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Hi All,

I'm a low-intermediate computer user. I will soon be relocating to a part of the globe will rather poor internet service, and what service is available is heavily monitored and restricted. I really just need a simple, offline/non-internet-dependent solution for video and audio entertainment. I really love the look and interaction of Kodi - seriously, it's stunning, but I've been struggling for several weeks to enter content into the software, and I really need some help.

I have ripped a few programs to .mkv, which are housed on an external NAS.

My main problem seems to center primarily around DVD extras and in particular, the generation of user-made .nfo files.

The following problem exemplifies my experience so far:

I ripped a series of videos and carefully followed the file-naming conventions detailed in the wiki. Although the UI didn't display the program in the main page at first, after re-scanning and other adjustments, it did display all of the seasons beautifully. It was a different story for the special features.

I carefully followed the instructions for labeling specials (e.g. s0e1), and Kodi did generate a 'Specials' entry in the listing; however, Kodi also changed every specials-file to an incorrect title/image, presumably based on what it gathered from the scraper (TheTVDB). In addition, it ignored seemingly random files; for example, it recognized - though incorrectly labeled - file s0e9, as well as file s0e11, but it failed to recognize file s0e10.

To deal with this problem, I followed, to the best of my understanding, some advice given in another area of this site and exported the library so as to create .nfo (and .jpeg) companion files for the main video files. I then modified the recalcitrant .nfo files to reflect the correct information. I also set the content to read local and rescanned.

Although the modifications were successful, there was an unexpected result: Kodi kicked out the previously recognized season files, even though no changes were made to those files what-so-ever. Worse still, now Kodi will not recognize the previously recognized files. I even deleted the folder from the library, and re-entered it, but the result was the same.

After searching this site as well as the wiki, I found that many people have inquired about making .nfo files, but I haven't yet found any definitive guide to this process.

I need a solid plan for dealing with series and movie extras/special features, and I would love to have basic TV/movie .nfo templates to work from; after all, the same basic informational framework must be universal to all series and films. I have tried generating my own .nfo files using MS Notepad and the examples given in the wiki (making the relevant content-specific changes), but to no avail.

How do I create .nfo files and/or manually control and enter content data? In sum, how do I make Kodi say and show what I want it to say and show?

Thanks for your help/time!

System info:
Kodi 17.3
Windows 10, 64 bit
4 gb ram
Hello harrifran and welcome,

As you claim to be a new user, I will explain basics as I have no idea what level of understanding you are at...

One of the most common mistakes made with media files and the library is that people think that a file can be named however and whatever they like, and that Kodi is an all knowing, all powerful digital being that knows exactly what is wanted. Smile Not the case Sad Naming and saving rules must be followed for a seamless library scrape. A guide can be found here... Naming_video_files (wiki) The best advice I can give is to find your show or movie at the scraper site and verify that you have the same order and same names for your files as shown at the scraper site. So simply naming a special as S00E12 will not work if there is no S00E12 listed at the site. And if you name an extra as S00E07 without checking, then the chances are you will scrape the wrong information for your show. Also be aware that the initial listing shown when viewing a Season is the Aired Order. You can also show the DVD Order of the season by clicking the appropriate button at the bottom of the list. Using DVD order requires that you have selected "DVD Order" in the Scraper settings in Kodi.

TheTVDB have some pretty strict rules about sort orders, what constitutes a TV Show, and what Specials are allowable. When a special is not listed on the scraper site, then you can use this... Add-on:Extras (wiki)

If you don't want to list your Specials as Extras, you can create your own nfo files. See here.. Nfo (wiki) This page is currently being re-written, but if you are interested in reading the draft version of the new page, it is here... User:Karellen/scratchpad01 (wiki) It will also provide software options to create nfo files from scratch, rather than relying on having to initially scrape into Kodi to export the nfo files.

I see you are exporting nfo files and artwork. Great. Can I assume you have read this wiki guide... Import-export_library (wiki) Be aware of the limitation when exporting artwork.

If I have left anything out, let me know
Thanks for the add-on tip! I downloaded the Extras add-on and created the sub file within the main file as outlined in the wiki; however, when I right-click the show's thumbnail in the context menu, nothing happens: I did not use the s0e1 convention when renaming the files, only their titles. The videos can only be accessed through Videos > Files > Show Title. Any suggestions?

Also, I would very much like to be able to create my own .nfo files, and I have read the available instructions in the wiki, but as yet, I have not been able to produce a successful entry in the main menu. For example, I created a folder of work-videos in .mkv format. For each video, I created a companion .nfo file, carefully followed the naming conventions as outlined in the wiki. I followed the template given in the wiki, making all the relevant content-specific changes that I could, without changing any of the code; nonetheless, the videos do not appear in the main menu, nor are their information files recognized when approached through the main Videos tab. I set the content to read local when I scanned.

Actually, the issues above are presently irrelevant, as I've just come upon a whole new problem today: although my show images and information remain in the main menu, not one single show/file will play. When I click on them, every show produces the following message: "The file is no longer available. Would you like to remove it from the library?"

