Metadata for Multimedia

Lots of Data

I've always loved movies far more than most TV shows. Haven't had cable in many years, though I've watched a couple series by buying the DVDs or now on Netflix. Picking up used or bargain bin movies means I ended up with a couple hundred movies. DVD, BluRay and HD-DVD cases took up a lot of space. Binders with individual slots were slightly better, but big. Spindles were small but the disks got scratched up more easily than desired. Same applied to CDs. Books are much heavier and bulky. Hundreds of them gets even more complex to store, sort and move around.

After using a bunch of enterprise and corporate bulk storage, I eventually settled on buying a Network Attached Storage device. Basically just a hard drive attached to the network directly. Small, low power, cheap dumb storage. So that the storage wasn't dependent on any individual PC. Synology is a brand I used that was reliable, and fairly uniquely, used both the enterprise and the consumer features on all their devices. Other brands tend to be binary, fairly narrow home toys or expensive enterprise storage. Synology bridged that gap. Their support tends to not be the greatest, but thankfully you rarely need it.

Movies and TV


Most DVD ripping tools are not exactly the most reputable, and unfortunately a lot of the tools aren't geared towards people who want to media shift their collection. MakeMKV is one of the less sketchy apps for ripping DVDs. It solely rips DVD to Matroska Multimedia Container format, which is a rather nifty format that has lots of nifty features. Most usefully being able to have multiple language tracks, subtitles, useful metadata and the like in one file.

Using MakeMKV is pretty simple to use. It's lightweight and easy to install. It's free during "beta" which has been open for several years now. It does need a new key every couple months.

Media Center Master is probably the easiest to use program for organizing your collection, downloading all of the related information and renaming everything consistantly. Very painless, works with info from IMDB. If the software can't determine what movie, just associate it with the IMDB ID for the movie. It's far better for movies than TV series. That it doesn't do nearly as well. I highly recommend going through the preferences. There's a lot of options, so take your time going through all the tabs.

Kodi is hands down the best cinematic media player. It beats any other interface. If you don't like the stock look, there's dozens of excellent themes to pick between.



MusicBrainz Picard is great for doing your initial run. It can scan the audio directly and use the fingerprint to guess the song. It then can download the lyrics, cover art and all the other info. It normally will handle about 95% of all the songs perfectly.

MP3TAG is what you use when Picard can't figure out what a song is. Or if you want to add info to music you've created and recorded. It's been around for quite a few years. It's simple but has everything you could need.