Basic Newbie guide available?
#1
Hi

I *think* this app might be the answer to my prayers, as I'm currently struggling with how to diagnose why lots of my media files aren't being scanned into my library, and delving into huge debug log files is proving to be too much.
My movie folder which is a combination of files and folders of files in all manner of naming conventions.

But, I've fallen at the first fence in that I'm stuck on where to start with it  e.g. I can't even find where to enter my movie library folder! There are so many options which I'm sure are/will be very useful but I just can't see where the basic options are.

Is there a basic Getting Started or Best Practices guide for newbies somewhere? I couldn't find any docs or how-to guides etc.

E2A: I found a Youtube vid on EMM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AIpy-Mb5ME which shows a setup wizard, but I can't find that anywhere on the app (v1.5.0). Also the video being silent and running through the options pretty fast makes it rather hard to follow.
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#2
I would recommend you make a copy of a few films and tv show to test! Play with the settings only start to work with your real library if you know how to use Ember, otherwise its possible that content or videos will be deleted!

You can add your sources under Settings => Movies => Files & Sources and Settings => TV Shows => Files & Sources.
The folder structure should/could be:

for Movies:
Code:
D:\Movies (added as movie source)
D:\Movies\Avatar\Avatar.mkv
D:\Movies\Die Hard Collection\Die Hard\Die Hard.mkv
D:\Movies\Die Hard Collection\Die Hard 2\Die Hard 2.mkv
D:\Movies\Z War\Z War.mkv
[...]

for tv shows:
Code:
D:\TV Shows (added as tv show source)
D:\TV Shows\Friends
D:\TV Shows\Friends\Season 1\Friends.S01E01.mkv
D:\TV Shows\Friends\Friends.S02E01.mkv
D:\TV Shows\Friends\Friends.S02E02.mkv
D:\TV Shows\The Simpsons
[...]

So that Ember finds and save the files like poster you've to enable the file names under Settings => Movies/TV Shows => Files & Sources => File Naming. A list of which names are used/read/write for all default settings you can use this list: Link

The Wizard has been removed because it's easier to set all settings before starting importing your existing library. The YouTube video also is very old and don't represent the latest state of Ember and settings.
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#3
Thanks for the info.
It sounds as if there isn't a safe or preview mode before potentially destructive content file ops, so thanks for the warning!

Given that the goal is for the effect of any library content changes to be reflected in Kodi after a scan, how can I test that if I'm using a separate folder for test content?

E.g. if I have a Movies-test folder with certain content that I want to update with EMM and I add that to Kodi as a Movies source, then do I have to cut that certain content from my normal Movies folder (and move it somewhere else) so that it won't clash with any EMM-updated content?

Just trying to work out a test plan ...
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#4
(2020-04-14, 17:19)mr-b Wrote: Thanks for the info.

"Info" sounds like a german speaking person. Are you?
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#5
Nein! Pas du tout! ;-)
British/English, though I have a continental name which confuses many.

I just like to use abbrevs to save a few electrons.
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#6
(2020-04-14, 17:38)mr-b Wrote: I just like to use abbrevs to save a few electrons.
OK Big Grin

So than i want to try to explain it in english.

Usually if you import your movies to the library no files will be changed. If you import your tv shows and the tv show NFO provides an uniquid ID like the TVDb-ID than Ember tries to scrape missing images and informations automatically. This is very usefull if you add new episodes because new episodes will automatically scraped without needed user interaction.
One main problem that beginners have is to understand how Ember can find already existing addiitional content like poster, fanarts and trailers: only file names that are enabled in the settings under "File Names" will be recognized. That means it's possible that Ember creates/scrapes new files/images while importing tv shows because you've enabled other file names than you already have. All default file name settings are the same that Kodi use if you export your Kodi database into seperate files. And that is <stacked-filename>-imagetype.ext for movies and <imagetype>.ext for tv shows, even the Kodi wiki provides to use "poster.jpg" as first choice for a movie poster.
So it's very important that you know what file name schema do you already use.

It's not a problem to use "poster.jpg" but you've to add it under Settings => Files & Sources => File Naming => Expert and you've to disable the Ember Kodi defaults if you don't want to duplicate files.

Another confusing option is the "Keep existing" image in the image settings. Because it's possible that you've enabled more than one file name for an image type (e.g. <stackedfilename>-poster.jpg and poster.jpg) and i could be that they are not the same image, Ember always loads one of them into cache (RAM) while scraping or editing and re-write the image while saving, even if one of them already is the same image. These is to get shure that after scraping or editing a movie ever image is the correct image. That also means ever scrape or edit delete the existing image and re-save it to your disc. I know that's bad for backups because the modified date changes every time but i can't change that in Ember 1.5.x.

