(Any Subler Devs Here?) Subler for iTunes Store Music Metadata

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by TrenttonY, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. TrenttonY, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015

    TrenttonY macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2012
    It would be great if Subler would have better support for more than just movie and tv shows, like music. Subler already supports music metadata edits as in manually adding annotations and writing the values but it could be easier.

    Options like iTunes Music Store search (music and music videos) for all sorts of metadata iTunes has, multiple file support in one Subler window (currently if you drag multiple ACC files (Album), into Subler, it creates multiple windows for each file), more music related annotations (BPM, etc), would make Subler have better support for music and defiantly would make it easier.

    So my new plan for media to digital (If you agree to my feedback) is:

    -Bluray to iFlicks 2 to Subler to iTunes

    -CD's to iTunes (import) to Subler to iTunes

    and my one currently is:

    -Bluray to iFlicks 2 to Subler to iTunes

    -CD's to iTunes (import) to Flash Drive to Windows Computer to MP3Tag (Windows only app) to Flash Drive to Mac

    In other feedback, I would wish there was an "Enable" and "Disable" button in the Advanced section of Preferences. Where when its "Disabled" the contents of the the Advanced section wouldn't be shown and if "Enabled" they would. This is because when I was new to Subler, these setting always confused me because I just wanted to use Subler for metadata, and with options like "Down Mix", it sounded like it edited the file, and not just the metadata, so I left Subler, but now am back with this feedback.

    Question 1: Does Subler edit the file only when the options checkable are checked in the Advanced section in Preferences, or? I just want metadata.

    Question 2: What is "Alternate Group"?

    P.S Great app by the way.
  2. Fritz5484 macrumors newbie


    Jul 30, 2014
    United States
    I'm not a Subler dev, but I have used the app in my iTunes/ATV workflow for years. Subler does not encode video, but it will encode (downmix) multi-channel audio to 2-channel audio. Apple requires the presence of BOTH mult-channel (AC3) and 2-channel (AAC) audio tracks, provided you want Dolby Digital 5.1 capability via an ATV.

    Regarding your first question, the original encoding of an audio track (passed through Subler solely for metadata) will not be "downmixed" -- provided that "PASSTHRU" is selected when the source audio track is "added" to the main "track listing" within Subler. In "Advanced Options," I would un-check the box "Convert AC3 Audio to AAC" (just to be safe). If you are adding metadata to a previously encoded iTunes .m4a files, then a "downmix" (multi-channel audio to 2-channel audio) should not really be an issue.

    Regarding "Alternate Groups" -- this is a reference to the "Selectable Options" in the ATV interface. Subler can remux .mkv containers with multiple audio tracks and multiple subtitle tracks (including burned-in subs). Subler can also handle Chapter tracks and JPEG-video tracks (for Chapters). On an Apple TV, Audio Tracks and Subtitle Tracks are "selectable" on the on-screen menu. Personally, I would check the Subler Pref to "keep alternate groups organized." Ideally, you should not need to know (or even worry about) the *precise order* of every constituent track -- video, audio, sub, chapter, etc. Subler handles all of those details automatically. Media files with multiple tracks (and types of tracks) -- whether intended for "Option Group 0" or "Option Group 2" -- will be auto-processed by Subler (and correctly ordered as "selectable options" in the on-screen menu of an Apple TV).

    I hope this is of some help for your use case. FWIW, Subler can eliminate a whole lot of video encoding, save hours of waiting time, and reduce wear and tear (provided the source is an .mkv container with an AC-3 multi-channel audio track).
  3. TrenttonY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2012
    Thanks for taking the time for that lengthy response. Do you agree with my Subler ideas?
  4. Fritz5484 macrumors newbie


    Jul 30, 2014
    United States
    No problem! I have more experience with the A/V workflow in Subler, but I do have some thoughts. Do you plan to keep your current workflow for A/V files? I am not entirely familiar with iFlicks 2, but it sounds like iFlicks is actively encoding the source, on some level. If the file is typically a BR Source Rip (e.g., a 35-45 GB .mkv), then I can understand why an app like iFlicks 2 (or Handbrake) would be absolutely necessary.

