Linking Library Show/Movie to CD
#1
I have spent the last two hours searching for this and had no luck. I am positive I saw either a writeup or an option for this somewhere once before. Any advice or ideas along these lines would be helpful.

I am running a Windows 7 machine as a server, multiple hard drives shared through SMB for my Kodi/PLEX machines to get it's media from. As the drives run out of space I remove media from them which in turn removes it from Kodi and PLEX on the next library cleanup. What I would like to do is keep it in the library but have Kodi ask you to insert a disk into the Kodi machine in order to play the content. The content of the disks are exact copies of what they are while on the server, the main directory of the disk being the folder of the show/movie. This includes all the nfo and jpg files.

I am not sure if I could create a symbolic link which links to the disk drive of a completely different machine and it would ask for the disk or if you'd need to create some type of script or any other options.

I want to do this for multiple reasons. It is more important for Shows as it is not as common to go back and watch them as it would be a Movie and I like having access to my Movies instantly, though it would be nice if this worked for both. I also like having it still listed in the Library as a list for people who don't know my Library as I do, i.e. friends over for a movie night. And if they would like to watch something not on the server it would not involve me running to the server in a different room to copying the disk to it or needing to flip through booklets of CDs for something to watch.

I do also have some PLEX clients, it would be awesome if this would work with that as well but it is not my main concern as those devices don't generally have a CD Drive. Having it still show in their Library would be nice but I don't care if it asks for a CD or just says it can't play it.
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#2
So I think I managed to find something close to what I was looking for or at least what made me think of it in the first place.
Poking around Ember Media Manager I saw the "Offline Media Manage" option which pretty much just creates a nfo and short video file which just displays text of your choice, default is "Insert DVD" and an image of a DVD.
I personally find this pretty lame but it did give me an idea on what I could do, maybe.

The first idea is to basically grab the content folder and drop it into a new source folder for Kodi called Offline Shows and Offline Movies.
Now if I was to go this route I would need to find some way to deal with the video files. I could do what EMM does and just replace it with a small file, it doesn't even need to display anything as it would be under it's own list in Kodi so it would be obvious it is offline.
The only real issue I can think of, the downside with this method is I would have to replace every single video file by hand in the directory and that could be a bit annoying/waste of time for a show with a large number of episodes.
The upside is it would keep all of the information from the shows and movies so you could still sort through Genre, Director, etc.
Any ideas of how to streamline this method?

The second method I thought of is just basically creating a file list, a lot like the method above, moving the folder into another directory but I would just outright remove the video files.
The downside with this is it will not "scrape" (all the information is still there in the NFO files) as Kodi will not see any video files to add.
The upside is it would be a lot quicker using this method compared to above.

Any ideas anyone has would be extremely helpful, a mix between the two I thought of maybe where I could somehow still remove all of the video files to keep thinks quick and easy but also make it so it would scrape the show information and keep it listed for sorting options.
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#3
Sounds like you are looking for Media stubs (wiki).
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#4
Yup. Once I managed to come across the term "Offline Media" I searched a bit and came across the Media Stubs wiki entry. Thanks a lot for the link, Ned Scott, as I was going to post it today along with what I ended up doing last night.

Media Stubs, for the most part, accomplish what I wanted, a way to keep content listed in my Library but remove it from the hard drive to save space. The only issues I came across were these.
First, the need to replace the files themselves with the .disc text files. While for Movies this is no big deal when it comes to TV Shows that could be hundreds of files you'd need to replace, doing so by hand is just insane. I came up with a couple .bat files to do it for me, it saves an incredible amount of time and does everything for you. You just need to replace the file extension in the code for each format you'd be using, or in my case created different .bat files named for each extension. You also need to create a text file for the .bat to copy. This will REPLACE the videos with the text doc so there is no need to even delete them after.
Code:
FOR %%G IN (*.mkv) DO copy blank.txt "%%G"
rename *.mkv *.disc
Second, annoyingly, Kodi will rescan the episodes you replaced, obviously because it is a different file. Luckily it keeps your watched status but it means you will need to clean the library every time you do this. A bit inconvenient but not a deal breaker.

Now the only other issue I am having is something I don't think I can do anything about or I am doing something wrong, it could also be the skin I am using.
On ReFocus I tried to create another list in the main menu for Offline Shows/Movies as well as link the Shows and Movies menu to their source folders instead of using Kodi's Movie and TV Show Library listings as I did not want those to show the content in the Offline sources. Sadly it seems to effect the way it displays information, it is not the same as the Library listing and I personally do not like it.
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