Update iTunes Metadata from Outside iTunes

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rayward, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    This is something that came up in another thread, and I wanted to ask a specific question on it - hence the new thread.

    Apple TV displays the long description, which is not editable from within iTunes. I don't like the description to run off the available space when shown on the ATV, so I change the long description to match the short. However, sometimes, the short description is still too long, but you never know until you've uploaded the file to iTunes and synced it over to the ATV.

    Annoyingly, iTunes won't let you edit the long description, and will ignore any changes made to the file by outside software (MetaX, Subler etc.). The only way to get the long description changed, is to pull the file from iTunes, change the metadata and then re-add it to the library. Ignoring the time element here, the main problem is that Time Machine will look at this as a new file, and create a new back-up of it. This process can end up with two (or more) back-ups of the same file in Time Machine, which is no joke when they're 6GB 720p encodes.

    Does anyone know how I can force iTunes to update based on a change made to the file from outside iTunes?

  2. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB

    I'd like to know the answer to this as well. I've been using the DVD Rip Automator functions I discovered on MR HERE. It'd be nice when Plex and/or XBMC metatags the files if iTunes would also pick up the change easily.
  3. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    All I can find on the 'net is this discussion. Which suggests:

    I'm going to try this later.
  4. ayzee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    i always make changes to media already in iTunes, I get itunes to refresh and show the new data by right clicking on the file in tunes and going to get info.

    If you have multiple files that need refreshing you can just click the next button and it will do each file instantly.

    This should work no matter what external meta data application your using
  5. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Get iFlicks....

    When you install it it'll put a script in the scripts menu of iTunes and you run it from there by just selecting the item in iTunes and applying the script...but then again, it'll be the automatic description it finds which will probably be the long one....so, maybe not then!!:eek:

    AT least the thought was there!!:D
  6. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I have tried this (it was my first thought) but it did not work. It's weird.
  7. Paroxysm macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2011
    I hope i'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, so bear with me if I'm off the mark...

    I have been ripping all of my DVDs and CDs, and I've got it down to one heck of an easy process at this point. One of my sticking points is making sure the files are correctly named, coverart looks nice, and descriptions/plots/etc are in place for ATV (just so it looks nice).

    One quirk I've noticed is that when I input TV shows, for example, after organizing them into seasons in iTunes, i'll use Identify2 to fill in the episode/season/plot etc into the metadata. After editing the short/long descriptions, and all the other data points, it doesn't automatically update in iTunes.

    My theory is that Library.xml (which is what you're looking at for your directory of music, movies, etc) doesn't automatically update what's on your screen. Once it loads iTunes, it displays static information until you request or change new information about that file. What I've done to get around this is to (for example) is to auto-edit the TV season with Identify, highlight the episodes in iTunes (Cmd+A) and right-click Get Info.

    That still won't update it. It oddly will list the episodes as "Music" and I change it to "TV Show". Blam, descriptions instantly appear.

    tl;dr --- highlight your files and change something, descriptions appear.
  8. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    MetaX should do the trick. Works fine for me.
  9. soundsgoodtome macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2007
    Los Angeles
    And now, MetaZ:

    (MetaX is no longer being developed.)

    I just used MetaZ to update both the long and short descriptions of a video in iTunes 12. The changes appeared immediately.
  10. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    MetaX was "forked" over to Windows several years ago.

    Fantastic software if you are using Windows for your workflow.

    I do not have experience with MetaZ, but windows MetaX can even get you stuff like the little "HD" icon that appears on iTunes store bought stuff.

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9 March 15, 2011