Naming video files/Movies

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Create Video Libraries
1. The Basics
2. Source Folder
3. Movie Setup
4a. TV Show Setup
4b. Seasons Setup
4c. Episodes Setup
5. Music Videos Setup
6. Add Source & Scrape
7. Scraping Problems
Home icon grey.png   ▶ Video library ▶ Naming video files ▶ Movies

1 Introduction

This page will describe the Kodi recommended method to name Movie files and create the folder structure to save them in. Your folder structure and files will be placed within your Source folder which was detailed in the previous page of the guide.

The default scraper used by Kodi for Movies is the 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

2 Folder & Naming Conventions

Video-Movie Folder File Structure.png

Once the Source has been created on your drive, there are are two options on how to store your movies.

2.1 Movie Folder & Filename


This method is the Kodi recommended method for storing movie media and is detailed in the images to the right. There is some limited flexibility to correct naming, but not all methods are 100% guaranteed to work. This section deals with Kodi best practice and has been proven to be the most reliable and robust method.


  • Inside the Source folder, create a folder named with the movie title
  • Movie Folder names must contain the Title and should contain the Year. Although not a strict requirement, the year should be in brackets.
  • The second image to the right is a screenshot of the Blade Runner 2049 movie entry at TheMovieDatabase site, being the default Kodi movie scraper. The name of the movie folder should match the name displayed at the scraper site, as shown in the two images.


  • Within the new movie folder, save the movie file
  • The setting Movies are in separate folders that match the movie title which is located in the Set Content settings page of the Source has the following effect:
    • If Enabled Kodi will use the folder name to scrape the movie
    • If Disabled Kodi will use the filename to scrape the movie
  • In light of the above, and because many users are unaware or forget this setting, Kodi recommends naming the movie file the same as the folder name as shown in the example image above
  • The filename can be modified to include Media Flags

Placing movies in their own folder allows saving of local artwork and nfo files alongside the movie file.

Using this method will provide the safest and most accurate scrape of your media collection.

If using VIDEO_TS or BDMV folder structure you must enable Recursive lookup when adding the source directory. (You will be reminded of this and the above setting in later pages.)

It is important to be aware that no scraper or folder and naming convention is 100% foolproof. 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) -
Split (2016) -
Split (2016) -

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

2.2 Filename Only

Video-Movie File Structure.png

An alternate method of storing your movies is to save all the movie files inside the Source folder and omit the Movie folder. Also known as a flat folder structure. See image to right for examples.

This method requires that the movie file is named correctly as Kodi is forced to use the movie filename to match the entry at the scraper site. The movie file must be named as follows:

Movie Filename must contain the Title and should contain the Year. Although not a strict requirement, the year should be in brackets. It should match the entry at the scraper site as shown in the above images.

There are disadvantages using this method:

  • With larger libraries, this method can become untidy and cumbersome to maintain
  • If you use nfo files and save local artwork, the folder will become even more cluttered
  • Some Artwork add-ons will not work with this method as they require a Movie Folder
  • Saving locally stored Artwork will be problematic and, in some cases, impossible to use.
  • The option Movies are in separate folders that match the movie title in the Set Content settings page of the Source does not apply to this method.

2.3 Extra Video Files

It is not uncommon to have extra video files that are somehow related to the main movie. Clips such as bloopers, interviews with cast and crew, production methods, behind the scenes, etc.

Kodi will see all these additional video files saved inside the movie folder and attempt to scrape them, which will cause incorrect and unwanted multiple entries in the library. How Kodi actually treats these will depend upon which settings are enabled and which folder structure and naming convention is in use.

To safely store extra video files along with your movie, and have them accessible within Kodi, you will need to install the Extras add-on. Follow the instructions in the link below to create the correct folder structure. This add-on will only work with Movie Folders.

See: Add-on:Extras

The remainder of this page deals with Special Use cases and can be safely ignored. Most libraries will not require implementing the following additional name extensions.

