Recommended Video Directory Structure for Media Player?

I have a large video repository on a network share that I am using aTV Flash (black) to access. 

I use this structure;
\Videos\Movies\moviename [2010]\moviename [2010].mkv

However, browsing the structure using Media Player does not produce metadata unless I navigate to each individual sub-directory and select the movie file.  It appears that a DVD sub-directory is read by browsing the next level up however.

In my opinion, the common “industry” standard for organizing movies is a “Folder for each Movie File” style;
For example;

\Movies\Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy [2004]\Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.mkv

\TV\Breaking Bad\Season 1\S01E01.mkv
\TV\Breaking Bad\Season 2\S02E01.mkv

Is there a recommended directory structure for aTV Flash (black) to navigate properly?  Are all video files expected to be in the same directory? (man I hope not…).

bump No recommendations at all from anyone?

Surely there was a directory format in mind when the software was created?

The limitation right now is metadata fetching. The current version will only look at the filename (or embedded title) and use that for fetching metadata.

So using one of your examples above for the file located at: \TV\Breaking Bad\Season 1\S01E01.mkv Media Player will only see S01E01.mkv for fetching metadata, which obviously won’t work very well. The current version will work great for fetching metadata for files like Breaking.Bad.S01E01.mkv

We may be able to add some advanced folder name recognition in a future version, but there’s no ETA at the moment.

Thanks for your reply.  Is it fair to say there are no plans to support reading .xml files in sub folder to supply metadata?


The problem with AFB is, in order to have a “cover flow” view of any of my media, I will need to move all of my “like” files (TV shows, Movies, Music) into single folders, which I will not do because it becomes a problem for other media players I have in the house that follow the "media in folder’ structure.


Perhaps my only option is to find a utility to change the folder.jpg file to something containing media information in a Movie Sheets style, as this is the only file which AFB will retrieve and view from a sub-folder.

It appears to be that the video files are expected to be in the root directory you are pointing to.  What I have done is kept the sub files, etc saved in a hidden folder in the root directory.  Also I noticed that the metadata is a bit funky with Media Player.  You may have to do some clean up on the file names as well.  I’m sure hoping for an update but not holding my breathe.  My ATV1 running Boxee, for free, is still holding to be top notch media player, and my ATV2 with Flash Black is secondary as far as video playback etc.  I’m holding onto the ATV2 for now though and may revert back to ATV1 if Firecore doesn’t come up to speed with Boxee in the next year or so.

I do agree about industry standard. I have two Mede8er at home, wonderful machines and they use that standard, it is easy to implement and there are several utilities to do it.

I use 10 AppleTVs at my hotel and I would not want each one of them to fetch metadata and store it locally.

I have been using Plex in the past, but now I would be ready to swap to Mediaplayer, but I will miss the power of organizing metadata once for all.

That should be a configuration parameter for Mediaplayer, to tell it not to fetch metadata from the Internet and to look for cover art, fan art and info in the folder containing the movie.

Also, why would I want to save metadata and images on the AppleTV (limited space, memory problems, etc.) if I have my movies on a NAS or a Computer shared folder somewhere? That makes no sense at all.

Mediaplayer job is to show a Juke Box and to play the movies, not to fetch metadata from the Internet when we can relay on many programs to do it based on the “industry” standard folder structure. If you like, give us a separate program to do it, a wonderful one capable of reading movies in a single folder and organize them in folder structure with metadata. But stop wasting precious time and effort in debugging all the problems people have with metadata fetching. I feel that is the real limitation of Mediaplayer.


I absolutely agree.  The metadata fetch should an option that can be disabled, if it needs to exist at all in ATVFB.  There are plenty of metadata management tools out there (I use My Movies on my Windows Home Server) so I do not require this functionality in Media Player.

What I want out of any mediaplayer is to present my metadata including fanart, covers, descriptions and episode summaries in a way that suits me.  I really like the fluid navigation feel in ATVFB, but unfortunately it is falling short in overall architecture.  Unless you are going to be the best, it’s a mistake to deviate from industry standard requirements.

I like the way XBMC gives me several different ways to layout my movie list, but I’m not a big fan of XBMC’s navigation.

I really encourage the developers to look at this again. The current file structure just does not work with the majority of people’s libraries. Every other application uses a structure whereby the media file is in an appropriately named folder specific to the file. Currently it’s not very impressive looking. I’ve got a few friends that I’ve tried to convert but this is an issue for them too.




The video browsing interface could do so much more with this change.  When I highlight a movie folder, I do not want to have to drill down one level to display the meta data.  In the case of TV episodes however, I do keep all video files in the same folder by season (apologies for using the terms “folder” and “directory” inconsistently).


\Season 1\



Is “using folder names for lookup” far from being implemented?

As i remember, XBMC already has the function to use folder names as lookup, and as far as I know, firecore and XBMC team has helped each other in the past, so you might be able to get some help from those guys?

Well, it is really a shame no developer takes the time to post an answer here.

I am looking at all the reported problem about the metadata handling, so they should really reconsider the architecture of the media player and add an option to disable the metadata fetching.

Even if they do not want to implement a standard folder structure, the document about metadata that they posted in the support section is lacking explanations. They wrote about overriding metadata and cover art, but what about the fan art?

Also, again, what about people having several ATVs in the house and wanting to share metadata with the movies?

The metadata handling by Media Player is the only issue that is preventing me from using it. I have a library of 700+ movies and 50+ TV shows. I use Media Companion, which is now open source software, to pull the metadata information, poster and fan art. I use the “Use Folder Name” for movies, and it works 95 percent time at finding the right metadata. I sometimes have to tweak the poster and or fan art. This is stored locally with each file which XBMC will look for first before going out to the internet.


I prefer this method since it gives me control over the actual data, I can make adjustments to any of the information, choose different posters and fan art.


I would highly recommend that the aTV developers take a look at how they are fetching the data and allow for local metadata to be used, even if that means switching library management tools. I saw that one of developers posted back in October, but it is now the end of December without any further information.


I posted a question to support about this since I thought I was missing something since meta data fetching supporting the mentioned folder structure should be “standard” (purely based on my experiences with other software). Would be nice to know if Firecore is looking into this.


Support for folder based organization is on our roadmap, and will be available in a future version.

There’s no exact ETA just yet, but it will likely be available sometime in January 2012.

Good to hear!

I hope that the metadata fetch will be an option that can be disabled then.


is there anything regarding this in the new 1.1.1 update?

oh well… nothing in 1.1.1 and not even in 1.2 :frowning:


At least if there was an option to disable Metadata fetching as others have suggested, some of the desired functionality could be achieved.  Third-party tools do at nice job at this, leaving ATV Flash to keep it simple and just display and play.


Hopefully this would be a quick fix for the developers.

A quick update regarding this feature.

Support for folder based playback is actively being worked on as we speak, and is slated for release in version 1.3.

Thanks for hanging in there.  :wink: