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HOWTO: Add Chapters to MP4 files
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uzzikie

So you have converted a video file to "*.mp4" and uploaded it to your iPod / iPhone.
But with a few extra steps, you can add chaptering to the file for easier navigation.
E.g. adding chapters to a combat video can allow you to quickly navigate to the track you want.

Here's what you need to do
1) Download DVBPortal MP4Muxer from http://www.dvbportal.de/projects/mp4muxer/
2) Go through the video you want to add chapters, taking note of the time when each chapter should start.
3) Use a text editor and create a new file and name it "*.chap". e.g. "bc39.chap"
4) With the data you have in 2), create the chapter file using the following OGG chapter syntax

CHAPTER01=00:00:00.000
CHAPTER01NAME=Intro

"00:00:00.000" corresponds to the time of the start of the chapter in "hh:mm:ss.ms" format.
"Intro" corresponds to the name of the chapter which you want to give.
So that means for every chapter, two lines are needed.

A sample completed chapter file looks like this:

CHAPTER01=00:00:00.000
CHAPTER01NAME=Intro
CHAPTER02=00:00:45.000
CHAPTER02NAME=Track 1
CHAPTER03=00:07:48.000
CHAPTER03NAME=Track 2
CHAPTER04=00:12:25.000
CHAPTER04NAME=Track 3
CHAPTER05=00:17:47.000
CHAPTER05NAME=Track 4
CHAPTER06=00:23:34.000
CHAPTER06NAME=Track 5
CHAPTER07=00:28:26.000
CHAPTER07NAME=Track 6
CHAPTER08=00:32:27.000
CHAPTER08NAME=Track 7
CHAPTER09=00:39:03.000
CHAPTER09NAME=Track 8
CHAPTER10=00:45:49.000
CHAPTER10NAME=Track 9
CHAPTER11=00:49:52.000
CHAPTER11NAME=Track 10

5) Open and run the file "mp4muxe.exe" which you have downloaded from 1)



6) Under the "Multiplex" tab, click on the browse button to select the mp4 file.
(You need to create a mp4 file before you can add chapters)
7) Somewhere in the middle, you should see a "Chapters" tab. Click on it and click on "Import" and select the *.chap file you created in 4)
8) Click on the "Multiplex" button and a few seconds later you are done! Chapters successfully added!
9) Final step: rename the "*.mp4" to "*.m4v". E.g. "bc39.mp4" should be renamed to "bc39.m4v". If you do not rename the file, chapters will not show up.

Now transfer the video file to your iPod



Now when you play back on your iPhone, you will see a new menu icon appear on the extreme right. That's the chapter navigation menu.



Spiffy eh?

Oh if you have a iPod Classic, chaptering does work too. But you will need to click on the ">>|" forward and "|<<" back button to navigate around.

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Question about adding chapters

(Anonymous)

2010-05-01 01:49 am (UTC)

Hello. I tried following your instructions, and I came across a problem. I can't seem to get iTunes to recognize that there are chapters. It shows the chapters in the chapter list, but it doesn't let me skip from one to the other. Does that makes sense. Just to compare, I opened the file with VLC media player, and it lets me skip from chapter to chapter. Any suggestions on how I get iTunes and, more importantly, my iPod to let me skip from chapter to chapter?

Thanks.

Re: Question about adding chapters

(Anonymous)

2010-05-02 05:26 pm (UTC)

You probably did not rename the file from "*.mp4" to "*.m4v", mp4 and m4v are actually the same codec, but m4v is the iTunes codec, so if you want to work rename it!

Re: Question about adding chapters

(Anonymous)

2010-05-02 07:09 pm (UTC)

You were right! it works now..thanks a lot.

One more question. for some reason, the file I added chapters to ballooned in length. It went from 1 hour 27 minutes to 36 hours 34 minutes! the last 35 hours are just a blank screen on my iPod. do you have any idea why that happened or how I can fix it?

Thanks.

HELP

(Anonymous)

2010-07-06 11:58 pm (UTC)

My MP4 file is broken after i did those things
iTune & QT doesn't recognize it after all
what do i do????????

Hey, your instructions were very good, but where can I find a text editor which saves .chap files?

Hello! I just did this, and weirdly, when I Import to iTunes, it does recognizes the chapters, but now my video is 4 hours long (instead of 2), and what happens is that it repeats for the 2nd time, but in Mute...

Any fix possible? Maybe I have to change a setting in the muxer program? Thanks!

Anton.
dark.ruso2000@gmail.com

bad instructions or mp4muxe(r).exe doesn't work

tazzman2

2010-12-07 09:26 am (UTC)

uzzikie, You left out an important screen shot of what the GUI looks like after you import the chapter file. Besides seeing the "Chapters" window populate, you'll also see the chapter file listed in the "Tracks" window under "New Tracks" with a "Type" of "MP3" (huh???) and the "Info" containing the full file path name. When I click on the "Multiplex", I do get the "Multiplexing finished successfully" popup, but the mp4 file does not end up with added chapters, even after I change the file suffix to "m4v". Are you using the 0.9.3.0 version? Do I have a buggy version of what you ran? Are there any other steps that you left out?

time problem

(Anonymous)

2010-12-09 04:59 am (UTC)

Yeah it looks like there's a bug in mp4muxer/mp4creator 0.9.3 that is making the files double in length and do the thing with extra time that's been cited multiple times above.

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(Anonymous)

2011-01-17 06:12 pm (UTC)

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I used notepad to do the .chap. Then added the movie and .chap. When it finished the movie was 180 btyes and wont play. WTF?!

helppp

(Anonymous)

2011-03-13 06:55 pm (UTC)

my problem is my .mp4 file works fine

then when i add chapters and hit multiplex i get the outputfile everything worked

but when i play in intues after 3 minutes the screen goes white

ther chapter and everything work fine but its ffin up the file and making white screen after a few minutes

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