Q: I recently bought an Apple TV and am really enjoying it, but I’ve noticed that TV Shows that I bought from the iTunes Store have a description and an aired date in the summary. I’m a bit of a neat-freak when it comes to organizing my stuff, but I can’t find anywhere in iTunes to set this for my own shows.
A: Unfortunately, these are two of the fields that you still can’t actually set within iTunes itself.
Prior to the release of the Apple TV, these fields were largely irrelevant, as they were not shown anywhere except within the iTunes library if you chose to display those particular columns.
With the Apple TV, however, this information becomes part of the displayed properties when browsing through your TV shows, and those who have a lot of video content and want to keep it as tagged and organized as possible will want to populate these fields.
Unfortunately, since iTunes does not offer the ability to enter this information, it is necessary to turn to third-party tagging utilities. Tools such as Lostify (Mac) and Tagger (Windows) offer the ability to update these fields directly within the iTunes video file itself, and these properties are then reflected when importing these TV shows into iTunes.
One other important point of note concerns the “Description” field in iTunes. There are actually two description fields for each track: The normal “Description” field that is shown in the iTunes list view, and a “Long Description” field that appears in a pop-up window when clicking the small “i” button next to the normal Description (this button will only appear if a long description is available). The Apple TV will use the “Long Description” field by default if it is filled in. If not, it will take the information from the normal “Description” field.
Thus far, most of the third-party tagging tools only populate the normal “Description” field, so this should not really be a serious problem. Further, applications such as Elgato EyeTV 2.4 will also fill in the description field when converting TV recordings with the description from the EyeTV recording, which is normally taken from its online TV guide.
More information on tagging and organizing video content can be found in our Complete Guide to Managing iTunes Videos.