Another problem is that users manually add additional images or trailers directly to the movie folder. If you do that you've to reload the movie with F5 to let Ember rescan the folder for later added content. Otherwise the image will be deleted after an edit in Ember because Ember don't know that there is an image, the e.g. poster is empty in the edit dialog with ends in an empty poster object in code that triggers a delete of all images of this that with a file name that is enabled in the settings.
If you change the file name settings in Ember the settings dialog tries to rescan all of your affected sources to find newly enabled files (names). But this can be skiped in different ways and user will do that. That ends in the same problem like you manually add some content. You can use Tools => Rescan Movies at any time to recan all of your sources if you want.

Scraper:
You can sort them with the arrows in the top right corner of every scraper. To uppermost one is the first used scraper. Every field that one scraper can't fill will be filled by the following one if possible and if that scraper provides this data and if the field is enabled. Please don't just enable ever scraper, it tooks to long to scrape and is nonsense if the previous scraper fills a field anyway in mostly 100% of the cases.

Don't ignore the Kodi Interface in Ember, it's a greath way to easily add new or edit existing movies and tv shows to Kodi.
Also a greath "tool" is the Ember implementation in the Windows Explorer context menu to just scan one or multiple folders for new video content instead of rescanning all sources. You can enable it under Settings => Misc => Contextmenu.
I think that's it to start.
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#7
Oh dear I'm afraid you've lost me straight away. I really have no idea *at all* about what enabling other file names means,  nor about file name schemas. :-(

In the interest of keeping thing simple, I'm ignoring TV shows for now and just focusing on Movies.
I do know that I have dysfunctional library comprising both filenames and folders, and many of these are incorrectly named (according to https://kodi.wiki/view/Naming_video_files/Movies). They also include periods and underscores for delimiters and all sorts of other characters which I presume will not help. Or they are very basic disc rip truncated 8 character names.
From the Kodi wikis it seems that storing all media files in folders and with the right names & dates is very important.

So I did think that EMM's "Sort Files into Folders" tool seemed very useful and which might fix many Kodi scraper issues. And it kinda worked - I'll put my questions on that in another thread.

But given the above, maybe I need to look for a more basic tool if such a thing exists? Or am I missing something glaringly obvious? I feel like I really need a 'how-to' guide or video on getting the basics right.

Also my original question still stands i.e. how do I check the results with Kodi if I'm using a test library folder? This sounds like a must, given that you say that content can be overwritten unexpectedly.
Finally I couldn't see the "Kodi Interface in Ember" that you mentioned.
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#8
How your current archive looks like on your HDD? Every movie in a separate folder? Already with some proper NFO or with a scene release NFO? Already with posters, fanarts, other images, trailers?
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#9
As before, some are single files e.g.
The Leopard (Visconti) - Il.gattopardo.1963 .720p.BluRay.x264-DON_rus.mkv
The Corporation Disc 2 CORP_D2_REV2_UK.iso
THE IDIOTS_SCN.iso

Others are in folders, with some in expanded rip VIDEO_TS format.

A few have .nfo files though I've no idea of the type. Some are large in xml type format, others readable text with Media info e.g. Duration, Size etc. fields.
There are some poster png and jpgs with varying filenames.
Not sure about trailers or other items.
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#10
Ok. If you add a source with mixed variants (multiple videos directly in the source and some in separate folders) i whould recommend to add the source with the option "every movie is inside a separate folder". In this case every movie that's stored directly in the source path will be moved into an own folder like the function you've already tested (also with the new known bug).

I have to go to sleep now. If nobody else could help you until tomorrow evening, I will contact you again.
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#11
(2020-04-14, 17:19)mr-b Wrote: Just trying to work out a test plan ...

What you could do is to create test movies/data with blank files of movies that you do not actually have.

1:
Create 2 seperate folders on your HD called TestData and another called TestMovies.

2:
Open notepad, file and save into TestData (changing save as type to "all files") and name the file like - Shrek (2001).mp4

3:
Repeat with other movie names and/or subtitles files eg: Shrek (2001).srt

(filenames can be different to test Embers renaming settings eg: Shrek x264 AAC 2001.mp4 - this is dependant on how you rip you content and set that naming convention in that particular app)

4:
Add the folder TestMovies to Ember as a source and only "Copy" the data from TestData to TestMovies.  If the data gets screwed up you still have your base data in TestData.

For movies naming convention I still stick with the norm of "MovieName (Year)" - "Shrek (2001)"

So, lets assume you get ember setup to rename/change/download the content as you like and that Kodi can still understand/see.  Before you go changing your main collection I would do some housekeeping first.

Assuming your main folder that Kodi looks at is C:\Movie Collection

Maybe it is down to my own ember/setup config but when I rip a movie I always place the data into its own folder first.  If I have "Shrek 2 x264 AAC 2004.mp4" and "EnglishSubs.srt" I would rename the srt file the same as the mp4 and place both these files into its own folder first eg: C:\Movie Collection\Shrek 2 2004

I then update/scrape ember and I would then see C:\Movie Collection\Shrek 2 (2004) and both files  are renamed to Shrek 2 (2004).mp4 and .srt . Ember will then also continue to download the data your selected eg: posters, fanart and most importantly a .nfo which contains all the data/info of the move and that is what kodi will look at.

