Hacking Windows 7 Media Center

TV Series Metadata with MediaScout

by @ 6:30 am on February 20th, 2009 in extras library, media browser, metadata, programs with 15 Comments

While Media Center has no trouble playing back your ripped movies, videos and music there has been no love lost in the between it and TV series DVDs. The Media Browser plug-in for Media Center eases the situation a bit adding support for TV series’ within the plug-in interface. Once it’s in there, however, it still lacks metadata in most cases making it no better than the default video section.

Luckily for those of us with plenty of TV series DVDs there is a simple program to help alleviate the situation. MediaScout will go through the television series folders and track down the metadata for each series and season. Backdrops and posters will be pulled down along with episode information and life will be good again.

MediaScout Metadata in Media Browser

The first step to TV series bliss is to download and extract MediaScout somewhere onto your hard drive. Opening up the program by running “MediaScoutGUI.exe” and going to the settings panel we can see some of the options available. The ability to choose the folder where the television series videos are stored, season folder name and what metadata to pull down off the internet. On the right there is even an option to rename the files once episode metadata is found.

MediaScout Errors

One important item of note is that each video filename must contain a season and episode identifier. It can be anywhere in the filename but must be in the format S00E00 for best results. For example, the first show of the second season would need “S02E01” in the filename. This helps MediaScout find the appropriate metadata info for any particular episode. Videos without this information will lack quite a bit of extra metadata content.

MediaScout Error Free Run

To start fetching the data open the “TV” tab at the top and select “Browse” to choose your TV series location. You can choose to either do one series at a time or a whole directory full of different series’. If the directory contains many different series’ they will need to be in a directory structure with the series name on each folder. The box to enable batch processing beneath the browse input will also need checked. Once you have your directory selected simply press “Fetch Data”.

If MediaScout comes across a series title it doesn’t recognize it will prompt you to choose a series from a list. The program will also list the results in the box at the bottom with episodes that are unable to be properly retrieved marked in red for easy identification. Typically these just have a problem with the season/episode tag in the filename.

MediaScout Choose TV Show

As long as your directories are setup correctly and each filename has a season/episode tag MediaScout should be able to get plenty of metadata for each series. You can easily check some of the metadata retrieved by MediaScout in the Manage TV tab or simply opening up MediaBrowser in Media Center.

Media Browser Espisode Select

Using the poster and new cover flow views in Media Browser won’t display most of the extra episode information picked up by MediaScout. The thumb and detail views do, however, display the episode description and name quite nicely. With a little bit of elbow work your television series setup can rival even the best of movie collection setups with MediaScout and Media Browser.

While you’re expanding Media Center’s capabilities why not add Weather and Shoutcast Radio, too!

15 Comments


Sia
Comment #4746 from Sia [Reply]

Hello, thanks for the software, amazing.

only problem is : the movie Tab doesnt show any movie…

can anyone help me please.

thanks

Comment left November 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm Permanent Link

sia
@Reply #4756 from sia [Reply]

i have figure it out
thank again

but everytime i try to fech data from media scout it will freeze.

any solution on that?

Comment left November 12, 2009 at 10:55 am Permanent Link

Michael
@Reply #4840 from Michael [Reply]

Same problem.. It will always freeze when it found a new TV Show! An idea?

Comment left November 15, 2009 at 11:43 am Permanent Link

Thomas Prevett
Comment #6520 from Thomas Prevett [Reply]

Make sure you end the path with a “\” for example

“c:\users\public\movies\” and

not “c:\users\public\movies”

Comment left January 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm Permanent Link

Warren
Comment #11955 from Warren [Reply]

What shows that have alternate endings, like 24 for example. How do you label it so that the program finds it?

Comment left May 31, 2010 at 10:16 pm Permanent Link

Genghiskhen
@Reply #13365 from Genghiskhen [Reply]

It looks like it is getting images from http://www.thetvdb.com. If the episode you are trying to specify exists on that site, you should be able to match it. For instance, I have had some success with MediaPortal by labeling DVD TV specials season 0 as tvdb does. If the episode does not exist on tvbd, you are sol.

Comment left June 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm Permanent Link

Anonymous
Comment #17168 from Anonymous [Reply]

I just downloaded the “recommended” MediaScout download from their site on codeplex Version 3.0 preview 2, and then installed dotnetfx 4.0 to make it work. it crashed a lot.. no biggie, it’s an alpha and “preview 2″ but SOMEHOW it managed to WIPE OUT my ENTIRE user profile. No start menu icons, no quicklaunch/taskbar icons, my My Documents/Documents folders are all empty, nothing really seems to work anymore. I’ve tried everything I know (including sysem restore to the “install MediaScout” entry, but that didn’t restore anything. I don’t think I could have hosed my system any more if I tried! Digging out windows discs now to re-install.

Comment left September 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm Permanent Link
@Reply #17585 from krishmav [Reply]

I just downloaded the “recommended” MediaScout download from their site on codeplex Version 3.0 preview 2, and then installed dotnetfx 4.0 to make it work. it crashed a lot.. no biggie, it’s an alpha and “preview 2″ but SOMEHOW it managed to WIPE OUT my ENTIRE user profile. No start menu icons, no quicklaunch/taskbar icons, my My Documents/Documents folders are all empty, nothing really seems to work anymore. I’ve tried everything I know (including sysem restore to the “install MediaScout” entry, but that didn’t restore anything. I don’t think I could have hosed my system any more if I tried! Digging out windows discs now to re-install.

Released a new patch MediaScout 3.0 preview 2.1 to fix the issue.

Comment left September 18, 2010 at 8:34 am Permanent Link
@Reply #17586 from krishmav [Reply]

Released a new patch MediaScout 3.0 preview 2.1 to fix the issue.

Comment left September 18, 2010 at 8:36 am Permanent Link
Comment #21846 from krishmav [Reply]

MediaScout 3.0 preview 3 released with few bugs corrected

Comment left October 28, 2010 at 7:07 pm Permanent Link

lolpwnage
Comment #45890 from lolpwnage [Reply]

It tells me that I have to install .NETFramework Version 4.0. I have installed Version 4.0 but it still gives me the same message. I have tried reinstalling mediascout (even different releases) and .NETFramework, but still to no avail. Could anyone tell me the problem?

Comment left July 30, 2011 at 10:32 am Permanent Link

lolpwnage
@Reply #45895 from lolpwnage [Reply]

nevermind I got it to work but now the tv metadata doesn’t appear in my windows media center. I have mediabrowser installed, yet it does not detect any of my shows. any ideas what could be wrong??

Comment left July 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm Permanent Link

Anonymous
@Reply #61103 from Anonymous [Reply]

Could you lease say what you did to make it work?

Comment left February 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm Permanent Link

Glen
Comment #121220 from Glen [Reply]

How do i get “Saving thumbnail from video as ” to work when no image is available for download.

I think I had this working on my vista machine but now running 7.

I also think there may have been some changes when I installed Media Center Master.

Comment left May 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm Permanent Link

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