SMS Notifications when Compressor 4 is done with batch processing

Apple’s Compressor 4 is a sloth of an app converting videos and it’s a hassle to perodically check to see when it’s done with its batch processing.

This tutorial will show you how to create an Apple Automator Workflow in which your computer will send you an email or an SMS notification when the job is done.

Note that Apple does have a ‘Send Email’ action in Compressor 4 when the batch is completed BUT it will email, as an attachment, the actual processed video file. Not a good idea to use that action unless you really want to send off a processed video file via email.

What you will need is the Automator Workflow I created, or you can create your own.

Download the workflow:

Automator workflow

Setting-up the workflow

  • Launch Automator and create a new workflow or double-click the one in the zip file
  • Click on Mail in the left window
  • Drag-n-Drop the ‘New Mail Message’ action into the right window
  • Drag-n-Drop the ‘Send Outgoing Messages’ action into the right window under the first action
  • Enter your email address if you’d like to be emailed when the batch is complete. Or use an SMS Gateway to have the notification sent to your cellphone. In the example above replace the 5555555555 with your phone number including the area code if you’re on AT&T. You can also choose which email address account will send the message.
  • Click on the Options tab of each action and set each to ‘Ignore this action’s input’ so it doesn’t send the actual video file to you as an attachment.
  • Hit the ‘Run’ button in the top right of the window as a test. You should recieve an email or sms as a result. If successful congratulations, you’ve created a proper workflow.
  • Go to File>Export to save your modified workflow to the folder of your choice
Compressor 4.1.3 window


Workflow location

In Compressor

  • Click on the clip in the bottom left window to select it, make sure the setting pane is open on the right, if it isn’t click the settings toggle in the upper right of the window.
  • Scroll down to the ‘Action’ setting.
  • Click on the ‘When done’ pop-up menu and choose ‘Run Automator Workflow’
  • Click on the ‘Choose…’ button and select the Notification Workflow you just configured.
  • Start your Batch.

When Compressor is done rendering your movie it will create a new email with the Apple Mail app and send it off to the email address you configured in the workflow. If the Mail app isn’t running the workflow will launch it and send the email.

I would suggest using a small movie as a test to make sure it works.

If you have any questions feel free to email me at or leave a comment below. If you’ve really found this useful and would like to toss some coin my way you can send bitcoins to my email address.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. I could not find the answer myself to this problem so I figured it out on my own. I’ve also sent feedback to Apple asking them to put a notifications option in Compressor and Final Cut Pro X apps when renders are done via either email or iMessages.

Note that the ‘When done’ actions are nice in that you could have Compressor render your video and automatically post it to YouTube, Vimeo, etc. I haven’t tried that myself but I assume it works. I usually transfer my files to a second computer connected to the Internet to upload large video to YouTube so I can take my main laptop away from home and not have to do the upload.

Note: This post has been copied to a page under the ‘Software’ drop-down menu here for easy reference. There’s also a bonus hint on that page.


How to fix SSH login problems with your Dreamhost VPS

If you use DreamHost’s VPS service you may have recently had your host server upgraded to Debian OS v6.0.2. Or maybe you’re dealing with Proactive Security Maintenance (New Login Keys)

This happened mostly through the month of August 2011 and recently in October 2012.

One of the side effects of this was that the RSA host key changed for the server. Most folks won’t notice this but if you’ve used SSH to access the server you’re probably getting the warning message below. (I changed RSA key, username and domain name to generic names in the example below.)

 Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now
 (man-in-the-middle attack)!
 It is also possible that the RSA host key has just been changed.
 The fingerprint for the RSA key sent by the remote host is
 Please contact your system administrator.
 Add correct host key in /Users/username/.ssh/known_hosts
 to get rid of this message.
 Offending key in /Users/username/.ssh/known_hosts:10
 RSA host key for has changed and you have
 requested strict checking.
 Host key verification failed.
 lost connection

And now you’re bumming out because you don’t know how to get past this and you need to SSH in. Here’s the solution below. Note: Contact DreamHost first to make sure the problem is with your server RSA key change and not some man-in-the-middle attack.

Macintosh OS X (You will also need a good Unix type text editor like TextWrangler or BBEdit):

Your Mac saves the host keys within a hidden folder called ‘.ssh’ Note that the period in front of the filename hides the folder from the normal Mac user since there’s important stuff in there and you can get into real trouble if you mess with the files. Well, to fix this we’re going to mess with one of those files.

In the examples below don’t type in the quote marks and the upper-case is just for emphasis.

  1. In Finder press COMMAND-SHIFT-G
    This will bring up the ‘go to folder’ dialouge box.
  2. Type in ‘~/.ssh/’ and hit RETURN
    This will reveal the hidden folder.
  3. Find the file ‘known_hosts’
    Open this file ‘known_hosts’ with a plain text editor like TextWrangler which is free. Don’t open it with Pages or Microsoft Word or you will screw-up the file with all kind of garbage characters. TexWrangler is free and is the an excellent text editor for Mac OS X when all you need is a good old plain Unix type editor. Click on the app’s name above to download it if you don’t already have it.
(figure 1) Turn-off Soft Wrap Text in TextWrangler or you'll go blind finding your host domain.
(figure 1) Turn-off Soft Wrap Text in TextWrangler or you’ll go blind finding your host domain.
  1. Make sure you have ‘Soft Wrap Text’ turned-off in TextWrangler so it’s only one host per line. (see figure 1)
  2. Look for your domain name that’s part of your SSH login in the file. So if your login is ‘ssh username@yourdomain….‘ you will want to look for the line with the domain ‘‘ (see figure 2)
  3. Now delete that line with your host name in it.
  4. Save the file ‘known_hosts’ by hitting COMMAND-S or going to File>Save and close it.

Now you should be able to SSH into your server without the warning. Actually you will get a new warning when you log in saying:

The authenticity of host ‘ (’ can’t be established.
RSA key fingerprint is x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1:x1.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added ‘,′ (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
username@yourdomain….‘s password:

You can verify that it’s now working properly if you open ‘known_hosts’ again and find your server at the bottom of the list.

(figure 2) List of host RSA keys in 'known_hosts' file in TextWrangler.
(figure 2) List of host RSA keys in ‘known_hosts’ file in TextWrangler.

You should be good from here


I don’t really use Windows much so you can find some info here:…

Unix, Linux and Cygwin:

Yeah, if you’re using one of these operating systems you probably don’t even need this tutorial. But it’s similar to the Mac tutorial if that’s any hint. Or you can hit the link above for Windows and cruise that page for some info. Or you can go here.