Dev scratchpad. Digital garden

Movies - Organizing a largish movie collection

Mar 17, 2020 | Reading Time: 2 min

Organizing a local storage based movie collection. At a high level it involves:

Prepare movie metadata

  • Use TinyMediaManager i.e tmm for metadata management

  • Step 1: Prepare source folders:

    • Import local movie paths
      • These are called as sources in tmm.
      • Add these via settings
    • Clean duplicates
    • Manage multi file movies
      • Naming convention is important.
      • Files should end with -cd1, -cd2, etc or -part1, -part2, etc.
    • Bulk Subtitles find and download is generally a bad idea.
      • Lot of inaccuracies in downloads.
      • Better do this one by one and before any renaming of files.
  • Step 2: Scrape metadata

    • Generally prefer Kodi format metadata (nfo) files. tmm provides option for this in the setting.
    • IMDb vs TMDb metadata
      • IMDb scrapping generally is slow for bulk operations
      • TMDb provides a good source for movie metadata and most of it (including fan art and posters) can be downloaded from here.
      • I prefer rating from IMDb. There is an option to select just ratings from IMDb in tmm
    • I would recommend doing a two pass metadata search
      • In the first pass do a bulk operation using TMDb scrapper. This can include TMDb ratings.
      • Once all metadata is downloaded a second bulk search can be done just for ratings and top 250 data using IMDb.

Renaming and folder arrangement

  • This step move movies to a Kodi recommended structure using tmm.
  • CAUTION Once renaming is complete it cannot be undone. Verify each and every thing before doing renaming.
  • Recommended folder structure is movie-name (year). Generally prefer a flat structure over sub-directories and deep hierarchies.
  • General preference for file names is same as folder name.
    • I personally prefer movie-name (year) video-resolution imdb-rating part-no.
  • Once folder name and file name preferences are set in Settings->Movies->Renamer, do a dry run to see the changes that tmm is going to do.
  • Verify the dry run result carefully. Adjust settings if something seems weird.
  • Execute rename once verified.

Manage movies in Kodi

  • Install Kodi on your laptop/desktop/tv.
  • Import the media folder created using tmm above in Kodi media manager.
  • As a general setting enable Update library on startup.
  • Cleaning DB in Kodi is a bit of a pain. Avoid folder/movie path changes.
    • Keep running clean library even for smaller changes done to files/folders.
  • Periodically i.e once you have watched enough movies you may want to do a export library. This writes watched status and any extra info in Kodi to .nfo files in source.