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  1. OK, so I can honestly say I've been trying to wrangle this issue for a LONG time (far too long), and it's make or break for me. I need a good way to organize all my video (and other media), which is where I need some input.

    So I've tried every media center front-end and on the market today, and all have their advantages/disadvantages. My biggest issue is that much of my media setup in the past as been dependent on one specific program or feature. Therefore, if that program goes away, my system is kinda' fubared. With my video collection being as big as it is, I can't reasonably keep coming back to this project and trying to re-organize it over and over. I need a permanent solution and I need it now!

    So I ask, what are your thoughts on the safest method? I'd love cover art for each video (including meta-data via XML), but there's no guarantee I'll get the correct info I need each time nor will programs ten years from now even pull info from this specific format. From what I understand, there's no way to embed this info (like covers or movie info) like you would an MP3 tag, which seems like it could be more permanent.

    The only constant I can see across all these formats is just a simple folder structure in my OS and letting that just be the end of it (utilizing a front-end that has a nice file browser, similar to my cable box's on-demand). But before I strip things down and go the minimalist route, I wanna know there's nothing I'm overlooking.

    I'd love to have things looking nice, but I just can't keep wrestling with this same issue over and over. I want an iron-clad plan that is future-proof. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
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  2. Member
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    Yes, there is no standard governing how media organizers catalog your files. I think you are correct that you must use a simple file and folder structure and roll your own if you want a solution that is not dependent on anybody else's software. However, even the OS can change what it does. Libraries were introduced in Windows 7, but Windows 8 and 10 make it hard to use them effectively. File Explorer doesn't automatically display them and they are hard to find using Search.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 7th Feb 2016 at 11:21.
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  3. Originally Posted by dualdivx View Post
    The only constant I can see across all these formats is just a simple folder structure in my OS and letting that just be the end of it (utilizing a front-end that has a nice file browser
    That's what I do.

    \Movies\A-B\...
    \Movies\C-E\...
    \Series\A-C\...
    \Series\D-F\...

    That keeps the number of files per folder down for quicker browsing. When a folder starts getting too many files I split the contents into two folders. Ie, Movies\A-B\ becomes Movies\A\ and MoviesB\. This makes it easy to find stuff alphabetically. Of course, you can't search for "all movies with Clint Eastwood" using a simple structure like this.
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  4. Banned
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    Have you tried JRver Media Center
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  5. Member
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    I use Kodi as a front end and use a file server as back end.
    This way i can use any front end i like because everything comes from my sever through network connections.

    you can use any folder system you like.
    Or you can use a NAS as back end.

    It is also possible to use a front and back end on the same pc / server/ media center etc.
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  6. I am for simplicity, user made approach, folder/directory based. It is foolproof, simple. Movies can be organized by suggested jagabo approach. Home videos would use directories with year in it, then within it could be 01 to 12 (month directories), then clips starting 01, 02 etc., if one cares for chronology within a month.

    Using a scraper to organize media in virtual library is great but it is not forever as was mentioned a platform could be abandoned. But why not to create a library for whatever platform is used now, it can look great. Using platforms like Kodi, you can choose how to navigate to your database anyway, choosing files (folder/directory) structure or library (virtual structure) , based on genre, titles, year, actors .. That library has to be created first, choosing a type of scraper etc. New platform would have a sort of new library system and pulling data from web as well. I do not see a reason to kind of store that data as a metadata of some sort.

    There should be a physical order storing data. For home made clips, scrapers do not work anyway, (data, thumbnails gathered from web) for example I use Kodi and scraping a part of database , particularly directory named "Home videos" with home videos in it I got "Naughty Amateur Home videos" library label, so we are having a blast and just left it like that ....
    Last edited by _Al_; 7th Feb 2016 at 12:00.
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  7. Banned
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    check out the trial version
    It can be server, client at some time along with some good organizing options
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  8. Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    Home videos would use directories with year in it, then within it could be 01 to 12 (month directories), then clips starting 01, 02 etc., if one cares for chronology within a month.
    Yes, we have our photographs organized something like that. \pics\2012\04\Trip to China\...
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  9. Wow, what a great community! So many great replies, reminds me why I've been a member here for so long. Let me follow up on a few good points above.

