Huge mess with posters of TV series in the Files section


I faced a huge mess and inconsistency related to the posters for TV series folders in the Files section of Infuse. Sometimes posters are present, sometimes are missing. I did some research to find out how Infuse works in different cases and here is what I found.

First of all, all my TV series are named according to the rules (‘Metadata 101’ page) and are correctly recognized in the Home/Library section, so what I described seems to be an issue only for the Files section and only for TV series, because movies are always displayed as expected.

Let’s assume we have 3 items in the folder:

  1. Movie ‘Gladiator (2000)’.
  2. TV series ‘Chernobyl (2019)’ with a single season, without season folder.
  3. TV series ‘Jack Ryan (2018)’ with two seasons in the individual season folders called in Russian.

Folders tree and Files section look like this:

As we can see, movie is correctly recognized with poster and description, however, both TV series folders don’t have posters, naming and description. At the same time, individual episodes are correctly recognized in both cases:

I started testing why posters are missing for TV series folders, because I clearly remember that they were present some time ago. After some research I found that the only way to get it to work is to have season folders strictly be named in English as ‘Season X’:

This is very confusing, because official rules state that season folders can be named in arbitrary way (of even be missing) if episodes have SxxExx indicators. I have all files in my collection named in Russian and it looks weird to have season folders be named in English. This looks like an unnecessary limitation, especially when TV series are anyway correctly recognized in the Home/Library section.

Another issue I see is a different behavior with the Grid View:

As we can see:

  1. Movie is correctly recognized.
  2. TV series WITHOUT season folder seems to be recognized as a single season.
  3. TV series WITH season folders doesn’t have an artwork even with English naming ‘Season X’.

At the same time, individual season folders are recognized only in the Grid View:


  1. TV series folders have an artwork ONLY when season folders are present and are named in English strictly as ‘Season X’. This is a huge limitation for users with collection named in different language.
  2. Season folders have an artwork ONLY in the Grid View.
  3. TV series without inner season folders are recognized as an individual season folder in the Grid View.

Do you think these are an issues to be fixed?


I imagine that’s referring to the library, not the folders view.

Only way you get tv series posters displayed in the folders view when using season subfolders is to have a series poster named folder.jpg in the top-level tv series folder. Individual season posters are also named folder.jpg and placed inside the individual season folders.

I don’t think it’s the only way, because it works automatically in some cases, as was tested (for movies and for seasons called ‘Season X’). I think there are some limitations which (hopefully) can be relaxed. Also file with poster doesn’t solve the issue with missing description (metadata).

And I don’t agree that Files section doesn’t matter at all if Home/Library has everything recognized correctly. In some cases it’s much easier to browse media using my own files structure, which I personally created. For example, I have different folders for music video, for movies, for TV series, for TV shows, for old animations etc. This makes sense to me and I find Files section very useful. It’s just confusing that rules and restrictions for Files are different and not clear.

don’t think it’s the only way, because it works automatically in some cases, as was tested (for movies and for seasons called ‘Season X’

I haven’t seen it work any other way but the way you’ve described. My understanding is your software is working as it was designed to.

I never said it didn’t. They just work differently. The library is full-on built by scraped metadata. Nothing can be in the library without it being associated with something scraped from TMDB.

The files browser works differently by design, though perhaps not differently enough. Infuse mostly respects the users’ file structure when you browse your collection that way, but it does take the liberty of flattening the view whenever a user reaches a folder that only has one identifiable video inside it, or episodes of a single TV series. In such cases it dispenses with the navigation of folders and instead offers up content as if in the library.

This makes it impossible, for example, to access the contents of a folder named “Extras” when that folder is in a parent which only has one video file (the movie to which the extras are associated) resident. Selecting the folder containing the video and the extras subfolder instead launches the details UI, allowing playback only of the movie, and blocking access to the extras.

If a TV series has all episodes in one folder, you will see the TV series details page; not a list of the individual files and any subfolders. If episodes are instead in per-season subfolders, you won’t get the details page till clicking through to one of the season folders.

The experience is as consistent as one’s collection is. If you have all episodes of all series in season subfolders, no matter the number of seasons, you’ll always get the latter experience. If instead you have all episodes of all seasons all in one folder per series, you’ll always get the former.

The only way to override TMBD-sourced artwork for individual TV season posters is to break your episodes out into individual TV season sub-folders. Of course, this matters much less now as TV season posters are no longer visible anywhere in the library UI since the library UI was improved to bring all seasons together on one details page. The only way to view season posters now is to use the files browser. And the only way to see series posters in the files browser when your series’ episodes are broken out into season sub-folders is to place a series poster (named folder.jpg) in the series root folder which holds all the individual season sub-folders of that series. :man_shrugging:t2:

Maybe I miss something, but if I have all episodes in one folder (without subfolders for seasons), I never get details on the root TV series folder. Season subfolders in Files browser seems to be mandatory to see TV series details.

