7 Replies Latest reply: Jun 15, 2013 8:38 PM by autnagrag
richard90 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a large number of MP4 files encoded with Handbreak that played perfectly on all my Mac's under Snow Leopard and could be synced to my iPad.  Since upgrading to OS X Lion these files won't play in Quicktime and won't sync to my iPad.  The quicktime error message is:


The document "filename.m4v" could not be opened.  A required codec isn't available.


The file is being reported by finder with the following codecs: H.264, AC3, AAC, Text


Can anyone help please?


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7)
  • David Armstrong (SE) Level 2 (305 points)

    Strange, take a look here:




    Failing that you can always re-encode them with FFMPEGX (my personal favourite)

  • richard90 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks  - had already seen that link and unfortunately it didn't help.  So I have tracked the issue down to files that have AC3 as the first sound track as opposed to the second.  If AC3 is the first track then Lion/iTunes will not sync the file to either an iPad or an iPhone.  These did sync previosuly on Snow leopard and the iPad and iPhone played them fine and were able to select the AAC track irrespective of whether it was track 1 or track 2.


    So this looks like a bug in Lion/iTunes for video files with AC3 as first track not second (given that they worked perfectly previously)

  • David Armstrong (SE) Level 2 (305 points)

    Great! Thanks for sharing the solution/workaround. Actually this could be a major bug for a lot of people considering how big some of the libraries can be (mine included )

  • myth0s Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Richard90, this same bug has bitten me -- movie files made by Handbrake on Lion won't play with Quicktime. They play fine with DIVX Player or VLC. Just Quicktime fails to open it.


    Thanks for the sleuthing that tracked it down to the sound format AC3.


    Two steps forward, one back.

  • Purple Crow Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello Richard90 and the community,


    My computer and Quicktime is all to updated. As I took your advice, I checked the encoded of audio is AAC and MP4 for the movie. Quicktime X still won't recognized the file formet. There must be a something that I quite miss to fix the bug, thanks.

  • mrmattman68 Level 1 (0 points)



    For me it was the subtitle track which was enabled by default and in the format vobsub.  I opened the file in subler and unchecked the subtitle track and made sure the video and aac 2 ch stereo tracks were checked.

  • autnagrag Level 1 (45 points)

    I was startled that the new Handbrake 0.99 (for OS X) will produce mp4 files that make Quicktime Player 10.2 scream and refuse to play the file. Quicktime Player 7 will sort of play it, but it won't let one toggle audio or subtitles.


    Handbrake 0.99 can, for .mp4 output, encode subtitiles – multiple! – that are not burned in, and it can encode more than one audio track. This is SO COOL – more like a DVD – that I have decided not to care if it needs VLC 2.0.6 to play. I don't really care that much what app I use to play a movie, but it is really great to have choices for audio and subtitles. In my media collection, there are files from way back when that have French language and French burned-in subtitles (to hone my language skills) and an entire almost duplicate file with burned-in English subtitles if I ever want to watch it with a non-Francophone friend.


    This is a really great enhancement of Handbrake, and not, in my view, a problem. There are lots of programs that play AV files, and VLC is perhaps not the only one that permits toggling audio tracks and subtitle tracks when playing the output of the new Handbrake.


    Way cool. Not a problem: a gift, an enhancement.