    1) I had never thought about using Windows library system for sorting, but I can see how it would be useful. However, again that's depending on a very specific feature to make things work, and if support dissolves then so does your setup (case in point with Windows 8 and 10). However, a simple folder tree is the root of any OS that can't really be un-done. So by breaking down my movies by say file type, then genre, then alphabetical (with the move files being house in a custom folder with the official title pulled from IMDB), that seems pretty fool proof. However, I'm up for a better suggestion if anyone can think of one.

    2) Don't get me wrong, I have to come to the conclusion of using a simple file browser with text only under extreme protest. I for one ABSOLUTELY LOVE graphic front-ends with nice, flowing cover art. But the problems I see with all the front-ends I've tried thus far (like the Windows Media Centers, Kodi's or iTunes) is that managing accurate and updated cover art for 1,000+ movies seems impossible. Here's a couple glaring problems:

    - I've never found a truly great scrapper. While most will get 60-70% of what you need automatically, I've always had to go in and update the mislabeled titles or completely inaccurate movie info/details.

    - Also, the cover art is spotty at best. Many it doesn't find, and the some of the ones it does are of a downright horrible quality (or the wrong version). This is due to the database not being managed by a governing body, but rather a catch-all of whatever the community dumps in (which means no quality control).

    - Finally, how do folks plan to contend with the ever changing resolutions? We're already seeing 1080p starting to be threatened by the 4k format (or the next best thing after that), while 720 was the hot new kid on the block not so long ago. It seems that even if you do finally get a nicely sorted collection with tons of covers all set, it's just a matter of time before things will be outdated and need updating to match the future technology (otherwise your cover art will get stretched). Is this inevitable?


    3) Finally, I'd like to be clear on something. While curating my entire collection would be a huge project, I'd be wiling to do it on a move-by-movie basis (pulling the covers, setting the metal data, etc) if that's what it takes. Just so as long as I know there was a way to do it ONCE and then lock it off for future front-ends, no matter what the case. Tagging MP3s seem like the are way ahead in this regard, as everything is embedded and can't be undone. However, I know of no such setup for videos. Am I missing something on that front? Is there a way to package all the movies up in a way where they'll be front-end ready for the future, no matter the tech of the next decade and beyond?

    Again, I come back to my argument/assumption that a simple folder structure is the only real solution that can't be undone. But I hope I'm very wrong here, and I love others insights so I can get a feel for how to tackle mine (so I don't feel like such an island unto myself).
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  10. Member n8tvm's Avatar
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    Have you tried PLEX ?
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  11. Originally Posted by n8tvm View Post
    Have you tried PLEX ?
    Yes, but best I can tell it's just another media front-end like Kodi that requires the same cover art setup as every other (which as we've established above, is prone to headaches and problems in maintaining them over the long term). Unless of course, I'm missing something?
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  12. I wanted cover art als well, but I gave it up long time ago. Resolutions are changing and nothing is forever. Keep that in mind. Instead of that take care of the right way of playing back the movies. Refresh rates, colors, correct bitstreaming, ...
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  13. I'm curious, does anyone know if there is a way to somehow embed art or even meta data into a video file? I read that you can change the videos thumbnail to the cover but some programs either don't recognize it always or it gets dropped when refreshed. If there was a way to "tag" the video files with what you want, that seems like a pretty permanent solution. Then the front end would just read whatever info it pulls from the video file itself.

    Thoughts?
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  14. Originally Posted by dualdivx View Post
    I'm curious, does anyone know if there is a way to somehow embed art or even meta data into a video file?
    Yes, pretty much every container allows extension with whatever data you want.

    Originally Posted by dualdivx View Post
    If there was a way to "tag" the video files with what you want, that seems like a pretty permanent solution. Then the front end would just read whatever info it pulls from the video file itself.
    Except there's no widely accepted standard.
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  15. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Except there's no widely accepted standard.
    That's exactly the point.
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  16. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Yes, pretty much every container allows extension with whatever data you want.
    Ah, I do see that you can do something similar to MKV as you can with MP3. However, that got me thinking. Even though you can embed it into the video file, that is once again getting pretty specific. If I were to do it in this fashion, is that not also once again putting all my media eggs in one basket (which we've already determined is only going to be as good for as long as the current standard holds)? For example, think about to the mid-2000s until around the 2010's. Formats like DIVX, XVID, MP4 and ISO were HUGE among digital collectors. Now these formats are all starting to fall by the way side of digital collectors in place of the current new "standard /flavor of the week" in MKV. Who's to say five years from now MKV won't be bumped off by something else? If it is, and I'm forced to replace my 1,000+ movie collection with a new standard, then that also means all that work in tagging my videos is right out the window with the old format. I mean, am I wrong in seeing this as no where near as future proof had I once thought. Seems even "tagging" isn't as permanent as I had assumed. Hell, what if MP3 are replaced by a different audio format in the future? Doesn't that mean that people's audio collections will all need to be redone as well? Far as I know there is no convenient way to tag a folder, which might be a work around, so I'm still back to the assumption that even this is a lost cause.

