Happy Thanksgiving, now with Metadata Editing!

11.25.10 72 Comments

Ever since Plex/Nine was released, the most often requested feature has been “I want to be able to manually edit the data for a piece of media”. This request came in many different forms, from the modest “please let me edit the title for a movie” to the less subtle “plex is combeltey [sic] borkem [sic]”.

I’m pleased to say with the incremental we’re releasing today, not only can you edit titles, you can edit just about every single aspect of the metadata, and do it in a way that no other media management application in existence allows. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the new feature.

So let’s say you have a movie backed up on disk, and it’s matched to metadata.

Plex Media Manager-1.jpg

However, you really want it to have a Korean title, perhaps because you’re married to a beautiful Korean girl, or a bunch of Korean LG engineers are always coming over to your place to watch movies and eat stuff out of your fridge. Right click, select “Edit Metadata”, and you’re presented with this dialog:

Plex Media Server.jpg

So let’s have a quick look; there are all the standard fields you might expect, and then there’s Sort Title. That’s useful for enforcing the correct ordering with sequels, for example, or making “The Expendables” sort like “A Really Bad Movie With Lots of Old People”.

You’ll notice a lock icon beside every field, which turns on when you edit a field. This means “I don’t want this value to ever change again”, as opposed to the unlocked fields which continue to update based on data from the agents. It’s completely up to you; you might prefer to put your own genres in, for example, or let them update (and improve over time) from online sources.

The ability to choose exactly how metadata comes into your library (via the Metadata Agent settings), and select per-field whether or not to use online data is incredibly powerful and flexible. We’ll continue to enhance the UI to better expose this power.

One note about posters and other graphical elements: until this release, the code that manages posters, banners, and fanart was a bit of a hack, which was needed because we didn’t have full field “locking” yet. It was “sticky” but not locked. When you upgrade to this incremental version, all those graphics fields will become fully fluid, and will update with new graphics as those elements become the most popular over time. So if you’ve spent lots of time getting things just right, please visit this forum post where I explain how to lock the fields before you upgrade to this version.

So here we have our edited movie, whose title will never change, unless we manually change it or unlock the field.

Plex Media Manager-3.jpg

Moving right along, there’s another movie in this section which mismatched to “40 Days and 40 Nights”, which is actually not the 2002 romantic comedy of questionable cinematic value, but an obscure Polish film from the 30s of the same name. Very unlikely that we’ll find an online match for it, so we’ll “unmatch” it, which resets any existing metadata and leaves it as a blank slate for you to edit as you wish.


Finally, there is one more problem with this section. The movie “Lolita” matched to the 1962 classic by Stanley Kubrick (“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins”), but in reality it’s the less subtle version starring Lupe Fuentes. Not a problem, we’ll solve that with another right click to request that the movie be matched with an alternative agent.

Plex Media Manager-4.jpg

Another feature addition I’d like to highlight in this version is Collections. This is something that has been requested for a while, and it’s a great organizational tool. The amusing thing is that support for Collections has been in the code and database schema for ages now, but we’ve only now gotten around to bringing it to the surface. There is additional hidden functionality there for Collections, as well as other cool stuff, but we’ve at least enabled basic Collections support so you can start organizing your media.

You can add a piece of media to a collection by right clicking and selecting Add to Collection, or by typing in the names of the Collections in the Metadata Editing view, or by dragging and dropping to an existing collection.

Plex Media Manager-7.jpg

Usually the feature is used in coordination with the Sort Title field, to ensure that the movies are ordered properly in chronological order.

Plex Media Manager-8.jpg

So what else is new and fixed in this incremental? Quite a bit, but I need to go work on making a metric ton of mashed potatoes (yellow, purple, and sweet), and so I can’t spend much time on the details.

  • NEW: Allow sorting based on date added.
  • NEW: Keyboard accelerators for clipboard operations.
  • NEW: Optional dock icon (set in Preferences).
  • NEW: Home movies section works much better: ratings/view status/resume is now remembered, and of course you can edit all the metadata.
  • FIX: Resume offset/view status now remembered for media even if it’s not matched.
  • FIX: Stuttering issue with VIDEO_TS media, previously released in hot-fix form.
  • FIX: Recently Viewed Shows wasn’t working.
  • FIX: Lower CPU usage when refreshing TV shows.
  • FIX: Seasons/episodes views weren’t getting graphics from the media server.
  • FIX: Cases where a scan failed and we deleted lots of media out of the library.
  • FIX: Crash in the scanner with a bogus AVI file.
  • FIX: Posters/art not appearing when searching for movies.
  • FIX: Tweaks in Plex to hopefully not “lose” sections and plug-ins (more fixes forthcoming).

