How can I tag video files of my home movies?
January 4, 2007 11:13 AM   Subscribe

Help with tagging home movie video files, not DVDs.

I have a number of home movies in avi files (captured with DV camera) and mpg files of friends families, trips, etc. I am looking for a way to tag these file with information about the video (people, places, descriptions etc), in much the same way that photo management software let's you tag photos.

I have searched for something to do this extensively, but have not found anything. Everything seems to be related to cataloging movies (i.e. Hollywood movies).

Ideally, it should be
1. free for Windows XP
2. save the tags and descriptions in the video file itself
3. have a decent user interface (like photoshop album or something similar)
4. small and fast memory footprint,

but given my inability to find anything, I'll take any workable solution.

If no such program is available, is there any software for writing to and searching the "keyword" or "description" meta data fields that Windows XP provides for all files that isn't necessarily specific to video?

I can save these tags in these fields now, of course, but I haven't found a way to search a group of files on these fields.
posted by Pastabagel to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
do you have Winamp? Newer versions can deal with video files, and it has a really good interface for creating "smart views" that can sort your files by any metadata field.

And you can edit file tags directly from Winamp. And it's free. I don't know if I'd call it "small and fast" though...
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:49 AM on January 4, 2007

Just for info: there's no real provision for user metadata / private data in .avi or .mpg files (there is in .mov and, iirc, the true (.mov-based) MP4 container spec allows for MPEG-7 as well). So anything to tag them will have to store the data elsewhere - like a separate database, in the filesystem itself, or, worst of all, by adding data to the end of the file.

The first is player-dependent, so you won't be able to use the metadata in another / non-compatible player. The second is OS/filesystem dependent, so won't survive transmission (uploading / downloading). And the third is something you really don't want to do - plenty of players will break / refuse to read a file with "garbage" at the end.
posted by Pinback at 5:36 PM on January 4, 2007

Well, poo.

Is there a program that facilitates the writing of file properties in Windows XP then? I'm willing to live with the inability to transmit the files.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:43 PM on January 4, 2007

I don't have a working copy on my computer here at work, but I'm 99% sure that Picasa from Google recognizes different video formats and can catalog them for you (along with your digital images), allowing you to tag (or caption, or whatever they call it).
posted by chaosscontrol at 7:52 AM on January 5, 2007

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