Started getting a playback error - "Conversion failed. The transcoder crashed or failed to star"



Have you checked the Plex knowledge base and searched on the sub and Google: Yes, extensively

Server version:

OS: macOS High Sierra (10.13.4)

Clients, w/ versions, if applicable: Apple TV, latest app version

What happened? I randomly get the error “Playback was terminated by the server. Conversion failed. The transcoder crashed or failed to start up”. This happens randomly when watching just about any movie, with or without subtitles.

What you did? Many said previously to delete the contents of the codec directory and restart the server. However after doing this multiple times the issue still persists. Movies will randomly stop playing half way through, give or take, and display this error.

Link to logs:


Basic question since I was an idiot and should have caught right away. Have you verified that the server has access to the location of your files?

I run an encrypted external drive and kept running into this error the past few days. I was certain there was an issue with PMS since I rarely touch my Mac mini. I didn’t realize something had triggered my Mac mini to lose connection with the external drive my media is stored on which was driving this error.