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Emby Server Misidentifies TV-Show Folders

Server TV Show Media Folder Bug

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#1 ChicGeek OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 12:02 PM

To whom it may concern,

 

I'm running Emby Server version 3.2.36.0 on Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard.

 

The problem that I'm having, while minor, is still annoying.

 

First a little background on my Folder arrangement — which is necessary to illustrate the problem. On my sever I have a folder called Media, under which I have several sub-folders — each of which is a network share — named Books, Films, Images, Music, Shows and Video, respectively. Under both the Films and the Shows sub-folders I have 27 additional sub-folders — each of which has a one-character name, starting with 'A' and continuing on through 'Z', with the 27th having a name of '#'. For films, for example, all of the titles that start with a number (e.g.2 Days in the Valley (1996); 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The (1958); 9 (2009); 12 Angry Men (1957)) has a correspondingly named sub-folder under Media\Films\#, which contains its video file, and all of its other related metadata files. I do this for all of my movies: Titles starting with "A", are located in sub-folder A under Media\Films, titles starting with "B", are located in B, and so on, for the rest of the alphabet. No problem. Emby Server recognizes this structure, and handles the metadata for each movie in its self-titled sub-folder with absolutely no trouble.

 

When it comes to TV Shows, on the other hand, Emby Server is not so accommodating! As mentioned earlier, my Shows sub-folder has the same arrangement as my Films sub-folder (i.e.—sub-folders named "A" through "Z", plus "#") — however, Emby Server treats each of the "A" through "Z", and the "#", sub-folders as though it were the primary repository for a TV Show! Even though there are other sub-folders within each of the "A" through "Z" sub-folders for actual TV Shows, Emby Server still place images and .nfo files directly into the "A" through "Z" sub-folders! Plus, when I go into the Emby Metadata Manager, the "A" through "Z" sub-folders are themselves identified as TV Shows! For example, sub-folder "L" is designated as the resting place for The L-Word, sub-folder "Z" for Dragon Ball Z, and so on. Deleting the files and changing the designations in the Metadata Manager does no good, as Emby Server simply changes them back and re-adds the files! I have to "lock" each of these sub-folders to prevent Emby Server from re-applying the designations — of course, this has the undesired side-effect of disabling metadata updates in all of the sub-folders that reside therein (with each sub-folder containing an actual TV Show)!

 

Also, this problem has appeared in all of the versions of the Emby Server that I have used (I started, years ago, with, what I think was, version 1.something). I find it odd that no one else appears to be having the same problem. I doubt that I'm the only one who has this folder arrangement.

 

In any case, thanks for an otherwise nice product.


Edited by ChicGeek, 03 April 2018 - 12:06 PM.


#2 cayars OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

You should be fine doing this with films.  I do this with the 27 chars and have over 11K movies and have no issues with this.

 

HOWEVER, you do NOT want to do this for TV Shows.  It's also not needed.  Just put all your show directories right under the Shows directory WITHOUT using the 27 chars.

 

There is no need to do this with tv shows anyhow.  The reason to do it with films for example on my system is to keep from having 11K directories under movies!  With Shows I've got 425 directories under shows. Each of those shows has season sub folders, then the actual episodes.  So you have a nice "tree" without having to introduce the #-Z.

 

Hope that helps,

Carlo



#3 Deathsquirrel OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 02:04 PM

@cayars is correct.  As an alternative though you can keep your current structure but you'll need to add each subfolder to the library separately.  Instead of adding \\server\Shows to the TV library you'll need to add each subfolder so \\server\Shows\#, \\server\Shows\A, \\server\Shows\B, etc.

 

Personally I'd just consolidate the shows into the root folder of the share.  There is no benefit to what you're doing now and some pain as suggested above.



#4 ChicGeek OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 03:09 PM

HOWEVER, you do NOT want to do this for TV Shows.  It's also not needed.  Just put all your show directories right under the Shows directory WITHOUT using the 27 chars.

