Video Tagging


Introduction

Ok, so you’ve read my page called Video Conversions and can successfully create compatible wmv video files for your Zune. Great! So you sync your newly converted videos to your Zune, and when you examine these files on your Zune they all show up with the category of “Videos”. So, you have a
very long list of every movie, every TV show, every music video synced on your Zune to scroll through to find the video you want to watch. You might ask, “is there a way for me to put my Heroes episodes in a separate folder and do the same for my music videos and movies?” Unfortunately, the answer is no, there isn’t way to use folders to categorize your videos.

The Zune does, however, have a few limited (predefined) category labels that you can use for your video files but to use them isn’t a trivial process. The procedure below outlines how you can categorize your videos to make it easier to deal with on your Zune.

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What is tagging?

If you’ve lurked on the different Zune forums, you’ve probably come across postings talking about “tagging” audio files, or messing with “meta data”. The term meta data refers to extra information that can be stored in a audio or video file. This extra data isn’t necessary to play a music file or view a video file, but rather lets you defined additional information for your particular player to do something special with. For example, when you scroll through your list of video files it would be nice to see a brief description of the selected movie. This kind of information is considered meta data.

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So, how do I categorize my videos?

The Zune has four predefined categories that you can use for your video files:

  1. Videos
  2. Music Videos
  3. Movies
  4. TV Shows

The meta data tag that you need to define to tell the Zune that this file is a Video, is WM_MediaClassPrimaryID. You need to set this tag to the following:

WM/MediaClassPrimaryID = DB9830BD-3AB3-4FAB-8A37-1A995F7FF74B

The above needs to be done for all video files. The next tag called, WM_MediaSecondaryID, needs to be defined to set the category of the video. The following tags are valid for the Zune device:

For Movies:

WM_MediaSecondaryID = A9B87FC9-BD47-4BF0-AC4F-655B89F7D868

For Music Videos:

WM_MediaSecondaryID = E3E689E2-BA8C-4330-96DF-A0EEEFFA6876

For TV Shows:

WM_MediaSecondaryID = BA7F258A-62F7-47A9-B21F-4651C42A000E

If you don’t set anything for this tag, then the Zune defaults the file to “Videos”. There are a few more valuable tags worth modifying, which I’ll explain in an example in the next section.

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What tool should I use to change the tag information?

There are three freeware applications currently available for editing meta data for WMV files:

  1. dSHARPIE
  2. zMeta
  3. TigoTago

Originally, I was using TigoTago to manually edit the meta data for my converted WMV video files, since it was the only application that allowed for editing the WM_TrackNumber meta data variable. I wanted to edit that particular variable since I believed it controlled the sort order of the episodes of a TV Show, however, I learned later that it did not control such ordering. The zMeta application seemed easy to use, but it was a big buggy and hasn’t been updated in quite a while. I finally decided to use dSHARPIE, since it seemed to work the best for editing numerous TV episodes simultaneously.

Below is the main interface for dSharpie:

dsharpie1.png

The steps for tagging a video are as follows:

  1. Load a single (or multiple) videos for tagging.
  2. Select the video (or videos) that you want to edit meta data.
  3. For “Video Type”, select between, “Movie”, “TV Show”, “Music Video”, or “Unknown”. You can also fill in the rest of the meta data tags as you see fit.
  4. Click the down arrow to move the selected video(s) into the “Video To Be Saved” list box.
  5. Finally, click the “Save Videos” button to save your changes.

Under the Settings menu item there is an option for “Sort TV Shows” which will allow you to move your selected TV Show episodes up and down to sort them in order. dSharpie will then define a “Creation Date” for each of the sorted video in descending order (increasing the specified creation date by one-second). For the older Zune 30 devices, this is sufficient for keeping the TV Show episodes in a specific sorted order, however, this approach doesn’t work for the 2nd generation Zunes (Zune 4/8/80 GB devices). I’ve learned that for the newer Zunes, the only way to correctly sort the order of TV episodes is to sync them one-at-a-time starting with the first episode and working down the list chronologically.

