Scanners

Plex Scanners are used to identify content by scanning through the filenames and directory structure. There are four broad categories of scanner:
  • Movies
  • TV Shows
  • Music
  • Photos

Movies

The Movies scanner is used to recognize Movie content in a filename. There are two Movie Scanners available:

Plex Movie Scanner
This scanner is used to identify commercially created Movies in your collection. In order for the Movie Scanner to work most effectively, it’s important to make sure your files are named and organized properly.  Refer to the Media Preparation Guide for more info. Metadata embedded in some files (such as MP4) will also be read by the scanner. Whether this metadata is used or not depends on the Agents enabled and their order. See the Agents page for more information.

Note: Movie files named like TV episodes (e.g.: Enterprise S01E12) are intentionally ignored by this scanner.

Plex Video Files Scanner
This scanner is similar to the Plex Movie Scanner, but is less strict in how the media files are named. It is meant to match as much content as possible for you, but at the same time it also isn't as smart as the normal scanner. Some features/limitations:
  • Does not exclude content named like a TV episode
  • Does not support stacked content
  • Internet based information will not be fetched - so no posters etc.
  • If the Local Media Agent is enabled, embedded and other local assets will be used

TV Shows

The TV Show scanner is used to recognize TV Show content in a filename and folders they're stored in.

Plex Series Scanner
This scanner recognizes content by inspecting the foldername as well as the filename. It’s important that TV episode content be organized into a folder structure as well as having the show information in each file name. Metadata embedded in some files (such as MP4) will also be read by the scanner. Whether this metadata is used or not depends on the Agents enabled and their order. See the Agents page for more information. Files that are not named like a TV episode are intentionally ignored by the scanner.

Music

The Music scanner is used to recognize content in a filename and the containing folder. There are two Scanners available:

Plex Music Scanner
This scanner recognizes content by inspecting the foldername as well as the filename. It’s important that music files be organized into a folder structure as described in the Media Preparation Guide. The scanner will also inspect ID3 tags embedded in .mp3 files, and metadata embedded in .m4a files.

Plex iTunes Scanner
This scanner is designed to scan an iTunes-organized music collection. If your Music Library content comes from an iTunes library, choose this Scanner.