Frequently Ask Questions

What is MetaTV used for?

MetaTV is a tool, to add so called "meta information" or "tags" to your TV show episodes. This information is processed by iTunes, AppleTV or other iOS-devices and presented to the user. Especially the cover arts give your TV shows a professional touch.

I see French or German descriptions instead of English, what can I do?

Go to the preference dialogue in the MetaTV menu. Here you can select your country and language. If your country or language is not avalable, MetaTV falls back to USA and English.

What do I have to regard before coping iTunes meta data?

Usually you use "Tag Files" to copy the iTunes-information to your episode files directly. In some cases, it can happen, that the original video file is damaged by the modification. In that cases, especially for your first TV shows, it is always a good idea, to use "Save As" instead. Here you select a new location for the episode files. The original episode files are copied to that location first. The new copy of your episodes are tagged afterwards and the original files are not changed anyway.

Unfortunately there are quite a lot of mpeg4 convertes and not all of them write correct mp4-tags. If you have problems with MetaTV and your mp4-files please use my support formular and report your issue. That is the only chance to improve the compatibility of MetaTV.

Can I mix episodes of different TV shows or seasons?

No, the concept of MetaTV is designed to tag only episodes of one TV show and season at one pass. The easiest way is to collect the episodes in one subdirectory and drag them from here to the episode list view of MetaTV.

MetaTV doesn’t sort episodes during the import

To sort files in the episode list automatically, version 1.5 has a new functionality in the toolbar and menu. You can sort the episode list by episode number and episode title. To sort episodes by title, select your TV show and season in the search drawer first.

The old option „analyse filenames“ is still there. You will find the option „Sort files at import by episode no.“ in the preferences .

How can I modify more than one episode at once?

Select the episodes you want to change at once in the list view while holding down the "shift"- or "cmd"-key. You have now a multiple selection. If you change any of the edit fields in the episode selection, this information is changed for all selected episodes. You will see the text "Multiple Values" in the fields, containing different information for different episodes. E.g. you want to change the content rating for all episodes, press the "Select All"-button and change the content rating combo box. Click one episode in the list view to deactivate the multiple selection.

I can't tag the episodes, the status LED's are red?

Fill at least the TV show title, seasons No. and episode title to tag a file.

How do I change the episode No. of a file?

Each row in the episode list view represents an episode No. Drop the files to the correct episode rows. You can change an episode number by dragging the episode list entry to a new position within the list view.

How do I set the correct number of episodes?

Use the [+]- and [-]-button in the lower left corner of the search drawer to add or remove empty episodes.  

What video formats can I use?

The two MPEG4-file fomats  mp4 and m4v are supported. For iTunes, we recommend you to use the m4v-format. Other formats like mov, mkv and ogg are not supported.

The TV show title is not found in the TVDB?

If TVDB doesn't find your TV show title please try the following hints:

  • remove all special characters like dashes, commas and colons
  • use key words only
  • try to delete some keywords e.g. use "Hawaii" instead of "Hawaii Five-0“

How can I search the Internet Movie Database ID (IMDb-ID)? 

The search window accepts also the TV show-ID of the IMDb (The Internet Movie Database). The IMDb-ID looks like "tt+number", e.g. "tt0460627". You find the IMDb-ID in the URL of your browser, e.g. "", when you search for a TV show on the IMDb-website.

Why doesn’t show my iPad or iPhone any covers?

With iOS 8 Apple introduces a new constraint for TV show cover images. They have to be square to be shown on any iOS device. MetaTV has a special function to „crop“ the covers to square size. Press the „Crop“ button next to the cover image in the main window. A dialog opens where you can select a sqare part of the picture.

MetaTV can't find any content ratings?

The TVDB stores only the US mpaa-ratings for TV shows. If you select another country as USA you don't get any content rating information by default. Activate the option "Try to map the MPAA-content rating" in the preference dialogue and MetaTV tries to map the MPAA-content ratings to your country specific content rating system. The results are not necessary correct.

Why can't I find the actors in iTunes or on iOS devices?

iTunes doesn't show the actors for TV shows today. The "Artist" field is filled with the TV show title (see also MetaTV stores the artist information in the same container as iTunes used it for movies today. If Apple will add this feature for TV shows in the future, then the information is already contained in the episode files.

