Metadata Hootenanny, an open source program for adding metadata to QuickTime movies, is not as much fun as it sounds, nor is it in any way related to owls. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it’s (kind of) intuitive and makes full use of the dizzying array of metadata fields that QuickTime allows. You specify which fields you want, fill them in how you want, then tell Hootenanny to write the metadata to the video file, where it becomes viewable in QuickTime and searchable in Spotlight. According to the Hootenanny documentation, you can also drag and drop IMDb URLs on top of video files, thereby applying whatever IMDb metadata exists for a given movie.
I spent part of Thursday morning testing Hootenanny. Here are my conclusions:
- interface is user-friendly (halfway between iTunes and VLC)
- library is keyword-searchable
- video playback is supported
- smart playlist feature allows for the automatic creation of video collections with criteria in common
- metadata is exportable to XML files, which can then be reimported
-chapter markers are much simpler to add than in QuickTime Pro
- text entry is cumbersome (no autofill or batch function)
- software will not read preexisting QuickTime metadata
- IMDb metadata import function pulls in all the text on the webpage, not just the fields you want
Hootenanny makes entering file-specific metadata (i.e. timecodes and scene descriptions) very easy, and it’s intuitive enough that any Mac user could figure it out. But given that it can’t perform batch processes or even read metadata entered manually in QuickTime Pro, it’s far from a comprehensive solution.