Gonnateachyahow: Tagging Your Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos to Include Cover Art
Saving Movie Information to Your Files.
We all have those movie files on our computer, the ones that we load to Itunes and wish that they looked like the movies we bought from the store. These files are often stored in the "Home Video" section of Itunes and then we have to wade through them to find and play them. Digital movie collectors usually like to have their information streamlined and well organized. This walk through will help you tag your movie files, so Itunes and other media applications will be able to determine them and properly display them in your libraries.
What They Normally Look Like
Here we see a copy of Pitch Perfect that I converted from DVD to M4V. (Please read this article to see how to convert your DVD's to M4V for FREE). The movie shows up under the Home Video tab on Itunes but it is ugly. Just a standard file photo, with no information about the movie.
We want it to look like this:
After years (literally years) of searching, I still come back to MetaX software, it works the best by far. Unfortunately it is not free, but for the price of a couple of downloads from Itunes it quickly pays for itself. This simple to use application will have you quickly tagging your movies in no time.
The free download does give you a couple of free tries to see if the software is right for you, trust me it will be.
MP4, M4V, MOV Files
You should know upfront that not all formats are compatible with MetaX. The compatible formats are M4V, MP4, and MOV.
As a personal suggestion, pick one. Begin converting all of your movie files to the format you picked. This will help in the long run with video collecting. If you use multiple movie formats, M4V, AVI, WMA, Etc., you will quickly find that you will have the same video multiple times within your collection, for simplicity sake use one format and convert other formats over to simplity your collection. I personally use M4V, which has the best play ratio on applications and devices.
Now back to the guide.
When you open MetaX you will see multiple buttons along the top. There are just a couple that most people will use. I will show you those. First button is the open file button. Pretty self explanatory, use this to open the directory then file you wish to tag.
Notice the difference between Pitch Perfect and Vampires Suck? Vampires Suck has already been tagged (and is in MP4 Version). Pitch Perfect has not been and is in M4V. After choosing Pitch Perfect it loaded the file into the application.
Tagging Step One: Chose the Media Type, is it a movie, TV Show episode, Music Video Etc.? Pitch Perfect is a movie so I chose that option.
At this point if you were to save the file it would now default into the movie catagory in Itunes, etc, it just wouldn't have any information attatched to it. Since we are wanting to add information we will now want to search the web for information on the movie.
Tagging Step Two: MetaX loaded "Pitch Perfect" into the search bar and has a button below marked "Search!". Click that.
A list will populate in the results bar, these are loaded from Itunes, Amazon, IMBD, and more. I have found for Movies the ones marked with a "Q" work the best. Pick one of those. For TV Shows the ones marked "TV" work best (but you must either know the season and episode or the episode title for MetaX to properly tag the show).
Tagging Step Three: Being that this is Pitch Perfect and not one of the sequels, I chose Pitch Perfect from the list (the one with the "Q").
Magic, I Say!
So MetaX will now load the information to the screen, including Cover Photo, Rating, Actor(s), Director(s), etc.
Tagging Step Four: One minor thing that must be done for actors to appear in Itunes is you must copy and paste the list of actors off the "Info" page in the box "Artist / Show" to the "Video" page under "Cast". (see below).
After you have added the cast to the movie and possibly made any other changes that you deemed fit to do so. Click the big red triangle at the top of the screen, this will then tag your file.
Open Itunes and add the file and you will now have your movie, professional looking tags included. Notice it even has rating so you can keep those "R" rated movies off your kids' ipods if you so desire to do so.
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