Disambiguation help for new user

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Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:00 am

Disambiguation help for new user

Post by fenwal »

I'm a new user; please let me know if there is a better place to ask these questions.

Basically, I'd like access to a good UMS user manual, if there is one.

Forum registration issue:

I was unable to register with this forum, until I removed certain special characters from my password. There was no hint on the registration page to guide me past this problem. Should be an easy fix for the web programmers, though.


I downloaded UMS in December 2023, and took all the defaults during setup. I pointed UMS at my video library, and it took off nicely, for the most part. But maybe UMS's Dynamic metadata lookup needs some guidance...(or I do).

Series Disambiguation: how do I fix this?

How do I tell UMS how to disambiguate TV series with the same name (e.g., originals vs. remakes)? UMS is confused, and so am I. For example:

Battlestar Galactica: 1978 vs. 2003 miniseries vs. 2004
Beauty and the Beast: 1987 vs. 2012
Kung Fu: 1972 vs. the remake with the female protagonist (which I don't yet have)

Is there a way for me to tell UMS which IMDB or TVDB entry to use?

Examples that are not working (my series directory/folder names):

Episode Disambiguation: how do I fix this?

Some TV series (e.g., Highlander) differ in the episode numbering - the OTA and Blu-Ray episodes are numbered differently (along with their episode titles). I think TVDB allows for this, but I'm not sure.

File System names - what/where are the rules for this?

Below are examples of my file naming that confused UMS, until I changed filenames:

Confused UMS (metadata lookup failure?)

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Game_of_Thrones  # my series directory name
UMS OK with this:

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Confused UMS:

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Agent_Carter,Marvel's  # my series directory name
UMS OK with this:

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I don't like spaces in my filenames. I think UMS is OK with this for the most part.
Also, I move leading "The_" to the end (e.g., The_Nightmare becomes Nightmare,The) for my alphabetizing preferences.
This confuses UMS lookups, so I've had to add or change subdirectory names to accommodate UMS:

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Nightmare,The  # directory with confusing name
    The_Nightmare.S01   # subdirectory with non-confusing name
        The_Nightmare.S01E01.avi  # filename with non-confusing name
I have many other series for which I use abbreviations in the episode file names:

DS.S01E01.mkv # for Designated Survivor first episode
FS.S01E01.mkv # Falling Skies first episode

The containing (season-specific) directories often have full names, but the episode names are abbreviated. This is apparently a big no-no for UMS. I'd like to see the rule book.

Thanks for any pointers.
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Re: Disambiguation help for new user

Post by mik_s »

I don't know the details of how metadata is retrieved but I know it goes off filenames not necessarily the folder names, so if you have renamed and abbreviated your files then UMS cannot make a match to online services like opensubtitles and TMDB, IMDB etc.

If the match is ambiguous like films from different years with the same name, or a date as part of the film name, it can make an incorrect match but I think it also looks up subtitle hashes or other info to make it more accurate. I think having the release year in brackets will help.

You can change how UMS displays your files on your renderer if you use the "Prettify filenames" option so you can leave the original filename alone so UMS can match them better. You can also set it to ignore "The " or "A" for file ordering. These options are in the navigation settings under file sorting/naming. Have a look at the tool tips for what they will do.

I don't know why certain special characters are not allowed in your password on the forum, maybe some could be used for SQL injection or something so are not allowed. I have come across other sites with similar problems. It's not something I can change though.
Logs are important for us to help, Please follow This Link before asking for support. Just a forum cleaner, Will help if I can but no expert.
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2024 6:00 am

Re: Disambiguation help for new user

Post by fenwal »

Thanks for the hints on how to disambiguate TV series. I now have much longer filenames, but it's working better.
Any thoughts on highlighted issues below are appreciated.
I'm currently using UMS-13.8.1.

The moderator mentioned "having the release year in brackets." There are several definitions for "brackets" (per Merriam-Webster), and I've tried the following:

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   seriesName{1990}.S01E01.mkv (or .mp4, .avi, ...; 1990 is a random choice)
IMO, all of these should have worked equally well, as "seriesName" and "year" are clearly delineated in each case.

It would help to know if UMS prefers or requires a particular bracket style.

Does UMS always interpret the contents of brackets (be they (), {}, <>, or []) as a starting year?

It's a strange question, but I'm aware of at least one other media server that uses "{non-year hints}" (in curly braces) to help steer metadata queries.

UMS was (after a clean reinstall) able to find series metadata for
but it could not always (if at all) find correct/matching episode metadata. My thoughts:
  • IMDB, TMDB, TVDB (collectively xxDB) don't always agree on episode numbering/organization; this alone might confuse UMS
  • the DVD episode order might be different than the OTA order; more potential for confusion
  • opinion: the same xxDB should be queried for both "series-X" metadata and "series-X-episode" metadata (don't mix databases)
  • I don't know how opensubtitles.org plays in this sandbox (by name? by episode number?)
Is there a way for me to force UMS to use a particular xxDB, when necessary?
Is there a way for me to force UMS to use a DVD episode order, rather than an OTA order?

I need to know about DVD ordering because my Highlander files (names and episodes) are DVD-based, not OTA-based, and UMS is confused.

Just Curious: In 2003 (after the series had ended), some of the original Highlander actors made a 17-minute reunion short. TVDB has an entry for it:
I can't figure out how to get UMS to capture its metadata. Any ideas?

UMS has not been able to show me the series and episode metadata for Kung Fu (1972), even though they seem to be available at both IMDB and TVDB: UMS conflates episodes from Kung Fu (1972) and Kung Fu (2021) [which I don't have]. Maybe the lack of "1972" in the TVDB's name for that series is confusing UMS; I don't know. How might I name my Kung Fu (1972) files to help UMS?

Strangely, UMS produced a Kung Fu Panda (?) -themed icon for "Kung_Fu.(1972).S02E07.The_Tong.mp4". If I convert this particular mp4 to an mkv file or an avi file:

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     ffmpeg -i Kung_Fu.(1972).S02E07.The_Tong.mp4 -c copy Kung_Fu.(1972).S02E07.The_Tong.mkv
     ffmpeg -i Kung_Fu.(1972).S02E07.The_Tong.mp4 -c copy Kung_Fu.(1972).S02E07.The_Tong.avi
the errant icon is replaced with a default/standard icon (based on a few seconds from the beginning of the video).
Tong.variants.JPG (27.89 KiB) Viewed 3131 times
Based on the above, does UMS treat mp4 files differently than other formats?

I cannot get UMS to properly handle the 1987 "Beauty and the Beast" series. UMS handles the 2012-series (remake) just fine:

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   Beauty_and_the_Beast.(1987).SxxEyy....  # often conflated with 2012-series episodes
   Beauty_and_the_Beast.(2012).SxxEyy....  # no confusion so far
Raw data:
For the 1987 series, the TVDB web page just shows the name "Beauty and the Beast" (no year):
while for the 2012 remake, the TVDB web page shows "Beauty and the Beast (2012)":
Maybe the lack of "1987" in the TVDB name is confusing UMS; I don't know. But 1987 is shown as the starting year (on the web page).

How might I direct UMS to the correct information for the 1987 Beauty and the Beast series?

Non sequitur, a wish: WIBNI I could configure UMS with a "video.series.aliases" file (e.g.):

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so I could use shorter file names. Yeah, I'm just lazy.
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