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Does XBMC need an nfo file for a TV show or Movie to be added to those categories respectively?

I'm confused as to how its library database operates and I can't seem to find any good information to that regard. Is there an API of some sort or do you just have to start hacking away at the source?

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To be honest I have never gotten the categories working, I simply just put everything under video and order it by folder. – BinaryMisfit Nov 23 '10 at 10:12
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Placing an NFO file within each TV Show or Movie is completely optional. If you include one then XBMC would skip the scraping and rely on the information provided within the NFO. There are custom programs (my personal favorite is Ember Media Manager) to generate NFO's that offer a lot more flexibility than XBMC native scrapers. But even then, XBMC scrapers work pretty good as long as proper naming conventions are followed and content type (Movies, TV Shows etc.,) is set right.

Please see below links for more details on naming conventions and how XBMC internet lookups work:

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+1 For Ember. I live by it. – BinaryMisfit Nov 23 '10 at 14:18
I loved using Ember, too, but it seems to have been abandoned as of late and I've started having issues with it. The new one I've started using is MediaElch, which I find to be quite nice: – Jack Jul 22 '13 at 18:10

There should be an .xml file. I know XBMC has a scraper that connects to's api. It should bring down TV show data automatically as far as I know. I'm not sure about movies though.

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I can confirm it scrapes movies as well, using imdb or a big selection of other API's – BinaryMisfit Nov 23 '10 at 10:12

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