    Seems like there is no such thing as a way to curate your collection with a nice visual component and then just be done with it. Seems to me if you want to be hands off with it after the first pass, it MUST be done via simple text and folder structure. And if you do what graphics or meta data of any kind attached, you have to look at it as a longer term project you WILL have to keep coming back to and updating periodically over time that'll require time and effort to maintain over the long term. Am I wrong? Cause I gotta say, that sounds like a freakin nightmare.
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  17. If there is really another container format in the future which is greater than Matroska, then there will be sure a tool like MKVToolnix and just remux the files. No need to reencode. This time is over ... at least for me ...
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  18. Originally Posted by dualdivx View Post
    Seems like there is no such thing as a way to curate your collection with a nice visual component and then just be done with it. Seems to me if you want to be hands off with it after the first pass, it MUST be done via simple text and folder structure. And if you do what graphics or meta data of any kind attached, you have to look at it as a longer term project you WILL have to keep coming back to and updating periodically over time that'll require time and effort to maintain over the long term. Am I wrong?
    You are correct. Some large company or standard setting body would have to define a metadata standard that's widely accepted and implemented. Until that happens anything you do now will have to be re-done in the future, each time you change software.
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  19. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by dualdivx View Post
    Seems like there is no such thing as a way to curate your collection with a nice visual component and then just be done with it. Seems to me if you want to be hands off with it after the first pass, it MUST be done via simple text and folder structure. And if you do what graphics or meta data of any kind attached, you have to look at it as a longer term project you WILL have to keep coming back to and updating periodically over time that'll require time and effort to maintain over the long term. Am I wrong?
    You are correct. Some large company or standard setting body would have to define a metadata standard that's widely accepted and implemented. Until that happens anything you do now will have to be re-done in the future, each time you change software.
    Yeah, I was afraid of that. And frankly, that sounds like freakin' nightmare. For me, this setup isn't just limited to movies either. I'll need a system that encompass other media as well, like games and music. Knowing that non of these collection are ever going to be "done" sounds like a real hassle. And that's not easy for me to say, as I really love cover arts and the beatify of having a collection with so many nice covers.

    But as we've established, there is no central body that oversees these. I've seen some cover art for video games (like old NES or Genesis) games that were Photoshoped with complete inaccurate covers and these have ended up in many so-called "databases" that scrappers often pull from. I've even some of them end up on Amazon.

    When it comes to music and movies, it's always easy to find high resolution copies of what your looking for, providing it's a super mainstream film or artist. But I find when you get into some of the more obscure parts of your collection, the cover qualities available tank. So even trying to curate things by hand seems damn near impossible at times.

    And the sad fact is, even if I were to find covers that work well enough for my collection in 2016, there's absolute no way to maintain that level of quality moving forward without having to refresh everything by pulling new covers and starting all over again once the technology evolves over the next 5-10 years. Man, I really wish I could have found a good solution, but doesn't look like I ever will
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  20. Originally Posted by flashandpan007 View Post
    I wanted cover art als well, but I gave it up long time ago. Resolutions are changing and nothing is forever. Keep that in mind. Instead of that take care of the right way of playing back the movies. Refresh rates, colors, correct bitstreaming, ...
    Another reason for me, why I gave this issue up, were the different formats and qualities of covers. What do I need for minimum so it looks good? I don't know. There are so many things to think about if you want to make it looking good and long lasting, but if anyone can say yeah this is the standard quality I need, but for how long? And the same story can begin again and again ...
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  21. Use Long FileNames for everything.

    Load the Name with geographic location, Start point for video play and lots of curation details...
    FN info is viewable without special software.
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