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If you’d prefer to use TigoTago, you can follow these instructions:

The best way for me to explain how to use TigoTago, is by example. In this case, I have three episodes of Band of Brothers which I want to categorize as a TV Show, and I want to have them displayed in a sorted list (Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3). So first, I start up TigoTago and select the folder where the video files are located as shown below:

Next, I right click on the first episode and select Advanced Edit… from the popup menu as shown.

tigotago_2.png

Now, you should see a list of tags that are associated with the selected video file. In the next figure, I’ve identified the tags which I typically edit. Here’s a summary of what these tags are:

  1. Description - A description for the movie that shows up when you select it in the Videos list.
  2. Title - The title for this video movie
  3. WM_TrackNumber – This is specified to identify the episode number (for display sorting). Since I want this to be the first episode displayed for this series, I’m using “01” for the value. (Note, that for the sorting to work properly, you need to have a zero in front of single digit numbers (e.g., 01,02,02, etc.)
  4. WM_MediaClassPrimaryID – Set equal to a unique string (as described previously) to tell the Zune that this is a video file.
  5. WM_MediaClassSecondaryID – Set equal to a unique string (as described previously) to define this video as a TV Show.
  6. WM_SubTitle – The name of this particular episode.
  7. WM_SubTitleDescription – A description of this particular episode. In my case, this is set the same as the “Description” tag.
tigotago_3.png

I then save this, and do similar editing for the other three episodes of Band of Brothers. Remember to set the WM_TrackNumber to the correct episode number for display sorting. [Update: This does not work for either the Zune 30 or 2nd generation Zunes]

Finally, you can have TigoTago set the file creation date for each episode file to go in sequence by selecting the following:

meta_editing1.png

In this dialog box just drag the episodes into the correct order, then click the OK button and Save all the files.Now when I sync these video files to my Zune, they look like the figure below. The three video files are categorized as “TV Shows” and grouped together as a series of episodes for a specific show.

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Nitty Gritty Details

More information on the usable video tags for Zune files can be found at this Zune.net page. Lots of dry, techo mumbo-jumbo, but the details are all there if you’re interested.

Note: Meta data tags are only available with WMV formatted files. Unfortunately, such tags do not exist for MP4 files. So, the above outline procedure will only work with WMV files.

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Final Comments

dSHARPIE is the recommended tagging application, followed by TigoTago. Of course, if you have a TV Tuner card and are using Windows Media Center to record TV Shows, you can also use DVRMSToolbox to automatically do all of this tagging for you!
Also read this posting where I discuss some issues I had with TV Show episode sorting and how I resolved them.

30 thoughts on “Video Tagging

  1. Martin says:

    Hi,

    This seems only to work for wmv-files. Any ideas how to make something similar to work for mp4-files?

    Regards,
    Martin

  2. zunetips says:

    Sorry, but only wmv files have meta data that can be edited. You can’t do this with mp4 files. To have this feature, you’ll need to convert your mp4 files over to wmv files.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Okay…I followed the directions completely and they are still showing individually all under “videos” and nothing else. I even put the code for tv shows in the secondar id…please help….

  4. zunetips says:

    Try the following:

    1) Connect your Zune to your PC and make a syncing connection.
    2) Copy all your video files out of the video sync folder to a different location on your PC.
    3) Make sure all of your videos are removed from your Zune (check in the Zune Software when your Zune is connected and synced).
    4) Edit all the meta tags for your video files as described on this page.
    5) Copy the video files back to your video sync folder, and sync with your Zune.

    The key, is that you need to resync your videos after you do the tag editing.

  5. mados123 says:

    Relating to modifying the meta tag and categories, I found that if I edited the MediaClassSecondaryID Value after it was already imported into the Zune Software, there were no problems. Then if I had a new video that wasn’t in the Zune Software (and needed to be imported) and the MediaClassSecondaryID value was something other than:

    “DB9830BD-3AB3-4FAB-8A37-1A995F7FF74B”

    it would state invalid media type, despite knowing it is a valid wmv. Basically, don’t edit the MediaClass Value (ie- changing categories with TigoTago or zMeta) until the file has already been imported. At least that was what worked for me. Good luck!

