FAQ

Q. I don't understand WHY this stuff is needed. Don't scrapers do this work?
A. Well, in a manner of speaking, scrapers help. BUT…. scrapers fetch artwork from the internet, and choose artwork for you. If you don't like the artwork, you have to manually choose a better version that you do like. Sometimes, a movie just doesn't exist on the scraper sites. In addition, sometimes scraper sites close down, or remove images from their library. Finally, some users don't have internet connections, or just like to have all their art nicely organised together with their media files, and remain in FULL control of which artwork gets used. Using this proposal help XBMC scan your media AND artwork without ever having to use scrapers. But it's still nice to have scrapers!
There are other reasons beyond these too. Please read the Rationale and Goals page.

Q. Why is there a .movie , .tvshow and .music part of the filename, surely this isn't needed?
A. Well, actually it is needed. Imagine you had a movie called "Genesis" and a band called "Genesis". If you had "Genesis.fanart" how could XBMC know if this was movie or music art? This is why we need to have this part of the filename (remember, the artwork files CAN exist side by side, anywhere in the file system)

Q. What if I have a media that has a very long title and I just can't fit that into the filename?
A. This is why we invented the <fsfriendlyname> tag in the NFO file. By using this tag, you can specify whatever name you like that will fit in your filesystem. If XBMC sees this tag, it will know to use THAT name for the movie when it looks for artwork.

Q. What if my media has weird characters in the name that I can't represent in the filename?
A. Again, this is why the <fsfriendlyname> tag in the NFO file was invented. Here you can specify any name for the movie that you feel comfortable with, and XBMC will use THAT name to find artwork files

Q. I don't like using NFO files, do I HAVE to use them?
A. Not at all, in fact for most users, they aren't needed at all. You can simply name your artwork files to match the name of your movies, tv shows or music.
However, sometimes, there are complicated media titles and characters that you just can't put in a filesystem. In these cases, an NFO file IS needed, but hey, it's as simple as this:

movie.nfo file

<movie>
  <fsfriendlyname>any name YOU like</fsfriendlyname>
</movie>

Q. I would prefer to use IMDB id for my filename, is this possible?
A. Yes, but remember, for XBMC to know which IMDB id belongs to which movie, you need to have NFO files for your movies, and they need to contain the IMDB -

movie.nfo file

<movie>
  <id>18273849</id>
</movie>

Q. Why are some of the filename elements optional?
A. Well, this is because it's entirely possible that you want the same art to be used in either orientation, in which case, you can omit the .portrait or .landscape elements. Equally, if you have only one image for a given type of art, there in no need to provide the <n> index.
When a skin wishes to use artwork it may request .portrait or .landscape, but XBMC can deduce that you have not specified a specific .portrait or .landscape image and therefore will default to whichever image you provided WITHOUT the .portrait or .landscape elements.
This same principle applies to all other optional elements.

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