At the end of the day you should be seeing something like this:

C:\Movie Collection
      Shrek 2 (2004)
           Shrek 2 (2004).mp4
           Shrek 2 (2004).srt
           Shrek 2 (2004).nfo
           Shrek 2 (2004)-fanart.mp4
           Shrek 2 (2004)-poster.mp4
           Shrek 2 (2004)-trailer.mp4

It may be quite a task but to ensure you do nto miss any movies in your collection etc I would manaully go through and place each movie/subtitle file (nothing else) into it's own folder, you can then batch scrape everything in ember in one go and you can then via emeber you can individually changes posters etc to your individual preference.

**BEFORE** you do any of this you need to set all your Kodi devices to not scan/scrape from the internet and also remove the posters/fanart etc it has already downloaded.  In kodi edit your movie sources type to none.  This will remove your existing posters etc.  when you have finished with ember your then change the kodi sources back to movies and to look for local nfo files.  Kodi will want to update and will pull down all your locally created posters etc.
Confusion is just a state of mind.
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#12
Great tx. Yes it seems the obvious first step is to "sort files into folders" which EMM does fine (apart from subtitle files, and a few multi-part encodes) so I'll do that first as it's a relatively safe operation, and then look at how to rename everything to be "MovieName (year)".
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#13
(2020-04-15, 11:05)FlashPan Wrote: [snip]

So, lets assume you get ember setup to rename/change/download the content as you like and that Kodi can still understand/see. 
Ok these are the bits that I do not understand what to do. But I do get the need to make dummy content and a dummy library for testing etc.
But I'm afraid I just can't fathom the workflow or terminology in EMM, I've no idea what anything means in the Tools menu, with respect to the library content. It's frustrating as I'm sure it's all very powerful!
I appreciate that this may be hard to appreciate for folks that are used to using it and for whom it's second nature, but I'm finding it hard to know what to do from scratch (well Ok after I've done 'Sort Files into Folders'!).
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#14
(2020-04-15, 21:36)mr-b Wrote:
(2020-04-15, 11:05)FlashPan Wrote: [snip]

So, lets assume you get ember setup to rename/change/download the content as you like and that Kodi can still understand/see. 
Ok these are the bits that I do not understand what to do. But I do get the need to make dummy content and a dummy library for testing etc.
But I'm afraid I just can't fathom the workflow or terminology in EMM, I've no idea what anything means in the Tools menu, with respect to the library content. It's frustrating as I'm sure it's all very powerful!
I appreciate that this may be hard to appreciate for folks that are used to using it and for whom it's second nature, but I'm finding it hard to know what to do from scratch (well Ok after I've done 'Sort Files into Folders'!).  
If like, you ping me your email address in a PM and I send over some screenshots of my setup
Confusion is just a state of mind.
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#15
(2020-04-14, 16:56)DanCooper Wrote: I would recommend you make a copy of a few films and tv show to test! Play with the settings only start to work with your real library if you know how to use Ember, otherwise its possible that content or videos will be deleted!

You can add your sources under Settings => Movies => Files & Sources and Settings => TV Shows => Files & Sources.
The folder structure should/could be:

for Movies:
Code:
D:\Movies (added as movie source)
D:\Movies\Avatar\Avatar.mkv
D:\Movies\Die Hard Collection\Die Hard\Die Hard.mkv
D:\Movies\Die Hard Collection\Die Hard 2\Die Hard 2.mkv
D:\Movies\Z War\Z War.mkv
[...]

for tv shows:
Code:
D:\TV Shows (added as tv show source)
D:\TV Shows\Friends
D:\TV Shows\Friends\Season 1\Friends.S01E01.mkv
D:\TV Shows\Friends\Friends.S02E01.mkv
D:\TV Shows\Friends\Friends.S02E02.mkv
D:\TV Shows\The Simpsons
[...]

So that Ember finds and save the files like poster you've to enable the file names under Settings => Movies/TV Shows => Files & Sources => File Naming. A list of which names are used/read/write for all default settings you can use this list: Link

The Wizard has been removed because it's easier to set all settings before starting importing your existing library. The YouTube video also is very old and don't represent the latest state of Ember and settings.

I had an older version (don't recall the version number), but upgraded to version 1.4.90 x64. When I add media to my network drive and use the "Update Library" option in Ember, it takes an extremely long time to add the new media i.e.: if I add 2 new media files into my NAS and use "Update Library" it takes anywhere between 1/2 to a full day to add these. The previous version I had would do it in 10 minutes or so. Why is it taking so long to add items in the newer version? I used the same library file paths and everything seems to be the same as the old version, but the updating library takes forever. I started the "Update Library" at 6:26 AM, it's now 10:28 AM and it's still running.
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