metagging home movies?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Keebler, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I'm latest revs of ML and iTunes 11.

    First thing, I'm adding my home videos transferred from digital8 tape then creating ATV files for each.

    I add to iTunes then tag information such as year and description.

    Does that information get embedded into the original file or should I use MetaCow to do that first then import?

    The idea is for me to have that information in the original file somehow for the future.

    I'm also backing up the full uncompressed transfers in .mov file and maybe I can use MetaCow to embed the information in those as well? Or maybe Quicktime? I don't want to store those files in iTunes because they're simply too big.

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  2. macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario
    #2
    it should embed the info in the file but doing with a program like iDentify will work for sure if its an MP4/M4V
     
  3. HobeSoundDarryl, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013

    macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #3
    Several years ago, I had a hard drive situation that required me to delete videos from the iTunes library and then add them back in. When I did this, I noticed that a lot of tags set up by iTunes appeared to be lost. Since then, I've always used third party products like MetaZ, MetaX and/or Subler for tagging them. This way I know the tagging is embedded in the file and not maybe indexed in some iTunes support file. Maybe iTunes tagging is different now but it lost me for video files back then.

    May I also suggest you think about your organization plan? For example, while there is a relatively new "home movies" tag, it doesn't seem to have a dedicated section in iTunes or on :apple:TV. I find home movies mixed in with regular movies an undesirable solution too so I don't use the Movies tag.

    What I use instead is the "TV Show" tag which then presents all of my movies as a "Show" called "Home Movies" in the TV show section of iTunes and Computers, TV shows on :apple:TV.

    Among other niceties, this allows home movies to be grouped by year so that you can have all of your 1996 home movies separated from your 1997, 1998, ..., 2011, 2012, etc home movies. Each group shot within a year are in their own year-based season. If I know the date the video was shot, I'll make that the "episode ID" (for example Dec 12 would be an "Episode ID" tag of 1212) and . If I know all of the dates home movies were shot within a year, this added tag will get them in date order with a simple sort and then I can go back in and tag Episode # so that they will display in date order on :apple:TV.

    Leverage the description tags and poster to help you find the right one quickly. For example, "What Christmas was it that little Jimmy got that first bicycle?" A poster of Jimmy & the bicycle on a home movie called "Christmas 200X" is an easy way to get the right one for what could be many home movies with just about he same name: Christmas, New Years, Birthday, etc.

    Consider getting good at editing movies in iMovie, FCP X or similar. These conversions from tape sometimes have many months of individual home movies tacked on one after another. Thus, you might have Easter, Graduation, Summer Camp, Birthday, Disney all on one tape. Consider splitting those out as individual movies so that the tagging will help you zoom right in on what you want to see, much like individual singles have tags on whole albums. Digital gives you the advantage over analog in that you can jump right to what you want if what you want is individually tagged so you can find it. Also learning to edit home movies makes it easy to get rid of junk bits. For example, I love seeing anything and everything of all my loved ones but we also have long stretches of home video where someone decided it was good to shoot horses in a pasture or something similar. Those can be pretty boring when played back if the scenes have little meaning to the audience.

    If you have some longer home movies, consider getting good at putting in chapter tags so that you can jump to favorite parts within those files. "Hawaii Cruise" might have chapters broken out for each day or by island or whatever. "Remember that thing we saw when we visited Mauna Loa?" In a very long "Hawaii Cruise" movie, a chapter called Mauna Loa would let you skip right to that part rather than trying to do the same with fast forward and rewind. Even home movies have climactic moments to some degree. It's not as fun to fast forward guess past the start of a video to the point where the big gift is already opened and then back it up to the start and wait to see (again) what's in the big gift package.

    If these might be interlaced videos, "decomb" in Handbrake is your friend. Learn about it.

    I'm guessing there will eventually be a "Home Movies" section added to iTunes and/or :apple:TV. If so, that will mean going back in and switching all those "TV Show" tags to "Home Movie" but Subler is great for that kind of thing.

    Be sure to back all those movies up. Home Movies tend to become more precious to us with every passing year. One or two levels of backup means they'll likely still be around in 50 years. One off-site backup significantly amps up those chances. While you're at it, don't forget your precious family (digital) photos too.

    You're smart to back up the full "rips" as masters as we'll eventually move on to (probably) H.265 and it will be better to reconvert from masters than to turn a H.264 into a h.265 file. .Mov won't let you tag them as fully as .mp4/.m4v but when the time comes, you can use an archiving program like Meta-X to re-tag each file (without changing anything) to put all of its tag info- including chapter names- in the MetaX archive and then tag the new version with the data just added to the archive. It's a pretty good way to kind of copy & paste the metatags from one file to another.

    Lastly, you are also right in not wanting to put uncompressed masters in iTunes. Let it index the compressed versions. However, note that you can store those files anywhere and only add links to them in iTunes by unchecking General Preferences, Advanced, "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library". This way they can be stored on a separate hard drive or RAID or even on a network drive. All that gets stored in iTunes is a very small bit of information for pointing to the file when you want to play it. If you move the files around when you do this, iTunes won't be able to magically follow where you moved them to be sure to remove them from iTunes, move them to their new location, then add them back in or manually show iTunes where each one is located when it gives you the "can't find" error message.

    I hope this is helpful.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Hi Darryl,

    Thanks for your response. I'll definitely check out the TV Shows suggestion. It seems to be the way to go.

    iTunes 11 does have a Home Videos section, but something I believe to be lacking is that you can't click on a movie to expand the view showing the details like you can for movies and TV Shows. I've sent my feedback into the iTunes team. Definitely something they forgot.

    But I like the idea of organizing by year etc..

    I'm also a big fan of the backups. I've kept the fully uncompressed files and the ATV files backed onto 2 different hard drives and will be leaving one offsite as soon as I'm done all the transfers. Same with the photos. In fact, I'm scanning in all of my Mom and my Grandmother's slides/photos and embarking on a huge metatagging project :)

    Thanks again - truly appreciate the detail!

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  5. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #5
    That was news to me- never noticed it until just now. I think I expected it to be in the drop down menu and forgot about the tabs. Thanks for pointing that out.

    That's fantastic!!! I was given a similar gift of family photos all scanned for me and it is one of the very best possessions on my Mac.

    Suggestion: Consider getting them an :apple:TV for Christmas and showing them how to access those photos on their TV when you have it all done. They'll love it... even the slideshow feature as old familiar faces go floating by on their TV will blow them away.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Oh the ATV is a definite idea for their anniversary. They've seen it in action here and love it.

    I think your TV Show suggestion is currently better than the Home Videos section until they allow the expansion of the details.
     

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