Tagging movies

Lockdown jobs part two

Greetings from the Couch
Aug 23 · 2 min read

I’ve largely completed the music tagging, and for the most part, Mp3tag worked the best.

Movie tagging is a little more fraught however.

I’ve tried out a few alternatives but none have worked out:

  • plex — couldn’t even get this to start. Created an account, downloaded the plex server. It booted me out on login.
  • metaX — looked ok until Acronis detected malware, so this was uninstalled very quickly.
  • kodi — there’s an add-on tagger, BUT it puts the tags in an external file, not the file itself. This means it works great in Kodi but not anywhere else.

In the end, I kept using Mp3tag.

Some things to bear in mind

Using Mp3Tag to add metadata to MP4 files has certain shortcomings

First, it’s a truly manual process. I’m using The Movie Database for references.

Second, because it tags by replacing the existing file, if something goes wrong, the file is GONE. Mp3Tag seems to fail the most on:

  • files from iTunes
  • very large files >1GB

For that reason, as mentioned in the earlier article, BACKUP YOUR FILES. That way if a file ends up borked, you can replace it.

How I’m doing this

So I started by backing up my files to an external drive.

Then I created 4 folders:

  • Movies untagged — where the entire movie collection goes to begin with
  • Movies tagged — where tagged moves are moved
  • Coverart (for any posters I’ve got)
  • Movies tag issues- where movies with tagging issues (like ones that are accidentally deleted) go. Also movies that are in the wrong format for MP3Tag to handle (e.g., avi, mov, mkv)

Next, I order the Name column Ascending, and select all the files with each letter of the alphabet.

And I go to work. The Movie Database is the reference, and I enter:

  • Title — movie name
  • Artist — director
  • Year — duh!
  • Comments — The Movie Database summary
  • Drag and drop cover art from Google search or add from local file.
  • Save

The save can take a while so it’s a good idea to have something else to do.

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