How To Organize Videos in iTunes

Organizing videos in iTunes can be confusing. You can’t simply add a video to your iTunes library and expect it to end up where you want it; in most cases, you need to manually change a tag to get it sorted in the right location.

iTunes doesn’t have a Videos library. It has a Movies library, a TV Shows library, and it also stores Music Videos. So when you add a video to your iTunes library, you need to know where you want it to be stored so you can find it easily on your computer, on your Apple TV, or when syncing your iOS devices.

When you select the Movies library in iTunes, you see the following navigation bar:

Videos nav bar

You may not see all of these items. If you don’t currently have any rented movies in your iTunes library, you won’t see the second section. If you don’t have any videos that are considered Home Videos, you won’t see that either.

The navigation bar for the TV Shows library is much simpler:

Tv shows nav bar

When you purchase videos from the iTunes Store, iTunes knows whether they are movies, TV shows or music videos and sorts them accordingly. In most cases, you’ll never need to change these categories for iTunes Store purchases. But when you add your own videos – either videos you’ve shot with your iPhone or camera, or DVDs you’ve ripped – iTunes considers these to be Home Videos. In some ways this makes sense; Apple doesn’t really think about ripping DVDs, because this is a legal gray area, but it is something that lots of people do.So the first thing you need to do, when you add a new video to your iTunes library, is decide where you want it to show up. If it’s a TV show that you’ve ripped from a DVD, or downloaded, you’ll want to flag it as such. If it’s a movie, you’ll also want to change it. But if it is, indeed, a home video, and you want to use that sort category, you don’t need to do anything.

To make this change, select a video, press Command-I (Control-I on Windows), and then click the Options tab. Click the Media Kind menu and choose the type of video you want.

Video change media kind

Click OK, and your video will be moved to the appropriate library.

(Note that there are two options I haven’t mentioned, Podcast and iTunes U. You’d only select these options if the videos you’ve downloaded are, indeed, part of a podcast or iTunes U program, and want them stored in those libraries.)

Music videos are handled a bit differently. They get stored in your Music library, sorted by genre, artist, and album. If you’re importing music videos that you’ve ripped or downloaded, you’ll need to change the tags to include the appropriate metadata. Here’s how a couple of music videos I ripped show up in Albums view:

Music videos albums view

You can also access your music videos in another way. If you’re in your Music library and click Playlists in the navigation bar, iTunes displays a Music Videos library in the sidebar. If you access your music videos ofter, you may find this the easiest way to do so, rather than flitting around from artist to artist.

Music videos sidebar

With all this in mind, I recommend that you create a new, empty playlist and add your videos to that playlist when adding them to iTunes. You can then easily select them and change their media kind, along with any other tags you want to add.

If you add a lot of videos to iTunes, you should check out the excellent iFlicks 2, which allows you to tag your videos before adding them to iTunes. iFlicks will also download tag information for movies and TV shows, grab artwork for them, convert videos to iTunes-supported formats, and much more.

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