The trick to keeping your system manageable and clean is proper structure folder/file structure. Organizing your media files if you already have tons of it is somewhat of a pain to get organized initially, but well worth it.
Here we will show you the best way to organize files along with tools that will make things a lot easier. This will make your Movies, TV, Music beautiful and functional in your home theater software.
Ultimately you will want to have a folder on your network that is accessible by any computer that would connect to it on your network. Make sure the computer with the main share drive has enough space for all the things you want to store plus expansion. I will show you how to setup a share in Windows 7 here for now, but will do other systems in the future including the NAS4FREE server I use.
Right click your folder that contains media and go to properties, then click the share tab.
Click Share then select everyone and click share again.
When done, it will tell you the path to get to this folder later. You will need this path so your home theater setups can find the files later.
You will want each movie in a separate folder with the folder name the same as the movie. You can put the movie year in parenthesis to help Kodi or your home theater software find it easier when importing.
Inside each folder you will only need your movie file. Kodi or Media Browser (described below in the Meta data and Artwork section) will add all the other information when it is imported.
Tip: If you currently have a single folder with multiple movies then make sure each movie is named as you would want it and run file2folder.bat script. It will automatically take the file name of each movie, make the folder, name the folder the movie name, then place the movie file in the new folder. If you do it manually it could take for ever.
Download “File2Folder Script 1.0 – Posted 03-02-2009“. Place the .bat file in your movie folder containing all the movie files and execute.
So to recap for movies…
Structure = Drive Letter\Movies\”Movie Name” “(Movie Year)”\”Movie File Name”
If you have a long file name from the web like taken.3.2014.repack.720p.aac.x264Name, this should be sufficient for and you will not to rename it. In other words do not waste your time trying to make it perfect. When we get to Metadata below I will show you how to fix it if your home theater software does not find it.
Note: If you run out of space on a drive you can just continue the same format on another drive as Kodi or Media Browser will let you import multiple locations and present them as one.
After creating a TV folder and sharing it out as you did with the Movie folder above this is the format that plays nice with Kodi.
- drive letter:\TV Shows\Family Guy\Season 1\Show Name.s01.e01
- drive letter:\TV Shows\Family Guy\Season 1\Show Name.s01.e02
- drive letter:\TV Shows\Family Guy\Season 2\Show Name.s02.e01
TVRename is a great program to get organized if your files are scattered. It will create the folders for each show, season, etc and rename/place TV episode files in the correct locations. You will only need to make sure your files are named TVshow.S01.E01 for example so TVRename will know what to do with them. Sometimes they may be TVshow.S1.E1 or TVshow S01-E02. The main thing is that all the files have the correct tvshow name along with the correct season “s” with number and episode “e” with number.
Here is an example of a folder with some files in it named appropriately.
If you had a bunch of different seasons and other tv shows in this folder then TV Rename would find, fix, and move them to a proper folder structure.
Download TV Rename and install it if you have scatter files that need to get under proper structure.
First as mentioned above you will need to create a “Tv Shows” folder on the drive that will contain your final library. Also you will need to create a folder with the show name, in this case I will do “Breaking Bad”. Tv Rename will take care of the seasons etc.
Here is a video guide to get my files moved from a random folder to their correct season folder.
Create a folder called “Music” and share it out the same as before. You will want to structure your folders this way.
- drive letter:\Music\Artist\Album\song.mp3
Music is all about the meta data or the data that is used to describe the song. To see the meta data simply right click your song and select properties. The details tab will show you the song meta data.
A great free tool to get this cleaned up along with getting album artwork associated with your files is Media Monkey.
Download Media Monkey and install the free version.
Once installed press File, then “Add/Rescan Files to Library…”
From there you will want to select your main music folder and let it import all your music files.
Then drill down starting at location to where you can see your albums. Select an album to see all the songs in that album folder.
Highlight all the songs in that album (or press Ctrl A) then press Ctrl L. This will bounce those songs off Amazon and allow you to choose the correct album. You will notice any changes that will occur to your songs will highlight in yellow.
It will then ask you how you want to save the image or artwork. Although there are many benefits embedding it into the file, I choose to just put the image in the folder. This is because I have ran into issues later trying to update folder artwork to higher resolution and changing the single artwork file is much easier. Most software will recognize this format, but you will be good either way for the most part.
Once you OK that screen Media Monkey will update your files both the artwork and meta data. Rinse and repeat for each album that needs love.
Meta data and Artwork
I use a tool called media browser to clean up my media so all of my home theater devices have the best information about my media including poster cover artwork.
As always, good luck with your current and future projects!