparent bug in Final Cut Pro X causes burns to fail on a regular basis.

Dick Osso decided to figure out the workarounds and gear necessary to burn Blu-ray Discs using FCP X. He sent me the following report.


How I Finally Got Blu-ray to Work Using Apple Final Cut Pro X

Here’s the problem: When you Share a final project to Blu-ray Disc, Final Cut would only go up to 66% then stall and quit. No Blu-ray. Apparently, this is a known issue to Apple and tech support could not figure out the culprit.

Backstory: I waited and waited before I moved up to Catalina. Did so because NEW software required and I heard it was OK.

OOOPS!!

CS6 Adobe Encore no longer worked on my new iMac, which meant “good-bye Blu-ray.”

I bought Titanium Toast and spoke with their help desk in Bangladesh. Their Help Desk was no help.

APPLE SUPPORT GETS INVOLVED

Called Apple tech support and moved up the ladder until I spoke with SR support, then to Apple engineering. After three calls, two weeks, and updating to the latest version of Catalina, you can burn a Blu-ray image.

Then, the new problems surfaced: You can’t burn a Blu-ray Disc directly from FCP X. Instead, you need to create an .IMG file on the desktop.

Additionally, Preview does NOT! work, even though there’s a button that says: “Preview!” Unlike DVD Studio Pro or Adobe ENCORE there is NO ACTIVE Preview. You are building BLIND.

So I asked the engineer I was speaking with to PLEASE, PLEASE add an Active Preview. I want to see how everything looks and works on the MAIN PAGE.

Larry, what you don’t see, are the BUTTONS for Chapters or the PLAY button or Menu Button.

Before upgrading to Catalina, 2 of my videographer friends, were creating Blu-ray Discs and burning copies. AND…..under Preview, there existed all the BUTTONS for Navigation.

NOT SO NOW!

I asked that engineer to add them, telling her that, currently, I have to wait 2 hours to see the finished Blu-ray DVD, only to discover that things were NOT in the right locations. I would need to fix them, then start the burn again. Then, wait four more hours to see if the second copy was correct.

This wastes time and discs.

BIG NOTE: LARRY, please reach out to APPLE and ask them, implore them, to make the MAIN PAGE NAVIGATION template work. Second, ask them to INCLUDE an ACTIVE PREVIEW so we can see everything as it should be before we send it out to BURN.

THE WORK AROUND

  1. Make an image that can be loaded as the “Background” (SEE PREVIEW)
  2. Export only a disk image to your hard disk, don’t burn in FCP X.
  3. Drag the .IMG file to the desktop when Sharing is complete
  4. Then open Terminal and log in.
  5. Type the following command right where Apple left off:

hdiutil burn /users/richardg.osso/Desktop/

NOTE: Replace my name with your user name.

6. Then ADD the location of the .IMG file and what it is called. Type carefully, NO MISTAKES! (The path and file name will vary, depending upon your system.)

hdiutil burn /users/richardg.osso/Desktop/Wedding/Video/BluRay.img

NOTE: The slashes indicate folders. After typing “hdiutil burn” type the path from your Users folder to the file you need to burn. The desktop is a good location because it is an easy path to type.

7. Then press Return and the burn begins and the log looks like this:

When completed, the disk is ejected and the burner shuts off.

Larry, I got Apple to fix part of the BluRay Build as part of the update. They tell me that more fixes are coming as they are aware of the bugs……but, I got NO FEEDBACK on two issues that are critical in the build and I look to you to pass this on or speak with someone in engineering in Apple.

  1. Make the DVD MENU PAGE have a working menu with chapters, a true navigation template.
  2. Build in an active Preview button so we can see the DVD actually work before we export it. Press a Chapter menu button and see the DVD navigate to it.

It took me almost 2 months to get APPLE to make the first fix, just to get beyond the crash at 66%.

I have made DVDs from my Super Drive and one disk in the LG MDISC Blu-ray Burner.

WHERE TO BUY A BLU-RAY DRIVE

BTW, I had to go to OWC to buy this burner. The Apple Engineer had me go to Best Buy, but they had nothing for MAC and Catalina. I went to a big tech store outside of BOSTON, they had nothing. Finally, went to the Internet and found OWC. I bought it from them. $142 with TAX and Shipping.

Here’s the link: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MR3UBDRW16/

So if you make any QUICK TIP article from my experience, please include the burner and where to go.

SUMMARY

The BluRay DVD Disc I made works, but the Navigation Menu is all messed up. In Preview, I saw only an off-side PLAY button. It’s a real mess. I’d hate to give that to my clients, but they know the journey I’ve been on.

Thanks, Larry


Larry adds: Dick, thanks for your report. I’m publishing this for my readers and sharing your thoughts with my contacts at Apple. Hopefully, they will find time to get this fixed.