If you’d like to try out this incremental release before it becomes generally available via autoupdate, please download it HERE, and discuss it in this thread.

Just because this is an incremental release doesn’t mean Barkley can’t make an appearance, right?


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  • @Elan, I’ve been meaninng to learn how to use dropbox for a while. Now I have an excuse! Will research this and try tonight. Thanks again for all your great work on this.

  • is there a way to get the collections to show up as just the collection when in the all movies view, hierarchically? for example, say i’m in All Movies. I don’t want to see 20 James Bond Movies… just one entry for “James Bond Collection” which when clicked opens that collection. Is this possible, or will it be possible in a future release?

    • @crumbete: totally possible, it just didn’t quite make the cut for this version :)

  • This build has fixed my VIDEO_TS stutter issue and it also fixed an issue I had when opening a VIDEO_TS folder saying something about the wrong region.
    I am still having some issues with crashing when opening certain VIDEO_TS folder but still a great update,

  • Awesome. Hope you don’t take it the wrong way when I say that the speed at which you’ve been introducing new things lately makes the wait for other new things that much harder. Haha. I do love this release very much and have already started working on my collections. Well done!

  • great work! Thank you very much!

  • @Elan, As promised, here is are two 30sec clips tagged as MetaX. Hopefully these work ok. The TV show clip is basically how 90% of my TV library is tagged (anything since 2009 is named in a ‘plex friendly’ format).



    Let me know if there is anything else I can provide to help!


    • @Fraser, many thanks!

  • I was just wondering. Is there no support to set the language in the metadata? I thought the media-scanner get this already.

  • Hello!

    Happy thanksgiving and thank you for the update.

    I was really excited when I saw the movie title in Korean, because I have a collection of foreign movies from various countries. The Media Manager works fine, however, the default skin of the Plex app itself still uses a font set that doesn’t really render anything other than US English. Here’s a screenshot of a movie with some Japanese text:


    It’s not only Japanese, titles with Eastern European special characters (such as ő) are displayed as a box as well.

    Is there any way to fix that, please?

    • @SeSam: You can change the font used to “Unicode” in Plex’s Appearance preferences.

  • @james Thanks, it worked. :] No idea how I missed that setting… ><

  • @Elan – My TV Shows are not being found under a fresh install. I used install wizard to point to them but nothing. Removed the section, then added a new TV section and it won’t start the library update.

    I reverted to 9.1.2 stable and it fixed it. Let me know how I can help. Thanks!

    • @Adam: Logs or IM :)

  • @Elan: What’s with PMS looking for cookies/security headers when a client asks for a stream/video.. is there anyway to disable this for people using Airplay/ATV2?

    • @Francis: We’ll be updating the iOS client and the server to work better with AirPlay.

  • I used 9.1.2 and it fixed it, then upgraded to 9.1.5 so it is not an issue any more. If it happens again, or if you have other people with same issue, please email me and I will start from scratch to help diagnose.

  • Thank you for the latest update, great new features… plus really beautiful photo of your dog! :)

  • Somehow I just discovered Plex. Wow! I’ve spent my whole thanksgiving playing with and it just keeps getting better. Also, I’m in the market for a new TV (much easier to convince the wife once I showed her this), and can’t wait for the Plex enabled LGs to come out. You’ve revolutionized my living room! Thank you.

  • Thanx again for the update!

  • YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Who’s da man??

  • A minor thing. If you have symlinks in the repository you’re grabbing files from you get a boost library error:

    Exception caught scanning directory: [/Volumes/video/Series/X/Season 15] (boost::filesystem::basic_directory_iterator increment: Permission denied: “/Volumes/video/Series/X/Season 15″

    Thing is, I use Season 15 as a symlink to 2010. Previously (9.1.2) this was silently ignored, now it breaks as above. Not a big deal for me, but it might bite users who don’t love logs. 😉

  • @Elan it just needs to be said you totally rock my world with this project keep up the awesome work and congrats on the LG news too. BTW if this things is going to start matching MetaData from Adult DVD empire, I think we’re also gonna need a built in BossKey (aka Wife & Kids mode) for this ‘special’ media repository. An arbitrary tag cloud would also be nice to add to MetaData and a tag based browsing mode like delicious in the UI. @Barkley yes your old man is a rock star.

