Movie Naming

Modified on Tue, 31 Aug 2021 at 10:46 AM

This file naming guide applies to movies, home videos and music videos. For tv episode naming, see TV naming.

Library Setup

When setting up the library, make sure to select Movies, Home videos, or Music videos as the content type.

Emby supports several different formats and naming conventions such as ISO copies of discs to DVD/Blu-Ray file formatted layouts which are both different types of disc copies. These formats work but are not an ideal way to build your library. Since neither of these are streaming formats they require more work by the server to transcode and stream to client apps. These formats and naming conventions are covered below.

A much better way of building a large Emby library of content is to prepare you media ahead of time using a streaming friendly format such as MP4 or MKV containers featuring H.264 (or H.265) video with at least one 2 Channel AAC default audio track along side any other audio tracks such as Dolby Digital or DTS. Media prepared in this fashion will have the greatest compatibility with all Emby clients. The idea behind preparing your media ahead of time in this fashion is to reduce the need for the Server to have to transcode (convert) media on the fly. This is not a requirement but is strongly encouraged.

Naming your media

Once you've prepared your media files, it's time to name your media in a way that allows Emby the best chance of determining what it is. The best way to do this is to use the format: "MovieName (year).extension" such as "Top Gun (1986).mp4" or "Avatar (2009).mkv". Because Emby allows many other advanced functions that can be used with your media we want to create a folder structure that aids in this use. The simplest method of doing this is to put all media related to a Movie in the same folder using a name "MovieName (year). Emby will then use the folder name to determine the movie. It will look like this:

\Movies\Avatar (2009)\Avatar (2009).mkv
\Movies\Pulp Fiction (1994)\Pulp Fiction (1994).mp4
\Movies\Reservoir Dogs (1992)\Reservoir Dogs (1992).mp4
\Movies\The Usual Suspects (1995)\The Usual Suspects (1995).mkv
\Movies\Top Gun (1986)\Top Gun (1986).mp4

Complex Folder Structure

If you plan on having thousands of movies in your library you may want to add an additional folder to your hierarchy to aid in navigation. For example you could create folders for all movies starting with the first letter or number such as:

\Movies\A\Avatar (2009)\Avatar (2009).mkv
\Movies\P\Pulp Fiction (1994)\Pulp Fiction (1994).mp4
\Movies\R\Reservoir Dogs (1992)\Reservoir Dogs (1992).mp4
\Movies\T\The Usual Suspects (1995)\The Usual Suspects (1995).mkv
\Movies\T\Top Gun (1986)\Top Gun (1986).mp4

When viewing your media outside of Emby using conventional tools such as Windows Explorer this allows you to navigate your library much quicker without having to wait for thousands of folders to load. It saves you from scrolling through thousands of folders to get to your "W" movies for example. Emby will work just fine with or without this additional folder!

ID Tags in Folder & File Names

Emby can also read a Meta-Data ID from the name.


Name (Year) [tmdbid=xxxx]


Alone (2020) [tmdbid=509635]

Emby supports the following tags with the host website for lookup.

tmdbid  (

imdbid  (

tvdbid  (

Note:  tmdbid is the prefered tag to use for most uses

Multi-version movies

Multiple versions of the same content can be stored in a single movie folder.

  /300 (2006)
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - 1080p.mkv
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - 1080p-trailer.mp4
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - 4K.mkv
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - 720p.mp4
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - extended edition.mp4
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - directors cut.mp4
  /300 (2006)/300 (2006) - 3D.hsbs.mp4

Each version must begin with the folder name, followed by " - ".

If using the dash method anything following the dash will be what you see in the Emby client app.

Note: The above example includes a 3D version, which is discussed in the 3D Video naming guide.  Also, this feature is primarily designed for multiple qualities of the same item.  It can be used for different "cuts" but there may be some limitations in doing that.

Movie extras

Special features for movies can be stored as video files in an extras folder under movie folders. Nested folders are not supported.

In addition to extras, several other sub-folder names are supported:

  • extras
  • specials
  • shorts
  • scenes
  • featurettes
  • behind the scenes
  • deleted scenes
  • interviews
  • trailers
  /Home Alone (1990)
     Home Alone (1990).mkv
       /behind the scenes

Note: Be sure the movie file is present before adding these additional "extras" to avoid mis-identification.

Video images

Images are supported in video folders. Below is a table of the supported image file names. Supported image extensions are jpg, jpeg, png, gif and tbn.

Several image types support multiple file names. They are listed in the order that they're checked for.

Image TypeSupported file names










Backdropbackdrop.ext, backdropX.ext

fanart.ext, fanart-X.ext

background.ext, background-X.ext

art.ext, art-X.ext

extrafanart (subfolder)/fanartX.ext









{name} represents the video file name, without extension. For videos that are not contained within their own folder, only the conventions using {name} are supported.

For backdrops, X represents a number, and you can have any amount of numbered backdrops. For example:

    \300 (2006)

DVD and Blu-ray file formats

Dvd and Blu-ray folder structures are also supported. To be recognized as a dvd structure, the folder must contain either a VIDEO_TS subfolder, or a VIDEO_TS.ifo file. To be recognized as a blu-ray structure, the folder must contain a BDMV subfolder.

\Movies\Alien (1979)\VIDEO_TS.IFO
\Movies\Léon (1994)\VIDEO_TS.IFO
\Movies\Scarface (1983)\VIDEO_TS.IFO

\Movies\Alien (1979)\VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO
\Movies\Léon (1994)\VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO
\Movies\Scarface (1983)\VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO

ISO format

Emby Server has basic support for videos stored in ISO format. This includes the ability to catalog the ISO's within Emby Server, and play them in HTPC-based apps such as Emby for Kodi and Emby for Windows Media Center. Other apps will generally only be able to play them with the use of an external player.

ISOs should be named just like any other video file, with one minor difference. Including ".dvd" or ".bluray" within the file name will allow Emby Server to automatically determine what type of ISO it is. If this is not included, it will be assumed to be DVD.

\Movies\Alien(1979)\Alien (1979).dvd.iso
\Movies\Léon (1994)\Léon (1994).bluray.iso
\Movies\Scarface (1983)\Scarface (1983).iso

Split video files (file stacking)

The following are default stacking extensions that can be added to file names. # can be 1 through 9 or A through D. Stacking is supported for video files (but only when each video is in its own folder as in the example below) as well as dvd and blu-ray folder structures. Split videos require all parts be in the same movie folder with no other videos present in that folder.

  • part#
  • cd#
  • dvd#
  • pt#
  • disk#
  • disc#

You can also use:

  • moviename#.ext

Where # can be A through D.


\Movies\Avatar (2009)\Avatar (2009)-cd1.mkv
\Movies\Avatar (2009)\Avatar (2009)-cd2.mkv

3D videos

3D video files are supported. See 3D videos.

Media stubs

Media stubs are supported. See media stubs.

Strm files

Strm files are supported. See strm files.


Subtitles are supported. See subtitles.

Theme songs & videos

Theme songs & videos are supported. See theme songs & videos.


Trailers are supported. See trailers.

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