App idea: renaming WWDC (and other) videos

As you probably know, Apple has made the 2010 WWDC videos available free via iTunes U.

I'm really, really happy about this, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but one thing has bugged me about the WWDC videos over the years. When I'm scanning them on my iPhone, it's hard to tell what each video is about because the names all begin with "Session ###", and often a long word like "Introduction".

iPhone video list

I'll check whether iOS 4 handles this better, whether by using a smaller font, wrapping the video name across two lines, allowing the list to be displayed in landscape mode, or whatever. If not, I'll submit an enhancement request.

A workaround might be to write a script that renames all the videos. I wouldn't be surprised if such a script exists already. Things the script could do:

  • remove the word "Session"; maybe replace it with "10-", "09-", etc. for the year of the WWDC, though this would take up a precious three characters and I'm not positive it would be useful
  • remove small words like "a", "to", and "the"
  • shorten "Introduction" to "Intro"
  • shorten other words to 5 letters

I wouldn't want to shorten the long words too much because that would affect searchability using the iTunes search field. Unfortunately iTunes search does not look in the file's Comments field.

A general tool for shortening names would help with other videos too. Here's how iTunes displays a list of videos to sync to my iDevice. There's no way for me to see the full name:


UPDATE: I filed rdar://8122296. You can see it on Open Radar here.

2 thoughts on “App idea: renaming WWDC (and other) videos

  1. Actually the same problem exists for just plain songs. I've written a freeware app called Albumen that solves that problem: it displays the full names (and full artist info) of an album's songs. I've adapted it (in an unreleased version) to do the same for podcasts. But I don't think I could make it work for videos, as I don't believe the APIs let me see them.

  2. Nice! I get the "Symphony No. 9" problem too, so Albumen will come in handy. I would like to see that podcast support one of these days.

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