  6. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the great description for those of us who would be lost otherwise. So if I have five episodes and under VW_tracknumber I put the values 01, 02, 03, 04, 05 than the one 01 should be at the top of the list and 05 at the bottom right? Well I did that and they all seem to be scrambled on my zune 80. Everything else works just as it should though. Any thoughts?

  7. zunetips says:

    Is the text for the “Title” field set to the same thing, and do you have the WM_Year field defined? I believe the Zune not only looks at the WM_TrackNumber field but also the Year field for sorting.

    Also, did you try using dSHARPIE or any other program to edit the meta data for these episode files?

  8. Aaron says:

    I actually didnt add a year for any of the videos because I didnt think it mattered. Also, the only program I used was TigoTago. This is unrelated but I also noticed that even if I didnt have a description under general but only under wm_subtitle description the zune will display the description. Will this effect anything?

  9. zunetips says:

    I don’t think the description text will affect the episode sorting. You need to have the same title for all your Episodes, use the WM_TrackNumber field, and try filling in the WM_Year field. Then, remove all the episodes from your video sync folder, sync your Zune, copy the video files back to the video sync folder, and re-sync with your Zune.

  10. Miranda says:

    I added some episodes of some video files into my zune and they show up how I want them to under the videos section and they are correctly tagged so they show up as TV SHOWS, so my question is when I’m looking at my episodes, what does 1/1 mean to the left of the episodes? Is that if I had them in chapters or in 2 part segment video files?

  11. zunetips says:

    I believe the “1/1″ that you are seeing is reflecting the date. Try defining some values for the date meta data tags available in TigoTago and see which one affects that numerical display.

  12. hakstad says:

    Thanks for the great tips on your site! So, I’ve managed to get a DVD movie ripped, converted, and synced to my Zune 80GB. But now, I have several separate videos or chapters of the movie, each displaying as a separate video. Is there anyway that I can get all of these videos into one wmv file so that they play through the whole movie? I think your instructions for ripping mentioned that I needed to select the check box to “enable stream processing” but that option wasn’t available on the DVD decrypter. Maybe when I downloaded it, it was an older version. It doesn’t show the 2 tabs that are displayed in your instructions for ripping, “Input” and “Stream Processing”. It just displays all the files on the DVD (.bup, .ifo, .vob). And it doesn’t allow me to check for updates. Any suggestions or ideas of what I’m missing? Thanks again!

  13. hakstad says:

    At a second look it actually says to the set the file splitting to “None” which I have also done.

  14. Ayulin says:

    Excellent guide, although like Aaron, my TV Shows also show up scrambled on my Zune 80. I’ve added the year, and they appear properly under the TV Shows category, although the first episode appears in the correct place, but subsequent episodes do not.

    On another set of TV Shows, which I had used dSharpie to tag, setting the Track Number field caused them ALL to be jumbled up (I did the resync thing too, which caused some weird things to happen; episodes appearing twice, for instance, but only actually being on the device once.)

  15. zunetips says:

    I’ve added a small section to this page that explains how to implement “File Reordering” using TigoTago which will change the file creation date for all the video file so they sort in a specified order. You can also see this link for another tip that may help with the episode sorting.

  16. IamKgirl says:

    First I need to Thank you for such a complete how -to Zune manual. I’ve spent days working with getting data into my Zune 80, with out you it would have been years.

    I only came across one problem and that’s tagging Music Video. I entered the primary ID as DB9830BD-3AB3-4FAB-8A37-1A995F7FF74B and the 2nd ID as E3E689E2-BA8C-4330-96DF-A0EEEFFA6876 which I copied directly off the Zune web site as well as yours and pasted into TigoTago. The Zune software did not “see” these files when placed in the zune video directory. The software did see all the other tags, video, movie and tv show. Please help me

  17. Anurag says:

    I have had the same problem as IamKgirl. This happens only when I tag for Music Videos. Zune shows the video before I use TigoTago, but once I enter the primary and Music Video Id, Zune says, “media type invalid.”
    Help?!?

