Kodi Compendium [Part 4]: Media Library Organization & Clean Up & Tools

Kodi Compendium [Part 4]: Media Library Organization & Clean Up & Tools

[Music] Welcome to the Grok Shop and part 4 in my series the Kodi Compendium. In this video I’m going to talk about preparing your media library to import into Kodi. This will be useful to those of you who’ve never used Kodi before and are getting ready to start using Kodi or if you’ve been using Kodi and you’ve kind of mucked things up and you just want to reboot the process. If you happen to be in the latter category, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. I think I know a guy who may have done something similar. Just, you know, a friend. Anyway, so yeah if you think about the process you might get a little intimidated. It can be kind of daunting when you think about thousands and thousands of media files. But fear not; you got your Grok Man here to show you some tips and tricks and tools to help you through the process and according to my friend, it can save you a lot of headache later. OK, let’s start off with a few key concepts. Metadata is data that describes data but with Kodi it’s data that describes your media so mp3 tags album art fan art etc library mode is a mode of operation in Kodi where Kodi uses a database it speeds up the operation of Kodi and that’s how we’re going to want to run it Kodi manages the database there’s nothing really for the end user to do except in special cases and the database and file system need to be in sync and they need to stay in sync and that’s why it’s important to get your files set up correctly to start with and not be manually tinkering around with them any more than you have to later and info files or NFO files or txt files that gift code is sort of a head start about your media you can override what Kodi has in its database by manually forcing Kodi to read those files otherwise they’re just read once upon adding the media to Kodi’s library ok now this is not a hygiene video we’re talking about grooming your media and again using Kodi and library mode it’s better it’s faster it’s more beautiful we want to keep your library clean to avoid that extra work later so get organized now stay organized and you don’t have to make a lot of changes later so this is really a pretty simple process number one you want to make a backup of all of your media because you’re going to be making changes and you might make mistakes number two consider breaking up the folder structure into media sources like according to kids concerts like I showed in the beginning of this video and then lastly either manually or with tools I’m on the show here in this video or other tools make sure your metadata and folder structure is correct and here’s a quick list of the tools that I use to help organize my media library there’s others out there but these tools are pretty solid I definitely can recommend them and I’ll put links to them below all right let’s talk folder structure this is the recommended music folder structure from the Kodi wiki the folder structures they recommend aren’t necessarily written in stone there’s flexibility to it but unless you have a specific need or reason I would recommend sticking with the recommended folder structures in here you can see they recommended folder structure for movies and then here’s the one for TV shows and I’ll be getting into these in a little more detail here in a minute alright just to show you guys how I set my media server up it’s called data ocean and you can see here the actual path it’s an AZ and on my network device list here’s next to my Kodi device HD PC and like I was talking about earlier I’ve broken it up into different folders and sources so here’s for example the music folder contains four different sources very similar to the diagram I showed you can see all the different artists in here everything’s pretty much according to the way they do it except I don’t use year for my album it doesn’t seem to be a problem for music but I do use the year when we get to the movie area and I’ll show that here in a minute so while I have the music sources within the music folder my video sources are one level up so you see I have like concerts animations surf films other other sources set up here as well so let’s take a look at one for example animations and you see here I got the year like I was talking about earlier that’s definitely important especially because movies reused the same name and since you’re right off the root of the source it needs to know what year so it really does make a big difference they can see an example of like Despicable Me with all the fan art and clear logo and different metadata that comes along in the folder well that sort of gives you an idea of how I’m set up okay let’s talk tools shall we this is the tiny media manager one of the tools I was mentioning earlier for your videos movies TV shows movie sets as you can see here it’s got what I would describe as a clean layout a column for info metadata images trailers subtitles and whether or not I guess you’ve played it in tiny media manager or not let’s see it’s got different groupings here for the movie sets TV shows and movies so like I really can’t say enough good things about this tool it’s one of the best open-source tools I’ve ever used