    • @clay, you’re too kind. yes, permissions and parental settings is definitely on the list, and tag clouds are a cool idea :)

  • Thanks for the update…..much apriciated…..especially the dvd stuttering was a big one for me.

  • Thanks for the latest updates! I’ve been waiting the ability to edit meta data so this is great! The features listed indicate that ”all” meta data for home movies can be edited however I don’t see where the Cast can be edited. I would like to be able to list names of people in my video clips and be able to search on them. Can this be done or is it something that will be in a future release?

    • @jwil: Future release.

  • Since SnowLeopard, starting up plex from the ARemote when the ScreenSaver is on leave a final Plex behind the Dock… Really cumbersome, since you need to quit an restart it or look for your mouse and click on the Plex “window”. I’ve been thinking about changing the Plex.app/Contents/MacOSX/plex for a script that included appswitch, a small C program that is able to put any application in front. But I have thought that shouldn’t work since I should await until the final starting up process finish. It seems that currently there is no StartUp scripts in Plex, then, I can’t find any way.

    Would you suggest me anything?


  • @elan:

    “Usually the feature is used in coordination with the Sort Title field, to ensure that the movies are ordered properly in chronological order.”

    I think you meant Year field to sort in chronological order. Which is why i’m confused that Plex is unable to display movies in this order. Please have the sorts in MM (please let them be local changes, not global) reflected in Plex and / or bring back the sort function to Plex. It would REALLY be nice to view my James Bond movies in chronological order in Plex rather than MM.

    Oh one more thing, can you PLEASE make the collections editable? If i want to change the name of the collection i have to start all over and that sucks.


    • @ash: I actually did mean what I wrote. For example “Rocky 1″. “Rocky 2″ and “Rocky 3″ or “Star Wars [1-6]”. For James Bond you could do James Bond 1-XX if you wanted them sorted that way.

      We’ll definitely make the name of the collection editable in the future :)

  • @elan

    Got it. Can you please bring back “sorty by” feature back to plex? It would be nice to be able have the option to sort movies by year, star rating, etc as before.


  • @elan

    This is why you need to bring back Sort By feature into plex. Its a little clumsy to sort Bond movies by Bond 1, Bond 2, or whatever. Sure they will be in sequential order in the collection.., but when browsing movies you will have all the bond titles sorted by their name when browsing all movies. Sure it works for Rambo or Die Hard or other movies with numerics at the end. But not movies where the titles are different. And then you have the Hannibals, all different titles, with movies coming out in all sorts of other.., can’t win on those. haha

    So again i beg to please bring back the sort by features into Plex, im puzzled why such an nice feature was taken away.


    • @ash: Can you explain how you’d want to see your Bond flicks, and what you’d sort by? We’re probably going to move collections into sub-folders in All Movies.

  • @ elan

    I just want to be able to sort movies by year, within Plex, thats it. Rating would be nice as well, if we can ever get IMDB star ratings back.

    If i am looking at my Bond Collection, or Hitchcock Collection, or Classic Monster Collection.., i really would like to see these appear in order of the year they were made. It looks incredibly awesome to see a screen full of all those old posters. Plus its easier to scan visually when you can see how the style of the posters change from decade to decade.

    They way you have the collections setup in the latest incremental release is perfect. The only thing i can think that it lacks is the ability to rename a collection, but i think i already mentioned that. Its nice that it is setup similar to itunes.., library holds all the files, custom playlists/collection holds references to that media. Its perfect! And something i’ve been looking forward to for the last couple years

  • Great feature,

    But now the following. Is it possible to embed this metadata in the file itself. Since me and some friends regularly swap movies and music, and each spend hours to make sure all the metadata is correct.

  • Cast editing? In early December 2010, @elan indicated, in response to @jwil – cast editing would be made available in a future release. It is nearly 3 years later now… any updates on this relatively straightforward functionality extension?

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