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42 Responses to FINALLY! Burn Blu-Ray Discs Using Final Cut Pro X

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  1. Joe Szilagy says:

    Hi Larry,
    I recently bought the highly recommended Pioneer BDR-XD05, with the expectations that i might be able to burn my music and travel videos to blu-ray, not the least bit interested in stealing movies.
    Anyway, I have an iMac and the current operating system of Catalina. I’ve been watching lots of tutorials (not exactly a tech wizard!)and have had no luck trying to burn a blu-ray direct from Final Cut Pro X. I also have Compressor, and tried from that, along with reducing my videos to the the popular H.265 and so on, but still, no luck.
    I haven’t tried it yet, but I also have MacX Video Converter Pro which I got a year or two ago for some other reason.
    Is there anyway I can burn a blu-ray with FCPX using the Catalina OS and/or with Compressor and/or MacX Video Convertor?
    There is software called Roxio Toast 18 Pro which mentions Catalina, but costs over $100 here in canada, and has a bunch of stuff I would never use, as I just want it to burn blu-rays.
    Any help you can offer would be wonderful!

    Stay safe!

    Joe

    • Larry says:

      Joe:

      There’s no easy answer here. FCP X SHOULD burn Blu-ray, but a current bug is making the difficult. Compressor SHOULD burn Blu-ray, but doesn’t have the same formatting options as Final Cut – as far as I know.

      I haven’t used MacX Video Converter, so I can’t speak to that.

      In general, Roxio Toast is the best option – especially if you don’t want a lot of custom formatting – but it has bells and whistles we don’t need and, especially if you are not making money on your Blu-ray efforts, it isn’t cheap.

      Blu-ray burning software on the Mac is very thin on the ground and there is nothing like DVD Studio Pro available today for Blu-ray on the Mac.

      Larry

      • Joe Szilagy says:

        Hi Larry,
        I actually got it to burn a disc last night! Don’t ask me how- I’m not exactly sure!!
        I just kept clicking on everything in Compressor, trying every imaginable thing for hours. At first (in FCPX) under ‘file’, I clicked ‘share’ then ‘export file’, which opened ‘settings’, then for ‘actions’, I clicked on ‘compressor’, instead of Quicktime.
        Again, I was just winging it- trying anything!

        In Compressor I dragged the ‘Create Blu-ray’ into the open box space, which I think immediately showed ‘Dolby Digital’ and ‘H.264’ beneath it when I clicked on it in the box.
        After that, is when I tried all sorts of things. Eventually, I got frustrated, left the thing on and watched something on television. After a couple of hours, I suddenly heard the Pioneer BDR-XD05 making some sounds, then realized it was burning something!
        Expecting a blank disc, I was shocked when I put it in my Sony blu-ray player and watched some of it on television!

        So, tonight, I tried again, but (so far) the same confusing trial and error stuff. However, I’ve been videoing all the steps, and if it burns tonight (er, this morning!), then later today, I’ll put all the clips of the process I videoed in FCPX, link them together, and try and see if I can figure out what things might have worked.

        On the other hand, if Roxio Toast makes things much simpler, then that is tempting! Expensive yes, but because of the pandemic, I’ll hardly be going out and spending any money or anything, so it might be worth it in that case.

        Thanks,
        Joe

  2. Joe Szilagy says:

    Hi Larry,

    Sorry to keep bothering you. Anyway, massive fail, and many hours wasted.
    Didn’t work this time.
    I’m ready to get Roxio Toast. The version that mentions Catalina.
    Would you say that (between my iMac Catalina OS, the Pioneer-BDR-XD05 and Roxio Toast) that it will likely work making a blu-ray?

    Thank you!

    Joe

    • Joe:

      It SHOULD work, but check the Roxio site for compatibility with your burner.

      Larry

      • Joe Szilagy says:

        Hi Larry,
        just to let you know, I got the Toast Pro 18 (and, hopefully will find ‘some’ use for Corel AfterShot 3 64-bit, Live Screen Capture, WinZip and a bunch of other stuff that came with it), but am happy to say that it works just fine burning Blu-rays with Catalina OS and the Pioneer BDR-XD05.
        As mentioned before, I somehow managed to make a blu-ray using ‘Compressor’ ‘before’ I got Toast Pro 18, but, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do it again! Sometimes it’s better to spend the money, rather than screaming and pulling your hair out!

  3. David Thomas says:

    Interesting reading all this…Mr Jordan I’m a long time “hobbyist”, not a pro, but have subscribed to your classes over the years and follow you. I happen to do my everyday work on a PC. For many years now I’ve had 100% success burning FCPX blurays by creating a .IMG file as you do, but I move it to my PC and burn using 3rd party software IMGBURN. Though my projects are probably not as complex as most, it’s worked flawlessly. Sad though, as I’d rather burn directly from FCPX. I also tried the Pioneer BDR XD05 with complete failure under Catalina/FCPX. Thx, Dave Thomas

    • Larry says:

      David:

      Thanks for your comments. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way to successfully burn Blu-ray Discs is to use a Windows system. Your comment reinforces that.