 

There is no need to do this with tv shows anyhow.  The reason to do it with films for example on my system is to keep from having 11K directories under movies!  With Shows I've got 425 directories under shows. Each of those shows has season sub folders, then the actual episodes.  So you have a nice "tree" without having to introduce the #-Z.

 

@cayars while I thank you for your prompt reply to my post, I must respectfully disagree with its content — I, most assuredly, do want to do this for my Shows folder. For the same reason, it appears, that you and I both are doing it for our movies — convenience (that, plus, not wanting to have hundreds (and, later possibly thousands) of sub-folders in my primary TV Shows folder)!

 

So, while, I'd like to have the metadata for my TV shows updated, if I have to choose between that and my current folder structure: I'll be keeping my current folder structure.

 

BTW, I also have separate "Season" sub-folders for each season of each of my shows; with the relevant episodes in its respective "Season" sub-folder. So, it would appear that you and I, otherwise, have very similar folder structures.

 

Anyway, thanks for your kind consideration of my problem.


Edited by ChicGeek, 03 April 2018 - 03:29 PM.


#5 ChicGeek OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 03:24 PM

@cayars is correct.  As an alternative though you can keep your current structure but you'll need to add each subfolder to the library separately.  Instead of adding \\server\Shows to the TV library you'll need to add each subfolder so \\server\Shows\#, \\server\Shows\A, \\server\Shows\B, etc.

 

Personally I'd just consolidate the shows into the root folder of the share.  There is no benefit to what you're doing now and some pain as suggested above.

 

@Deathsquirrel, as I mentioned in my reply to @cayars, I will definitely be keeping my current folder structure.

 

However, your suggestion about adding each of the single-letter sub-folders separately does have some merit! I haven't looked into this too deeply — since you, so very kindly, just brought it to my attention — but I wonder if it would be necessary to create a network share on each single-letter sub-folder in order to do this. If that's the case, then I wont be being doing that either. But, I do seem to remember seeing somewhere in one of the Server Dashboard screens, that you could specify local paths to the media for the Server — if it's running on the same machine as your media (which mine, obviously, is).

 

All I really want is for Emby Server to update the metadata for my TV Shows, without shoving extraneous junk into my pristine sub-folders. ;-)

 

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion — you've given me something to think about.


Edited by ChicGeek, 03 April 2018 - 04:13 PM.


#6 Deathsquirrel OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 03:26 PM

@Deathsquirrel, as I mentioned in my reply to @cayars, I will definitely be keeping my current folder structure.

 

However, your suggestion about adding each of the single-letter sub-folders separately does have some merit! I haven't looked into this too deeply — since you, so very kindly, just brought it to my attention — but I wonder if I have to create a network share on each single-letter sub-folder in order to do this. If that's the case, then I wont be being doing that either.

 

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion — you've given me something to think about.

 

Nope, no need.  You can have a single share and just add a subfolder in the share to the library.  I do this with my movie organization to create separate libraries for each of my users that contain movies only that user will ever watch.


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#7 cayars OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 03:54 PM

@cayars while I thank you for your prompt reply to my post, I must respectfully disagree with its content — I, most assuredly, do want to do this for my Shows folder. For the same reason, it appears, that you and I both are doing it for our movies — convenience (that, plus, not wanting to have hundreds (and, later possibly thousands) of sub-folders in my primary TV Shows folder)!

 

So, while, I'd like to have the metadata for my TV shows updated, if I have to choose between that and my current folder structure: I'll be keeping my current folder structure.

 

BTW, I also have separate "Season" sub-folders for each season of each of my shows; with the relevant episodes in its respective "Season" sub-folder. So, it would appear that you and I, otherwise, have very similar folder structures.

 

Anyway, thanks for your kind consideration of my problem.

You're welcome to disagree with it but that isn't going to make it work for you. :)

I understand your WANT to have this but it's doubtfully ever going to happen for reasons of matching.  None of the media software I run will support this for TV shows while most will support it for Movies.  It's just the way it is.

