Retaining Chapter Markers in H.264 Video

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the January, 2010, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]

William Aleman provides this update:

[Last month, Ben Balser asked a question on how to retain chapter markers in H.264 video.] I’ve successfully exported the Chapter Markers to iTunes, iPod, and QuickTime players without any extra steps or work around using FCP 6.0.6


I think that the missing step in the process here is that the users are not adding or converting the editing markers in FCP’s Timeline to “Chapter Markers” before they export the self containing QuickTime Movie. Following are the steps.



Create the Timeline Markers



Convert the Timeline Markers to Chapter Markers in the Edit Marker dialog by clicking the Add Chapter Marker button.


Export a self-contained QuickTime Movie.


Important note: When you want to include markers as part of your export from FCP, it is essential to select DVD Studio Pro Markers in the Export dialog. Otherwise, your markers will not export properly. Larry.


Second Note: Reference movies do not retain chapter markers, only self-contained movie do.

Compress the exported movie to H.264. (It has a .m4v file extension.) and add the H.264 movie to iTunes



In iTunes 9 Menu, next to Help, in the top right is the Chapter menu. Click and hold it down to reveal the chapters list.


The second method to display chapter markers is in the iTunes and QuickTime transport. Click and hold down the chapter icon in the right side of the playback transport.



To display the chapter markers in iPod:

  • Double click the center button in the iPod. A bar containing little divided rectangles will appear. Each division correspond to each chapter.
  • Press the back or forward button in the iPod to display and navigate to the chapters.

One more thing: The chapter tab doesn’t appear in iTunes Menu until a video with chapters is in playback or pause mode.

Larry replies: Thanks!


Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Retaining Chapter Markers in H.264 Video

  1. Lloyd Walker says:

    So What if you want to export the QT file current/native out of FCP with the markers and chapter markers into an MPEG for mat not for Apple devices like Power Point? The MPEG encoder in Compressor does not seem to retain the chapters. I’m trying the Video Podcast setting now as I heard rumor that keeps the chapter markers but I have clients in the Windows PC world that would like the movies with the chapter markers.


    • Larry Jordan says:

      Not all compressed video format support chapter markers. I don’t have any specific suggestions except to test a few formats and see what happens.


      • Lloyd Walker says:

        Hi Larry

        Thanks for the reply!

        As it turns out once the full res.QT file out of FCP with chapter markers set to
        the DVDSP markers included none of the others checked then taken into
        Compressor did maintain the markers using the H264 for Podcasting preset. This
        made a fairly good looking file that can have the extension changed to
        any of three formats of .mpeg or .mov or.mp4 or the exported version of
        the H264 file .m4v

        And thus powerpoint in Windows land sees the MPEG extension and the
        chapter markers. We hope …. but the chapter markers remain under all four
        different extensions.

        Plus if those Windows PPT peolpe complain I’ll tell them about Keynote haha…

        Plus as mentioned in the article thread you must put in a NAMED marker
        and the CHAPTER marker for them to be seen on export.

        We just keep reading and trying the million different combos of parameters.


        But I usually start with your forums to get to the nitty gritty!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!


Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.