New Movie Workflow

Another question from Wayne.

Wayne’s Story

OK, currently, my workflow for a new movie or TV show is this: I convert into a mp4 h.264 file. This is for iTunes, basically. I then add metadata using Lostify or MetaX, because they only add metadata to mp4s and no other format. Now that’s all nice and handy, but occasionally I want to add chapters. There are two programs that I know of that add chapters easily. Metadata Hootenanny or Movie Chapterizer. Whenever you use these programs, though, it changes the extension of the file to .mov. So, that’s it for adding metadata afterward, can’t do it. Also by the process of encoding the file it will destroy any chapters you may have put in!

So, the big question I guess is this the best workflow for converting media for iTunes, and thus easy distribution throughout pre–mentioned family network?

Here’s an example.

Dr. Who episodes basically come in 4 parts, either by DVD or .avi by other means. OK, using QT Pro copy/paste, I can combine all four episodes into one. Next, I re-encode the one file into h.264. That will give me the .mp4 that I need to add the metadata. (TV Show, Episode Numbers, ratings, all that.) Once all that is done, I want to go back into the mp4 and create chapter markers at the beginning of each episode. Now whether I do that by hand in QuickTime and a text file, or by Movie Chapterizer or MH, it turns it back into a .mov file. OK for iTunes, I guess, but not if you want to keep it a mp4 or m4v.

So, suggestions? Better ways of doing things? Any advice would be good.

My Views

Basically – I don’t have one! I don’t use iTunes at all for any content other than some videos that I shoot of Moreno, in which case I just use QuickTime to convert them for iPod and that’s it.

So this one is very much up to you guys to help Wayne out.

12 thoughts on “New Movie Workflow

  1. Wayne LeFevre

    OK, how about this? Is it worth converting XviD video to H.264? I know it’s garbage in garbage out, so you can’t improve on already compressed video, but I’m not sure if Front Row can handle XviD/DivX files.

    Speaking of which, is everyone using Front Row to watch/share videos? Is there anything better? I know that Glen was using something else, but I can’t remember what it was right now. Can Front Row find other videos besides the one in the videos folder? That’s one of the reasons I use iTunes because you can point the library to another drive.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Mac Sokulski

    Hmmm the way I do it, when ripping the DVD with multiple episodes, I use handbrake to rip each episode as a separate mp4 file. I find this easy to apply metadata for itunes, which in itself is a bit pointless since Front Row does not display this anyway (I’m really begining to hate Front Row!!). I find that having each video as a separate file is a lot easier to manage than having multiple videos as one big file.

  3. Mac Sokulski

    I haven’t setup itunes to share video yet. Too many files and too much work, and not enough time. What I have is a NAS with all my videos/movies segragated into folders. Now I created a Symbolic Link in the movie folder under my username, and Front Row picks it up with out problems. I found that by adding Perian (http://perian.org/) into the system I can play practically any video (divx, xvid etc.) Front row has no problems playing these from my NAS.

  4. Wayne LeFevre

    @Mac, that’s kinda what I’m talking about with the NAS! Can you maybe expand a little bit on how you’ve done this? I just heard Victor talking on one of his podcasts about the differences between symbolic links and alias’s, but that’s one show that would take a couple of listens to to understand. I was out mowing the lawn at the time and couldn’t really concentrate on what he was saying. How do you point Front Row to this drive?

    What your saying with multiple videos makes sense, but imagine the older Doctor Who’s like this. If you watched a show like 24, but they only made the segments as 15 minutes. Now you have 4 segments making a whole episode. I like to combine those 4 segments into one, then adding chapters to the start of each segment.

    One of the reasons I like to put in the metadata is putting the ratings in the file, then I can set the ratings each kid can watch on their iTunes. Keep it at PG-13 so to speak.

    @Chris, I’ll take a look at your options. Thanks.

  5. Mac Sokulski

    I’m not sure exactly what the difference between an alias and a symbolic link is, but it seems that front row, likes symbolic links better than aliases. There are different ways of creating symbolic links on a mac, but I use a finder plugin called Symbolic Linker v1.2v2 (easy to find on google). On my NAS I create a folder called Movies, where I dump all my movies into. The Movies folder is then divided into subfolders (kids, series, movies) Each of those has folder for every movie or show I have. I’ll explain in a bit about all these folders. I mounted the NAS on my mini hooked up to the TV, then navigated to the NAS I created a Symbolic Link to the Movies folder and moved that link to the Movies folder in my home folder. Front Row seems to read only that folder, and as we know there are no preferences for Front Row!! In Front Row, when I navigate to Movies menu I see the movies folder on the NAS. Then navigate from there either to kids, series etc.
    Now why do I put all my separate movies/shows into folders? Because Front Row has a nasty habit of displaying the movie you have highlighted, on the left of the movie list. It looks nice and all, but makes navigation a nightmare. Especially when my movies are on a network drive. So if the movies are in folders all you see is a list of movies. Just navigate inside the movie folder and then watch the movie.
    About chapters… I wonder if Visual Hub might do this. It has the ability to stich two or more videos together, but I’m not sure if it creates chapters at the “stich” points.

  6. Wayne LeFevre

    Nice, thanks Mac.

    As far as VH, I believe it will only do chapters when stitching together for DVD. I know it won’t do them for AppleTV or iPod.

  7. Mac Sokulski

    I just tried VH and stitching for appletv, and no chapters. Sorry I don’t know of any other program that will do chapters in appletv format.

  8. Wayne LeFevre

    Oh, good thing that Stuart made this thread come alive again. There is now an application that will do all this, including mp4 chapters. It’s called SimpleMovieX. Fantastic program. Does everything I want it to. concat movies, put in chapters, change formats, take out commercials, all that stuff. Really, check it out!

    Oh yah, ever get a movie with the audio a tad bit out of whack? This will take care of it!

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