it’s very solid never has any problems but anyway you can figure it like solely select which columns you want and point it to the media sources what we were talking about earlier right now I’ve got it just pointed to my movie sources folder here you can select the info format if you have an older version of Kodi or whatnot that it’s very very flexible very configurable very very impressed with this tool I mean you really really just have to have this if you’re going to use Kodi I think but you could select the scrapers you can select your subtitle sources and it’s got different configurations you know different sources for the TV shows versus the movies so just as an example here I’ve got a movie there will be blood awesome movie and I want to show you know has it been scraped yet you can see the red X is there we’re gonna scrape this movie but first let’s take a look at the folder here you can see there’s not much in here really I’ve got some subtitles and the movie itself and one cover art here the blu-ray disc cover so we’ll just right click the title bring the context menu and go to search and scrape at the very top there and it’ll find the movie right away now sometimes it doesn’t have the right movie but I list different options you can choose or you can search manually there but in this case it found it right away and it goes to work scraping pulling metadata subtitles and whatever you’ve told it to pull and we can see different things that it pulled here and now back in the folder you can see it’s pulled a number of images with interesting names and it’s also got an info file there another awesome feature is it’ll rename folders and files for you according to the standard that you set in the settings here you can see it has a dry run option so you can see what it’s proposing to do before it does it so I’ll do that here first and show you guys like it wants to drop this extraneous 1080p 5.1 blu-ray from the folder which looks good looks according to spec to me and then it’s got its own convention here which is set by default in the settings I didn’t really change this but looks okay to me it shows that it’s got a AC 6 channel encoding etc etc and cleaned some stuff up I mean I’m okay with these changes so I’ll sign off on them but if you’re not ok here you could just close it without hitting the rename button and you know do your own changes or change the way it’s thinking to propose changes of that type thing so anyway back in the folder here you can see some of the changes that made including the folder name itself and looks good looks cleaned up and ready to go on to the next as another example have Pirates of the Caribbean here you can see just the m4v which I wrote from my standard def DVD but it’s not in the library yet so here we go I’m going to search and scrape it here and in this case it’s not able to figure out which Pirates of the Caribbean it is so using my own knowledge that it’s the first one its 2003 curse of the black Protea and select that one and then on with the show will see it actually pulled the data into the root folder which is not nice and clean at all but knowing that the tiny media manager can do a rename job for us we’ll use that feature here and that looks like it did the job for us and be aware the tiny media manager can also process multiple files at a time and just to illustrate that point I’m going to show tiny media manager operating on a TV show here I have the Muppet Show one season from the 70s and I’m not sure where I got this but it’s actually pretty cool but as you can see you operate on it just like a regular movie it goes out and scrapes each and every episode just saving you tons of work so two thumbs way up for tiny media manager I love it no I’m not affiliated with them in any way I just think it’s awesome now you can also use the tool to clean up the TV shows and here I’ll run that and you can kind of see how that looks there we go for sure the tool can’t do everything in some cases you have some of these esoteric films like this one that was made in Japan originally and then that was redubbed and narrated by Dudley Moore for english-speaking audiences so you know I had to look up the year and help sort of push the tiny media manager along but you know didn’t take a lot and then it was up and running just like any other film okay now shifting our focus over to music a big difference between music and video media is the music media will have embedded tags which Kodi depends on to locate the online metadata on the other hand with video files it relies more so on file names and folder structure so there’s some more flexibility with the music folder structure it’s not as rigid but I still recommend keeping a good folder structure mainly because it’s still used for exporting of info files if you want to export your media library metadata from Kodi it’s also used for sorting out compilation album problems and those compilation album problems are being dealt with more Kodi 18 laya and beyond so if you get to the point you’re running Kodi 18 it may be less of an issue there perhaps the most basic tool you can use to help organize your music media is mp3 tag even if you do everything manually manually organizing your files and file names you still need some way to edit the mp3 tags which are embedded