    As to music files, your plan for "CD's to iTunes (import) to Subler to iTunes" sounds ideal, but without knowing how many new metadata fields you plan to add, it's a harder call. Subler will also allow you to save a "custom template" (or "SET") of recurring metadata that you want for a specific type of media file. While "BPM" is not included in the metadata fields, Subler does have 69 available fields. It appears there may be more music-specific metadata fields in Subler than iTunes (there is a good bit of overlap).

    When I open multiple audio tracks in Subler, and get 12 or so open windows, I use Mission Control (or "Application Windows") to isolate all the Subler windows on their own desktop. Then I open the "Queue" from Subler's "Window" menu. While I always select the "Global Option" in the Queue to "OPTIMIZE" A/V files, I always deselect "OPTIMIZE" for music tracks. I handle the tracks in order, sending each file to the queue and closing the app window once the metadata has been added -- preliminarily. Instead of selecting "Auto-Start" in Global Options, I usually modify each track separately, select "Start" from the Queue, and batch process the pending audio files.
  5. TrenttonY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2012
    Yes I usually get from a 35GB BR to about 5GB. I just learned about custom sets recently and my Music set includes.
    *Album Artist

    *Compser (Not sure if Apple allows you to get this info via the iTunes Search API)

    *Release Date
    *Track #
    *Disk #
    *Lyrics (iTunes doesn't have this info)
    *All The Sorting Info

    This is the info I would also like to be able to receive via iTunes search, so lets hope they add this.
  6. TrenttonY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2012
  7. Fritz5484, Jul 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015

    Fritz5484 macrumors newbie


    Jul 30, 2014
    United States
    I wouldn't hold your breath. The release of Subler 0.31 seemed like the first update in over 5 years. Although, it does appear there is some new development underway at Bitbucket. Subler can be vey tricky with video. I always select NEW rather than OPEN. After the first two tracks (Video and AAC Audio) are saved as a shell m4v file with metadata, then go back and "Re-Add" AC-3 Audio as PASSTHRU. Add more tracks (one at a time) as follows:
    • TAP "PLUS" in upper left
    • SAVE (AGAIN)
    • REPEAT for all Tracks
    • Last step is to SAVE and then send to the queue (for one last mux+optimization - auto started).
    • The Photo-JPEG track is automatically generated if that option is selected. I find it to be pretty useful for Chapters on the ATV.
    These screen caps show how my remuxed Subler files appear within the Subler interface. I start with NEW, add the first two tracks from the MKV, configure metadata, and only then: SAVE --> OPTIMIZE --> REPEAT (one track at a time). The final step is to tap the arrow and throw the file to the queue (which auto-starts for one last mux + optimization). This workflow is perfect for my needs with iTunes and the Apple TV (and a home theater that has built-in decoding for AC3/DD 5.1 -- but not DTS). For a 10-12 GB source .mkv with NO METADATA, with Subler I can go from start to finish in about 10 minutes: an .m4v imported into iTunes with multiple audio options, selectable subs, plus chapters, ready to go on the home theater.

    Subler 1.jpg

    As far as music and Subler, I do not think Apple will allow the metadata to be added via the iTunes API. But, I do think you can eliminate the round trip through Windows. Check out dougscripts.com and some of the Apps the owner of that site has released. That site is a treasure trove of OS X solutions for all types of iTunes and metadata issues. Dozens of scripts that are all useful. I have used his "Re-Embed Artwork" Script so many times by now on my networked iTunes library -- it really is ridiculous. Some of the new stand alone apps look interesting as well, but I haven't had a chance to try any just yet.

    Anyway, hope this helps in some way. Let me know if you find some new Mac tools.

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6 June 25, 2015