My new iPod – part III:
Organizing videos in iTunes

iTunes video

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.

iTunes video preferences

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.

16 thoughts on “My new iPod – part III:<br />Organizing videos in iTunes”

  1. Agreed… the implementation of this feature is weak. Here’s the solution I have devised:

    Add a few new new video-specific genres & then create Smart Playlists to organize them. For example, I’ve created the following:

    – Movies
    – Music Videos
    – Concert Videos
    – TV Shows
    – Commercials
    – Motion Graphics
    – Personal

    Then I created a Smart Playlist on my iPod for each using the following naming structure: ‘Video – genre’.

    Set the appropriate genre for each video file and set Video Kind to Movie unless it’s a Music Video. You cannot change Video Kind for iTunes purchased files, but you can set the genre.

    The playlist menu will appear at the top of the Video submenu on your iPod and your video content will be better organized.

  2. Have you figured out a way to have your video playlists NOT also appear as ‘music playlists’???

    This is incredibly annoying.

  3. I’ve just released a simple, free utility which addresses most of these issues: Lostify. It’s an MP4 metadata tagger compatible with iTunes and the iPod video. You can use it to set most of the metadata that iTunes uses internally for classifying and categorizing MP4 videos. It doesn’t support the Podcasting tags right now, but it may in a future version.

  4. Hi, I am having a lot of trouble trying to organise my videos into seperate playlists. Can someone please help me with this? Thanx heaps. :)

  5. Hi Tara,

    You can organize videos into playlist, just as if they were songs. Simply create a new playlist, and drag whatever videos you want into that playlist. To access the playlist, you won’t go into the “Video” area of iTunes, you’ll just select the playlist in the left column, like you do with music playlists. Any playlist that has a video in it will automatically be added to the video playlists on your iPod… under Videos:Video Playlists:yourplaylistname.

    Hope this helps…

  6. ^ That is SO not true…
    I created a blank playlist and dragged 5 video clips to the playlist, the playlist is now only showing on ipod in the music section. The playlist doesn’t even show on itunes ANYWHERE… but is still on the ipod!

  7. I have converted some videos to the right format but itunes won’t let me add it into my video list or ipod. Any reasons why this is happening?

  8. Jolo, what format are the movies? Do you have any other movies that you have been able to get into iTunes and your iPod, such as movies downloaded from the Apple music store?

  9. I converted the stuff to mpeg4 with videora and for some reason, some stuff can transfer to itunes and some stuff can’t. Really weird stuff.

  10. I’ve never used videora, so I’m not sure if it has any known bugs. If possible, I would try using another utility. I do all my conversions on a mac, so I’m not sure what to suggest on the PC.

    What format are your original movie files. If iTunes will read those, you can import them into your library, and then select ‘Convert selection for iPod’ from the ‘advanced’ pull-down menu in iTunes. You can also try using QuickTime 7 Pro ($30).

    Here’s a couple of Apple articles that may help:
    1. Converting movies to iPod in iTunes 6.0.2 or later
    2. Creating Video for iPod tutorial using QuickTime 7 Pro

  11. I have a Windows computer, and I am trying to put videos into iTunes video library and whenever I hit export, or I drap it into iTunes, iTunes does not read it, even though I and it so the videos are in iTunes format. Please help me I want my videos on my iPod.

  12. Hey Isabella, theres this really neat utility from DVDVIDEOSOFT called ” Free youtube to Ipod converter ” , i use it to convert most of my Flash files etc to an ipod compatible format ( mp4 format ) , give it a shot , i presume it should help you convert your files as well.. The software is absolutely free and extremely user friendly…….

  13. I have converted my youtube videos to mp4 using isquint and my itunes library or ipod will not let me add the video? Any ideas people?

  14. yeah, ok so i dl music videos from websites (youtube) and after that i converted them to mp4 format. so i went to add them to my library in itunes and nothing happend. then i clicked “open with” and it said that it was a file that quicktime could not read… WHAT DO I DO TO PUT IT ON MY IPOD!

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