Method to Get TV Show DVDs Into Library
#1
I've finally settled into a way to organize and use my videos in the library, after trying every suggestion that I could find on the message board and in the manual to get TV Show DVD folders scanned into the TV Show section of the library. I never was able to get any of the suggestions working, but I didn't read anything from anyone else indicating that they had, so I've accepted that it's likely not possible to do. However, the workarounds that I did work fine for me and it doesn't require a whole lot of extra effort.

My video files are organized as follows.
All movies:
V:\Movies\MOVIE_TITLE\DVD_FILES (no VIDEO_TS folder)

Some TV Shows:
V:\TV Shows\SHOW_TITLE\Season #\Disc#\DVD_FILES (no VIDEO_TS folder)

Other TV Shows:
V:\TV Shows\SHOW_TITLE\Season #\S##E## - EPISODE_TITLE

For some TV shows for which I have random short clips (like individual skits from Saturday Night Live), I have this:
V:\TV Shows\SHOW_TITLE\Clips\CLIP_TITLE

I add "V:\Movies" as a source, with the content type set to "Movies". Everything works great for those files. They show up nicely under the "Movies" section of the library. If any problems occur, like the wrong movie is scraped, I just add a "Movie.nfo" file with the URL of the correct movie on imdb.com.

I add "V:\TV Shows" as a source, with the content type set to "TV Shows". After processing, the "TV Shows" section of the library has a list of all the TV shows, but none of the DVD discs or clips are found. Only the "S##E## - EPISODE_TITLE" files are processed. This is normal, as XBMC only shows episodes for TV Shows, and it can't be expected to determine episode info from DVD discs or random clip filenames.

It would be awesome, however, if it was able to include those videos in the library, and just list the discs as say, "SHOW_TITLE - Season #, Disc #", with no extra info (unless an nfo file is provided), and list the clips as simply "FILENAME", with no extra info (unless an nfo file is provided), but I'm able to do that with a little extra work, so no biggie that it isn't automatic.

So now, in file mode, I go into the "V:\TV Shows" source, and browse to all
V:\TV Shows\SHOW_TITLE\Season #
folders that contain DVD discs instead of the individual "S##E## - EPISODE_TITLE" files, and right-click on the "Season #" folders to change the content type from "TV Shows" to "Movies". I also do the same thing for all the
V:\TV Shows\SHOW_TITLE\Clips
folders.

I should add that I include nfo files for each clip, named identically to the clip filename. I also have a "movie.nfo" file in with each set of DVD disc files. In these nfo files all I have is an appropriate title, since that's all I really care about at this point. I could put more info in there, but I don't really want to work that much. Just having artwork and a good title is fine, especially since the DVDs, at least most of the time, have all the info I could want for each episode they contain. So for one of the DVD disc titles, I have "Californication - Season 2, Disc 1" and for one of the clip titles I have "More Cowbell".

Now all these clips and TV Show DVDs show up under the "Movies" section of the library. I go in there and for each one I right-click on it, select "Link to TV Show", and select the appropriate show. That should be all that's needed, but there's one more, semi-annoying step that XBMC requires.

If I go in the "TV Shows" section of the library, to my surprise many of the items that I just manually linked to a TV Show are still missing. Yet some show up as expected.

It took me awhile to figure out what the issue was. It turns out that XBMC won't put a linked item from the Movies section into the TV Show section unless the TV Show that it's linked to contains at least one episode. So now for any of the shows without episodes that I want to contain DVD discs or random clips (which is most of them, as I don't really have many individual episode files), I create an empty file in the root folder for that show called "S00E00.avi", like this:
V:\TV Shows\SHOW_TITLE\S00E00.avi

I also add an nfo file for it with a blank title, which is important because I don't actually want anything to show up in the library for that file. What happens is that a "Specials" object gets added to the TV show in the library, and a blank entry is added, so it appears that there are no specials. Now that TV show has the ability to display Movie items (TV Show DVD discs and random clips) that are linked to it.

