Lord of the Rings Extended Edition DVDs on Kodi

Due to circumstances, my old Media Center and all its data were lost to me. I have recently replaced it with a new one and have begun once again laboriously rebuilding my DVD collection and ripping it to the server. In the course of doing so, I ran into a problem with my Lord of the Rings Special Extended Edition DVDs. The Movie Database, from which Kodi typically pulls metadata, doesn't contain any information about DVD releases, and it has no way of distinguishing between the four discs in the set. So using the usual scraper means that only Disc 1 of each movie is accessible.

I looked around a bit and found several people asking questions about this problem, and some even saying they'd solved it, but none of them shared how they'd solved it. So for your convenience, here's my solution and a downloadable package that makes installing it easy.

The How-to

First, if you already have entries from the movies in your Kodi library, you'll need to delete them. Next, download this file: LOTR_nfo_pack.zip. Unzip it somewhere convenient. The twelve folders inside contain movie art assets—a full-screen background, a poster for display of the film in the library, and a title logo with transparency, for those themes that support it. They also contain a VIDEO_TS folder, inside of which is VIDEO_TS.nfo. This file contains the actual metadata that tells Kodi what to do with the films. If you're using a DVD rip with VIDEO_TS folders, then all you need to do is change the names of each of the movie folders to match the ones in your server, then drop the entire collection into the folder containing your LOTR DVD files.

If you've got ISO files, then you'll need to move the .nfo file out of VIDEO_TS and rename it to match the filename of your .iso file. So if you have LOTR_The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) d1.iso, rename the nfo file to LOTR_The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) d1.nfo.

Start up Kodi and let it scan for new content, and it should pick up the information provided. Of course, you can change out the art for whatever you like. I was a little haphazard in selecting posters and backgrounds. As long as your new images are the correct aspect ratio and have the right name, they can be easily replaced. The Movie Database has plenty of high-resolution artwork in the correct aspects available for download. Likewise, you can change any of the data in the nfo file with a text editor. More info about nfo is available on the Kodi wiki.

One note about sorting: I've placed the collection into a Movie Set entitled The Lord of the Rings – Extended Editions and sorted them such that the films appear first, followed by the special features discs. But if you have your folder set to sort by year, the Appendices will appear before the movies. Sort alphabetically instead, and the sort order specified in the nfo files will take effect.

My New Server

And if you're wondering about my new server, I had mentioned the first time I wrote about it that the Seagate Blackarmor unit I'd purchased had some bad reviews. I never did have any problems with it (other than it getting stolen), but when it came time to buy a new one, I splurged a bit and went with a Synology. It's Awesome!

First, it has a utility that makes connecting to an Amazon Glacier storage vault super easy, and Amazon doesn't care that my data is on a NAS. It's also cheaper than Crashplan was, and there are no limits to the size of the backup. I haven't dug in yet to discover how it handles versioning, but at least I feel reasonably safe that Amazon probably isn't going to disappear on me two years from now.

Second, it has this cool expandability feature. Although the unit I have, a DS720+, only has two bays, it's compatible with a five-bay extender. From what I'm told, I can just add new drives in the extender, and it will automatically expand my storage into them, unlike the BlackArmor, which required me to make a new volume every time I expanded.

Third, it has two ethernet ports with support for link aggregation. If I ever buy a new switch that also supports that tech, I can double its network bandwidth to 2Gbps. I doubt that'll ever be an issue—1G transfer is more than sufficient for how I use the thing, but it's nice to have the option.

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