apple tv & itunes tip: updating movie and tv show metadata

I’ve mentioned before that I don’t have cable anymore – just AppleTV – and as a result I’ve also organized my digital library much better to have access to it in remote mode (through the iTunes on the MacPro).

One of the problems of iTunes video importing is the information on the files. iTunes uses pretty much the same set of fields for music and videos, which is kind of insane, and especially insane in the case of TV shows. So instead of having a field for the Season of a show, aTV has to use the “Album” field, in a particular format (“24, Season 3”) to be recognized.

Not great.

What’s even zanier is that if you happen to take a particular DVD collection you have for a TV show and rip it to see on aTV, and then import it into iTunes, the episodes show up… in the Movies section. Ok, so that’s the default. Now suppose you save the files (pristine aTV-friendly-encoded MP4s) somewhere else and want to reimport them into iTunes… all the metadata is kept, as it should… except for the “TV Show” setting which reverts back to movie.

Frustrating to say the least. :-)

To fix this there’s some options. There’s Parsley is Atomically Delicious which will do the job, but the tool I use the most is Set Video Kind of Selected from Doug’s Applescripts (who also has a bunch of other useful stuff). This works great, although it seemed to create a tendency to crash iTunes when running in the middle of an aTV sync, but I’ll blame iTunes for that one. :)