Copying movies to iTunes for aTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mostro900, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. mostro900 macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Not sure if this is the best forum to post this, but it's all for my :apple:TV.
    I encode movies using Handbrake, using the Apple TV preset and all is fine. I get a mp4 file of roughly about 2GB at approximately 2500 bitrate. All good so far.
    I thought that if I just added this movie to iTunes, that it would keep the same properties, but when I looked, I noticed that the mp4 files in iTunes were only about 600MB and the bitrate was down to 127kbps.

    What am I missing here ? Does iTunes modify the files when importing them ? Should I keep the movies out of iTunes ?
  2. scr1968 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2007
    Are you using the AppleTV preset in Handbrake?

    You sorta have to put the movies in iTunes in order for them to be accessible to the AppleTV. Or am I missing the meaning of your question?

  3. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    You might want to change the extension to .m4v. While it's not necessary, iTunes will display/incorporate tags for your films.

    Unless you ask iTunes to "Convert to iPod" or something like that, it won't touch any of the file's characteristics. In addition, converting in iTunes is a painfully long affair, so I doubt that's what's happening.

    It's more likely that the film you imported into iTunes was a failed encode, or an iPod encode.

    Apple TV presets in Handbrake do not come in at 600 Mb. The bitrate you mention may be for the audio -- not for the video/total package.

    The 600Mb sounds off.

    1. Are you having iTunes copy the source material into its library? If so, uncheck that box. You'll find it in Prefences -> Advanced.
    2. Are there any other files by the same name on your hdd? Do a search for that filename.

    Well, you must keep (at least) a reference to the movies inside iTunes. You can "option-drag" onto the library and know that it won't copy it to its internal library.

    All of my movies and TV shows live on an external HDD. My itunes library is on a HDD attached to my AEBS. My internal HDD is pretty empty.
  4. mostro900 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007
    I'm definitely using the AppleTV preset. The encoding works fine. I have iTunes setup so that it copies the file into its own library - that is what I think may be the problem.
    I'll remove the movies from iTunes and then adjust preferences and let you know what happens.
  5. johnguynn macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2008

    So if you have iTunes import the video into its library does the video get downsized somehow? Also, will the video still sync with Apple TV if the file isn't imported? Thanks.
  6. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    If you have iTunes import the movie, it does NOT get downsized. iTunes just copies the file to its local library. If it gets interrupted, it may not copy the whole thing...

    Movies can sync as long as iTunes "knows" about them. This includes movies that show up in iTunes that are not copied into its library. (Think of it like this: iTunes makes an alias/shortcut to the movie, and when it needs it for streaming or syncing, it uses this alias/shortcut to find it.)
  7. mostro900 thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2007

    Well, I found that the movies that got copied into the iTunes library were in fact downsized. I can post the details if required, but I mention some of the details in my original post.

    By turning off the 'Copy to iTunes Library' in preferences and just have the movie 'referenced' / 'aliased', then no change of file occurs.

    I'm not sure why iTunes is modifying my movie files, but I have numerous examples I can post. I'm going to keep mine out of iTunes from now on.
  8. TransientWolf macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2007
    I am with MikieMikie on this. I rip using handbrake to an internal HDD array using AppleTV preset with file name as xxxx.m4v

    I then tag it using metaX and double click on it to open it in iTunes.

    iTunes then imports it to the iTunes library and copies the file from my internal HDD to my iTunes library that resides on a NAS server.

    I then delete the file from my internal HDD array and move on to the next one :rolleyes:

    The files are identical.

    The bitrate you mention is definately the audio rate - my 6ch discrete aac files all encode at 384kbps and stereo or pro logic at 127/128 kbps. It doesn't relate to video.

    There must be something else happening in your setup that is causing this downsizing. The only way I know to downsize would be to re-encode and to do that would take as long as the original rip. Between 20 mins and several hours for this depending on your mac so you would notice I suspect if it took so long to copy over. Also quicktime would need to be involved somewhere for the encode.
  9. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    Try this:

    Do all the handbrake converting on your internal HD. Once the mp4 is ready, tag it with MetaX. Then, through finder, move the movie to the itunes music folder called "movies." Once, it has copied into the movies folder, drag the file to itunes. IT should automatically appear in itunes without having to have itunes do any of the copying & moving. Works for me every time.
  10. jbellanca macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2007
    Just Option-Drag them into iTunes and iTunes will keep the file in it's original location and not copy it, but it will instead reference the file and you'll still be bale to get to it from iTunes/:apple:TV.
  11. bentup macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2007
    San Francisco
    Ditto for me, but I leave mine as mp4 and still get tags.
    iTunes really shouldn't convert anything automatically except for audio files. The only way you would have a difference in video from iTunes is if
    1) You interrupted the import (this could be tested by if the movie ends half way through)
    2) You accidentally hit "Convert selection for iPod/iPhone" (test this by seeing if the entire movie is there)

    Seeing as you started with a 2 GB file out of handbrake, iTunes in one of the above scenarios is the likely culprit. That or bad iTunes juju. :eek: GL!
  12. hualon macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Can you elaborate on this difference? I have been using the default container in Handbrake, MP4, for my movies. What is the advantage of .m4v and the disadvantage of .MP4? I send the output of HB to Metax and I haven't had ANY problems tagging the files.
  13. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    It is my understanding that iTunes, at one point in its development, knew that m4v files were tagged/taggable, and M4v was its "native, I know all about you" format for H.264 encodes.

    Things you download from ITMS, for example, are all H.264 files (MP4, really), but Apple, in its infinite wisdom, wanted iTunes to know that these files were tagged in iTunes format, so it renamed the extension M4V. Whether this is still necessary or not is not something I know.

    Is the extension changed by MetaX? If not, then there is no difference at all, at least for iTunes (and so :apple:TV).
  14. papagrande macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2006
    Ok i am confused. I ripped movies with mtr. compressed with hb and then tagged with meta x. All good there. I then tried to option drag to itunes but my itunes gig count went up and I looked on my drive and the available gigs went down. I am trying to keep the files on the external so as to not eat up space. I even tried alias and the advanced setting in itunes. Any thoughts?:confused:
  15. hualon macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    That's very good to know. The extension is generated by HB. Metax doesn't change the extension.
  16. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I always copy the file to iTunes and delete the original. After checking that it plays correctly in iTunes. I used to keep my entire library on an external, but now that I have a 750 internal, I use that.

Share This Page