If you are the kind of person who likes to keep everything organized as a rule the above part is easy. Say for example You have a folder structure such as TVShows/Friends/Season1 and then all episodes from season one in there, Season 2 in its own folder and so on that’s great. Plex will find the shows and work out which episode is what and bring down the show into and populate itself.
If you have a folder which is a right mess with TV shows, movies, and the like all thrown into one then you are going to need to do some housekeeping before you get going. You will only need to do this once but it can be a big job if you have a lot of stuff to catalog.
Once you are relatively happy your media is is some form of order (it helps to name individual episodes something like as follows friends.s01.e01.mp4 and so on to help Plex out. That example tells Plex it is episode 1 from season 1 of Friends. Simple.) you can add a library.
For more information about naming conventions see here. They are pretty standard across all media servers so if you ever move away from Plex what you do now will still serve you well in the future.
Let’s start by Telling Plex you want to add some TV shows. Select Browse for Media Folder and click through until you find your folder for TV Shows – you want the top-level folder here so Plex can see all the shows inside. Don’t dive in further and select your Friends folder or it will only catalog what you have within that.
You can then choose which online metadata website you want Plex to pull its information from. The default is usually fine, but feel free to experiment.
Then once you save all this Plex will trot off and try and catalog your files and pull down info and video thumbnails of the shows. Pretty cool. Go an make a coffee if you have a lot of shows. This bit can take a while.
Next, we are going to look at importing movies into your library. The naming conventions for films are a bit less rigid than TV shows and generally, if you add a folder of movies that have the name of the film and preferably the year as well, Plex will usually do a good job of getting a correct match. So for example, if you have the John Wayne classic True Grit you would ideally have a file named True Grit (1969).mp4. You can also keep your movies in individual folders and this helps because you can get Plex to download subtitles as well and it then keeps them in the same folder. It’s just a bit neater.
Now True Grit also got a remake in 2010 so it’s possible you would also have True Grit (2010) in there. Plex will recognize the different films and bring back the correct information. This is why it helps to have the year in the title.
Most places you download your movies from, hopefully legally, will generally have the year in the file name so you may not have to do anything.
Occasionally Plex will incorrectly match a movie and you then can go into it by clicking on the three dots and selecting Fix Incorrect Match. A dialog box will then put up and in a few seconds will give you a selection of possible options. Select the correct one and Plex will fix up all the information.
It doesn’t happen often thankfully. In the main, it just works.
There are other options for Movies also that TV shows don’t have. For that extra movie theater experience, you can choose to show up to three trailers before your movie begins. These can be streamed from the internet and be upcoming movies that are about to hit the theaters or trailers for unwatched movies in your own library. This is a nice feature that might just remind you to watch something you downloaded a while back.
You can add as many libraries as you’d like. If you have a selection of home movies you can give them their own library and tell plex they are by you so it doesn’t try to match them with Hollywood blockbusters. You can then go in an individually edit information on them, such as which vacation and year and so on. These can then be viewed in the same way as all your other media.