Automator Actions for MPEG-4 Files

Posted by Brian on February 3, 2011

Add MP4 Metadata Tags

I just started putting together a collection of Automator actions for working with MPEG-4 files. These can be used to build a workflow for adding metadata and making other modifications to media files in an automated fashion. So far the actions include:

Add MPEG-4 Metadata Tags

Pictured above, this action fills in iTunes metadata for the specified MPEG-4 files. Custom variables are provided for adding an index or total to any text field. Some instances where this may be useful is in the name of the media or the track count. For the index to work properly, the specified files may need to be sorted with the “Sort Finder Items” action.

Edit MPEG-4 Metadata Tags

An interface similar to the one above is shown to the user when the action runs so that they can edit the iTunes metadata for the specified MPEG-4 files.

Enable MPEG-4 Chapter Text Track

MPEG-4 files exported from Compressor and other encoding software may already contain a chapter text track that contains chapter markers. If so, this action will link the chapter text track to the appropriate audio or video track so that the chapter markers will be visible when the media is played. An option is provided for converting chapter text tracks to the QuickTime and/or Nero formats.

Optimize MPEG-4 Files

This action rewrites the specified MPEG-4 files by moving the track samples to the end of the file and interleaving them as appropriate. This also results in the elimination of any free blocks and unused media.


The Automator actions have been placed inside a disk image for easy download:

MP4 Automator Actions 2011-12-08.dmg

You can download the source code for the actions from this GitHub repository:


Please note that Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) or a later version is required.

The MP4v2 library ( used to modify the MPEG-4 files is included in the download in binary form. The Automator actions have been released under the terms of GPLv3 with additional permission granted to link with the MP4v2 library.


I would be interested in any issues that you run into as well as any other comments.