How to Have Compressor Send You an Email When Your Video Transcode Is Complete

Published on June 13, 2017

Transcoding a video can be super time-consuming. It can tie up your computer for a while.

If you're like me, you might find yourself frequently coming back to check on the transcoding Job because you want to know the moment it's done.

Well, there just might be a better way. Here's what I did...

I used Automator (an app that is included with MacOS) to create an automation where my computer sends me an email the moment Compressor is done transcoding a video for me.

Cool, right? I know. :)

Want to see how to do it?

Here are the steps...

Step 1: Open Automator.

Automator is an application that comes installed on every Mac by default.

Step 2: Click "New Document".

Step 3: Select "Workflow" and click "Choose".

An Automator "Worklow" is a document that contains all the steps that Automator will run for you.

Step 4: Select the "Mail" Category in the Action Library.

Step 5: Drag "New Mail Message" to the workflow area.

The workflow area lists the different steps that Automator will run from top to bottom.

Step 6: Type in what you want the email to say.

After putting your own email as the recipient, the subject can be anything you want it to be. Mine says "Hey! Compressor is done transcoding!"

Step 7: Check "Ignore this action's input".

Under the Options button for this step, there's a checkbox that says "Ignore this action's input." If you don't want the video file attached to the email, check this box.

Step 8: Drag "Send Outgoing Messages" from the Action Library to the workflow area.

These are the only two steps that will take place inside the workflow. The first one creates the email message and the second one sends it out.

Step 9: Save the Workflow document (and remember the filename you give it).

Saving the workflow means Compressor will be able to find it on your computer.

Step 10: Open Compressor.

Now that we have the email portion set up, we need to make sure Compressor knows when to run the workflow.

Step 11: Drag your video to the Batch.

Step 12: Select the Job to open it in the Inspector.

Step 13: Change "When done: do Nothing" to "When done: Run Automator Workflow".

Now, instead of only transcoding, Compressor also knows to run a particular Automator workflow when its Job is finished.

Step 14: Click "Choose" to open the File Browser.

Step 15: Use the File Browser to select the Workflow you saved earlier.

Step 16: Choose your transcode Settings and save the Job

If you want to save this whole process as a preset, simply click and drag the Job back to the Custom category in the Presets library. (Ensure that you drag it directly onto the Custom header).

Step 17: Rename the Preset (Compressor calls this a "Destination" because it includes both the transcode Setting along with a post-transcode action).

Name your Preset something like "Transcode Notification" or "Transcode and Notify". Once you've done this, you can reuse the Preset (Destination) on future transcode Jobs.

Step 18: Start the Batch.

After clicking "Start Batch", your computer will transcode your video, and Compressor will send you the email you created earlier once the transcode is done!

When you use this method, you can feel comfortable leaving your computer because you know you'll get notified the moment the transcode is complete.

Pretty great, right?

A couple notes

By the way, Compressor has a built-in Action where it can send you an email after the transcode, but it includes the transcoded video file. If you don't want to include the video file, then this Automator workflow is a good alternative.

Also, if you'd rather receive a text message than an email, you can do that using this same workflow with an important difference. When you're entering the email address, use the custom email address for sending a text message to your phone. That email address will depend on the phone service provider you use.

This article was last updated on October 6, 2020


Download a free collection of 35 templates for Final Cut Pro.

Yes, they're really free, even for commercial purposes. Click the link below to get started:

Get Started

Popular Resources