How can I via the command line change the iTunes Media type from Home Video to Movie? After I convert a DVD to m4v via Handbrake I would like to set the iTunes media type.

I can do this manually in iTunes but I'm looking for a command line approach so that I can automate it.


The best approach is using Subler to open the m4v file and then fetch the metadata from the iTunes Store or MovieDB. Then, just save it and add it to your iTunes library. This is as automated as the process will get.

  • 1
    Subler has a command line interface. (I've not tried it -- but, this has to be faster than waiting for iTunes to do whatever it does when changing the Media Kind (of a video file added via drag/drop) from "Movie" to "TV Show"). Thanks for the pointer!
    – Kent
    Jul 16 '14 at 7:03

Just change the extension from "m4v" to "mp4"?

Because "m4v" is - if you convert a video with Handbrake - a MPEG-4 file. And the usual extension for MPEG-4 files is "mp4" and not "m4v".

The question seems to be solved, but I have some questions to learn a little bit. :-)

  1. Why is Handbrake setting the video extension to "m4v"? This extension is unusual and for special content (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4V). As Handbrake says: convert to MP4, so the file extension should be "mp4" and not "m4v".
  2. What do you mean with "iTunes Media Type" and "Home Video" - do you mean "Movies" and "TV Shows"? The difference between "Movie" and "TV Shows" is usually only a difference if you download iTunes DRM (aka iTunes bought or rented videos).
  3. How can I change the "iTunes Media type" - and what for?
  4. You voted "njboot" answer as solution, but I do not understand what "m4v" has to do with metadata from the iTunes Store or MovieDB.

As I said: just want to learn. My suggestion: just change "m4v" to "mp4".

I just converted a DVD with Handbrake and changed "m4v" to "mp4" - no problem. Then I added the video to iTunes (both: "m4v" and "mp4") - and both were added to "Movies".

P.S. I would prefer to post this as comment, but comments do not allow so many characters - hopefully it is okay?

  • The OP is referring to the metadata associated with the file - not the file container itself. When you import into iTunes (either mp4 or m4v), it automatically categorizes as "home video" and you need to manually change it to "Movie".
    – njboot
    Jul 17 '14 at 0:15
  • Handbrake sets files to m4v when they contain certain chapter texts or additional audio codecs that aren't compatible with iTunes.
    – njboot
    Jul 17 '14 at 0:22

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