Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

StoneCut continues his series of posts for WebUpd8. In his last 2 posts he explained how to sync your iPhone / iPod Touch with various music players in Ubuntu and also the current status for Linux music players and iPhone / iPod Touch sync:

Easy Way To Sync Your iPhone With Rhythmbox, Nautilus, Etc. In Ubuntu

Reviews Of iPhone/iPod Synchronizing Applications For Linux

Today, StoneCut gives you some tips for audio and video tagging for iPhone / iPod Touch under Linux. Read on!

Converting Videos to M4V format and tagging files

Video File Conversion into an iPhone/iPod Touch-friendly format is easiest accomplished with handbrake which you can install like so:
sudo apt-get install handbrake
(or you can download the latest version Ubuntu .deb from HERE).

Handbrake is our first option as it has good presets for iPhone/iPod Touch. Just choose the template and convert. However, the files won't be properly tagged and will just show up with their filenames in your iPod app. To tag them properly you need to install this:
sudo apt-get install atomicparsley

After conversion you can tag your files according to this example:
AtomicParsley Name_of_Video.m4v --tracknum 01 --title "01 - Testvideo" --artist "Testartist" --album "Testalbum" --albumArtist "Various Artists" --compilation true --year 2010 --artwork artwork.png

You can leave out the track number, compilation and year stuff. I strongly suggest setting the other parameters, though. When adding a lot of videos onto GTKpod at once it will ask you a name for the Playlist; quite handy to keep the track numbers in sequence. Artwork can be in JPEG and PNG format. I haven't fully exploited all the functionality of this app so if you find something noteworthy let me know in the comments.

And no, I wasn't able to find a GUI for this purpose, if you do find one let me know in the comments.

Tagging MP3's with iTunes' compilation flag

As people who want to copy compilation albums to their iPhone via Linux have probably noticed by now, there's a problem ... iTunes will oftentimes not see them as compilations despite them having a common Album Title and Album Artist set as "Various Artists". The reason for this is that iTunes is using its own atom in the MP3 metadata to flag an album as an iTunes compilation.
Unfortunately I haven't found a single application for Linux that will set the required tag. But the (excellent) application "mp3tag" works fine via Wine (well, I use Crossover Pro 8.0). It's available from www.mp3tag.de.

Mark the songs you want to tag with the compilation tag and then do a right-click -> Extended tags. Click on the "Add field" button (only a symbol) and choose "ITUNESCOMPILATION" from the dropdown list. Underneath enter "1" (without quotes) as value. That's it, just write the tags again and you're done.

If anyone figures out how to do this with a native Linux app then please let me know. Maybe even AtomicParsley can do it ?!

Tagging M4A

M4A files are just MP4 audio files. For M4A files you can use AtomicParsley again (see section on convertig and tagging M4V files). M4P files are DRM-protected files from the iTunes store and should not be edited. They would need to get decrypted first. M4R are ringtone files which are just renamed M4A files. So rename them to MP4 and tag them with AtomicParsley, too.


Set iTunes Compilation Flag using eyeD3

"eyeD3" is a native linux terminal application that I only just discovered. You can set and unset the iTunes Compilation flag with relative ease amongst tons of other things.

Let's install it first:
sudo apt-get install eyed3

To set the compilation flag for example.mp3:
eyeD3 --set-text-frame=TCMP:1 Compilation_Track.mp3

To remove the compilation flag remove the "1" so it looks like this:
eyeD3 --set-text-frame=TCMP: Compilation_Track.mp3

This tool is very powerful, check the eyeD3 man page for more info. For info on custom iTunes ID3 tags/frames you can apply with eyeD3, such as TCMP (iTunes Compilation), check the id3 Site: http://www.id3.org/iTunes

Set iTunes Compilation Flag using MP3 Diags

"MP3 Diags" is a native linux app for fixing MP3s but it also includes a tag editor. In the tag editor's preferences on the "Other" tab you can set checkmarks to > for iTunes and Windows Media. If you check "iTunes" then it will work.

Next, return to MP3 Diags. Select your files and then click on the icon with the two heads (the tooltip says "Toggle Various Artists". If it's already enabled, you will see a single head. Just click on the floppy disk to save and you're set. I have some issues with MP3 Diags' GUI where it seldomly does what I want it to, your mileage may vary. For me, "eyeD3" works best.

Credits for this article (and many thanks) go to StoneCut. Make sure you come back, as StoneCut still has a few iPhone / iPod Touch and Linux tips & tricks!