Issues with Plex genres

I must be missing something, or misunderstanding something. Wasn’t the whole idea of this to prevent Infuse from separating 1 genre into 3? If so it doesn’t seem to work for me. I am using a Plex server, and 7.5.6 on an Apple TV.

The shows I have tagged with “Comedy/Drama” still appear under 3 separate genres, Comedy, Drama, and Comedy/Drama. Do I need to rename the genre “Comedy & Drama” or something else specific to make this work? Or does the fix not work for people using a Plex server?

Can someone please enlighten me?

I shall try, in this wordy two-parter:

Infuse, on its own, only gets metadata from one service: TMDB.

TMDB assigns every TV show in its library one of these 16 genres:

The genres currently available for TV shows are:
Action & Adventure
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
War & Politics

You’ll note there is no independent genre for “Action”, nor is there an independent genre for “Adventure”.

Likewise, there are no independent genres for “Fantasy” nor “Sci-Fi”, nor are there any for “Politics” nor “War”.

There are such independent genres utilized at TMDB, but they are exclusively genres applicable to movies.

TMDB does have support for independently applied genres for five of the above six genres: “Action”, “Adventure”, “Fantasy”, “Sci-Fi”, and “War” — but only for titles in the Movie Category.

There is not an independent genre for “Politics” — neither in TV nor in Movies. The word politics doesn’t even exist among TMDB’s possible genres for movies. I’m not sure why. Presumably they think such titles are also likely to be either documentaries or dramas, histories or thrillers. I find it an odd decision, personally.

I also find TMDB’s dumbing-down of TV genres both odd and offensive:

“Game of Thrones”, “House of the Dragon”, “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power”, and “The Underground Railroad” are Fantasy series.

“The Expanse”, “Black Mirror”, “The Man in the High Castle”, “For All Mankind”, “Severance”, and “Star Trek” are Sci-Fi series.

However, since TMDB does not tag these shows differently, neither is Infuse able to differentiate them. However, until recently, Infuse treated the three combined TV genres (as depicted in bold text in the full list above) as separate genres.

This resulted in one list for “Action” TV, and an entirely redundant 2nd and identical list for “Adventure” TV, sitting right next to each other on the TV genres bar. Infuse offered two genres to choose from, but each led to the exact same titles.

Far more sensible to just combine the buttons to represent the way TMDB (in their infinite and unmalleable wisdom) chose to define every series in their database.

What Infuse has done is to end its practice of breaking out the 16 TMDB genres incorrectly to 19 different lists — showing “Action” apart from “Adventure”, “Fantasy” apart from “Sci-Fi”, and “War” apart from “Politics”.

If you use other Metadata sources exclusively (Plex, Emby, Jellyfin) — you should notice no changes as the genres shown by Infuse will match whatever the external server says they are.

If you have multiple TV series for which Infuse is the primary metadata provider (via TMDB), Infuse will now respect TMDB’s data and no longer split genres that TMDB has deemed are the same.

I’m not familiar with how the Plex Server works; so I can only suggest possibilities based on what I know about Infuse, and how media servers including Plex write local metadata to standardized .nfo files.

When it comes to Infuse metadata sourced from TMDB, both Movie titles and TV series titles may be assigned (as per TMDB) up to three different genres (from TMDB’s approved genre lists for each category).

For example: “Game of Thrones” is assigned these three TV genres:

  • Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Drama
  • Action & Adventure

While “John Wick: Chapter Four” is assigned these three TV genres:

  • Action
  • Thriller
  • Crime

If you looked at an .nfo file created for “Game of Thrones”, each of those three genres would be written into it’s own genre tag, like so:

<genre>Sci-Fi & Fantasy<\genre>
<genre>Action & Adventure<\genre>

Likewise, here are the genre tags for “John Wick: Chapter 4”


Note that “Game of Thrones” only has three genre tags in the .nfo but was listed in five different ‘meta-genres’ on the previous versions of infuse. This goes to show how the new Infuse update really improves metadata efficiency and consistency.

If you have the ability to input multiple genres into Plex independently — one entry for “Comedy” and a second entry for “Drama”, for instance — try doing that.

Naming a genre “Comedy-Drama” or “Comedy/Drama” or “Comedy, Drama” may all be equivalent to identifying a file with the genre “Dramatic Comedy” — which one would assume is a unique genre that gets it’s own category.

