Transferring PDF digital booklets between iTunes libraries
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have manually added many PDF digital booklets to my music albums in iTunes. I change the media kind to Music, and am able to give the booklet an album name, track number, composer, and other metadata in common with the music tracks on that album. All works well for this within that iTunes library.
The problem arises when I copy those files to another hard drive and add the files to another of my computers, with its own iTunes library. Sometimes the PDF file doesn’t copy at all. Sometimes it does copy, but it loses all its metadata and thus is no longer linked to its corresponding album.
Am I doing something wrong? Or is there a better way for me to set my
digital booklet PDFs so that they stay with the correct album, but also can be copied to my other hard drive and library with metadata intact?
A: Unfortunately, this is a limitation of iTunes as it relates to the PDF format; unlike most media file formats, there isn’t any standard way for iTunes to store track-related metadata within a PDF file. When you tag a PDF file within information such as artist and album name, this information is stored solely in the iTunes library database, and not written into the PDF file itself, as there’s basically nowhere to put it.
This means that when you move the PDF file to another iTunes library, you’re basically starting from scratch. It’s worth noting that this problem isn’t exclusive to PDF files either—users who work with lossless WAV files frequently run into the exact same issue, as the WAV audio format does not support metadata information either.
If you’re a Mac user, you may be able to work around this with AppleScript. Although there don’t appear to be any stock AppleScripts that do exactly what you want, several scripts are available that may help as a starting point. PDF Adder can help with entering the metadata during import and Tags to File Comments can save your metadata into the Finder Comments box for the file. You can find these and other scripts that may be useful for building a more specific solution at Doug’s AppleScripts for iTunes.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Report confirms legitimacy of at least some of the stolen iCloud credentials being held for ransom
- New (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone SE, and 9.7” iPad now available to order
- Apple Store down again ahead of new iPad, Product(RED) iPhone launch
- Apple acquires automation app Workflow
- Nintendo updates Super Mario Run, makes more courses available for free play
- Apple confirms iCloud and Apple ID systems have not been breached in response to hacker threat
- Hackers claim to have access to millions of iCloud accounts, demand ransom from Apple
- Apple’s Siri in the running to voice control room functions at Marriott’s Aloft hotels
- Apple releases iTunes 12.6 with new cross-device movie rental feature
- Apple introduces Clips video app
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Pioneer Rayz Plus Lightning Connector Earphones
- BEEM United BeMe D200 Lightning Connector Earphones
- Jam Audio JAM Xterior Max Rugged Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- HiFiMAN Edition S Headphones
- Divoom Timebox Mini Bluetooth Speaker
- iClever BoostSound BTS-09 Bluetooth Speaker
- Soundcast VG1 Bluetooth Speaker
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10