Help me manage multiple video files and episode watchings.
September 18, 2017 10:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm having trouble keeping up with where I am when I watch several different shows each day and the episode names are unmemorable.

OS: Windows 10, player: VLC

The only "TV" I watch is fansubbed anime downloaded from torrents. I do not binge-watch. Instead I have 2 to 4 active shows at any one time that I typically watch one episode a day of. The filenames in these collections are good for GUID informational purposes but terrible for my brain to keep up with what episode I watched yesterday and what episode I should be opening today. An example filename: [FansubberzRUs]_Weepy_Rom-Com Show_e21_(1920x1080_Blu-ray_FLAC)_[C02JG8DM].mkv

My current method is to take a guess at what episode I last watched and open the next one, fast forward past the intro and see if I remember seeing this already, then repeat until I figure out where I'm supposed to be, but this is getting old and tedious when I just want to couch down at the end of a long workday and watch something.

Short of some low-tech method like keeping notes on paper or in a text file or something, is there an easier, technological way to keep up with where I'm at in each of the four shows I am watching at any point in time? Ideally for me it might be some Windows 10 folder option, or maybe a plug-in for VLC or something. Maybe there's a mobile app (I have both iOS and Android devices)?

Maybe a playlist of some sort but I've never been a playlist sort of person by nature. I'm much more a natural curated folder tree person. I've toyed with the idea of copying the active shows to a separate directory and just deleting each episode after I watch it, which seems like it would be an improvement over the existing guess-and-hunt method but I've been moving computers and hard drives around a lot lately so I haven't gone ahead and implemented it fully.
posted by glonous keming to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
I create a subfolder in the show folder called "watched" and dump episodes in it after I've watched them.
posted by phunniemee at 10:36 AM on September 18, 2017

What you're looking for is Plex, which builds a media library on top of a folder structure that you choose. It has apps on a bunch of devices for viewing and will keep track of partial watching from all devices and what shows are yet to be watched.
posted by notorious medium at 10:39 AM on September 18, 2017

Use flexget to download the torrents. Technically it can save the download to your torrent program's watch directory, but I like manually doing that for the occaisional time that the system chooses a torrent that's likely malware or crapware.

When you get the episodes, add them to your local plex server. Configure plex to consider 400 days for "on deck" shows, so once you get new episodes from a show outside of a season they magically show up. I really drug my feet on getting plex setup, but once I did, I really love it for keeping track of what I'm watching and where it is.

I'm just using plex server without a plexpass - I'll either watch on tv via chromecast, or directly on a tablet with a plex client. I purchased the android app back before they did some changes to however the get some ~$5 charge to watch on a device and/or chromecast.
posted by nobeagle at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2017

Plex is amazing and everything you need. I paid for the apps but never paid for plexpass.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 10:43 AM on September 18, 2017

I do something similar to phunniemee, but I move the video file that I'm about to watch to the 'watched' folder before I start watching the episode.
posted by gregr at 10:44 AM on September 18, 2017

Plex is pretty awesome (and free). The caveat is you'd have to use the Plex video player, but it's pretty good. You can even watch it in your browser (like Netflix) unless you want 5.1 audio.

I suppose you could even use the Plex interface to mark what you've watched, even if you're not actually watching them through Plex.
posted by neckro23 at 10:45 AM on September 18, 2017

VLC has a recently played screen which is basically a clickable playlist of everything you've watched since... VLC last restarted? the computer last restarted? I don't know exactly. Not sure how to get it, it opens up immediately when I click on the VLC icon, on a Mac; I assume that is not the case for you.
posted by acidic at 11:17 AM on September 18, 2017

There's also, which has a VLC plugin - it's basically for TV, and will tell you how many episodes you've got to go in a season, which episodes you've watched, and the like.
posted by sagc at 11:17 AM on September 18, 2017

Response by poster: Interesting. Thanks for the responses everyone. I though Plex was something more for in-home network streaming. I'll take a look at it.
posted by glonous keming at 3:03 PM on September 18, 2017

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