 

This is one of those situations where you can try and fight the PROPER DOCUMENTED SETUP  and go your own way but it will always be a point of contention and you're going to spend a lot of time editing and correcting content not to mention get wacked and start over if something gets broke and refreshes your meta data.

 

This isn't something unique to Emby.  It's the same way in Plex as well.

 

Now let me share a little trick that you might like that could help.  I organize my TV Shows by shows that have ENDED and those ONGOING.  So my structure looks roughly like this:

 

\TV Shows\Ended

\TV Shows\Ended\Heroes (2006)

\TV Shows\Ended\Home Improvement (1991)

\TV Shows\Ended\Las Vegas (2003)

etc

\TV Shows\Ongoing

\TV Shows\Ongoing\Grey's Anatomy (2005)

\TV Shows\Ongoing\MythBusters (2003)

\TV Shows\Ongoing\The Big Bang Theory (2007)

etc

 

Now for both Emby and Plex I have 2 directories entered for my TV Shows which are:

\TV Shows\Ended

\TV Shows\Ongoing

 

That allows me to break down the shows into organized units of "ended" and "ongoing" but also more cool is that in Emby it puts this "category name" of ENDED or ONGOING at the top of the page so it's cool as a visual reminder if the show is still in production on not.

 

If you insist on keep the # to Z folder structure for TV Shows then you can do what @Deathsquirrel suggested

For TV Shows instead of having just:

\TV Shows

you will need to add:

\TV Shows\#

\TV Shows\A

\TV Shows\B

\TV Shows\C

all the way to Z

 

So it can be done but you just need to add 27 directories to your TV Show library instead of one or two (like me).



#8 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 05:42 PM

While you are at it, you should consider updating to the latest server version as well :).



#9 ChicGeek OFFLINE  

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 06:43 PM

While you are at it, you should consider updating to the latest server version as well :).

 

I would, except that every time I apply a so-called "upgrade" to the Server software, it invariably breaks all of my clients. This, coupled with the fact that I don't see anything in the latest Server version (or, any other Server version after the version that I'm using, for that matter) that I consider to be a "must have" feature, means that I bypass most of the so-called "upgrades"! I've learned from brutal experience with prior so-called "upgrades": If it ain't broke, I ain't gonna fix it!

 

<rant>Of course, if you guys fix (and, yes, I said "fix" — because, in my opinion it's a bug) the "Misidentifies TV Shows Folders" problem that I outlined in this thread, then I'll take it under advisement! And, while you're at it, you should do something about the extremely lousy error reporting in the Emby Windows Media Center Client software! I'm a programmer, with many years of experience, and if I ever released a piece of software (notice that the initials are P.O.S.) that had run-time errors that were generated while interacting with a user, but, that P.O.S. generated absolutely no feedback to the user that an error had occurred (heck, if it didn't even acknowledge that it receive my input) — and, to top it off(!), if I told my user: "Oh, check the error logs" — I'd be fired on the spot!!! Or, at least, I'd rightly expect to be! So, to make a long story short: make it worth my while, and I'll stay current!</rant>


Edited by ChicGeek, 03 April 2018 - 06:51 PM.


#10 ebr OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:37 AM

And, while you're at it, you should do something about the extremely lousy error reporting in the Emby Windows Media Center Client software! I'm a programmer, with many years of experience, and if I ever released a piece of software (notice that the initials are P.O.S.) that had run-time errors that were generated while interacting with a user, but, that P.O.S. generated absolutely no feedback to the user that an error had occurred (heck, if it didn't even acknowledge that it receive my input) — and, to top it off(!), if I told my user: "Oh, check the error logs" — I'd be fired on the spot!!! Or, at least, I'd rightly expect to be! So, to make a long story short: make it worth my while, and I'll stay current!</rant>

 

Thanks for the feedback but first, please realize you are talking about a development platform that has been left for dead for 8 years by its creator and is now officially discontinued and unsupported.  Therefore, our resources committed to it are fairly limited :).

 

But, if you can describe exactly what you are talking about with those broad statements we can see if anything can be done.

 

Thanks.



