How iTunes organizes music videos


Q: I do not understand the organization of my iPod. I purchased the iPod classic 160 GB model because I have a lot of Music, Music videos and Movies. I loaded everything into iTunes 8 and all of my music went into the main Music category, and the Movies and Music Videos went into the Movie category. Then I plugged in my iPod in manual mode and created some play lists under the main categories on the iPod to separate out my movies, music videos and music. Using drag-and-drop from iTunes, I then loaded the movies into the movies section, the music videos into the “Music Videos” playlist, and the music into the various playlists that I had setup for different categories.

How iTunes organizes music videos

The problem I am having is that when I look at my iPod screen, things are NOT where I put them. For example, all the movies and music videos are still listed together under the main “Movies” heading. The thing is, that everything is in the iPod, just not in the right place, what am I missing or doing wrong?

– Alan

A: The thing to keep in mind is that iTunes and the iPod have three different categories for video content: Movies, TV Shows, and Music Videos. How a video track is categorized depends on a “Media Kind” tag within the file itself, and doesn’t really have any connection to where you try to put the specific item, either in iTunes or on your iPod.

While you would expect that things you add to a specific playlist should show up in that specific playlist, this is not always the case for video content, as the iPod tries to filter out content that is not relevant to the current category. Therefore, if you have a “Movie” in a playlist, this will not show up when browsing your “Music” section on your iPod, as iTunes and the iPod don’t expect that you would want to listen to a movie as part of your music selection.

Every video file you import into iTunes begins as a “Movie” by default, and will therefore be listed under the “Movies” section and treated as a movie track. To change this, you need to edit the information within these tracks and change their “Media Kind” to something else, such as “Music Video.” This is accomplished by selecting the track(s) in question, choosing File, Get Info from the iTunes menu to bring up the track information dialog box and then choosing the “Options” tab.

How iTunes organizes music videos

From here, you can click on the drop-down menu beside “Media Kind” to change the selected video track(s) from their default setting of Movie to either Music Video or TV Show.

Once a track has been set as a Music Video, it will basically be catalogued in the same manner as any other music track; it should appear alongside your normal audio tracks when browsing your music library in iTunes or on your iPod, and will appear both in your playlists under the iPod’s “Music” section, as well as being listed under “Music Videos” in the iPod’s “Videos” section.

Note that if you select a Music Video from a playlist in the iPod’s “Music” section, the iPod will only play the audio portion of that track. To play the actual music video, you must access it through the Videos, Music Videos menu.

For more information on how video content is organized in iTunes and on your iPod, check out our Complete Guide to Managing iTunes Videos.



Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.