The last problem is that now in the "Movies" section of the library I have all this TV Show crap that I definitely don't want to see when I want to browse my movies. So I decided to just use playlists and not use the "root" library area at all. I even set it up so that when XBMC starts, it goes directly to the playlists listing.

I make one playlist that has movie content and only contains any items with "V:\Movies" in the path. I make another playlist that has TV Show content. I don't think I add any filters to this (I can't check right now), although XBMC requires some sort of filter, unfortunately, so I just make it accept anything without something like "zzzzzzzz" in the title. It'd be great if XBMC didn't require a filter and/or allowed the "path" filter for TV Shows and not just Movies (one of the many random things in the program that I don't understand).

Using playlists is good also because I have other videos that will have to be processed as movies that I don't want to have included when I'm browsing movies. I have a bunch of stand up comedy DVDs under "V:\Comedy". So now I can add that folder as a source with movie content, and create a "Stand Up" playlist that accepts all movies with a path that contains "Comedy".

Any thoughts or ideas for how to more easily achieve the same results?
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#2
Wow! To be honest I didn't read your entire post, but I did find another work around that might not be as time consuming. I used DVDShrink with MultiShrink.

I prefer to use ISO files.
What you do is open a DVD (or ISO file) in DVD shrink. GO to "Re-Author" and drag the first episode from the right pane to the left pane, and click "Backup!". Set the output location and file name like so:
TV_Show_s01e01.iso
Don't hit "OK" yet, and leave that instance of DVD shrink as is.

Open another instance of DVDShrink and do the same for episode 2.
I save all of one TV show into one folder:
TV Shows\TV Show Name\Show_Name_s01e01.iso (and then add Show_Name_s01e02.iso and so on)

I'm in the process of using MultiShrink right now, and I'll report how it worked afterwards.

It's a little time consuming to set up, but worth if you've already made a bunch of vob or ISO copies and need to break them up - I think this is a great and fast solution as opposed to creating avi files from iso files.
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#3
Oh, and the wiki does mention naming methods for short clips and DVD extras.
I don't know, dude - maybe this helps.
It's funny - how Obssesive Compulsive I can get about my Movies and TV show organization in XBMC. That's why I haven't even bothered yet to open up and look at my music library XD
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#4
Yeah, IMO sometimes it would be great if XBMC could sometimes be forced to recognize TV content by filename, once the TV show general information is scraped:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=62267

Hopefully that will be implemented in the not too distant future Smile Would be an awesome addition.
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#5
What I do is I run a TV DVD through MakeMKV its just a ripper not an encoder so its very fast.

It dumps the original video stream in an MKV container and preserves chapter data, its ideal for TV shows as you get individual episode files which are easily recognized by XBMC library.
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#6
Starstream Wrote:What I do is I run a TV DVD through MakeMKV its just a ripper not an encoder so its very fast.

It dumps the original video stream in an MKV container and preserves chapter data, its ideal for TV shows as you get individual episode files which are easily recognized by XBMC library.

Thats a very good idea
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#7
tedbone Wrote:Oh, and the wiki does mention naming methods for short clips and DVD extras.
Only supported method is if they are listed as specials on thetvdb.com.
If you want to fudge it yourself into the lirbary export an specials nfo file and use it as a basis for your own special.
Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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#8
Why not create *.iso's of the folders and name them accordingly ?

So as an example Bones Season 2 Disk 1 would become :

\Series\Bones\Season 2\S02E01E02E03E04.iso

This is how i do it and it works perfectly so far.
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#9
tedbone Wrote:I prefer to use ISO files.

Yeah, I considered that, but I don't know of any PMPs that will play ISOs, and I'd prefer to use the same media files on my HTPC that I use on my PMP.

tedbone Wrote:What you do is open a DVD (or ISO file) in DVD shrink. GO to "Re-Author" and drag the first episode from the right pane to the left pane, and click "Backup!". Set the output location and file name like so:
TV_Show_s01e01.iso
Don't hit "OK" yet, and leave that instance of DVD shrink as is.

