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I've been hunting around the web for a good .nfo file creator for my media files.

So far I haven't been able to track one down that does what I want. Most of them seem to be full out media managers.

I keep my media on an external drive and don't want the .nfo generating program to worry about keeping track of anything because I don't actually use this machine for viewing any of the media.

My ideal program would:

  1. Allow me to choose a file/folder containing specific types of media files (music, tv shows, movies)
  2. Match the files online with a scraper using the standard sources (tvdb, etc.)
  3. Rename files using the scraped data
  4. Generate .nfo files using the scraped data

FileBot has been an excellent tool for doing steps 1-3, what would be really nice is if there was a plugin for it to generate the .nfo files. (I haven't been able to find one yet)

Anywho. My question is. Does anyone know of a good piece of existing software for doing this?

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I lost track of this account, I just logged in and saw that this question has received a fair number of views.

I've since been using TinyMediaManager for handling TV Shows and Movies.

Hints for TMM:

  1. TV episodes can get messy if the filenames aren't standardized. It can be set to handle a number of different season/episode formats. Season 1 Episode 3 could be S01E03, x103, or whatever else you can think of. After having TMM mistake resolutions like "1920x1080" in the filename for Season 1 Episode 8. I decided to stick with the S01E03 format and only scrape that format. In case you have a collection of episodes that aren't already in this format, I use pyRenamer to rename the files into that format (which takes some getting used to, an understanding of regular expressions is helpful).
  2. DVD order vs aired order, some shows will order their episodes differently on DVD vs how they were originally aired. TMM has an option to use one or the other, but you will need to know which order the episodes are in prior to scraping/renaming. Episodes can end up with the wrong names/metadata but the episode order will remain the same. If you scrape the episodes the wrong way, you can just change this setting and rescrape.

MusicBrainz Picard for music. This program can be somewhat painful and it took a significant amount of time for me to update the metadata on my music library.

Hints for MBP:

  1. Most albums by lesser known bands, and even some by major artists, won't show up in the MusicBrainz database, if you are willing to put in the effort you can add them to the database yourself.
  2. Some albums will match with albums with a similar name by a different artist. Some of these incorrect matches boggle the mind by how far off they are. When you're looking up albums I suggest batching one artist at a time so that when these false matches occur it will be obvious by the artist name.
  3. I often have trouble getting/maintaining a good connection to the db from the Picard app (not sure if they expect me to have a better connection than I do, or if their servers are a little overwhelmed). Often it will tell me that an album wasn't found but really it just gave up looking for it. Looking up the album multiple times often solves the problem. If it still doesn't find it, you can look up the album in a browser and add it to Picard from there. If you can't find it via the MB website, it probably hasn't been added yet (sometimes it's just hard to find).
  4. There are often many versions of each album (different releases in different countries, remasters, etc), you'll need to figure out which one you have (often your album will be identical to several versions).
  5. Album information (including alternate versions) often fails to download with or without any error message so you may end up refreshing the album info in Picard, or using the browser again to find the right version.
  6. When you open your browser from one of the Picard context menus (right click -> open release in browser) you will be able to search the database for your album, once you find it there will be a "tagger" button that will allow you to import the album information to Picard directly. If you just open a browser and navigate to the website, the "tagger" button won't be there.

The initial process of updating my music library was very painful, I did it occasionally over several months, a few dozen or so albums at a time. After getting through that, updating meta on new music as I add it is fairly quick and easy.


Neither of these programs are perfect but after some getting used to, they get the job done.

Note: both of these programs would normally be used to keep track of your entire library. I use them just for getting meta/renaming before I move the file into my library. I keep a directory for media that is to be updated and one for files that have just been updated (with sub-folders for TV/Movies/Music). I load media into the programs from the to be updated and use their renamers to have the files transferred into the updated directory. After which I will check to make sure nothing went wrong (only happens if I've made a mistake) in the renaming and use an rsync script to move the files into their final destinations.

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XBMC can do 1, 2, and 4. Just add the files to an XBMC library and then export the library to "separate files". see more here. This will create .nfo files based on the data that XBMC scraped.

From there you could write a script that renames the media files (and .nfo files) based on the information contained in the .nfo files.

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