3 Stub and Stream Files

If you have a collection of DVD's and Bluray disks but do not want to rip them to a hard drive, then a Media Stub File allows you to add the collection of disks to the Kodi Video Library. It is a simple text based file that is added to your Source in exactly the same way as any other Movie or TV Show, which is then scanned or scraped into the library.

Various internet video and audio streams can be played back in Kodi as if they were locally stored on your media center by using STRM files. As long as the format and streaming-method (network-protocol) is supported by Kodi, stream can be added. These are basic text files that look like <name>.strm and contain a URL to the internet stream. STRM files can also be added to the video library and can have cover art, summaries, etc.

Some internet sites may have an add-on available that can also access these media streams, rather than having to manually create STRM files. See Add-ons for more information on how to find and install add-ons.

4 Media Tags / Flags

480.png 1080.png 720.png 1080 n.png 480-1.png Divx.png Xvid.png H264.png Bluray.png Dvd.png Avc1.png 1.33.png 1.66.png 2.20.png 2.35.png

Media flags are icons in Kodi that displays the meta-information from the media file of a movie, TV show or music title. They are skin specific, and what works in one skin, may not work in another skin. It is always best to check with the skin sub-forum which flags and tags are used.

It is important to note that the skin will display these flags even when these extensions are not used. The only difference being that without the extensions, the movie must be played first in order for Kodi to read the audio and video codec data.

The actual audio and video codec data will override any extension used. This means that if you set the extension of, say, .ATMOS but the video file only has a stereo track, then the .ATMOS flag will be removed.

Example- note that movie folders are used, and the folder is simply named while the filename has been modified with extensions.

...\Paul (2011)\Paul (2011).4K.HDR.Atmos.mkv

4.1 3D movies

Some 3D movies might need an additional file name extension to be identified by Kodi as a 3D movie. See 3D for details on that additional extension, and when it is needed.

5 Split Video Files

Also known as File Stacking, allows you to combine multiple movie files so they appear and play as the one movie. No longer a common requirement, but still available in Kodi should it be needed.

An example of this use is the Special Extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings- The Fellowship of the Ring. Due to the length of the movie, the movie was split and released on two DVD's requiring a DVD change half way through the movie. This means that when storing this movie, the rip creates two separate movie files. When watching the movie, there will be an interruption when the first part ends and the second part needs to be selected to play.

Two options to overcome this issue:

  1. Combine both movie files into a single movie file.
  2. Leave them as Split Video Files, but allow Kodi to combine them into the one library entry (kodi does not combine the actual movie files)

To use this function the following steps are required:

  1. The setting Combine split video items must be enabled in the Settings menu. See: Settings>Media>Files
  2. Modify the movie file names, as described below, so that Kodi recognises them as Split Video Files
  3. Can only be used with the Movie Folder & Filename method described above

The default expressions will NOT stack files which use only a number without the extensions stated below (eg movie1.avi, movie2.avi). This is intentional due to false positives which can occur with sequels, eg Die Hard 1, Die Hard 2, Die Hard 3, etc.

5.1 Movie Files

These are for multi-part video files in the same Movie folder. eg *.mkv, *.mp4, *.avi etc

The following are default stacking extensions that can be added to file names.

Video-Movie FolderStacking.png

# = 1 thru 9 OR A thru D. No space.
Default Stacking Extensions part# cd# dvd# pt# disk# disc#
# = A thru D. No space.
Default Stacking Extensions moviename#.ext

e:\Movies 1\Lucy (2014)A.mkv
e:\Movies 1\Lucy (2014)B.mkv

5.2 DVD & BluRay Folders

If you have preserved the DVD or Bluray folder structure, then use this method for folder stacking.

# = 1 thru 9. No space.
Default Stacking Extensions cd# dvd# disk# disc#

5.3 Advanced Stacking Options

File stacking can be fine-tuned by the user to match obscure cases using the <moviestacking> and <folderstacking> advancedsettings.xml settings.

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