Naming video files

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Steps to create your Video Library
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1. Video Guide Main Page
2. Naming & Folder Structure
2.1 Movies
2.2 TV Shows
3. Video File Tagging
4. Add Sources & Scrape
5. Scraping Problems

6. Update Video Library
7. Library Management
8. NFO Files
8.1 Movie
8.2 TV Show
9. Artwork
9.1 Movie
9.1 TV Show


10. Import Export Library
11. Rebuild your Video Library
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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 3rd party sites, video files must be placed in a certain folder structure and named correctly so accurate matches can be made with those 3rd party sites. This page, and following pages, will instruct on the correct 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.

Things you should know about scraping:

  • Kodi obtains artwork and metadata from 3rd 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 ommissions in the databases.
  • 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


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


The default scraper used by Kodi for TV Shows is the TheTVDB (TVDB). Other scrapers are available and can be found by searching the Kodi site here

See: TheTVDB
See: TheTVDB Add-on


This is the most important step to ensuring correct scraping.


2 Source Folder

The Source folder is the location that the user specifies for Kodi to search for a class of media. In this case of videos, it is the folder that holds the movie files and TV Shows. These must be separate Sources.

The Source must be the parent folder that holds the respective movies and TV Shows.

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.
  • Never set the entire hard drive as your Source as this will create multiple ghost entries.


3 Movie Naming & Folder Structure

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.

See: Naming Movies


4 TV Show Naming & Folder Structure

Setting up TV Shows correctly is a little bit more involved than the Movies section, but not more difficult. This page will describe the Kodi recommended method 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, most accurate and robust methods which provide the most accurate scrape.

See: Naming TV Shows


5 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.

See: File Renaming Tools
See: Library Managers



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Next step: Naming Movies