  18. zunetips says:

    Anurag: Have you tried the program called dSHARPIE to edit the meta data tags? I suggest you try that software and see if you can categorize that video as a Music Video.

  19. Kilroy says:

    Well, I’m taking an extra step and it’s working GREAT for me. I copy the videos I want to edit out to a different folder then delete them from Zune then shut the Zune program down.. I then to all the editing in the external folder. When I’m happy with everything I move them back and restart the Zune software. The dumb ol’ program sees the new files, imports them into the collection and onto the Zune. Presto, the tags are there and the videos are categorized correctly!

    TigoTago does seem a bit intimidating and the copy and paste routine is a drag, but hey, it works and it’s free. And with the instructions provided here, it’s a snap!

  20. zunetips says:

    Kilroy: Lately, I’ve been using dSharpie to to the video tagging. It seems a bit easier to edit multiple episodes for a show all at one time, but the episode ordering is still an issue. The only way I’ve found to have all the episodes sorted in order is to sync them one at a time, starting with the first episode and working down to the last.

    I suggest you give dSharpie a try. The only bad thing, is finding that program to download.

  21. Kilroy says:

    I found it Dave. There’s an ongoing discussion at Zunescene about it.

    http://www.zunescene.mobi/forums/index.php?topic=8887.234

  22. Xovenexus says:

    Hey.

    Thanks for such a great tutorial. This has been brought up before, but I was wondering if you possibly had any idea how to fix it. In your second screenshot of the videos on your zune, the date next to each episode is 1/1. I was wondering if you had any idea which tag you’d need to change for that to not default to 1/1, as I have all my videos perfectly set up, save for that one little thing.

    Thanks again!

  23. zunetips says:

    Xovenexus: I’m not positive what exact meta data field controls that particular date. And since my Zune is out of commission, I can’t test it for you. I suggest you do a google search or check the http://www.zunescene.com web site for a possible answer.

  24. Rob says:

    hi, i’m trying to follow your tingo tango “how to”… i’ve installed the same version, 2.0.0.3 beta.

    when i right click on the file……… there’s no “advanced edit” option…. so i’m a bit stumped…

  25. zunetips says:

    Rob: I suggest you try using dSHARPIE, as it seems a bit easier to use.

  26. Randy says:

    Zunetips: I have the same question as Xovenexus. I am trying different combinations with the tags, but, I haven’t figured it out. I am trying to figure out what the 1/1 represents. I know what I would want it to represent. But how do we change it? I’ve only had my zune 80g for a week so I am still experimenting.

    Hope you get your zune back soon! And thanks for all the information you provide.

  27. John says:

    Ok, so I don’t know how it happened, but when i put the movie Kung Fu Panda on my Zune 30, somehow the cover art appeared for it! I was astounded! My question is, how could i add cover art for others videos? Heres the link to a picture with the cover art.
    http://i41.tinypic.com/1iyfcm.jpg .

  28. zunetips says:

    John – I use a utility called “AudioShell” that allows me to easily add a jpg image as the cover art for a WMV video file. You should be able to do the same thing to a MP4 video file using this utility. I discuss AudioShell in this posting.

  29. John says:

    AMAZING! THANK YOU!

  30. Lauren Glenn says:

    The tags exist for MP4 files in the newest version of Zune 4.0

    It may work for other versions, but I don’t know because I have 4.0

    The one I can’t figure out yet is the video type category, but the others can be done with AtomicParsley:

    ALBUM = TV Show Name
    TITLE = Show title
    YEAR = Release year (haven’t gotten it to show the full date yet, but tagging it as 2008/7/1 brings it up as 1/1/2008 in Zune automatically)

    This is great for now in a way because it lets you batch tag a bunch of TV shows and then highlight them all in OTHER and then select TV Series. Once you do that, they will display on your Zune and the Zune MP with that show name. I’ve done it for the past month or so since I rebought a Zune 120 after being brainwashed by the Apple iPod.

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