The scanners and metadata agents used by Plex will work best when your major types of content are separated from each other. We strongly recommend separating movie and television content into separate main directories. For instance, you might use something like this:
/Media /Movies movie content /Music music content /TV Shows television content
Warning!: Plex will do its best to appropriately find and match content. However, a failure to separate content such as movies and TV shows may result in unexpected or incorrect behavior.
In the above example, it is the main folder of each type of content (e.g.
/TV Shows) that you would specify as the content location for that library type.
Unlike with video content, music tracks will usually already have embedded metadata for many users. You may have heard of the “ID3 tag” inside MP3 files – that’s a type of embedded metadata. For instance, if you used iTunes to store your music in the past, then it almost certainly has (at least some) embedded metadata.
Whether or not your content has embedded metadata can make a difference in how it is scanned matched.
Naming and Organizing Music Content
If your content already has (accurate) embedded metadata, then Plex will use that information to help matching in a default install. We also make use of sonic fingerprinting to assist with matching content. Even so, it’s important to organize and name the content appropriately for the best experience.
Content should have each artist in their own directory, with each album as a separate subdirectory within it.
Music/ArtistName/AlbumName/TrackNumber - TrackName.ext
ext is the file extension. (Some operating systems such as Windows may hide your file extensions by default.)
Tip!: Even if your music content has complete and perfect embedded tags, we strongly encourage you to continue organizing tracks into albums. Using a flat file list of tracks can result in failures or a poor experience.
For albums that span more than one disc, you simply prepend the disc number to the front of the track number. So, track two on disc three would be
302 - TrackName.ext.
Music/ArtistName/AlbumName/DiscNumberTrackNumber - TrackName.ext
Note: It’s also important for multi-disc albums to have the correct disc number set in the embedded tags for the file.
Note: This example illustrates many of the types of content outlined previously. When creating the music library, it is the
/Music directory that would be specified as the content location for the library.
/Music /Pink Floyd /The Wall 101 - In the Flesh.mp3 102 - The Thin Ice.mp3 201 - Hey You.mp3 202 - Is There Anybody Out There.mp3 /Wish You Were Here 01 - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V).m4a 02 - Welcome to the Machine.mp3 03 - Have a Cigar.mp3 /Foo Fighters /One By One /There is Nothing Left to Lose /U2 /Joshua Tree
Handling “Various Artists” or Similar Compilations
Sometimes, you may have compilation albums where there are tracks by multiple different artists. This is common for soundtracks or “Best of the 80s” type albums, for instance. The common way to handle this is to use an artist with the literal name “
Various Artists” and to have those albums under that artist.
/Music /Various Artists /Guardians Of The Galaxy - Awesome Mix Vol. 1 01 - Hooked On A Feeling.mp3 02 - Go All The Way.mp3 03 - Spirit In The Sky.mp3 /The Crow - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 01 - Burn.mp3 02 - Golgotha Tenement Blues.mp3 03 - Big Empty.mp3
If you have embedded metadata in any of those music tracks, it’s very important to make sure that the embedded metadata is accurate and uses the following:
- The “Album Artist” for each track should be the literal
- The “Artist” for each track is whichever artist performed that track
Warning: If you have embedded metadata and particularly if you enable the Prefer local metadata setting for the music library, you need to make sure that the embedded metadata follows this information. Failure to do so can cause all the Various Artist content to be mis-categorized under a different artist.