Metadata Hootenanny

While we are all aware of the use of meta-data for music, video files within our collections have lacked this useful capability… until now. Enter the Metadata Hootenanny. Within a single application, you get file and data management as well as a player.

From the product page:

What Is It? It’s a viewer/editor for all the spiffy metadata you can put into QuickTime movies. You know how you can view, edit and sort by your mp3s’ ID3 metadata in iTunes? Well, a similar metadata system exists for all your QuickTime movies, too, but until now the only way to access it was through the horrid interface of QuickTime Pro Player (You can see certain metadata items in QT’s Info window, and add them in the Movie Properties window under Annotations).

Metadata Hootenanny lets you access this information more easily (and for free!). You can make a playlist of all the videos in your collection with a certain director or writer. You can search your videos for a certain performer, or a keyword in the description. Of course, you have to add all this information to your movies yourself…which is a breeze with Metadata Hootenanny.

Why Would I Ever Want To Have Metadata in My Movies? Ok, ok. Most people probably don’t care about movie metadata yet. The best use I see for this program is for people (like me) who have large collections of TV shows or music videos, somewhat short movies that might conceivably be played back-to-back, or collected into small lists based on subordinate criteria, as might be stored in QuickTime movies’ metadata tags (like writer, director, author, album, etc).

I’ve been playing around with this program for a few days and also emailing with the developer who seems quite open to feedback and direction. The application itself is stable, though quirky. I would definitely recommend browsing all the preferences and reading all that’s been written on the few pages linked above.
The ideal use seems to be for seasons of TV you have saved in folders. You can easily create a playlist for all episodes or simply a season at a time. From within MH, you can lookup and save information about the episode to your file as well as rename to a more formal structure. Currently the lookup supports IMDB, EPGuides and TVTome which will get you full cast and description information for your files. This allows you to easily browse or search for key details later on.

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The playlists work just like iTunes or Albums in iPhoto and if you enable full-screen playback, you can sit back and watch a succession of episodes. We enjoyed an evening of Arrested Development Friday night and this worked great.

The main issue I have is the non-standard use of keyboard shortcuts. Play is not space, but rather Command+Option+P (though space does seem to work). You can program these commands into your remote for ease of use. Again, check out the prefs (play next movie when finished) to enable seamless playback of your playlists as well as to become familiar with some of the other features like internet lookup. Otherwise, this can be a very helpful tool for video file collectors… As an added bonus it’s free!

One Response to “Metadata Hootenanny”

  1. HTmini » Blog Archive » iTunes for your Video Collection Says:

    […] om other movie files. Also movie playback features like fullscreen and rate control. Via (MacHTPC).

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