      Larry

  4. Paul says:

    I am having no problem burning Blu-ray disks from FCPX. I am using a 2017 iMac. I have struggled immensely with Toast 18 Pro. The problem is the encoding sucks and introduces defects into the play back, like stutter and frame jerks. I have spent weeks to eliminate these issues by slowing down panning and zooming. But I have found the direct burn from FCPX is super smooth with better color and more detail. I am going with the simplistic chapter menus with great video from FCPX over the nice Toast menus but painful Toast visuals.

    • Larry says:

      Paul:

      Thanks for your comments. I only used Toast for burning, I never used it for compression.

      I’m glad that FCP X is working well for you.

      Larry

  5. Jeff Anderson says:

    Larry, thanks for this info.As we speak, I am fumbling along with the same issue. Every so often, I can burn right from the FCPX share box to my burner and it is great. Most times it fails. I have El Capitan. Toast 11 does work, but when I try to burn to my burner in FCPX share it says 21 GB. To use Toast 11, I share to master file that ends up at 18 GB. When I burn it to toast it say 13 GB. Watching it, it appears to be less quality. I chatted today with Toast 18, but they told me I cannot use FCP. Any suggestions? thanks Jeff

    • Larry says:

      Jeff:

      Burning Blu-ray Discs on a Mac is a problem – and has been for years. Burning DVDs using Final Cut is often a problem. Keep in mind that the size of the SOURCE file is not meaningful the only thing that matters is the size of the compressed file. Keep in mind, also, that DVDs are ALWAYS standard-definition video – 720 x 540 – and no more. If you need HD, you need to burn Blu-ray. So, yes, you are seeing reduced quality, that is the definition of DVD.

      I am not burning DVDs now, but in years past, what I would do is export the master file from FCP, create the disc image using DVD Studio Pro or other DVD authoring software, the use Toast to burn the actual DVD. I never used the compression in Toast.

      Your best option, today, is to burn DVDs or Blu-ray Discs using Windows, or an older Mac that is running DVD Studio Pro. FCP X will work, but not reliably.

      Larry

  6. Norris Tidwell says:

    I have FCP 10.4.8 and can’t share Blu Ray to a Disc or even create a Blu-Ray image of my project. I think this is a bug designed to stop users from sharing via disc or other means that streaming to Apple devices. Apple has had time to fix and have not. Maybe PREMIERE is a better software to do this?

    • Larry says:

      Norris:

      Apple has acknowledged there’s a bug in their Blu-ray burning capability in FCP X and, so far, they haven’t fixed it.

      Premiere has no Blu-ray capability, so that’s not a choice.

      Blu-ray on the Mac has always been a problem which only gets worse every day. The only consistency working option is to use a Windows system.

      Larry

  7. Norris W Tidwell says:

    The last time I burned a Blu-Ray disc on FCP 10.4.7 released 10/7/19. FCP did burn Blu Ray all the time. I had not burned anything since then. After being auto upgraded to 10.4.8 after 12/7/19 and replacing my MacBook Pro with the 16″ display unit I now can’t burn Blu-Ray disc with FCP 10.4.8 with the new computer. It seems the FCP 10.4.8 is the problem software.

  8. Norris W Tidwell says:

    Larry, I used FCP to share a master file to my hard drive. It makes a huge file that can’t fit on the Blu-Ray disc. So with Toast 18 I use the convert tab and insert the master file and it converts to a smaller file that fits on the Blu-Ray disc. After it is converted I place the converted file on the video tab and then it burns to my Blu-Ray disc. It takes extra steps to use Toast 18 but it does work to burn a Blu-Ray.

    I need to burn about 4 disc that were an hour long duration video for my family. I am glad to see all these post for it help solve my problem.

    Thanks

    • Larry says:

      Norris:

      You are correct. Master files provide the absolute highest quality – but they are HUGE and must be compressed before final distribution, whether to the web or Blu-ray.

      Your method works great when you only need to put one video on the disc. I’ve been a fan of Toast for a long-time.

      Larry

  9. Norris W Tidwell says:

    Share using the Master file does create a huge file for 1 hour video. There is an option on FCP X to select share to computer and it compresses to about 6.9GB instead of 100GB+ by selecting Video and Audio on the Master share settings. Then I used the MP4 file on Toast 18 to create my Blu-Ray disc. Just thought this might help anyone else trying to burn a Blu-Ray disc.

  10. Norris W Tidwell says:

    I think I have found a way around burning a blu ray disc with Final Cut Pro 10.4.8. There is apparently two different burn apps hidden: one in the OS and one in FCP or Compressor. The FCP or Express open the burn app for blue ray and it does not shut down after you burn one time. I have made sure the burn icons that presents on the desktop-Untitled BD.fpbf- three of them when I burn a blu ray. After I have burned my blu ray I trash the three disc icons on the desk top. I then redo the blu ray share and it works every time. The program hangs at 66% if you don’t trash these three icons which closes the FCP burn ap.

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