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 ▶ Create Video Library ▶ Movies


There are two methods to organise your movies:

  1. Movie Folders- Each movie is saved in its own folder within the Source. (recommended)
  2. Flat Folder- All movie files are saved in the Source folder

While Kodi can be a little bit flexible, and some users have come up with "unusual" setups for their media files, Kodi will only recommend the Movie Folder method described below.

We also recommend that your media is ripped to single files, like .mkv, rather than keeping the needlessly complex structure of Bluray and DVD folders.


The naming of your files and folders is critical to ensure the scrapers can correctly identify the movie, and it is simple to achieve.

Movie Name (Year) - This is the correct naming format for both the movie files and movie folders.

Note: If you are unsure of the name or year, look it up at TheMovieDB website

Movie Folders

Image 1- Movie Folders

This is the recommended method for organising your movies

All files and folders should be simply named with the name of the movie and the year in brackets. The name should match the name shown at the scraper site.

Each movie file is placed into its own folder which is then added to your Source.

  • Placing movies in their own folder allows saving of local artwork and NFO files alongside the movie file.
  • You have the choice of using the Short or Long name format for the artwork. See: Local Artwork
  • Using this method will provide the safest and most accurate scrape of your media collection.
  • Most library related add-ons will only work correctly with this method.
  • Some skins use modified file naming to display additional Media Flags. These apply to the filename, not the folder name.

Flat Folder

Image 2- Flat Folder

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.

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 filename must contain the Title with the Year in parenthesis. The name should match the name shown at the scraper site.

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 Source folder will become even more cluttered
  • Some library related add-ons will not work with this method as they require a Movie Folder
  • Some skins use modified file naming to display additional Media Flags. In rare instances, there may be a mismatch due to conflict with the modified file name.

Split Video Files

Stop hand.png File Stacking for ISO files, Bluray and DVD folders is currently broken and cannot be used. See Issue report: 16109
Image 3- Split Video Files

Also known as File Stacking, allows you to combine multiple movie files so they appear and play as a single movie.
For example: The two disk DVD version of The Lord of the Rings which is ripped into two files for the full movie.
Nowadays, it is no longer a common requirement as there are tools to rejoin into a single movie, but file-stacking is still available in Kodi should it be needed.

To use this function the following steps are required:

  1. This feature can only be used when Movie Folders are used.
  2. Modify the video file names, as described in the table below, so that Kodi recognises them as Split Video Files

Note: The setting Combine split video items has no effect on how this feature works. This setting simply combines the split titles when viewing the entry in Videos>Files.

Type Stacking Flags
Split single files- mkv, mp4 etc cd# dvd# disc# disk# part# pt# A, B, C, D 1
DVD & Bluray folders & ISO files cd# dvd# disc# disk#

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

1 Example of A, B, C, D flags (no space):

The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)A.mkv
The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)B.mkv

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Source folder TV Show Setup

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