Only if a hyphen, slash, or comma is universally understood by Plex and/or Infuse as a delimiter to indicate “these two words are two different genres, and not to be combined into a third unique genre” should using such delimiters fix your problem.

But I don’t know enough about how Plex works to tell you for sure.

This is where others might jump in:

Many thanks FLskydiver for the extremely detailed response, greatly appreciated. I get what’s happening now. Unfortunately from the prospective of a Plex user, this issue hasn’t been solved as Infuse is still messing with genres in an unhelpful way.

If I tag a show with “Comedy/Drama”, Infuse creates a genre called “Comedy/Drama”, which is what I want and expect to happen. So far so good. But then it also lists that same show under both “Comedy” and “Drama”. This is the unexpected/unhelpful part. For those who use Plex or NFO files or whatever to customize things, clearly they are doing so intentionally. If I tag some shows as “Comedy/Drama”, some as “Comedy” and some as “Drama”, obviously it is because I think they should be considered 3 distinct genres, but Infuse does not allow that to happen.

The only way I have found to avoid having Infuse list my “Comedy/Drama” shows under 3 different genres is to mis-spell the word “Comedy” and the word “Drama”. If I tag a show with “Comedi/Draama” then it works and I get just the one “Comedi/Draama” genre, but that’s less than eligant.

Seems to me Infuse must be looking at the genre tag for the word “comedy” for example, and if it sees that word anywhere in the tag, it puts it in the Comedy genre. In other words, I think Infuse is looking for a tag that CONTAINS the word “comedy” as opposed to looking for a tag that IS the word “comedy”. So even a show with a crazy custom genre named “Avgfgkdfcomedyghsdramacxzcdhj” will end up listed under 3 separate genres, “Avgfgkdfcomedyghsdramacxzcdhj”, “Comedy”, and “Drama”. I would suggest that Infuse needs to instead look at the whole genre name, which in this case would put this show in a single genre named “Avgfgkdfcomedyghsdramacxzcdhj”.

Simply put, Infuse should just match whatever I have my genres set to in Plex. I can’t see how doing otherwise makes sense, especially since Infuse was designed to make use of Plex and other servers.

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If your intention is to not assign multiple genres when you hyphenate them like that, try using the genre “Dramatic Comedy” instead.

  • or “Comedic Drama”?

It’s possible Plex and/or Infuse interprets the hyphen the same as it interpreted the ampersand — in that it was your intention that the film be included in both the Comedy and Drama genres. Frankly, that is what my interpretation of “Comedy/Drama” would be.

That would be an interesting thing to test! — have you tried?

No worries. Appreciate you saying so.
Hope we get a complete understanding of this issue soon.

The existence or not of a hyphen or ampersand or backslash makes no difference to Infuse. “Comedy/Drama”, Comedy-Drama", “Comedy & Drama”, and “Comedy Drama” will all be split into 3 genres. So “Dramatic Comedy” will not work because it contains the word Drama and Comedy, so Infuse will split that into 3. Same goes for “Comedic Drama”, although it will only be split into 2 as the word comedy does not appear, just drama.

Yes, I actually tried exactly “Avgfgkdfcomedyghsdramacxzcdhj” and Infuse does indeed split that into 3 genres.

It’s possible Plex and/or Infuse interprets the hyphen the same as it interpreted the ampersand — in that it was your intention that the film be included in both the Comedy and Drama genres. Frankly, that is what my interpretation of “Comedy/Drama” would be.

Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. And if the solution was to use “Comedy Drama” without a hyphen, backslash etc, that would be an acceptable workaround. But as demonstrated with “Avgfgkdfcomedyghsdramacxzcdhj”, Infuse does not give us ANY options to make this work.

BTW, all of the Plex media players I’ve used over the years simply use the tags as set. “Avgfgkdfcomedyghsdramacxzcdhj” shows up as 1 genre, not 3. It just seems logical that Infuse should do the same.

I’ll have to admit that’s rather surprising.

The whole thing about the change was Infuse no longer splits genres — and instead keeps to those assigned by TMDB.

But whatever the genres are for content managed by Plex ought to remain as they are, since Infuse will source all metadata from Plex itself; at least, that is my understanding.

@james … any ideas why that’s happening?

I don’t believe this is expected behavior. Looking into this.

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This issue should be resolved in today’s 7.5.8 update.

Thanks for your patience.

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Working nicely now… greatly appreciated!


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