I know, I know, I just posted saying that I’m somewhat disenchanted with the iTunes Store (and just wait till I post my rant about iPhone 1.1.1) … however, iTunes itself is still my digital media jukebox of choice.
With that in mind, and with the impending arrival of an appleTV, I’ve decided to commit to iTunes as my complete digital media manager. Not just audio – video too.
There are two routes to getting video into iTunes. If you want the video to work seamlessly on iPods, iPhones and AppleTVs, you need to use something like Quicktime Pro or Visual Hub to transcode the video. This is a slow, lossy process and I have no interest in that.
Option two is to wrap the video in a Quicktime wrapper. This doesn’t touch the video data at all, just makes it look like a Quicktime file. It’ll still have XVid or Windows Media (or whatever) data inside. To do this, open the file in Quicktime, and do file->save as. Make sure to create a new file, not a reference file. The resulting mov can be dropped directly into iTunes. If you add the Perian codec to your appleTV, the files will work with that device as well (I hope, I don’t have a TV yet to test this with).
That’s great if you just have a few files, but what if you’ve got hundreds of gigabytes of video? You need automation! Other folks have created Applescripts to do this, but Quicktime 7.2 broke them all. So, I’ve created one that works with 7.2. Make sure you’ve got interface scripting turned on in the “universal access” system preference panel. Then just drop a load of videos onto this droplet and let it go to work.
SaveAsMov.zip – SaveAsMov script
From there, you’ll need to properly organize all your videos. Check out Doug’s Applescripts for Itunes page for a load of scripts to make this easier. I particularly like “set video kind” and “track names with incremented number.”