iTunes 6 allows you to organize the videos you want to sync with your 5G iPod, but unfortunately, it’s a very clumsy implementation of this feature.
Once you get your videos into iTunes, either through buying them from Apple, or ripping your own, they show up under the ‘video’ list item in the left side column. Once you select ‘video’, you get a series of buttons across the top that allow you to sort by Movies, Music Videos, Podcasts, or TV Shows. Unfortunately, your control over how things are classified is very limited.
By right-clicking on a movie file, and selecting get info, you can go to the options tab and choose to classify a clip as either Movies or Music Videos. You cannot select Podcasts or TV shows, those two categories are controlled by iTunes. Any video that comes in to iTunes through a podcast that you have subscribed to will be classified under the podcast category. The TV Show category is reserved for TV shows you buy from Apple. To make things worse, you cannot re-categorize any videos you buy from Apple, their category seems to be set. For instance, I bought a Dave Matthews CD that came with a video clip. Apple chose to categorize that as a movie, but I would call it a music video. I can’t change it in iTunes because Apple has locked it. Also, since the Podcast and TV Show categories are controlled by iTunes, You can’t classify any clips that you have added yourself as those categories.
When you sync iTunes with your iPod, you can either choose to sync your entire video collection, or only selected playlists. Tip: any playlist that has a video in it will be considered a video playlist by iTunes and your iPod, and will show up in the list. Since Apple classifications are so wacky, I made my own video playlists instead of relying on Apple categories.
Overall, Apple’s implementation of this feature seems half-assed at best. It either wasn’t thought out very well, or it was rushed to be released with the new iPod. I really hope they make some changes soon.
The one bright note about how Apple has integrated video, is the ability to browse by icon (artwork)… which is something I have been wanting for music for a long time now. I’m hoping that this is a prelude to gaining this feature throughout iTunes.