After encoding a DVD video to MP4 using Handbrake 0.9.4(2009112300) using the High Profile preset, my video will not open in QuickTime. The video itself does not appear to be corrupt, I can play it from end to end in Windows Media Player, and it looks and sounds fine.

I receive the following error:

Error -2041: An invalid sample description was found in the movie (Movie.mp4)

Here is the preset used to encode the video:

    <Name>High Profile</Name>
    <Query>-e x264  -q 20.0 -a 1,1 -E faac,ac3 -B 160,160 -6 dpl2,auto -R 48,Auto -D 0.0,0.0 -f mp4 --detelecine --decomb --loose-anamorphic -m -x b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50</Query>

How can I adjust this preset or fix the files so that they will play in QuickTime?

2 Answers 2


The solution is to change the extension from mp4 to m4v. Quicktime does not think that aac+ac3 is a valid audio format for mp4, but it thinks it is fine for m4v.

The solution was in this comment on the handbrake forums:

Re: Quicktime error: invalid sample description

by twoodinto » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:08 pm

I started to have this problem with 0.9.2 after encoding AAC+AC3 audio. Working too late at night I did not realize that handbrake had not reset the extension from mp4 to m4v. Changing this after the fact works and the files that would only play in VLC now work in quicktime player.


I am using adobe media encoder cs5, without going into all the technical stuff, in the video dialog box you will find a button called simple advanced, when you click on it an option will appear just above it called "field Order" click on it and select Upper, that fixed the problem for me, I hope it helps you.

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