Thanks to everyone posting for trying to help me.
Plexhilarated : Awesome tip on checking out MovieFan.Plex's Database Tool. I suspect when I'm done I can contribute to that tool to help everyone else with this problem.
People ask all the time about moving media content. I think the reason they ask is because I think this article is misleading:
Not sure what is misleading. If you follow those steps, it works.
As I pointed out before (and in more detail below) manual edits are lost. The opinion is whether "works" includes lost manual edits or not. If your definition includes losing that data, then sure, it works good enough. Good enough is clearly not good enough for me.
You can't move content to a new location and expect any of your manual changes to apply to the moved content. If your files are all named perfectly, then sure, Plex will simply rematch your files.
I can expect it to work. I know my expectations don't match Plex's abilities - which is why I am fixing it myself. And I'm hoping to contribute a better overall solution for others.
The whole idea is you want Plex to match your files so your files should be named properly in the first place. If your files are not named according to the way Plex wants and didn't get matched properly the first time, it obviously will not match it properly a second time.
I think it's not too much to ask for Plex to FIX my filenames for me when I manually match or edit my library using the Plex web interface. So that a rescan WILL match correctly. It would be great if there was a way to tell Plex to rename my files the best way possible. I have seen some third party tools that will attempt to do this for you, but the third party tools only work well for filenames Plex was likely to already match just fine. I also don't think it's too much to ask to offer a true move feature rather than shoehorning people into rematching everything. I'm running the rematch now (so that I can attempt to give specific examples) and it's taking hours. This is a huge waste of resources - plex already knows what all these files are. Moving them shouldn't be that big of a deal.
But any content you added posters to, edited titles or tags, or did a "fix incorrect match" on won't be matched correctly no matter how closely you follow the above article. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I have tried following the article multiple times and everytime I've reverted to my backup because my manual changes haven't been noticed.
Can you give an exact example of a movie, including filename and full before and after paths?
Here are just two of the numerous examples of me repeating the steps in the article (and yes most of the movies rematched just fine and indeed showed a little blue 2 icon - but it's easy to find the ones that failed; no blue 2 icon):
/Users/jelwell/Shared/63 Minutes Later (360p).mp4 (original location)
/Volumes/Movies/63 Minutes Later (360p).mp4 (copy)
/Users/jelwell/Shared/Hall of Fame/Blame_It_On_Rio_1984.mkv (original location)
/Volumes/Movies/Hall of Fame/Blame_It_On_Rio_1984.mkv (copy gets named "Hall of Fame")
I would have to manually edit these (and many more). Neither movie was matched to the original. I think what you and others are attempting to purport is that I should change my workflow so that I edit filenames rather than use plex web to search/match/edit things. I have 2 problems with this suggestion.
1. I can't go back in time. So there's already a lot of wasted work.
2. In attempting to rename files I will be guessing what Plex wants the file to be called. A lot of times the movies in question are obscure or have alternate titles (especially different languages). And my file manager isn't as helpful as Plex Web's built in search features.