8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 20, 2013 10:42 PM by muzti
JustinGN Level 1 (60 points)

It feels weird being on the asking end for a change, but I'm nearing the end of my rope here.


Currently, I have ~500GB of videos in AppleTV 3 compatible format on a Windows PC, and all these videos need appropriate metadata.  The bulk (95%) are TV Shows, mainly anime, and I want to add the full suite of iTunes metadata to the files themselves (or at least my iTunes library), so the data can be parsed by my AppleTV and other iOS devices.  I've heard iFlicks will do it, but I don't own a Mac.  I've also tried the dozens of GUIs for AtomicParsley, but they're all so old and outdated that they either fetch bad data, or don't write to half the atoms that iTunes supports.


Ideally, I want the ability to add all the relevant cast information, short and long synopsis (or longer than what iTunes allows you to enter manually), Series/Episode information and, this is the toughest part, I also want to add the suggested rating (TV-14, TV-PG, etc) for US Networks, even for content not currently on the iTunes store.  I want to make sure the entire iTunes library can be childproofed, and this is a really important part to that.


Outside of rebuying all my content from Apple (pass) just for a bunch of text, do any Windows users here know of ways to get this data and write it to a large number of files simultaneously?  I'm really trying to avoid the one-at-a-time modification that the current command line fork of AtomicParsley requires (for both direct input and batch files), and I'm willing to compromise to an extent if I can find a program that can do most of what I need with minimal hand-holding.



AppleTV 2, iOS 5.1, AppleTV 2 (1080p)
  • wingnut1979 Level 1 (60 points)

    I get the impression that you're at least somewhat technically competant so I'm gonna just throw this out there and it may or may not help.


    http://code.google.com/p/metavideoeditor/  is a great windows app for fetching metadata for movies and tv shows. However, it doesnt add that metadata directly to the files themselves - instead it downloads an xml file with all that fun data in it.


    http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ is another cool little tool which allows reading and writing of metadata.


    My thought (100% untested) is to fetch all the data with the first tool - then create a batch file of some kind to read the metadata from the xml file and write it to the media files using the 2nd tool.


    Like I said, this may not work at all.... but I wish you all the luck in the world with it

  • JustinGN Level 1 (60 points)

    Getting metadata isn't really the problem, but you're on the right track with the EXIFTool solution.  I want to write directly to the metadata atoms Apple uses for its files, however, so iTunes can display things like parental control ratings and long/short description fields both in iTunes and to the AppleTV 2 v2.  AtomicParseley can do that, but with 500+ files, even writing a batch script for it would take the better part of a month of my free time.


    I'm still searching on my end, but haven't had any luck for Windows applications; either the applications don't work, or they grab the wrong metadata, or they don't write it properly.  I kind of wish I could just tag the episode in iTunes it matches and Apple would fill in the blanks, but Apple is really protective of their metadata, unfortunately.


    One of my other thoughts would be to use the Zune app to grab the metadata from the Zune store, since Microsoft is all gung ho about sharing metadata from all regions with all regions (iTunes -still- doesn't get metadata for my Japanese and German CD rips, since I'm a US Store user), just as a starting point, then finding a way to write the rest of the data later.  In the end though, that's far from ideal and equally time consuming.


    Anyone else have a recommendation for getting Apple's metadata atoms into my home-encoded files?  Seeing large blank spaces on my Apple TV is really starting to grind against my OCD.

  • deejay96 Level 1 (0 points)

    Justin, did you ever find an adequate solution for editing meta data of movie files for iTunes? My OCD has been at explosion point since I got my first Apple TV 5 years ago!!

  • JustinGN Level 1 (60 points)

    Unfortunately deejay96, no, I have not.  Apple seems to really want to keep detailed metadata locked in their ecosystem, and make editing iTunes metadata atoms as difficult as possible, to the point that they even use codes for certain ratings and information, rather than text; it's heavily obfuscated, if largely deciphered by the community at this point.  Any solution that did add metadata effectively is now either Mac only, or hasn't been updated in years.  Even AtomicParsely hasn't seen an update since 2006, to give you an idea how badly a solution is needed.


    I'm hoping that Apple opens their metadata up to users in an easier to use format, but considering it's been almost a decade since the iTunes Store launched (it turns 10 on April 28, 2013), I doubt they'll open the gates as it were, not without some strong push from the community and/or content owners.  It's a shame, really, since Zune let me get all of that meta data and more with just a simple search - it accounted for international releases too, something iTunes still doesn't do.  It's sad that Zune had the superior software, but Apple won out with iTunes despite its bloat, lack of polish, and interface unchanged since 2001.


    Ultimately, I really doubt we'll see any ground breaking features in iTunes without a complete rewrite of the software.  If Apple were to shoe-horn a metadata atom editor or search engine now, it'd likely be buried in settings menus or overly-complicated because of the clunky interface.  Users really just need a simple, easy way of matching a piece of media they currently own to a version available in any iTunes store, domestic and international.  I should be able to type in "Archer s03e07", iTunes loads Season 3 of Archer, highlights episode seven, and let me overwrite all (or some) atoms of my personal files with iTunes metadata, ratings and all.  It's something you think we'd have when TV Shows took off from the store, but I've found iTunes is like the filthy bathroom of the otherwise-impeccible Apple Mansion, the one real area they need significant improvement in to bring in-line with their other devices.

  • muzti Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Justin,


    Did you find a solution yet? Fortunatly, I suffer from OCD too. Are all your files in .mp4 format? If so, visit videoscripts.wordpress.com. This guy wrote a bunch of software in his free time to help weirdo's with compulsive disorders. I use his software on a daily basis. I think what you'll be looking for is METADATABATCHER.


    Try it, and buy him a coffee if you like it. Hope this helps. If this doesn't solve your issue, let me know. I've got a lovely iTunes library because of this guy, album art, meta data, artist information, the works!



  • JustinGN Level 1 (60 points)

    It's a nifty program, but the ultimate issue I have is that, well...it doesn't work!  It labels every TV Show exactly the same, some series from 1979 on the ITV network.  That's a slight problem.  Does it still function correctly for you, by chance?

  • JustinGN Level 1 (60 points)

    Correction, I got it working (it didn't like how I used dashes ( - ) instead of periods ( . ) for the seperation of data in the filename.  My only gripe is that it doesn't let me input data I know, like TV Rating or Network, for shows that it lacks said information for.  I also dislike how it insists on completely overwriting data entirely, even if there's already data there.


    Anyone have another solution?

  • muzti Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Justin,


    Ok, granted the solution is a bit buggy. But believe me, I have looked far and wide for an application for my use too.


    I forgot the mention, I pair the Metadeta Batcher program to run after I sort the TV Shows using TV Rename. Its a free software, if you search on Google, you'll find it. What TV Rename does, it detects that garbled up name in shows and replaces that with SHOW.SXXEXX.Episode Name. Then it sorts it in your pointed location with Show Folder > Season X > Video file. Now, this enables Metadata Batcher to quickly look and search for all the information in bulk.


    Unfortunately, there is no control on the granularity in metadata writing with Metadata Batcher. Fortunately, I am also a Mac user. There are two programs I use called iVI & iDentify2 which immediately recognizes the show, adds necessary show information, ratings, info and renames extention to .m4v all in seconds without having to do any of it manually. It also is automated and runs as soon as it detects new downloads. Sadly, this can only be done on my laptop. I use this laptop for work as well, which makes the Server I created at home redundant.


    That's all I've got, if you or anyone can find a solution that can mimic all the features of iVI or iDentify2 on Windows, that would be awesome.