in the music files you can use mp3 tag for one file at a time or multiples or you can drag and drop your entire library like this but I do recommend if you’re going to do it this way put it in library mode because it’s going to drastically speed things up and save a lot of memory to do that you just go to settings under library check the Enable library box since you dragged and dropped your librarian you don’t have to feed it the paths it does it for you automatically okay now by clicking on the tag column you sort by tag you can see files that maybe shouldn’t be there like here’s two files that aren’t even in mp3 or music files there is no tag at all if you’re not sure you just right-click the file and select play I just knew already these are garbage so I’ll just select delete so now if I click on the title column the sort by title I can start to see the files that have no mp3 tag data in them whatsoever and so this is a good place to start doing some fix ups so here we can see the whole 1995 Pink Floyd pulse album looks like it has no tag dad I’m just gonna select every single file then I’ll use the default search by clicking the little world and I’ll type in pink floyd– pulse 1995 because I have all that information here and then this is using the default meta brains database by the way I didn’t change any of the defaults meta brains is is very compatible with Kodi so I tend to stick with that the scoring system in here is not really great I just look for a match based on the information I have I know it’s Pink Floyd pulse I know it’s 1995 I go with United Kingdom since there’s no US release or BR for Britain I believe it’s the country code we just try to get the best match you can find based on the data available alright you can click the preview button to take a closer look online and so here’s the musicbrainz website for this particular entry and it looks pretty good to me so I’m gonna go with that and so basically after you select it you get a chance to make modifications I’m not a big fan of that cover art it looks kind of cheap I might redo my own I have the actual CD case somewhere but it’s usually just easier to find something online maybe we’ll come back to this here in a minute so you just select it and it actually goes ahead and populates every single entry that you had selected and then when that’s done you just hit the Save button and you’re good to go okay so now let’s take a look at this album artwork issue if we sort our library based on album get back to the album in question and make sure we have all tracks selected because each track has its own copy of the album art we will have them all selected so we can change them all at the same time so basically I found a few pieces of artwork online here and Kodi really is only going to use one and it’s usually called folder dot PNG or used to be just jpg now it does both but we can also copy that directly into the mp3 files so we’ll do that here and note that it can have multiple album arts inside each mp3 track but we do want to be using the front cover because that’s the only one Kody takes at this point so make sure it does say front cover and also be aware that if you got one in there you don’t like you want to delete it so you see it’s one out of two and two out of two we’ll go back to one out of two right-click select remove cover now we’re just left with the one which says front cover so if we click Save it’ll go ahead and apply that album art to all tracks and that’s all there is to it so in similar fashion we can click on the artist column sort by artists look for missing artists but here I see a couple of duplicates looks like edge of the ocean and let’s take a closer look at these I want to get rid of these duplicates here so I can wreak lick on title and get back to this view where I can see now I’ve really got three of the same here and so what I’m going to do is I can see one has better metadata than the other so I’m going to try to figure out which one it is and keep that one so it looks like the track three one is the right one but to be sure we can use our meta brains lookup and then confirm track link track number this type of thing so I’ll do that now and here we can see looks like long distance is the only possible album so just click preview and bring up the browser and we can see edge of the ocean is in fact track three on this album so that’s sort of bolsters my initial theory in addition to that we can also right-click these other tracks and we can look at the properties we can see what the bitrate is for example and the track length and make comparisons make sure that the same file and you’re not going to delete the good one for example here we can see we have a match on bitrate and length and same for the third file so it’s looking more and more like they’re actually the same file but with different metadata so now it’s just a matter of cleanup right I’ll just select the two I want to get rid of right-click and go to delete not removed but delete and permanently delete those other two now of course if you’re not sure you can right-click and select play before you delete just to make sure if you need a warm and fuzzy and then lo don’t forget to clean up the folders as well of course and you’re all set bye-bye duplicates another helpful tool is the