If you use FCP, most likely you have been hit with the wonderfully generic “GENERAL ERROR!” So informative. It tells you jack s**t about what the problem ACTUALLY is. And the problem is that it can cover all sorts of issues…exporting, editing, rendering…so your guess is as good as anyones as to what the issue ACTUALLY is.

Well, I was hit with this error this morning, and it took me ALL MORNING to figure out what it was. So in hopes that other people will learn from this, and find out what one possible reason for this GENERAL ERROR might be, I will tell you what it was.

I was exporting a self contained Quicktime Movie of my final locked picture. I do this all the time, so that we have a tape copy and a digital file. I do this with the Texted and Textless versions. Well, I did a batch export of these when I went away on Friday and was greeted with the GENERAL ERROR when I arrived Monday morning. I tried exporting again…error. I trashed my preferences with the Preference Manager, I repaired permissions with the Disk Utility, I restarted the computer…nada. Same error.

I thought it might be a render issue, so I re-rendered the entire timeline. Nope…General Error.

But then I noticed that the error happened at the same place every time. So then I started exporting the timeline in segments, until I got the error, then I narrowed my export range until I finally narrowed it down to one clip. Finally, I found the bugger! This was a file that was rendered out of COLOR, so I launched Color and re-rendered just that clip. Launched FCP again, it referenced the new clip and BOOM, I was in business. So somehow, in some way, that clip was corrupt.

So ONE possible cause of this issue is a corrupt clip…corrupt render…corrupt media file.

OH, crap, it just popped up with ANOTHER General Error. Looks like I have more searching to do.


EDIT: Well poop…that wasn’t it. Every time I found the problem clip, and re-rendered in Color, ANOTHER clip would cause the General Error. Even if I narrowed it down to the clip, then check all the clips AFTER that one. After I fix that one, suddenly the General Error would happen on a clip after that…or before. It was like WHACK-AN-ERROR…couldn’t nail it down. BUT…when I opened this project up in FCP 7 (FCP 6.0.5 project) and exported…no error at all.

SO…again, this error remains a mystery. Dammit.