I think it shouldn’t be hard to recognize that all files in the folder correspond to the same TV series, but let’s forget about this case. I tried to avoid redundant season folder when only one season is available (like multi-series movie). I’m OK to always have folders for seasons.

I do get details on the root folder of TV series in case when per-season subfolders are named ‘Season X’ (and only like this, only in English). But I don’t see why naming of season subfolders affects details on the root TV series folder. I don’t like that I can’t use my native language for season subfolders.

Also I don’t understand why details appear or disappear depending on whether List or Grid view is used. It’s just a different view of the same folders structure, isn’t it?

It stops being a pure view of the folder structure when the content gets identified and the folder structure flattens (becoming library-like). I don’t have any inside info into why it works the way it does, and if it was always meant to work that way, or if something or another is just glitchy … but I have spent the better part of the past 18 months of so trying to figure it out so that I can best fit my collection (which I can somewhat control) to it (which I can’t). I’ve yet to actually succeed in that, but I’m getting closer. :man_shrugging:t2:

For performance reasons, there will be limited flattening (prettiness) when browsing via folders. This by design, as the more fancy logic we add the the slower it would be to browse through folders and files (especially if there are a lot of items).

The Library will usually be a better option for TV shows as it will display artwork at all levels (series, season, episode) automatically without having to do any special steps. I personally don’t see any reason not to use this, but I understand people like to use Infuse in many different ways.

If you want to stick with browsing via folders and ensure artwork is present everywhere then you can follow the naming styles described in this guide. To ensure best results, you would want to use the English word ‘Season’ for folders instead of a different language. You can also add your own artwork for anything you like by following this guide.

How does one view season-specific TV series artwork in the Library? Now that clicking on a series poster takes one directly to a details page (from which episodes of all seasons can be smoothly accessed), aren’t we limited to just the series poster, series fanart (which doesn’t vary per season), and episode thumbnails?

Not complaining, because the new flattening of series is undoubtedly a better implementation regarding usability than the former one … just curious what you meant, and if I’ve missed something.

This is visible when using list view or while browsing folders.

Well, yeah, but browsing folders isn’t using the the library. List view … shows season posters? Haven’t used it much. Will take a look.

The reason why I prefer Files browser is pretty simple.

On the Home page media is organized into two large section: All movies and All TV shows. I can’t create my own sections. Animations or concerts are mixed with serious movies, old Soviet Union multi-episode movies are mixed with TV shows etc. I don’t want Winnie-the-Pooh and Interstellar to be in the same bucket.

On the Library (Search) page there are much more sorting options, but I still can’t differentiate modern Hollywood movies from the old Soviet Union animations or some scientific TV shows other than using genres (not so useful for me and depends on the correctness of the TMDB data) or playlists (requires too much effort to organize all media into playlists).

At the same time I have all my media organized into proper structure on NAS, so using this structure in the Files browser looks like the best option for me.

Honestly I thought I could use any option indicated on the Metadata-101 page:

1. show name/any folder/S01E02.mkv
2. show name/any folder/01.02.mkv
3. show name/season 1/02.mkv
4. show name/season 1/1-02.mkv
5. show name/season 1/episode 02.mkv

It clearly says that season folder could be ‘any folder’… So I follow the naming styles or this manual is incomplete. As you say only options 3-5 will work correctly in the Files browser… That is unfortunate.

I started from day one using the first of all recommendations for file name and structure, it’s been 99.99% bullet proof and normally works without problems unless there’s a glitch on the metadata providers side.

The other multiple options for naming and structure may work but not as well as the first choice.

Well, I just realized that the Home page is much more customizable that I thought and I’m able to create my own custom collections and pin them to the Home screen. That’s cool. I think I can replicate my directory structure in this way and use Home/Library instead of Files browser.

Is there a way to create a smart collection from some directory in Files and have it automatically updated?

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Smart Filters aren’t available right now, but is something we hope to add. There is a thread in the suggestions area you can follow.

By the way, what I feel is missing right now is a quick way to add multiple items to custom collections or playlists. There is a Select option, but I had to manually click/unclick each item, which is very annoying. Select All option would be very useful.

Also it could be very useful to have possibility to add all items from some folder in the Files browser by selecting corresponding option in the right click menu on folder.

P.S. And another disappointment is that customized structure of the Home page is automatically shared between iOS devices (iPhone and iPad), but not shared with Infuse on the MacBook. I had to repeat the whole process of sorting and pinning.

P.P.S. And one more little point: there is no way to automatically sort items inside collection other that drag them manually. Sort option in menu is inactive for some reason.