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  1. Member bat999's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Hi
    Does anyone know how to add metadata (tags) to an mkv or mka file?
    There is some information at the matroska website and on other pages but so far nothing has worked for me.
    The type of tags would be (for example) Title, Artist, Director, Album, Date Released etc.

    I don't want any links, just an explanation please.
    Last edited by bat999; 6th Oct 2010 at 20:35.
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  2. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
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    For windows computers you can add a little basic info simply by right clicking the file and choosing properties. However I think it varies by file type of how much info you can add.

    Also you could try using mpchc or vlc. They may have the ability to add details to the files. They play most video and audio files but I never tried to add descriptions with them - could be possible.

    Edit - you might also try makemkv. It can create mkv files but it might also let you edit descriptions on existing mkv files. Worth a shot.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  3. Member bat999's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yoda313 View Post
    For windows computers you can add a little basic info simply by right clicking the file and choosing properties. However I think it varies by file type of how much info you can add.

    Also you could try using mpchc or vlc. They may have the ability to add details to the files. They play most video and audio files but I never tried to add descriptions with them - could be possible.

    Edit - you might also try makemkv. It can create mkv files but it might also let you edit descriptions on existing mkv files. Worth a shot.
    Have you had success with any of these methods?
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  4. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    You have to try them yourselves. The software I mentioned is free.

    I know for a fact the right click option allows access to title description and stuff but I think it varies between the different file types.

    The others are suggestions for you to try. I think the makemkv program will be your best bet to look into. It is specifically designed to create mkv files so I would assume it has info editing ability too.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  5. Member bat999's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yoda313 View Post
    You have to try them yourselves. The software I mentioned is free.

    I know for a fact the right click option allows access to title description and stuff but I think it varies between the different file types.

    The others are suggestions for you to try. I think the makemkv program will be your best bet to look into. It is specifically designed to create mkv files so I would assume it has info editing ability too.
    OK
    Maybe someone else will answer the question, but thanks anyway.
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  6. I've been researching this for days and I can't find ONE program that can correctly edit or view Matroska metadata. CoreCodec has a sample file that is supposed to be correctly formatted here:

    http://www.matroska.org/news/cover_art_sample.html

    Several programs recognize that there are attached images but have no way to view them. mkvmerge shows that there are images and that there is metadata, but the metadata cannot be viewed or edited, and the header editor shows no trace of it. Exiftool can see the first of the images and the metadata, although it's incorrectly formatted and still can't be edited. VLC can't see the metadata or images, and what's worse it pretends to let you change some media info but then doesn't actually save anything.

    It's a nightmare.

    Don't people care about metadata at all? The complete inability of what seems to be every program out there to deal with it is stunning. Without metadata you can't search clips. If you're recording your own clips, vital information like the timestamp will be lost (you can't count on the filesystem stamp not to change). And yet the standards are well defined, WHY AREN'T THERE PROPER EDITING PROGRAMS!?!?! AAAAARRRRGGGHHH!!

    sorry for my rant. All I want is a permanent timestamp on my clips and if I'm real lucky, some keywords and a media player that can search them. But I guess that's too much to ask for.
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  7. Originally Posted by Mr Hangman View Post
    Exiftool can see the first of the images and the metadata
    ... and the rest if you use the -a option...

    although it's incorrectly formatted and still can't be edited.
    True, it can't be edited. But how is it incorrectly formatted?

    - Phil
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  8. I'm using ExifToolGUI, which knows that all four included cover arts are there and lists them as metadata, but it only shows a thumbnail for one of them. Maybe it can display the others too, but I'm new to the program.

    As for the tag formatting, what you would expect is something like:

    TITLE Dexter
    COPYRIGHT Showtime
    URL http://www.sho.com

    But instead you see:

    TagName TITLE
    TagString Dexter
    TagName COPYRIGHT
    TagString Showtime
    TagName URL
    TagString http://www.sho.com

    You can tell how it's supposed to look. To be fair Matroska's TargetTypeValue system, while it makes sense on a high level, is perhaps confusing to figure out how to display. The sample file has title for the show (Dexter) and a title for the specific video (Dexter Season 5 Trailer). If you had a media player with a library to browse, how you organize it? You'd have to be very careful with keeping track of TargetTypeValues.
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  9. I've figured out how to tag them, but there's a catch. Several actually.

    1) There's no simple GUI to tag with for now, you need to write an XML file.
    2) The Target system gives some added flexibility but also can make the organization of the tags confusion.
    3) Only a few programs seem to be able to read the tags, and those that do just unintelligently spit them all out, rather than finding and neatly displaying the official tags.

    First make a text file and name it name.xml (pick whatever name you want, but make sure to have the .xml extension). The tag syntax should look like this:

    <Tags>
    <Tag>
    <SimpleTag>
    <TagName>TITLE</TagName>
    <TagString>Your Title Here</TagString>
    </SimpleTag>
    <SimpleTag>
    <TagName>ARTIST</TagName>
    <TagString>Artist's name here</TagString>
    </SimpleTag>
    </Tag>
    </Tags>

    That's just a basic example with two tag items. Hopefully you can see how to add more. The TagName should if possible be one of the official tags listed here:

    http://matroska.org/technical/specs/tagging/index.html

    Custom tags are possible. You don't need to do anything special, it's just that players won't know what to do with them and will probably only be able to show them by listing the full tag. If a media player that properly fetches tags is ever made, you'll want to be using official tags as much as you can.

    The other thing you have to watch out for is the TargetType. TargetType indicates whether the following metadata applies to (I'll use a TV show as an example) the whole show, the season, the episode, part of the episode, or just a scene or even just a shot. The above example doesn't specify it so it goes the default level of "50" (which for videos equates to a TV show or a Movie... probably what will be a single file).

    Matroska provides some sample tag files that should demonstrate how you might want to use TargetTypes. There's a link on this page to download the actual .xmls.

    http://matroska.org/technical/specs/tagging/example-video.html


    -------------------------


    Now that you've written your tag file you need to use mkvmerge to attach it to a video. To my knowledge you can't (for now) add tags to an existing file or even edit them later, you need to mux a new video (one exception I'll get to). If you're using mkvmerge GUI, click on the Global tab and where it says "Tag File" choose your xml. You could also attach it directly to one of the streams, but to me it doesn't make sense to do that most of the time.

    You can use mkvinfo GUI to view the tags.

    The only way I know to edit the tags is with "Matroska shell extension" for windows. However, it can't edit the TargetTypes. It does see each level of TargetType as a separate tag so if you don't need add a new level you should be able to get by.


    And because this can't be simple, note that there's also header information that is separate from tags. There is a Title field and that's what many current players do read as the video title. There is also date field but it had to be in nanoseconds from Jan 1, 2001, so I wouldn't bother with that. Everything else appears to be technical and not something you'd want to edit. The good news is the Header Title can be edited later if need be.



    I guess that's it. Let me know if you still have questions. And anyone else, please correct me if I'm mistaken about anything. And also please suggest any programs that can handle the tags better, if there are any.
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  10. Member bat999's Avatar
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    Good work Mr Hangman.

    I had already used the method you've described with an xml file.
    Using the 'Basic Movie' example from this page:- http://matroska.org/technical/specs/tagging/example-video.html

    But mediainfo won't show the tags.
    Neither will VLC or mPlayer.
    So I thought the method was no good.

    I never thought to try viewing them with MKVinfo.

    Now using MKVinfo with the 'Options' > 'Show all elements' I can see them.

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