Newbie confused about movie sort orders. Please confirm/correct my understanding
#1
Hi all,

As per the subject line, I'm new to Kodi and am trying to get my head around how it sorts movies.  I've tried reading the wiki and threads like Marvel Cinematic Universe - Movieset Ordering, but they've left me more confused than when I started.  I'm hoping somebody can confirm whether my understanding is right, or correct it if it's wrong.  Sorry for the wall of text.
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Scraping

To properly display information about video files it's been told to treat as Movies, Kodi relies on metadata downloaded (scraped) from internet databases.  It stores this metadata either in a central database or in small text files (one per Movie) with the extension NFO.  Other programs like Tiny Media Manager, Emby and Media Elch can scrape the online databases and write NFO files that Kodi can read. 

Scraping is made easier if the underlying video files are named in accordance with Kodi naming convention, but having an NFO file with the correct metadata will override any information Kodi takes from the video file's filename or folder.

Display list

By default, Kodi shows the user a Display list containing all Movies it has identified, sorted alphabetically by Title of Movie.  This sorting is dependent on the metadata Title, not the filename or directory in which the Movie is stored.  Without further tweaking, this is also independent of internal movie chronology, so the second Hobbit movie (The Desolation of Smaug) appears after the third (The Battle of Five Armies).

Sets

To fix this alphabetical sorting issue, movies can be linked via the Set field, which stores a name for the group of movies, along with the Sorttitle field, which is used to sort movies which have a value in the Set field.  Users can create their own sets, but must follow rules, including:
  • Movies can belong to only one Set. 
  • Sorttitle is not available for sorting Movies which are not in Sets.  
The Titles of individual Movies which are in Sets are removed from the Display list, replaced by a single entry containing the Set name (so if Iron Man is put into an MCU set, it will be moved from the letter I to the letter M).  If selected, the Set displays the Movies with the matching name in their Set field, in the order specified by the Sorttitle values.

Tagging and Playlists

Users can add custom text to NFOs, including via the Tag field.  Tags can contain individual words or phrases.  It is possible to create Playlists in Kodi by searching various metadata fields, including Tags.  Those playlists must be sorted by a metadata field (such as Title or Release Date or Filename) - it is not possible to manually change the order of a playlist.  It is also not possible to have playlists containing both Movies and TV Shows.

It is possible to create a non-release order chronology for a series of Movies involving multiple Sets (such as the MCU or Star Wars), but it requires renaming all the relevant video files, removing them from the Kodi library, re-scraping them and re-adding them to the library.  
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Thanks for reading,

B
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#2
(2020-01-07, 14:13)Bukso Wrote: Hi all,

As per the subject line, I'm new to Kodi and am trying to get my head around how it sorts movies.  I've tried reading the wiki and threads like Marvel Cinematic Universe - Movieset Ordering, but they've left me more confused than when I started.  I'm hoping somebody can confirm whether my understanding is right, or correct it if it's wrong.  Sorry for the wall of text.
--
Scraping

To properly display information about video files it's been told to treat as Movies, Kodi relies on metadata downloaded (scraped) from internet databases.  It stores this metadata either in a central database or in small text files (one per Movie) with the extension NFO.  Other programs like Tiny Media Manager, Emby and Media Elch can scrape the online databases and write NFO files that Kodi can read. 

Scraping is made easier if the underlying video files are named in accordance with Kodi naming convention, but having an NFO file with the correct metadata will override any information Kodi takes from the video file's filename or folder.

Display list

By default, Kodi shows the user a Display list containing all Movies it has identified, sorted alphabetically by Title of Movie.  This sorting is dependent on the metadata Title, not the filename or directory in which the Movie is stored.  Without further tweaking, this is also independent of internal movie chronology, so the second Hobbit movie (The Desolation of Smaug) appears after the third (The Battle of Five Armies).

Sets

To fix this alphabetical sorting issue, movies can be linked via the Set field, which stores a name for the group of movies, along with the Sorttitle field, which is used to sort movies which have a value in the Set field.  Users can create their own sets, but must follow rules, including:
  • Movies can belong to only one Set. 
  • Sorttitle is not available for sorting Movies which are not in Sets.  
The Titles of individual Movies which are in Sets are removed from the Display list, replaced by a single entry containing the Set name (so if Iron Man is put into an MCU set, it will be moved from the letter I to the letter M).  If selected, the Set displays the Movies with the matching name in their Set field, in the order specified by the Sorttitle values.

Tagging and Playlists

Users can add custom text to NFOs, including via the Tag field.  Tags can contain individual words or phrases.  It is possible to create Playlists in Kodi by searching various metadata fields, including Tags.  Those playlists must be sorted by a metadata field (such as Title or Release Date or Filename) - it is not possible to manually change the order of a playlist.  It is also not possible to have playlists containing both Movies and TV Shows.

It is possible to create a non-release order chronology for a series of Movies involving multiple Sets (such as the MCU or Star Wars), but it requires renaming all the relevant video files, removing them from the Kodi library, re-scraping them and re-adding them to the library.  
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Thanks for reading,

You don't need to remove or rename anything.  If you want something in a specific order, your best bet is to manually create a playlist.  Just go to each movie you want in the list, add it to the queue, rearrange the queue order as desired and save it as a playlist.

Removing movies from the general listing and replacing them with a single Set listing is an option that can be enabled or disabled.  

If you want a chronological list, you can just add the movies to a Set or a common Tag and just display by release.  That's the easiest method unless you want a specific order that is not related to release year.
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#3
@Bukso

Do you have a specific question?

Most of what you wrote seems to have come from wiki pages, so it is correct.

