Stuff iTunes With Videos Using VideoDrive

Are you a video junkie who loves nothing more than stuffing iTunes with videos to watch in Front Row, Apple TV, or on your iPod? If you find yourself spending more time than you should fussing with conversion and the such, VideoDrive can get those videos into your iTunes and iPod quickly and with minimal fuss.

As someone who works in the broadcast industry, I like to load my iPod with videos to refer to as references. Oftentimes, I find myself spending hours importing and sorting videos, which come in a myriad formats, just so I can get them onto my iPod.

Designed as a companion application for iTunes, VideoDrive lets you batch convert, import and tag videos to add to your iTunes library in as few steps as possible.

Typically, importing a video into iTunes requires a user to perform these steps:

  1. Drag and drop a video file onto iTunes.
  2. Right-click the video now listed in iTunes and click on ‘Get Info’.
  3. Go about renaming or, more often than not, filling in empty fields such as Title, Year, Artist, Genre, Sorting Kind, etc.
  4. Search on the Internet for cover artwork and then adding that to the video.

Step 1 is possible only if the video is in a format recognized by iTunes. If it isn’t, you will have to either convert the video with QuickTime Player or create a reference file to import into iTunes, a manual process that can quickly take up a lot of time.

VideoDrive strives to eliminate steps 2 to 4 by automatically doing all that for you. You can choose to import videos on an ad-hoc basis, by dragging files into VideoDrive, or as a batch operation; VideoDrive can be set to watch a folder for incoming videos, automatically import them as they are added, or queue them for processing later.

Once the videos are in iTunes, VideoDrive will, with an Internet connection, search for and add the correct metadata and cover art for your videos. It can also do this for existing videos already in your iTunes library. For the control freak, worry not; you can specify exactly what kind of metadata you want VideoDrive to add to your videos. Finally, as a convenience, it can bundle recently-added movies into its own iTunes playlist.

VideoDrive recognizes all major video formats such as mov (QuickTime movie), mpg and mpeg (MPEG-1), m2v (MPEG-2), mp4 and m4v (MPEG-4 or H.264), avi, wmv, wma and asf (Windows Media video and audio), swf and (Flash), mkv (Matroska), and DivX (a variant of MPEG-4). VideoDrive also recognizes videos with SRT or SUB subtitles (commonly found in videos ripped from DVDs), and can toggle subtitles on and off in the videos in your iTunes library.

VideoDrive is currently at version 1.66 and is available from Aroona Software for €14.99 (approximately US$20). As someone who likes to load up videos into my iPod before a flight or long commute, VideoDrive is just the kind of set-and-forget application I need, the conveniences it offers are worth every penny. What’s more, you can use your license of VideoDrive on two computers, allowing you to stuff your iTunes twice as fast.

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