Skip navigation

Importing a large collection of home movie videos

417 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 15, 2013 4:19 PM by turingtest2 RSS
Jon Chicago Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jun 10, 2012 12:27 PM

I want to import into iTunes a collection of around 1300 video clips I've made with my own camera, all saved in QuickTime-compatible video formats.  Currently I'm using an outdated program running under Windows XP (requiring me to use Parallels on my Mac) that thankfully is able to export all the contained information to an Excel spreadsheet.  The individual video clips are carefully named files that incorporate the recording date and sequence of recording on that date.  Additionally, there are around 50 folders corresponding to the subject matter of the video clips, and so each folder may contain a number of individual videos of that subject from different dates.  The spreadsheet includes columns for subject (i.e., the folder), the individual clip name, several more columns for brief category descriptions of the individual clips, and then a column where I have free descriptive text of essentially unlimited length.  I think that the latest versions of iTunes do have more than enough categories of video information handling to accommodate what I have in the Excel spreadsheet.  But HOW DO I DO THE IMPORT IN AN EFFICIENT MANNER?  I see this breaking down into two challenges:

1) What steps need to be taken to transfer information from 1300 rows in Excel into 1300 "videos" in iTunes--i.e., how do I systematically move information for a given row's multiple entries, organized by standardized columns in Excel into corresponding data fields in iTunes? I'm willing to use an intermediary program between Excel and iTunes if this would provide the solution.

2) How do I arrange that iTunes finds the clips in their correct folders?  If necessary, I'm willing to retire the folder organization and just put all the clips into a single folder--since they all have unique file names, this shouldn't create an identification problem, and if this allows iTunes to work more efficiently, it's fine by me.


  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,880 points)

    Hi Jon, I reckon I missed reading this one when you first posted because it looks like the sort of challenge I like. I've got a little backlog of things I'm supposed to be dealing with, work & family wise, but I should be able to help if you're still looking for it.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,880 points)

    Hi Jon,


    Here is a link to my scripts page. You're actually more likely to grab my attention via a message here tacked onto any thread that I've posted to than my email as I get so much spam I often miss things that aren't.


    Most text fields in iTunes are limited to 255 characters. I believe Description can be longer, but it is difficult to access, so the Lyrics field may be the best place to put the data, assuming iTunes is prepared to accept and store it for the given file type.


    I've developed techniques for matching items in the iTunes database with items in other lists by making a dictionary of identifying strings. For example even though iTunes doesn't allow direct access to a track by its file path, if your Excel spreadsheet knows them then I could find the right video to attach the other data to.


    When the time comes to move the library see this migrate iTunes library post.



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,880 points)

    The videos should continue to open with whatever software that you have. Hopefully we're attaching some metadata that becomes permanently tied to the video or, if not, can be remembered by the iTunes library and will survive the migration to a new computer.


    My email address is steve <at> samsoft <dot> org <dot> uk



  • turingtest2 Level 8 Level 8 (43,880 points)

    Yep, got 'em... Probably going to be a day or two before I can spend some time on it. Feel free to nudge me.




More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.