musicbrainz picard tool this tool has a very album centric approach so you can dump a bunch of files have them grouped and then do the metadata and look up based on similar to look up to mp3 tagged or using acoustic fingerprinting so here for example I’m dropping a bunch of old dance music I cluster them up and then I’ll start the lookup process so starting with lookup it’s the same again as mp3 tag but it doesn’t always work out right just like it doesn’t an mp3 tag as you can see it’s kind of flubbed up multiple copies of stuff it’s just just not right so I’ll bail out on that hit the remove button start the process over and then do a scan which is their acoustic fingerprinting label hit that button and you can see it’s grouped that much better so this is an option you don’t have an mp3 tag and it can be very helpful it can be better than the standard lookup but it can also be error-prone by the way the red star on the disk that means there’s been a change made you do need to save whenever it changes me these are just proposed changes once you save the red star goes away a silver disk is where you have some of the album and a gold disc is where you have all of the album and the little bars the green bars that’s how close of a match you have to what musicbrainz has in its database so a big full green bar is a very good match and as the bar goes down it will change colors from yellow to red or orange or whatever indicating a less ideal match so take it a quick look at the settings in picard if you go to options options and under file naming you can set the path up so it knows where to save files when you tell it to save and then you can also set the file names you can have it rename the files and it’s got a convention here for setting up folder and file names according to different conventions they have their own little scripting language it’s probably easier to stick with the defaults if you can but if not you can look bad up and figure out how to do that and then this one’s kind of important if you go to metadata and preferred releases you can set a weighting for what kind of releases you like so if you’re like me you don’t really like compilations much you slide that down to the left and the further to the left the less weight it’ll give to compilation matches and then you can likewise lied the album wound up I think later I ended up doing it all the way down for compilation and all the way up for albums and then you can tweak other types of releases as well that this will help a lot and when i first started using picard it was finding lots and lots of compilation matches and to me i just I don’t like compilation so many compilations are a good source of music but when I’m looking at music in the history of my music I want to look at original albums and artists and compilations don’t add much to that another setting to tweak is under tags you can set the ID 3v2 revision definitely set that the 2.4 because it’s been known to be the most compatible with Kody about Picard is its extensible if you go under plugins you can see all the different plugins I recommend fan art TV cover art as one of them you just check the box there if you do use it you need to get a key and just use the link that they provide you there and then you go to the website which is fan art TV website you can login I think with your musicbrainz login if you have one and there’s probably other ways to log in as well and you just hit the button and get your key once you got your key you just copy go back to Picard and under plugins you’ll have a new submenu item fan art TV and just paste it into the field there and then if you go under cover art you can change the order that Picard uses to find the cover art so I put fan art TV at the top usually and then cover art archive sometimes you have problems you can switch them around to get some different cover art you just got an experiment with it sometimes okay guys the last plug-in I wanted to mention you might want to install it’s called last thought fm that’s because Picard doesn’t pull genre data by default this plug-in will help you do it you just basically install it check it and then when you go back into your options you’ll see under plugins just like for the fan art TV you’ll have a last FM and you can tell it to do track genre artist genre or both I’m just going to do track genre here and then once you do it that’s it there’s no manual action needed it’ll automatically pull the genre data for tracks that it finds in the musicbrainz database just like so and that’s all there is to it but be sure to verify whatever it pulls of course so if you ever find a tune that’s not in the database or Picard can identify you have an opportunity to give back and like for example here what you can do is you can add this plug-in ad cluster as release now by selecting the acoustical right clicking and going to look up in browser we can look at the linkage between the acoustical as a track in a coos tidy and the musicbrainz database and in here we can just say the bad linkage that we see and it can do it temporarily and turn it back on later or leave it permanent until someone creates a new fingerprint for that track it’s a good idea to leave a comment if you plan on doing it permanently though but then you can actually use your plug-in and