I have Final Cut Pro X 10.1.4. I usually always use the "share" option to export my video and select whatever format I want to share with. Usually either "Master File" or "YouTube". I also see the option to "Send to Compressor". I researched Apple Compressor and I am trying to figure out if it is worth the money. Does it really export with better options than just what can be done with Final Cut Pro? Also, to convert to different formats I have used Miro Video converter and Handbrake. Does Apple Compressor have a much better system or output than either of these other video converters? Just want to know if it is really worth the $50 USD for Apple Compressor.

Thanks for any input.

4 Answers 4


The export settings you are using in Final Cut Pro X are preset Compressor settings and the export itself is actually using the Compressor engine (but with no user control). Compressor allows you control over those settings and to save your own custom presets.

For instance, you may want to export an MPEG2 file with a particular bitrate, letterbox 16:9 footage in a 4:3 file, export to Vimeo with custom settings, or any other number of possibilities. If you wanted all of these outputs, you could batch process them. These, and other, codec/compression options can be configured in Compressor and saved as custom presets. Those saved custom presets then appear as available Share options in FCPX.

Compressor allows for encoding without requiring FCPX to be open, or for converting files that don't originate from a FCPX project among other benefits. It also provides a preview window that allows you to compare your source video to processed video before committing.

I still sometimes use Handbrake for h.264 files. It's very fast, clean, and free. In those cases, I will export a ProRes "master file" out of FCPX to bring into Handbrake.

Compressor is not a perfect program, but it is very useful. A lot of it depends on your workflow needs. If you like exporting directly from FCPX, but need custom share options, then Compressor is probably worth it for you. If you are content with the presets or a workflow with other software, then perhaps not


I use Compressor for final outputs of my films, it does give a better end result due to the compression techniques.

When you use the "Share" option from FCPX it uses the basic Quicktime compression and exporting options which only give a a few export formats to choose, mainly designed to work with apple products.

Compressor does give you a lot more options to export out, if you were going to to build a DVD using a 3rd party app or wanted to export a full quality final master to send to tape or a production house compressor is the beast you need to use.

Adding to this Compressor has the options and technology to use all the available resources in your Mac to chugg away at the video file.

I find it is useful when I do Wedding Films as Ill do all my editing of the ceremony, speeches, first dance, short trailer etc then send them all to Compressor to export in DVD mpeg2, Ac3 audio (I think) Mp4 and final full quality, set it to export and walk away or go to bed, when I come back it is all done and Im ready to burn DVD's, upload to Vimeo or Youtube etc.

Hope this helps


Handbrake is - I use my words carefully - horrible at resolutions higher than 1080p. If you're trying to compress something like 4k, avoid handbrake.


You can also export a widescreen movie that's not exactly 16x9 and you can trim off the black bars so you get the actual size (e.g. 2.53:1, etc).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.