Trying to read between the lines, use the Left Sideblade Menu to change sort orders of lists... https://kodi.wiki/view/Basic_controls#Sideblade_Menu

If a movie in a set is sorted incorrectly, the movie title can be edited by using the Context Menu>Manage options as shown in sect 5 here... Movie_sets (wiki)
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#4
(2020-01-07, 20:35)Karellen Wrote: @Bukso

Do you have a specific question?

Most of what you wrote seems to have come from wiki pages, so it is correct.

Trying to read between the lines, use the Left Sideblade Menu to change sort orders of lists... https://kodi.wiki/view/Basic_controls#Sideblade_Menu

If a movie in a set is sorted incorrectly, the movie title can be edited by using the Context Menu>Manage options as shown in sect 5 here... Movie_sets (wiki)
Thanks for responding.  My main concern is about movie order.  If I tag MCU movies with "MCU", then create a playlist by searching for the MCU tag, can I manually rearrange that playlist?
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#5
(2020-01-08, 04:08)Bukso Wrote: can I manually rearrange that playlist?
The MCU wiki page uses Smart Playlists, so you can not arbitrarily change order of items in the list manually (not sure if you mean dragging items around "manually" to rearrange order).

You can still use the left sideblade menu to change order of items listed in the Smart Playlist using the usual sort methods offered.
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Links to : Forum rules (wiki) | Banned_Add-ons (wiki) | Debug Log (wiki)  
Links to : HOW-TO:Create_Music_Library (wiki) | HOW-TO:Create_Video_Library (wiki)  ||  Artwork (wiki) | Basic controls (wiki) | Import-export library (wiki) | Movie sets (wiki) | Movie universe (wiki) | NFO files (wiki) | Quick start guide (wiki)
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#6
(2020-01-08, 04:17)Karellen Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 04:08)Bukso Wrote: can I manually rearrange that playlist?
The MCU wiki page uses Smart Playlists, so you can not arbitrarily change order of items in the list manually (not sure if you mean dragging items around "manually" to rearrange order).

You can still use the left sideblade menu to change order of items listed in the Smart Playlist using the usual sort methods offered. 
Sorry for not being clear.  By "manually rearrange" I mean "change to an arbitrary order that does not correspond to any field such as Filename, Release Date or Title".  NeoCortex's response suggests some Playlists can be manually rearranged, but from what you're saying, not Smart ones?
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#7
(2020-01-07, 14:13)Bukso Wrote: [*]Sorttitle is not available for sorting Movies which are not in Sets.  

This is not true, Sorttitle can be used for any movie to change where it appears within the list of movie titles.
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#8
(2020-01-08, 12:20)jjd-uk Wrote:
(2020-01-07, 14:13)Bukso Wrote:  
  • Sorttitle is not available for sorting Movies which are not in Sets.  
 

This is not true, Sorttitle can be used for any movie to change where it appears within the list of movie titles. 
Thanks for responding.  Interesting.  Does putting a value Sorttitle in a non-Set movie change the Title as displayed in the general Display list?
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#9
(2020-01-08, 12:54)Bukso Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 12:20)jjd-uk Wrote:
(2020-01-07, 14:13)Bukso Wrote:  
  • Sorttitle is not available for sorting Movies which are not in Sets.  
 

This is not true, Sorttitle can be used for any movie to change where it appears within the list of movie titles. 
Thanks for responding.  Interesting.  Does putting a value Sorttitle in a non-Set movie change the Title as displayed in the general Display list?

When Sortitle is changed this only affects the name used for sorting the Title list, it does not change the displayed title within the list.

A movie
B movie
C movie

Add Sorttitle of D movie to A movie you now get:

B movie
C movie
A movie (D movie used for sorting)
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#10
(2020-01-08, 13:23)jjd-uk Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 12:54)Bukso Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 12:20)jjd-uk Wrote: This is not true, Sorttitle can be used for any movie to change where it appears within the list of movie titles. 
Thanks for responding.  Interesting.  Does putting a value Sorttitle in a non-Set movie change the Title as displayed in the general Display list? 

When Sortitle is changed this only affects the name used for sorting the Title list, it does not change the displayed title within the list.

A movie
B movie
C movie

Add Sorttitle of D movie to A movie you now get:

B movie
C movie
A movie (D movie used for sorting) 

Cool, thanks.  Will explore how to populate that field.
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#11
(2020-01-08, 16:07)Bukso Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 13:23)jjd-uk Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 12:54)Bukso Wrote: Thanks for responding.  Interesting.  Does putting a value Sorttitle in a non-Set movie change the Title as displayed in the general Display list? 

When Sortitle is changed this only affects the name used for sorting the Title list, it does not change the displayed title within the list.

A movie
B movie
C movie

Add Sorttitle of D movie to A movie you now get:

B movie
C movie
A movie (D movie used for sorting) 

Cool, thanks.  Will explore how to populate that field.

From the GUI https://kodi.wiki/view/Movie_sets#Sort_Title_Editor
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#12
(2020-01-08, 16:50)jjd-uk Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 16:07)Bukso Wrote:
(2020-01-08, 13:23)jjd-uk Wrote: When Sortitle is changed this only affects the name used for sorting the Title list, it does not change the displayed title within the list.

A movie
B movie
C movie

Add Sorttitle of D movie to A movie you now get:

B movie
C movie
A movie (D movie used for sorting) 

Cool, thanks.  Will explore how to populate that field. 

From the GUI https://kodi.wiki/view/Movie_sets#Sort_Title_Editor 

Thanks, but that appears to involve accessing each Movie in Kodi and typing in a Sorttitle.  I'm looking for some way to copy metadata (Filename) into the Sorttitle field en masse.  I can't figure out how to do it in TMM, or if it's possible.
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Newbie confused about movie sort orders. Please confirm/correct my understanding00