This is a setup I used for a number years before moving to a Sickbeard, Couch Potato, and sabNZBD. In this post I will show you how to use uTorrent to download videos and separate them out by type (TV Shows, Movies) via labels. XBMC will look in the folder uTorrent places the videos in for content to play.

Make Some Directories

You’re going to need some places to store your downloads. Makes these directories on your computer:

C:\Media
C:\Media\TV Shows
C:\Media\Movies

Setting up uTorrent

The goal with uTorrent is to apply labels to the torrents you are downloading so uTorrent will sort the files into directories for you.

The first thing you want to do is set up your labels. In uTorrent go to Options->Preferences->Advanced->UI Extras. Under Persistent Labels type in TV Shows|Movies. The screen shot below is an example.

utorrent_labels

Setting up uTorrent labels

Next you want to setup uTorrent to place your downloads in an easy to find directory, and to sort those downloads into directories with the same name as your labels. With the uTorrent preferences window still open from the last step, click on Directories. Then check mark ‘Move completed downloads to:’ and also check mark ‘Append the torrent’s label’. In the text box below type in C:\Media. The screen shot below is an example.

Setting the download location

Setting the download location

Now when you queue up a TV show or movie in uTorrent, you’ll want to apply a label to it. You do this by right clicking the downloading torrent and selecting the label from the menu.

Setting a label in uTorrent

Now you’re all set with uTorrent. Whatever you download and apply a label to will be sorted into directories for you.

Setting up XBMC

In XBMC we’re going to add

Go to Videos->Files->Add Videos.  Click on Browse and find C:\Media and then click on OK twice. You’ll get to a screen about setting content, just click on OK again.

Click on Add Videos again, then Browse and find C:\Media\Movies. Click OK twice. This time on the Set Content screen, change ‘This Directory Contains’ to Movies and pock mark ‘Movies are in separate folders that match the movie title’. When done click OK and let it refresh.

set_content_movies

Now we’re going to repeat for TV shows. Click on Add Videos again, then Browse and find C:\Media\TV Shows. Click OK twice. This time on the Set Content screen, change ‘This Directory Contains’ to TV Shows. When done click OK and let it refresh.

That’s it, a dead simple setup with uTorrent feeding XBMC. The easiest way to view all of your media is to go to Videos->Files->Media in XBMC and browse from there.

 

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.

Here’s an XBMC problem I ran into; there is a show I watch and until a few days ago XBMC would add new episodes into my library as Sickbeard downloaded them. This arrangement has worked well for several years with no issue. For seemingly no reason XBMC stopped adding new episodes for this show only to the library. Sickbeard was still downloading them and moving/renaming them to the appropriate place, XBMC just wasn’t picking them up and putting them into the library.

I poked around a bit and saw this entry in my temp/xbmc.log file:

“ERROR: VideoInfoScanner: Asked to lookup episode SOMEVIDEOFILE.avi online, but we have no episode guide. Check your tvshow.nfo and make sure the <episodeguide> tag is in place.”

Googling the error didn’t help. Other people have had this problem but there wasn’t a solution posted anywhere I could find.

I looked at the tvshow.nfo for the show and sure enough, there wasn’t an <episodeguide> tag. I understand through some voodoo you can add the tag yourself, but I didn’t want to get into that. I already had a copy of Media Center Master, so I deleted the tvshow.nfo file, opened Media Center Master, and had it fetch all of the metadata for the show again. After that was done I had XBMC update the library. My missing episodes then appeared in the library as they should.

I have no clue what made it stop working in the first place, but I am happy that having Media Center Master rebuild the metadata solved the problem.

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.

 

Here’s the setup on another XBMC problem that took me longer than it should have to figure out:

I’ve got a Sickbeard + Couch Potato + SABnzbd setup. The three programs are doing their job, downloading and placing the videos where I want them. XBMC is importing the videos into the library as it should. When I attempt to play the video on a remote XBMC, nothing happens. No error, no message, no screen flicker, nothing. The video does play just fine on my PC using VLC or Windows Media Player. It also plays fine using a Plex client.

The Solution:

Much like the problem I had with uTorrent, it comes down to permissions. In my setup SABnzbd writes the files to a temporary directory while downloading. Once downloaded the video is moved into another directory for permanent storage. The video and its files inherit its permissions from the temporary directory. All was well and good in my world until I updated SABnzbd, this apparently reset the permissions on my temporary directory. I added permissions for full control by Everyone and it fixed my problem.

Plex worked fine from the beginning because the Plex Server was running as administrator on the same PC as the video files.

Torrents are not safe. Your IP address is visible to all. Eventually you will be caught and copyright infringement notices will be sent to your ISP. Using an Usenet Provider will not only protect you but allow you to download faster. I recommend NewsgroupDirect.