MetaTV found no covers for the TV show?

By default, MetaTV searches for season specific covers only. Some not popular TV shows have only cover images for the TV show in general. To get them also, activate the option "Add posters for series as cover arts" in the preferences. This option needs more download time during the cover retrieval.

How can I use a picture of a web site as cover?

Open your browser and search for a cover image. Click that image and drag it to the cover area of MetaTV by holding down the left mouse button. Release the button and the selected image becomes the new cover.

How can I use an image file as cover?

Click on the image file in the Finder window. Drag and drop the file onto the cover area of MetaTV. The image file becomes the new cover of your move.

iTunes sort the movies for "The" and "A"

If you don't want all TV shows starting with "The" and "A" one after another, you can find an option for ignoring articles in the preference settings.

What do the red characters in the short description mean?

The short description is limited to 255 characters in iTunes. All characters beyond 255 are stripped. Shorten your text so that no red characters are visible.

How can I prevent MetaTV to overwrite existing chapters?

Select "no chapters" at the automatic chapter generation. If your episodes contain chapters, MetaTV chose this option automatically.

How do I select the TV show genre?

MetaTV always tries to find the best matching iTunes movie genre. iTunes supports only a limited set of movie genre names. You can select new genre names like "Crime" in the genre selection box. If you do so, iTunes doesn't show a special icon for that genre in some views. So we recommend you to stay at the iTunes TV show genres.

How should the TV show episode filenames look like to extract season No. and episode No. from the filenames?

MetaTV is able to extract the season No. and episode No. as well as the TV show title and the episode title from the episode filenames. Use the following file format:
<TV show title> - SxxExx - <episode title>.mp4
where "xx" means season and episode No., e.g. "Bones - S06E04 - The Body and the Bounty.mp4" for season 6 and episode 4. MetaTV accepts also the EyeTV format "<TV show title> E-NN, <episode title>.mp4" where "E" is the episode No. and "NN" is the total number of episodes, e.g. "Bones 4-23, The Body and the Bounty.mp4". At least the iTunes format "S-EE <episode title>.mp4" is recognized, having "S" as season No. and "EE" as episode No.. Existing tags are interpreted as well. 

How can I sort the episodes in the correct order?

If your episodes are sorted in the Finder correctly, select them and drag them to the first empty episode in the episode list. MetaTV preserves the order of the dragged files. This doesn't work for the "Open"-button. Your can arrange the files in the episode list view at any time by dragging them within the list view. Use the option "Analyse Filenames“ in the preferences to extract the episode No. from the filenames and sort the episodes during the import to MetaTV (see last answer about naming episodes). Filesnames which are not recognized are added at the end of the list. Alternativly you can sort the files in the episode by pressing the sort buttons in the toolbar. To sort the episodes by title, press the A-Button. Select your TV shor and season in the search drawer first, to active the sorting by title.

How can I transfer the episode information from one episode to another?

Select the source episode entry in the list view and select the menu entry "Copy Episodes". Then select the destination episode list entry and select "Paste Episodes". You can also use the mouse to copy episode information. Select the source episode list entry press the "alt-key" and drag the episode entry to the destination episode row. The information is copied to the destination without changing the assigned filename of the destination list entry.

How can I fill only certain edit fields in the main window with TVDB-Information?

Clear the fields in the main window and use the "Add"-button in the search drawer instead of the "Copy"-button. MetaTV fills only the empty fields and leaves the other information untouched.

How can I update only specific episodes with TVDB information?

To update only certain episodes in the episode list view with the TVDB search results, select the episodes by holding down the "cmd"-key. Then select the option "Selected" at the bottom of the search drawer and press the "Copy"-button. Only the marked episodes in the episode list are affected now.

There are missing episodes in the favorites list?

The TV shows in favorites are saved on your local system during the TVDb-search. If a season is not fully documented and some episodes are added after your last search, the season in your favorites is not updated with new episodes automatically. Repeat the search for that tv show and season and the favorite entry will be up to date again.

Files are not renames after tagging

If you activated „iTunes compatible filenames“ in the preferences, you must also choose your working directory in the preferences, where your files are located in or a parent directory of that location. MetaTV can rename in the working directory only.

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