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Organized file structure vs. Plex Library (primarily TV shows)

DreamT_SaffleDreamT_Saffle Posts: 3Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass


I have video files from two different sources: DVD and VHS (ripped with digitizer). Of course, the first category dominates the collection; VHS are mainly for nostalgic/preserving reasons. In the file system, I want to keep these these apart (let's say that I want to backup all my VHS videos, if I have a separate folder for them it will be very easy). But in Plex, I want to see them in the same library.

For movies i have a subfolder for VHS, and it works great. I.e., like this:

/VHS-movie2 e.t.c.

But, I have problems with TV shows. If I create a structure like the one above, Plex will think that there's a TV show called 'VHS', and it won't scan the subfolders.

I know that I can create separate libraries for them (I do that now), but there's starting to be quite many libraries...

Therefore, my questions are as follows:

  • How can I solve my problem regarding TV shows?
  • I there any better way in general for this (that also includes movies)? I've thought of alternate file naming conventions, tagging of the different sources, e.t.c. Can I use collections?

My goals are:

  • Easy to separate the sources in the file system.
  • As few libraries in Plex as possible (one for "Movies' and one for 'TV shows' would be optimal).
  • I want to do as little work in Plex as possible - The magic should happen within the file structure/file names (If I lose my Plex database sometime, and want to rescan my library, I want the files to be as prepared as possible, so that I don't have to put a lot of time in reconfiguring my Plex libraries)
  • Bonus: It would be great if it was possible to see the actual source in Plex. It would be great if it was possible to tag the files in one way or another so that Plex would understand that 'this is a VHS rip'. 'this is a DVD rip' etc., and display this in one way or another.


  • OttoKernerOttoKerner Posts: 30,278Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Plex Ninja

    What you want to do with movies is quite easily achievable.
    You can have several 'top folders' for your different sources.

    Movies [DVD] /
       Blade Runner (1992).mp4
       Avatar (2009).mp4
    Movies [VHS] / 
       Blade Runner (1992) - [original cut].mp4

    You can then include the path to both the "top folders" Movies [DVD] and Movies [VHS] into your 'movies' library. Plex will then combine them into one list.

    The indication of quality is not that easy within Plex. I can only think of the 'resolution' as an indicator here.
    Since VHS realistically only provides a differentiation of ~ 360 lines at best, you don't need to store it in higher resolution files. These would appear labeled as SD within Plex..

    TV Shows
    If you want your tv shows "to work" in Plex, you need to follow the prescribed manner of naming your files and creating a folder structure.

    But again, you can use several "top folders" for your different sources and add each of these into the same library.
    Then inside each of these "top folders", you build the folder structure Plex needs to successfully recognise and organise your tv shows.

    Series [DVD] /
       Alf /
          Season 01 /
             Alf - s01e01 - A.L.F.mp4
             Alf - s01e02 - Strangers in the Night.mp4
          Season 02 /
             Alf - s02e01 - Working My Way Back to You.mp4
             Alf - s02e02 - Somewhere Over the Rerun.mp4
    Series [VHS] / 
       MacGyver /
          Season 01 /
             MacGyver - s01e01 - Pilot.mp4
             MacGyver - s01e02 - The Golden Triangle.mp4
          Season 02 /
             MacGyver - s02e01 - The Human Factor.mp4
             MacGyver - s02e02 - The Eraser.mp4
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