Tagging for Apple TV or iTunes

iDentify file list

Update December 2016: iDentify has, sadly, been discounted. One great alternative is Subler — also available for free. It actually handles movies with common names a bit better, although its not quite as magical in the queue department.

So let’s say you have a bunch of movies or TV shows converted for your Apple TV / iPhone / iPad / iPod. It syncs and plays great on your devices–but something is missing! Its the metadata (aka tags).

When you buy media from the iTunes store it comes with epidsode info or a film description, posters, cast info, air dates and more that make it easy to find what you’re looking for or pick something good to watch. Media ripped from discs (or obtained by other means) simply doesn’t come with those goodies.

Enter iDentify

But we can add that metadata after the fact. All you need is a piece of software called iDentify 2, and it will do all [at least most] of the magic for you. It works very well and once all is said and done it looks just like iTunes store content.

To use simply drag all the files you want to tag into iDentify. Let it scan them, check at least a few to make sure it got the right show or film (hint: click edit tags to view) and click “Process Files”. Then import your freshly tagged media to iTunes, and stream or sync to your heart’s desire. That’s it!

iDentify “Edit Tags” page

For the app to work, your files have to be named logically (eg: house.s05e03.mp4, lost.s04e16.m4v). Once and a while iDentify will mess up. If you’re tagging a batch of TV episodes and it can’t find any data, you can select all the files in the app, click “Edit Tags” and manually enter the “Show Name”. Then “Rescan Items” and 9 times out of 10 it’ll work. If you have trouble with movies, first try adding the release year in the filename or the iDentify directly. If that fails find the film on IMDB and paste its code (last number of the film’s URL at IMBD) into the “Edit Tags” page and “Rescan Items”.

Also certain files will crash the app rarely for no apparent reason. Just file an error report when you reopen iDentify (it asks you on launch). The developer is extremely responsive and helpful. If you like the app you might consider making a donation to the developer or registering your copy (this will gets your more features like file renaming).

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