#11 ChicGeek OFFLINE  

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:43 PM

Thanks for the feedback but first, please realize you are talking about a development platform that has been left for dead for 8 years by its creator and is now officially discontinued and unsupported.  Therefore, our resources committed to it are fairly limited :).

 

But, if you can describe exactly what you are talking about with those broad statements we can see if anything can be done.

 

Thanks.

 

First, @ebr, let me commend you on your responsiveness!

 

Second, I recognize that there is very little chance of getting the "error reporting" problem that I mentioned resolved — and, I'm O.K. with that!

 

However, to respond to your request for more information, here goes: Under Windows 7 Media Center I'm running the Emby Media Center Client with "auto login", and in the "External Viewer" mode, and using the latest version of Media Player Classic as my external viewer (see, I stay current with their software, because they make it worth my while). Anyway, every time (and, I do mean every-freakin'-time) in the past that I have applied a so-called "upgrade" to the Emby Server software, the Media Center Client then refuses to run when it is selected from the main Media Center menu. No error message. No, "Thanks for playing". Nothin'.

 

The first time that this happened, I was at a loss! WTF! So, I did some trouble shooting, and found out that everything else in Media Center worked — the only thing not working was the Emby Media Center Client! At this point I went to your forum and did some investigating. Immediately, I noticed that the response to everything from you and @Luke was for the person with the problem to "go read the error logs". O.K., so I did. Not very helpful! Because, whoever was responsible for generating the "error log" entries couldn't do something simple like, for instance, just post an error message that said: "Unable to connect to the Server." No. There were tons (and tons) of entries in the log, but none of them seem to indicate what the problem was.

 

Fortunately for me, another poster had the exact same problem that I did: non-functioning Client after Server "upgrade". Hmm. Now, yet another poster, responded to that poster, that he had also had the same problem — and, all that he did was to re-entered the exact same user-name, with the exact same password into their respective fields in the Emby Media Center Client Configuration program. And, voila! The Client was running again! Apparently, "upgrading" the Server invalidates all of the Clients' persisted login information. O.K. This is very bad programming (particularly, when there is no on-screen indication as to what the "problem" is)! But, hey, at least, now I know how to fix it — so, what the heck.

 

But, wait — there's more!

 

Now, the Client is running, but it wont play anything! Again, no error message. No, "Thanks for playing". Nothin'. (Are we starting to see a pattern, yet?) I select a movie, I select the Play option for that movie, and I then press the OK button on my Media Center Remote (as I have, literally, hundreds of times in the past) and, absolutely nothing happens! Double WTF! Programming 101, folks! Always let the user know what is happening — particularly, when it comes to error conditions! (And, just to be clear: shoving some cryptic notation into an obscure file somewhere, is definitely not letting the user know what is happening!)

 

Anyway — to bring this rather long-winded tale, to a merciful close (and, thereby skipping all of the investigating, wrong turns and hair-pulling to fix this problem) — turns out that the so-called Server "upgrade" not only invalidated the persisted sign-in credentials of the Clients, but it also changed the method that it used to expose the share names to the Clients — so, now the Clients can see everything, but they can't play anything! (So, why even let me see it, if I can't do anything with it! Even more very bad programming!) And, of course, during all of this, nary an error message to be seen! (And, yes, there were tons (and tons) of entries in the error log to the effect of "unable to trans-code media" — which meant nothing to me, because I was using [or, at least, I thought I was using] network shares to access my media; so, no trans-coding should be needed! [But, the Client not being able to use the network share, tried (and failed) to use a direct TCP/IP connection instead — all done without on-screen error notifications, of course] So, not only is there no on-screen error information, but the information in the error logs wasn't very helpful either!)

 

So, that boys and girls, is what I mean by "extremely lousy error reporting" — and, it is also the reason that I don't rush to apply so-called Server "upgrades"!

