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Using Kodi to play Music Videos

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LuvMyQuad

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So I keep muddeling through this process and I've noticed a few strange things with how Kodi manages its library. Or maybe I'm just missing something.

Here is my setup. Music files are located in either a "Stereo" root directory or a "MCH" root directory. Music Videos are in their own root directory. Within every root there is a Artist/Album/track file structure. All music files are tagged. All music videos have corresponding NFO files created with Homers amazing MMH tool.

In all cases except for music tags, I omit the word "The" from artists names. So "The Beatles" is represented as "Beatles" in the artist file structure. Music tags use the name "The Beatles". For the NFO files I use "Beatles".

All artist information is stored in the "Stereo" root directory artist folders. Most of it was arranged by MediaElch, another great program. It includes artist NFOs, fanart, thumbnail, logo, etc. When Kodi scans the files it also adds additional stuff (information folders) that I don't think it actually uses. There is nothing but audio tracks in the MCH artist/album folders. There is nothing but MKV tracks and NFO files in the Music Video artist/album folders. Kodi is directed to take artist info and artwork from the stereo root for both the MCH artists and the Music Video artists.

It all works great Until....

1. You have an artist for which you have MCH albums but no stereo albums.
Or
2. You have Music Videos for a band whose formal name includes the word "The" like "The Beatles".

In the case of #1, I have tried to create a stereo side artist folder with the standard info in it. MediaElch will scrape info for it and provide the normal info, but Kodi never sees it. Kodi wont scrape for that artist either. I assume this is because there are no stereo stereo tracks with tags for it to read. I have to resort to configuring the artwork manually by directing Kodi to the proper stereo side artist info.

For #2, since the Music Video NFOs use the full name for the artist ie: "The Beatles", it cant find any info in the stereo side since that artist folder is called "Beatles". And in this case, Kodi looks at folder names, not tags, which is different than what it does in case #1. I could rename the stereo artist folder as "The Beatles" which would work, but when Kodi sorts video artists, "The Beatles" will show up in the T's alphabetically, next to "The Who", "The Rolling Stones", "The Doors", "The Flaming Lips", etc. This is because there is no music video sorting option to that allows for the disregard of common articles like "The". This option is available for sorting music albums however. Again I have resorted to manually configuring the artwork for artists that begin with "The". It also works out if I use "Beatles" instead of "The Beatles" as the artist name in the video NFO files. The result is the same but the 2nd option seems easier.

Am I missing anything? It all works and all the artists show up in the library they way I want, But the process leaves something to be desired. They need to add an option for videos to exclude common articles like "The" when sorting music videos.

Still, having all this video on demand is very cool.
 
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HomerJAU

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Apologies for my late reply.

Kodi Music Video Library currently uses the Kodi Music Audio Library or Artist Information folder to find a matching Artist Name to display an Artist image. If a Music Video Artist is not in the Music Audio Library it can’t display the Artist image. This is a known issue but it remains on the Kodi dev teams To Do List.

You really need to have the same Artist Names in both.

In Kodi 18 (current release) Kodi added an Artist Information Folder which defines a common folder which contains all Artist Information and images. That solved the problem of having multiple Source folders for artists, like your MCH and Stereo folders both having two Pink Floyd folders. You can set Kodi Artist Information folder to one of these or have a completely separate folder just for Artist Information.

For you, it’s probably easier to rename your Music Video folders to names used in your Audio Library, recreate the NFO files (batch in MMH) then rescan your Music Video source (after first running Clean to remove the old paths)

Personally, I try to always use the official Artist Name and often lookup Discogs or MusicBrainz to see the exact name prior to tagging my music and adding Music Videos, sometimes I forget...

There’s been no love recently for Music Videos in Kodi, so hence no option to ignore ‘The’ like you can with Music Library artists. There’s talk of a revamp and there’s now a dev doing some new work for Music Videos, so with any luck there may be improvements on the horizon.

I have been thinking of writing a Kodi add-on to hack the Music Video library/interface. Maybe next year?
 

LuvMyQuad

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Apologies for my late reply.
There is no need for an apology Homer. What i wrote was more of an observation that a cry for help. Your reply confirmed how I thought it all worked.

You really need to have the same Artist Names in both.
Yes, or be willing to set it up manually in the music video folders that don't conform.

In Kodi 18 (current release) Kodi added an Artist Information Folder which defines a common folder which contains all Artist Information and images. That solved the problem of having multiple Source folders for artists, like your MCH and Stereo folders both having two Pink Floyd folders. You can set Kodi Artist Information folder to one of these or have a completely separate folder just for Artist Information.
But the multiple source folders do not seem to cause an issue for me. You just set the path to the artist info to where it is. In my case, its in the Stereo artist folders. You can set a path for the music video artist info as well. For an artist name like "Pink Floyd" it all comes together perfectly.

I read through the wiki for the information folders and I see many of them created in my stereo artist folders. But for whatever reason, some of the artist folders have never gotten populated with an information folder. I haven't figured out why yet.

If I'm not mistaken, first preference is given to the information that isn't included in the information folder. It seems to use the scrapings from Mediaelch first if they are available. I'd consider changing over to a central directory for the information folders if there were an easy way to do it, but Mediaelch seems to do a better scraping job and I haven't looked into finding a way for Mediaelch to dump info into the Kodi information folders yet.

Are you utilizing those information folders?

For you, it’s probably easier to rename your Music Video folders to names used in your Audio Library, recreate the NFO files (batch in MMH) then rescan your Music Video source (after first running Clean to remove the old paths)
Agreed
 

HomerJAU

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But for whatever reason, some of the artist folders have never gotten populated with an information folder. I haven't figured out why yet.
It could be you need to set a Kodi Music Setting to 'Fetch Additional Information during scan' (or similar name to that).

I use MediaElch and set its path to scan (and hence save) to my (main) NAS Music folder (My Artist Information folder is set to be '\Audio (Surround)' folder where all my MCH music is stored.

There's a couple of music add-ons that fetch Artist Info too. I use Artist Slide Show that can get images and artist info. It does that when an Artist gets played.

It can only do that my matching an exact artist name, it creates a artist folder based on the tagged name but it can't fetch the data/images if that's not the correct spelling or incorrect name 'Eagles' vs 'The Eagles' may be one example (Eagles is correct). That may be part of the issue you mention. Kodi uses the MusicBrainzID for Artists to ensure its an exact match as several artist have the same names. MediaElch also gets the MusicBrainzID and saves to the artist's 'artist.nfo' file.
 

LuvMyQuad

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I cant believe how difficult it is to set up the music video library compared to the music library. I have all the artist art issues resolved. But now i cant figure out how to get the album art to show up. Apparently just loading a "folder" file in the album directory doesn't work anymore. What do I need to do to have the album art show up in the music video directory?
 

HomerJAU

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I’ve not come across that issue.

’folder.jpg’ (lowercase) works for me. What skin are you using? Kodi version?
 

HomerJAU

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I’m using 18.8 on one of my NUCs and I haven’t noticed the issue of missing album art. Have you rescanned your music sources?
 

LuvMyQuad

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I’m using 18.8 on one of my NUCs and I haven’t noticed the issue of missing album art. Have you rescanned your music sources?
Yes of course, but I've also had issues re-scanning. I would rescan the music video source and clean the video library, but it seems like nothing changes unless I delete the source, remove all the paths, and rescan fresh.
This may have happened after an upgrade from 18.6 to 18.9. I seem to remember not having this issue either.
 
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