go add file a standalone or add file as release I did a standalone recording and basically you can make your own entries into the musicbrainz database and they’ll start you out as a newb you don’t get a lot of weight and then if you do more you get more weight and people can vote on things you put in and that type of thing quite similar to the Wikipedia model you can see here I’m gonna add this tune by stick-figure call it the EZ runaway it’s relatively new tune pretty good tune if you don’t know it you should check it out and then find a link where if people can find it online and sort of validate the tune here I’m just going to put the link to the official YouTube video by the band here okay so now I remove the old linkage to the bad fingerprint and I’ve added the tune but there’s still no fingerprint to link the tune and the musicbrainz to the acoustical go back and do my scan again and it no longer pulls up the bogus artist so I can submit my own acoustic ideas in the button there so then we can just do another lookup like I did before and verify the acoustic music brains linkage to the correct track now but yeah that’s pretty much all it is to it I mean it’s a good idea to give back contribute to the community database it is a community database you know help grow it help it be better I do a lot of open source dev work I’ll probably contribute to the Picard project at some point as well I’ve already talked to these guys a bit about it ok the last tool is going to show us called foobar2000 and when you fire it up you need to select the layout it doesn’t have a good default layout so make sure you pick something that you might like it’s actually a good media player I can recommend it for that if you want something for your Windows desktop I think it works for other platforms too but the main reason for using it here is going to be to set the replay gain or normalize the track audio level differences that can occur in your library the nice thing about using replay gain is it doesn’t need to re-encode your files so there’s no change to your audio whatsoever but you do have to have a player that supports it and of course Kodi does to load your library up in foobar just go to library and then configure under music folder select add now just browse to the root of your music library and select folder and you’ll see the status go from pending to initializing hit the apply button hit OK and your music library I’ll slowly populate there now you can select your entire library I’m just gonna select a few here at a time right now just to speed it up and right click and select replay game and you can do per track or as album by tags basically if you do album by tags it covers per track and it adds an additional offset for albums to keep the album tracks relative to each other so that’s the one I always use and I would recommend that because you can’t you get both basically and you can always undo this by removing the tags inside your files like with using mp3 tag is probably the easiest but that’s all it is and this will save you from having to reach for the volume knob too often the less tool in the list mp3 DAGs is really more of a low-level tool I’m not going to demo that here but if you ever have any corruption or strangeness with any of your music media I highly recommend checking it out it can make repairs but it’s a little dangerous so make sure you understand what you’re doing make backups as always and hopefully you never need it so that’s it for today’s video guys thanks for watching hope it’s been helpful stay tuned for the next video in the series which will include importing the media into Kodi looking at some different skins configuring those skins and doing basic Kodi configuration as far as prepping and grooming your media library for Kodi that’s how it’s done [Music]

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  1. UPDATE Dec 14, 2018: I no longer recommend the last.fm genre plugin b/c the genres can get very esoteric. I have recently contributed to the Picard wikidata plugin to repair that plugin & now its working pretty good and grabs more "normal" genres. You want to get version 1.2 or higher of the plugin. See https://community.metabrainz.org/t/picard-keeps-locking-up/358547/12

  2. Great tutorials. For me personally instead of relying on my media manager to rename my folders and files I just go to IMDB and make sure the title is named exactly as listed… just my preference.

    And I don't know how much it really matters at this point…Just 2 weeks ago I had all my artwork named the same as yours… logo.png, clearart.png etc. And although I've used TMM I'm currently relying on Media Companion as my primary manager at the moment. The general consensus in the MC3 forum is to include the movie name for every art file…. so <movie>-discart.png

    I can't remember the exact logic but this was coming from some of the more well known people there so I just followed along…. and with a good file renamer (I use 'Better File Rename') the whole process only took about 10 minutes for 950 movies.

  3. I just tried using TMM and already I am finding aspects of the program accessible only to donators, which I am not. How much do I have to donate to get full access to the software?

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