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.
TV shows can be season-based, date-based, a miniseries, or more. It is important that both the folder structure and each episode filename be correct for shows to be correctly matched. If you’re not sure whether a show is season- or date-based, check TheTVDB.com and name it as it appears there.
By default, Plex matches against TheTVDB.com, so you should name and organize your content based on the information on that site. Examples of the file naming/organization mentioned can be found at the end of the article.
Some important notes:
- For shows with the same or similar names (e.g. remakes, US vs UK versions, etc.), include the year alongside the series title in folder and file names, e.g. “Doctor Who (1963)” and “Doctor Who (2005)”.
- Be sure to use the English word “Season” when creating season directories, even if your content is in another language.
- Many of our naming instructions mention having
Optional_Infoat the end of the file name. As the label suggests, it’s optional, but many people like to use it for things such as an episode title; such optional info is ignored by Plex when matching content.
- We use
.extas a generic file extension in the naming/organizing instructions. You should use appropriate file extension for your files, of course. (Some operating systems such as Windows may hide your file extensions by default.
Standard, Season-Based Shows
Most television shows have episodes organized into seasons. To name season-based shows create files with the season and episode notation SXXEXX
- /TV Shows/ShowName/Season 02/ShowName – s02e17 – Optional_Info.ext
This is only an example. The important bit in the file name is the appropriate season and episode number notation s02e17 which in this example means Season 2 Episode 17 It does not matter if you use dashes, dots or just spaces.
Date-Based Television Shows
TV Shows that are date-based should be named as follows:
- /TV Shows/ShowName/Season 02/ShowName – 2011-11-15 – Optional_Info.ext
- /TV Shows/ShowName/Season 02/ShowName – 15-11-2011 – Optional_Info.ext
Where you specify the appropriate date. The date can use either the YYYY-MM-DD or DD-MM-YYYY formats and can use different separators:
- Dashes (2011-11-15)
- Periods (2011.11.15)
- Spaces (2011 11 15)
A miniseries is really handled just like a season-based show, you simply always use “Season 01” as the season.
Shows sometimes air “specials” or other content that isn’t part of the standard season. “Specials” episodes are always part of season zero (i.e. season number “00”) and should be placed inside a folder named either
Season 00 or
- /TV Shows/ShowName/Specials/ShowName – s00e13 – Optional_Info.ext
Where you specify the correct episode numbers. If you’re unsure whether a particular episode is a Special or not, check the episode on TheTVDB and name it as you see it there.
If an “episode” you have doesn’t appear in TheTVDB (e.g. DVD Specials or goof reel), place this content in the
Season 00 or
Specials folder named using s00eYY using a false “YY” number (e.g.: Heroes s00e99). The show will be available to play in a Plex App but won’t have any special metadata gathered, such as a summary.
Multiple Episodes in a Single File
If a single file covers more than one episode, name it as follows:
- /TV Shows/ShowName/Season 02/ShowName – s02e17-e18 – Optional_Info.ext
Where you specify the appropriate season, episode numbers (the first and last episode covered in the file), and file extension.
Note: Multi-episode files will show up individually in Plex apps when viewing your library, but playing any of the represented episodes will play the full file. If you want episodes to behave truly independently, you’re best off using a tool to split the file into individual episodes.
To get a better overall experience, you may wish to use a tool to split the video so that each episode has its own individual file. There are multiple ways you can do this and a quick search in your favorite search engine should give you some options on how to “split” a file. An unofficial guide with one free tool has even been posted in our forums.
Episodes Split Across Multiple Files
Episodes that are split into several files (e.g. pt1, pt2), can be played back as a single file if named correctly. Name the files as follows:
- /TV Shows/ShowName/Season 02/ShowName – s02e17 – Split_Name.ext
Split_Name is one of the following:
…and you replace
X with the appropriate number (cd1, cd2, etc.).
- Not all Plex apps support playback of stacked media
- All parts must be of the same file format (e.g. all MP4 or all MKV)
- All parts should have identical audio and subtitle streams in the same order
- Only stacks up to 8 parts are supported
To get a better overall experience, you may wish to use a tool to join/merge the individual files into a single video. There are multiple ways you can do this and a quick search in your favorite search engine should give you some options on how to “join” files. An unofficial guide with one free tool has even been posted in our forums.
/TV Shows /From the Earth to the Moon /Season 01 From the Earth to the Moon - s01e01.mp4 From the Earth to the Moon - s01e02.mp4 /Grey's Anatomy /Season 00 Grey's Anatomy - s00e01 - Straight to the Heart.mkv /Season 01 Grey's Anatomy - s01e01 - pt1.avi Grey's Anatomy - s01e01 - pt2.avi Grey's Anatomy - s01e02 - The First Cut is the Deepest.avi Grey's Anatomy - s01e03.mp4 /Season 02 Grey's Anatomy - s02e01-e03.avi Grey's Anatomy - s02e04.m4v /The Colbert Report /Season 08 The Colbert Report - 2011-11-15 - Elijah Wood.avi