Any suggestions or solutions you can offer would be greatly appreciated!
Hi harrifran,

I've been using nfo files ever since, as I've manged my whole collection within Collectorz MovieCollector and exporting the metadata therein to kodi without actually using internetsites to provide more data.
I'd say you need to set the scraper to "local information only", but provide link to imdb.com or whatever side you which to use. This way you can provide infomation about the movie or tv series by nfo-file and let the scraper fill in the things you did not (wish to) provide via nfo file.

If needed I can provide you a complete example I'm using (e.g. folder structure and nfo files) tomorrow.
Quote:Thanks for the add-on tip! I downloaded the Extras add-on and created the sub file within the main file as outlined in the wiki
What file? Or do you mean folder/directory?

Quote:however, when I right-click the show's thumbnail in the context menu, nothing happens
There are no thumbnails in the context menu. Please provide a screenshot to clarify this statement

Quote:I did not use the s0e1 convention when renaming the files, only their titles
If you don't use the correct naming conventions, then nothing will scrape. Or is this statement directed at the extra video files in the Extras folder?

Quote:I would very much like to be able to create my own .nfo files
The draft wiki page provides a number of software applications available to create your own nfo files. If you choose to create them manually with a text editor, then post one of your nfo files and I can see if it is created correctly

Quote: not one single show/file will play. When I click on them, every show produces the following message: "The file is no longer available. Would you like to remove it from the library?
This is a result of Kodi no longer being able to access the video file. Maybe you have disconnected a USB drive, or file permissions have changed on your network. Quite common in Win7 in my experience. Provide a debug log which captures an Update Library and we can try to discover the problem. Instructions in my signature below.
Just to add to what Karellen has said, if you can provide a specific example of one of your nfo files, then use https://pastebin.com/ to share, then when you generate a debug log file showing you trying to add the info in this nfo (note - the exact same nfo you've shared via pastebin) via a Library Update.
Hi! I use TinyMediaManager for scraping my media for use in Kodi. This app even allows you to download trailers for your movies if you like. I don't know what your native language is but if you have plot info that contains special letters make sure you save the nfos in the UTF-8 format rather than ANSI to make these letters appear in Kodi.

Keeping your library up to date and in a perfect shape will take (a lot of) time but it feels so much better when everything looks perfect ;-)

Roger J.
Hi Karellen
Thank you very much for your time! I'm going to reverse and start from the last, as this seems to be the most urgent issue.

"This is a result of Kodi no longer being able to access…" It's true, I did disconnect the external NAS - am I not supposed to? I do, and will need to, periodically pack my things and shift to new locations; will this issue occur each time? I currently have 7.5tb of audio/video files, so depending on the time/labor involved in library updating, this might not be the right media player for my situation Sad

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to successfully produce a debug log. I downloaded the add-in, activated debugging, and then repeated the refresh library procedure. But when I tried to upload the log, viz. Add-ons > Program addons > Kodi Logfile Uploader, nothing happened. I will keep working on this.

"The draft wiki page provides a number of…" Thanks for this info - I glanced at it only briefly, but time permitting, I will look very carefully into this in the weeks to come.

"If you don't use the correct naming…" Yes, this was meant only for the files within the Extras sub folder - all other files, that is, 'show files,' are named according to the conventions specified in the wiki.

"There are no thumbnails in the context menu." Sorry, I think I've used a term incorrectly - I'm referring here to the image displayed in the main menu, such as the TV Shows or Movies tabs (can I call them tabs?) in the main menu "ribbon." I took a screen shot, but I don't know how to post it using this forum's text editor - I have an "imgur gallery."

"There are no thumbnails in the context menu…" I did mean 'folder,' not 'file.' Clearly, using terminology correctly is very important in any field; please forgive my carelessness!
Thanks jjd-uk, I am learning how to use debugging just now, and I will post this information as soon as I figure it out!
Thanks Roger, I'll look into the app!

"Keeping your library up to date and in a perfect shape will take (a lot of) time…" It's really interesting that you say this; several people warned me away from Kodi, saying that like Linux in general, it requires advanced computer knowledge and significant time investment.

Actually, I'm a little disappointed with myself: my organization regularly throws new random software at me, and usually can muscle through it without too much trouble, but for some reason, I'm not picking up on this one - lol!

I may just have to content myself with Windows Explorer and VLC. It's just that I felt having the look and feel of Kodi would be, well, somehow "normalizing" - if you take my meaning.
You're very generous Holger - I would like very much to know more about your video collection approach, but first I need to figure Kodi out, lol! Perhaps in the weeks ahead I will call upon you for more information!
Quote:"This is a result of Kodi no longer being able to access…" It's true, I did disconnect the external NAS - am I not supposed to? I do, and will need to, periodically pack my things and shift to new locations; will this issue occur each time? I currently have 7.5tb of audio/video files, so depending on the time/labor involved in library updating, this might not be the right media player for my situation Sad
Yes, you can disconnect your drive. The issue is with how Windows handles drive letter allocation. Plug in your drive today, and it may be allocated as drive e:\. Unplug it or restart your computer tomorrow and it may be allocated f:\. Especially if you are also plugging in USB memory sticks. This means that Kodi is looking for all the movies on e:\, when they are now on f:\. Have you noticed this? The solution is go into Disk Drive Management and manually allocate a drive letter that is quite high in the alphabet... maybe m:\ for movies or t:\ for tv shows.

