Tuesday, January 3, 2012

iTunes 10 Sucks-But You Already Knew That...

I used iTunes to maintain my video library including videos I collected, sample pieces, tutorials, and vids I made. And they all played nicely confined to their own little areas that I created for them. But! It seems that Apple had other plans for this program and now it has become a Royal.Pain.In.The.Ass!!!

Even though this could be listed as tl;dr I have to say this is the most non-verbose recounting of this whole affair. And it's still pretty long...

iTunes 9

Before they screwed around with a perfectly good product I was able to sort out everything I needed into nice, neat playlists. And when I synced up my iPad I had all my video files exactly where I wanted them. It allowed me to quickly find a file in a matter of seconds.

But Lo and Behold! Someone at Apple had a Stoopid thought. Why do people need to be able to put their videos into playlist. We should drop that function. So they did. And when I synced that first time after the update I got quite a shock.

The Horrible Result

After the sync I went to the iPod app as usual to look for the movies I added. And although the playlists were there, none of the movies were showing up. I went over to the the Movie app and wow, they were all there. All in one gigantic groups, sorted alphabetically, with no folders to be seen. That may not seem like a major problem until you realize that I had over 600 video files on the device. Without the playlists it was going to be quite impossible to find what I needed in a hurry anymore.

After a search on the web I found out how disappointed many other people were. My search also did not uncover any solution to the problem. Sounded like I was going to have to figure something out for myself.

Other Video Sections

The iPad contained two other sections what could contain video files, TV Shows and Podcasts. I was going to have to figure out how I might be able to use either of these.

I had two distinct types of files I needed to load on the iPad. Videos I collected from YouTube [  along with my own vid collection ] and a whole slew of tutorial files for learning purposes. I was thinking that maybe I could convert them to the TV Show format and they would sort with little trouble.

TV Shows

I converted a batch of files to the Media Type TV Show. I left them in the playlists there were in. When I looked at the TV Show section it was an utter mess. Nothing was where I had expected it. Something was definitely different here than in the Movies section. So another web search began.

It seems like the TV Show section ignores any of the normal sorting methods for placing files on the iPad. It depends mostly on the field SHOW and, to a certain extent, Album and Year. That means I was going to have to go in and change the metadata for each and every file. This was going to take a while...

After many days passed I finally got a handle on the YouTube vid collection, as well as my own vids. But this collection was rather sizable and pitting all the tutorials here would make a big, confusing mess. I was going to have to figure out what to do with the podcasts section.


So, I already had other tutorials for Motion in my podcasts. Might as well put the rest of them there and keep them together. So I began loading them onto the iPad. Funny thing was, some of them weren't going into the folders I wanted them to be placed. I had changed the metadata fields as per the TV Show section but there was no response on some of them. Now what was the matter with the damn thing!!! The podcasts I had downloaded from The iTunes store looked like they were not going to budge out of their podcast folder no matter what I did. I could have sworn I heard someone from Cupertino giving me the raspberries...

So off I went on another web search.

The Solution Which Sounded Right

I soon came across some information regarding one of the proprietary fields that Apple uses in iTunes. The Category field. And then I realized that there was no way to change that field. You can veiw it, but no attempt I made could change it in iTunes. After a couple of fruitless attempts with some programs I found on the web said they would work I found they only worked on audio files. They didn't know what to do with a video file.

Then I remembered a web site which had solved many a problem in the past. Doug's Scripts. In many an instance when I thought that iTunes was never going to do what I needed I found a script on this site which solved my exact problem.

And guess what! I found a script to change the Category metadata! My troubles had been solved.

Oops, That Didn't Go Well

To cut to the chase, I found that changing the Category metadata didn't do much. The tutorials I downloaded from YouTube seemed to be lining up properly but the downloaded podcasts grudgingly stayed where they were downloaded.

The Hard Road. It's Always The Hard Road

Well, another failure. But I wasn't giving up. I had one last thought but it wasn't the direction I really wanted to go. But I was at a loss for another method. So there was nothing to lose - except time.

I pulled one of the files out of iTunes onto my desktop. I opened it up in QuickTime 7 Pro [ Not QuickTime X cause that can't convert the files properly ]. I then exported the file out as an MP4 file. I dragged it back into iTunes and changed all the metadata I figured I needed. Then the moment of truth. I synced up the iPad.

This Is Gonna Hurt, Ain't It

I was so happy when I saw that new folder appear. It was named the same as the Album name I gave it. It just wouldn't work correctly on the previously downloaded podcast. Well, that meant that now I was going to have to convert every single podcast I had in iTunes if I wanted them to sort correctly. Hey, there's only 300+ of them. Shouldn't take that long...

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