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?
- Spotify penalizing artists who release Apple Music exclusives
- Apple releases new round of iOS 10 and tvOS 10 betas
- Report: 2017 iPhone to eliminate home button
- Apple to add payment technology to iPhone for transit passes, Apple Pay in Japan
- Apple releases iOS 9.3.5 ‘security update’
- Report: Apple developing its own Snapchat-style social video editing iOS app
- Apple announces Apple Music Festival lineup including Alicia Keys, Britney Spears + more
- Universal calls an end to exclusives amid criticisms that Apple Music is hurting the industry
- Apple reveals some of its upcoming AI advancements for the iPhone
- Apple Music’s royalty rates complicate Spotify’s contract negotiations
- Western Digital My Cloud (OS 3)
- Distil Union Stanley Stand
- Philips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected Bluetooth Toothbrush
- Audeze EL-8 Titanium Over-Ear Headphones
- Defined Corp Dome Stand for Apple Watch and iPhone
- Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Audeze Sine On-Ear Headphone
- First Alert Onelink Wi-Fi Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm
- Logitech Create 9.7” iPad Pro Keyboard Case
- iDevices Outdoor Switch Power Outlet
- 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
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app