Open another instance of DVDShrink and do the same for episode 2.
I save all of one TV show into one folder:
TV Shows\TV Show Name\Show_Name_s01e01.iso (and then add Show_Name_s01e02.iso and so on)

Why do you open multiple instances of DVD Shrink instead of just doing each episode sequentially? I'm guessing you left out a step where you click "OK" for each one to start the backup process. But if so, why not just hit "OK", then open another instance and do the next episode while the previous one is being processed?

tedbone Wrote:Oh, and the wiki does mention naming methods for short clips and DVD extras.
I don't know, dude - maybe this helps.

Can I get a link to the page? Sounds like it might be useful.

Starstream Wrote:What I do is I run a TV DVD through MakeMKV its just a ripper not an encoder so its very fast.

It dumps the original video stream in an MKV container and preserves chapter data, its ideal for TV shows as you get individual episode files which are easily recognized by XBMC library.

I know of at least one PMP that plays MKVs, so that would solve that issue (although I wonder if an MKV with MPEG2 video would be supported), but it still requires a lot more work than just ripping the DVD and leaving it as is.

The-Priest Wrote:Why not create *.iso's of the folders and name them accordingly ?

So as an example Bones Season 2 Disk 1 would become :

\Series\Bones\Season 2\S02E01E02E03E04.iso

I considered that, since it's nice that it doesn't require splitting out the original DVD, but (1) there's the ISO not being supported by any PMPs that I know of issue, and (2) it seems a little janky, IMO, to select an individual episode from your library, and have the DVD menu pop up, where you have to then go to the episode selection, and pick an episode to watch.
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#10
Might I suggest using WinX DVD? It is super fast and has excellent quality. I did all seven seaons of Star Trek TNG and they are very good quality rips. I had to rename them all using TV Episode Renamer but I was able to drop each episode from each season into "seres\season\episode.avi

The scrapers did all the hard work for me. I like WinX DVD because it does batch processing - encodes subtitles - and keeps audio tracks. Check it out. They were offering it for free a few months ago - I don't know if they still are.
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#11
I'd rather not transcode video that's supported. If I were going to break out each DVD to individual episodes I'd definitely stick with a way that doesn't alter the data.
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#12
All:

Does anyone have an elegant solution to this problem yet while still allowing me to continue to rip DVD's the way most default DVD ripping software does today, namely in a single iso per disc or single Video_TS folder containing all of the dvd files with multiple episodes ?

I've seen several very creative attempts at work arounds but all of them seem to require the user to extract individual episodes out of a single DVD into unique folders of filenames. What I like about XBMC is that for the most part it does NOT require me to hack things to make it work.

I would think that since most TV Series are sold in this format, multiple episodes per disc, multiple discs per season, that XBMC would want to support this somehow ?

I appreciate all the development work, nice product, hopefully this problem will be addressed shortly and if it is in work, if you could communicate the direction or the desired format I'd appreciate it, Thanks !
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#13
ir8trader Wrote:Does anyone have an elegant solution to this problem yet while still allowing me to continue to rip DVD's the way most default DVD ripping software does today, namely in a single iso per disc or single Video_TS folder containing all of the dvd files with multiple episodes ?

I've seen several very creative attempts at work arounds but all of them seem to require the user to extract individual episodes out of a single DVD into unique folders of filenames.

The first post in this thread provides a way to do what you're saying. It might seem like a lot of work, but it's the best way that I know of, IMO, to get unaltered TV show DVDs into the TV show section of the library.
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#14
I have used this tool with great success to import unscrapable Music vid DVDs into my library:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=36167

There are also instructions there on how to use it for TV shows. I think that would do the trick nicely for your TV show DVDs- just name them S01 e.01-09 or something like that and it should generate an .nfo with the same title that will be read by XBMC and show up in your library Smile
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