SimpleMovieX and your iTunes collection

It took me more time than I had anticipated and it is still far from perfect.
Call it metadata, tags, or movie information: Now it’s part of SimpleMovieX!

And I’ve tried to do it the SimpleMovieX way: simple, inobstrusive and competent.

The main challenge was to avoid an intimidating, bloated interface, and to make the flow evident. After many days of work, I’ve finally discovered that “Media Kind” could be the perfect selector for data layout. And that with a small lock you could customize your template. I had a design.

Over the years, SimpleMovieX has become a better iTunes companion. Metadata was just of the missing piece of the puzzle.

Now you can do in one step what previously required 3 or 4 applications and a large dose of patience:
Edit a movie, add chapter markers, add metadata and cover art, and save natively in an iTunes-friendly format: All in a single SimpleMovieX session.

Simple editing matters because we’re not competing for Academy Awards. We just want cut those commercials in the middle of the TV show, or do a simple de-rushing. And such a basic task should just take seconds.

Metadata matters because our media collection (music, movies, …) grows bigger every day, and we all have now terabyte hard disks with capacity for hundreds of movies and tens of thousands of songs, so good indexing is very important. iTunes library allows for music and movies to be “tagged” with useful information like Title, Director, Album, … and nice touches like Cover Arts, used in Front Row and in cover flow animations to pick a movie or song.

Now all the movie information can be entered directly in SimpleMovieX’s metadata pane. Besides basic features, I’ve also added templates, to allow recurrent information to be filled automatically. Information can be pulled from Amazon database, including cover art, rating, year of release…

Movie information, also called metadata or tags, is written inside the media files. So that when you move or copy the file, this information is carried over. The fact of embedding the metadata, instead of having it stored in a separate database, also has the advantage of making it usable for any application, not just for iTunes.

Another distinctive feature of SimpleMovieX metadata:
It’s one of the few programs that can write metadata to files bigger than 4GB. And it works for MP4 and MOV container formats. Have you tried to add metadata to an AVI file and export it to AppleTV? It just works!

iTunes has become an important piece of our digital life. It’s the “mother ship” from where contents are moved to our iPods, iPhones and Apple TVs. To take advantage of all this cool stuff, there are some restrictions on formats: Only MOV and MP4 files, respecting some “profiles“, can be moved to those devices. Otherwise, the files have to be converted first. (Gory details here)

SimpleMovieX has native MP4 editing and saving built-in. So any compliant source will remain compliant. No re-encoding needed.

One last trick to save time:
Save your movies directly inside iTunes folder:
/Users/bjoossen/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Movies/
This way, when you drag the file to iTunes application, it doesn’t need to copy it, it gets added to the library instantly.