Naming video files

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Steps to create your Video Library
Video.png
1. Video Guide Main Page
Prepare the Files
2. Naming & Folder Structure
2.1 Movies
2.2 TV Shows

Creating the Library
3. Add Sources & Scrape
4. Scraping Problems
Modify your Library
5. Update Video Library
6. Library Management
7. Artwork
7.1 Movie
7.2 TV Show
8. NFO Files
8.1 Movie
8.2 TV Show

Safeguard & Rebuild
9. Import-Export Library
10. Rebuild your Video Library
Zappy-frodo.png
Home icon grey.png   ▶ Video library ▶ Naming video files


1 Introduction

Kodi has the ability to display information and artwork for your video collection. As this information and artwork comes from third-party sites, video files must be placed in a certain folder structure and named correctly so accurate matches can be made with those third-party sites. These pages describe the Best Practice methods to use for the most reliable scraping process.

The process of matching and downloading data and artwork to your Kodi library is named scraping. The sites where we obtain the information from is referred to as the information provider site (also scraper site). The wonderful add-on that enables this to occur is called the scraper. When the information comes from local NFO Files, this is called scanning.

Things you should know about scraping:

  • Kodi obtains artwork and metadata from third-party sites that Kodi has no control over. As these sites are outside the control of Kodi, it is important that your video files and folders are named correctly to ensure an accurate match with the listings at the scraper sites.
  • If a movie or TV show does not exist at the scraper site, then Kodi cannot scrape it. Always check the entry at the scraper site.
  • Kodi can also read information from local files known as NFO Files.
  • As the information provider sites are maintained by a small volunteer community, which provides this service at no cost, it is strongly encouraged that Kodi users contribute back to those sites when discovering errors and omissions in the information.
  • Scraping problems experienced by users are attributable as follows: 95%- Incorrect naming, folder and source structure; 4%- Missing data at the scraper site; 1%- Changes at the scraper site which breaks the scraper add-on.
  • For a full list of metadata downloaded by the scraper see NFO Files
  • For a full list of artwork that can be used by Kodi see Artwork
  • Before posting on the forum regarding library problems, read this post... Common Library Problems


The default scraper used by Kodi for Movies is TheMovieDB (TMDB). Other scrapers are available and can be found by searching the Kodi site here

See: TheMovieDB
See: TheMovieDB Add-on
See: Universal Movie Scraper Add-on


The default scraper used by Kodi for TV Shows is the TheMovieDB-TV Shows. Other scrapers are available and can be found by searching the Kodi site here

See: TheMovieDB
See: TheMovieDB Add-on


2 Accuracy

No scraper or folder and naming convention is 100% accurate. There are just some cases where human intervention is required. A perfect example of this case is movies with the exact same name and year. See the following three movies as an example...

Split (2016) - https://www.themoviedb.org/movie/425636
Split (2016) - https://www.themoviedb.org/movie/409583-split
Split (2016) - https://www.themoviedb.org/movie/358364-split


The more accurate your naming, the less likely incorrect scrapes will occur.

How to overcome problems such as this are explained in Scraping Problems


3 Source Folder

The Source folder is the location the user specifies for Kodi to search for a class of media. For the video library, you would have separate sources for Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos.

The Source must be the parent folder that holds the respective Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos.

Notes on naming and setting a Source:

  • There is no limit on the number of Sources that can be used
  • The Source names, which essentially is your folder name, can be anything that makes sense to you. The names should be unique, which makes it easier to navigate to the correct source in Kodi
  • A single class of media can be placed in one source if you desire, though larger libraries (200 or more videos) do benefit from multiple sources
  • There is no requirement on how to separate videos between Sources. Many users separate based on Genre, alphabetical listing, Video Resolution (DVD, Bluray, 4k) or any method you prefer
  • If you have your video collection on multiple drives, then a Source must exist on each hard drive for each class of media and added to Kodi
  • Never mix media classes. ie, ensure TV Shows, Movies, Music Videos or Music are not in the same source, nor as a subfolder of another source.
  • Never set the entire hard drive as your Source as this will create multiple ghost entries.


4 Movie Naming & Folder Structure

This page will describe the Kodi best practice to name Movie files and create the folder structure to save them in. Your movie folder and files will be placed within your Source folder.

See: Naming Movies


5 TV Show Naming & Folder Structure

Setting up TV Shows correctly is a little bit more involved than the Movies section. The first part of this page will describe the Kodi best practice to name TV Shows and Episode files and to create the folder structure to save them in. These methods are proven to be the simplest and most robust method which provides the most accurate scrape.

See: Naming TV Shows


6 Supplemental tools

To help with mass file renaming and organizing, see the following pages for programs that can help automate these tasks, or do them in bulk.

While Media Managers do have a place in the Kodi eco-system, we do not recommend them for general scraping.

See: File Renaming Tools
See: Library Managers



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Next step: Naming Movies