Continuing my exploration of QuickTime’s metadata capabilities, I’ve been using Metadata Hootenanny to add chapters to videos ripped with HandBrake. Chapters are similar to the Scene Selection or Index screens on DVDs, allowing you to jump to points in the video without having to scrub. Handy, but chapters aren’t as useful as they could be.
Chapter Title Indexing
Like a lot of QuickTime metadata, chapter titles are not indexed by Spotlight. Here’s how it should work:
- The user types “Impressions” into Spotlight
- Because the chapter titles are indexed, the Coltrane tribute video I’ve imported appears in the results list:
- Rather than the beginning, QuickTime Player opens the video at the chapter whose title contains “Impressions”, similar to how Preview opens PDFs to the first page containing a query string:
The pop-up menu is functional, but it doesn’t provide any visual or much linear context:
To provide such information, a drawer like that in Preview for multi-page PDFs could be used. Drawer haters can stick with the pop-up menu, but it would be nice for videos with 25+ chapters. The drawer would look something like this:
- The thumbnails could play a few seconds of video when moused over, playing audio only if the open movie was not already.
- Display of the drawer could be toggled via a View menu command or the keyboard using Shift-Command-C.
They would probably be buttheads and make it a Pro feature, but a way to edit chapters in QT Player without having to write a text file (gadzooks!) would be great.
- Users could create chapter markers by dragging video frames to the drawer, selecting Add Chapter from the Edit menu, or using a keyboard shortcut (Option-Command-C is available).
- After dropping a frame in the drawer (or using the keyboard shortcut), a name input field would immediately come into focus.
- Given the strictly linear nature, chapters would auto-arrange with a sliding animation.
- Users would be free to edit the chapters of purchased videos; they wouldn’t be modifying content, so preventing it would just be a needless imposition of the creator’s organization.