Quote:Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to successfully produce a debug log. I downloaded the add-in, activated debugging, and then repeated the refresh library procedure. But when I tried to upload the log, viz. Add-ons > Program addons > Kodi Logfile Uploader, nothing happened.
Ok. Don't use Kodi Logfile Uploader, just upload it manually. Here is an extract from the guide on how to do that...

6. Upload the results
The log file is named kodi.log and it is located in the Kodi directory c:\Users\Your User Name\AppData\Roaming\Kodi. You must locate this log file and copy it's contents to a pastebin type site as follows:
  1. Navigate to the \kodi directory and locate the file named kodi.log
  2. Open the file with Notepad and copy all the contents of the document
  3. Locate a Pastebin type site. Two examples are https://pastebin.com/ or https://paste.ubuntu.com/
  4. Paste the contents of the kodi.log file
  5. Press Paste or Generate
  6. When the screen refreshes with your paste, copy the entire address in the address bar and paste it into a new message in your thread

Quote:"There are no thumbnails in the context menu." Sorry, I think I've used a term incorrectly - I'm referring here to the image displayed in the main menu, such as the TV Shows or Movies tabs (can I call them tabs?) in the main menu "ribbon." I took a screen shot, but I don't know how to post it using this forum's text editor - I have an "imgur gallery."
Yes, tabs is fine.
Post an image as follows:
1. Upload image to https://imgbb.com/
2. Copy the provided link to a post here.

Hope that helps
(2017-09-07, 19:45)harrifran Wrote: [ -> ]"This is a result of Kodi no longer being able to access…" It's true, I did disconnect the external NAS - am I not supposed to? I do, and will need to, periodically pack my things and shift to new locations; will this issue occur each time? I currently have 7.5tb of audio/video files, so depending on the time/labor involved in library updating, this might not be the right media player for my situation Sad

What do you mean you disconnect the NAS? If you mean you disconnect it now and again when moving the NAS, or you occasionally power it down when not using Kodi then that should be perfectly ok to do if everything is configured in manner that will allow this. If you mean you disconnect the NAS permanently once you've created Library then that is not ok, as media still resides on the NAS and the Library merely points Kodi to the correct location on your NAS for that media item, so Kodi needs to access your NAS to playback a Library item.

Since it a NAS being used as your storage device, how are you connecting to it? wired ethernet? WiFi?

How are you adding adding the source in Kodi?

Potential pitfalls when adding sources.

1. Avoid using UPnP, far better to use a proper file serving protocol such as smb or nfs.
2. Using a mapped network drive to access NAS then using the mapped drive in Kodi, far better to stick to smb or nfs access.
3. When adding source to Kodi using IP address of NAS as in a DHCP network these can change (unless there is fixed IP assignment on the router so each network device will always use the same IP address).

For example if NAS has been added as a source in the form:

smb://nas/media/movies

Then Kodi should always be able to connect as long as there's network access to the NAS.
Hi Karellen,

Yes, I have noticed that the drive letter changes, but never really attached any significance to this - who knew such a little thing could be such a big problem?! Oh, well I guess you did, lol. Your solution worked well, no more problem.

I think that I have worked out creating a de-bug log; however, I may not need to ask this of you at this time. I was trying to access the Extras, by right-clicking on the file image, directly from the main page, which didn’t work. But, if I click on a main tab, such as Movies, and then right-click a file image, it works well. I need to spend more time simply familiarizing myself with all of the ins and outs of the interface. Regarding the Extras add-on, I now only need to work out how to exclude the Extras folder from the main page; I will try to work on this in the coming weekend. Also, I was successful last weekend in creating several movie sets!



Hi jjd-uk,

By "disconnect," what I mean is "unplug" the USB cable/physical connection, nothing internal to the system. Karellen had it spot on - the drive letter was simply changed to another, but after following Karellen's advice about manually allocating a low letter (m) the problem vanished.

So far, I have added files through Videos > Files > Add videos… > (pop up window) Browse, and then setting the content and so on. Please forgive me jjd-uk, but most of your advice in numbers one through three is a little over my head - I will try to set aside some time to learn more about this in the near future.

I have been adding the individual folders into the media player; if I 'added the NAS as a source,' would that automatically connect all of the NAS's content to Kodi? This seems like it would be a real time-saver! I think the answer is no, since the content would still need to set for each entry.
Ah ok so it's not a NAS you have (Network Attached Storage) but a DAS (Direct Attached Storage) since you're using USB and not a physical ethernet or wifi connection on your home network, in which case you can ignore what I said since applies only if you connect to your storage via a network connection (physical ethernet or wifi)
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