 

Also, to hopefully forestall any "helpful" suggestions that I switch to the new and improved Emby Theater program to solve these problems — I've tried it, and I don't like it! In fact, I have it installed on one of main development machines; and, even run it every two or three months, or so, to see if it has improved any. So far, it hasn't. Its user-interface for movies pales in comparison to the Media Center Client movie user-interface (which was obviously, in my opinion, created by real movie-lovers, who could not only code, but also knew a lot more about user-interface design, as well). In addition, the quality (using the word very loosely) of its video playback is atrocious! I don't know what mechanism you guys are using for video playback, but it looks absolutely awful on my machine — while, the exact same file played back on the exact same machine, using Media Player Classic, looks pristine. So, not only is Emby Theater ugly, but it don't work so good, either!

 

Anyway, thanks, again, for at least asking @ebr — that alone, puts you head and shoulders above most!


Edited by ChicGeek, 05 April 2018 - 12:14 PM.


#12 DaveLizz OFFLINE  

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 04:26 AM

I understand your WANT to have this but it's doubtfully ever going to happen for reasons of matching.  None of the media software I run will support this for TV shows while most will support it for Movies.  It's just the way it is.

 

This is one of those situations where you can try and fight the PROPER DOCUMENTED SETUP  and go your own way but it will always be a point of contention and you're going to spend a lot of time editing and correcting content not to mention get wacked and start over if something gets broke and refreshes your meta data.

 

This isn't something unique to Emby.  It's the same way in Plex as well.

 

 

Except that it's the way that DS Video works (the Synology DiskStation inbuilt Video Server).  It's brilliant.  I have a structure like the following:

\TV Shows\Archive\Complete Shows\

\TV Shows\Archive\Incomplete Shows\

\TV Shows\Currently Watching\

\TV Shows\Marvel Cinematic Universe Shows\

\TV Shows\Arrowverse\Year 01\

\TV Shows\Arrowverse\Year 02\

\TV Shows\Arrowverse\Year 03\

\TV Shows\Arrowverse\Year 04\Constantine\

etc
 

Inside each of the folders above (except the Arrowverse ones...I'll get to that) is then a folder with the show, and inside those is a folder with the seasons.  In one case, there's even another show inside a show:

\TV Shows\Archive\Complete Shows\Once Upon a Time\Season 3.1 - Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

which is a full show in itself, but a spinoff set between seasons 3 and 4.

 

Inside each of the Arrowverse Year xx folders is all the episodes that aired that year from all (up to) 8 shows in the CW Arrowverse.  They are named such as "01_Arrow_S03E01_[episode name].mkv", "02_The_Flash_S01E01_[episode name].mkv", etc.  This ensures that someone can sit down and just hit play and watch them all in correct order, taking into account the multitude of crossovers and cross-throughs each year.

 

DS Video has absolutely zero trouble with this.  I just add the TV Shows root folder, and it goes through and scrapes for video files, then sorts them into shows based on the file itself, NOT the folder it's in.  I believe this is the way that all video servers should work, but it's the only one I've seen do it.  Literally the only reason I've even tried Emby (and Plex, and Kodi, and a bunch of others) is because I'm trying to find one that will let me create a playlist of videos at the server level and manually sort it, so that I can replicate that same viewing structure for the Arrowverse, as well as a second playlist that only includes some of the shows for my wife, because she doesn't watch Supergirl or Black Lightning, but still include the crossover episodes of those shows with the ones she does watch.  DS Video only allows you to sort playlists by show name or airdate, which isn't always accurate for the in-universe timelines.

 

Looks like once again I'll be uninstalling another server (Emby) and continuing my search for the perfect one.  I've even tried adding each of the "Year xx" folders from Arrowverse as their own root folder, like was suggested above, but then none of the shows appear in the Shows section.  I can see the individual episodes in Episodes, but can't "identify" them so as to group them by show via metadata.  Very annoying.



#13 Luke OFFLINE  

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Posted 23 January 2020 - 03:00 PM

We'd like to be able to accomodate mish mash folder structures in future releases, but we're not quite there yet. For now we do require a little bit of structure as outlined in our TV Naming Guide. Thanks.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Server, TV Show, Media Folder, Bug

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