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Zombeaver

FYI: Media File Naming

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I was helping someone in chat last night and it occurred to me that it's probably worth posting about as a sortof FYI/FAQ for others. The topic was "proper" media naming for automatic matching in LB/BB. I think the majority of the confusion stemmed from the fact that there are multiple ways in which the media can be named and it will still match (which is a really awesome feature, but it's something not everyone is accustomed to); and they're matched on the basis of your own library and your own rom files.

Let's say you have an entry in your library that's titled "Final Fantasy VI" and an associated rom file named "FF6(1994)(Squaresoft).zip".

In this scenario, your media could be named in any of three ways (actually four if you include appended numbers but we'll get back to that) and it will automatically associate with your LB/BB entry. It could be named based on the library title, the rom file name minus special characters, or the rom file name with all special characters.

Final Fantasy VI.jpg - matches the library title; this will work :)
FF6.jpg - matches the rom file name minus special characters; this will work :) note however that appended numbers (-0#) do not work in this scenario.
FF6(1994)(Squaresoft).jpg - matches the rom file name with all special characters; this will work :)
FF6(1994).jpg - includes special characters from the rom file, but not all of them; this will not work :(
FFVI.jpg - doesn't match either the library title or the rom name; this will not work :(

If you're matching by title and the title includes characters that are invalid for Windows file names, that character needs to be replaced by an underscore in your media file name. So if your game title is Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, your media would need to be named Super Street Fighter II_ The New Challengers.jpg. This requirement also applies to titles that use an apostrophe, despite the fact that apostrophes are usable in Windows file names.

Additionally, for most types of media you can append a number at the end of the file name (formatted as -0#) and they'll match in LB/BB. So if you have 4 images in your Screenshots - Gameplay folder for Final Fantasy VI, they could be named as below and they'll show up in order in LB.

Final Fantasy VI-01.jpg
Final Fantasy VI-02.jpg
Final Fantasy VI-03.jpg
Final Fantasy VI-04.jpg

For media other than screenshots, doing this will typically cause them to cycle randomly each time you select the library entry.

Platform media is unique in that the files can be named anything, they simply need to be in the correct folder.

If you want to add in your own platform banner for Super Nintendo, it would need to go in Launchbox -> Images -> Platforms -> Super Nintendo -> Banner. The actual image file could be named anything but so long as it's in that folder it will show up as a banner for SNES. Additionally, you can put in multiple images for platform banners and platform fanart (again, named anything) and it will cycle between them randomly whenever you select the associated platform in BB. Note that this doesn't work for platform clear logos as you have to clear their image cache for them to reset.

think this covers just about everything. If anyone else has anything else to add though, I can add it into the post. :D

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I edited the post to also mention the underscore requirement for titles that use an apostrophe. I ran into this last night when I had to rename an image for Nemesis '94 Gradius 2 to Nemesis _94 Gradius 2.jpg in order for it to match. Apostrophes are usable in Windows file names but LB doesn't seem to like them for matching.

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I added an additional note based on some further testing that appended numbers don't work if the image file has the "partial" name i.e. the rom file name minus special characters. I'm not sure if that's intentional or not.

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Thanks @Zombeaver. The partial name matching is provided only as a failsafe for people using their existing collections from other frontends. Thus, the -01 extensions aren't expected in that scenario.

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Ah okay, understood. I thought it might be something like that I was just a little surprised when I noticed it.

One other kindof unusual thing I noticed last night during testing was that there seems to be an issue with matching to the rom file name if the rom name changes after the initial import. I had a rom titled Final Fantasy III (USA).zip which had a library title of Final Fantasy III. I renamed the rom for testing purposes to FF3.zip and then updated the rom path in the game entry accordingly. Changing the image file to FF3.jpg did not match afterwards. So then I deleted the library entry, and reimported the rom fresh and FF3.jpg did match at that point. Any ideas why this would be the case?

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Odd. Other than maybe an image refresh issue, that's not making a lot of sense. I assume you made sure that you refreshed the image manually after making the changes?

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Yep, I did. All of the testing I've done is just by alt-tabbing between LB and an image folder - I rename an image and then go back to LB and hit F5 to refresh. I even went as far as doing a refresh of all images in the scenario with FF3.jpg above; just because I too was confused why it was happening.

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Sure; that will be hard to follow. It's possible that maybe LaunchBox needed to be restarted or something weird like that. I haven't done a lot of testing in scenarios where files are being renamed while LaunchBox is open.

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Yeah I guess that's possible. I'll try it again tonight and restart LB after changing the rom file.

Renaming existing image files and then refreshing a game's images while LB is open for sure works, but maybe not for rom files to images - there isn't a "refresh rom file name cache" button xD It's a pretty weird/specific scenario but I could see it causing some confusion for people if they encountered it.

I'll poke it some more tonight and see what I can come up with :D

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Bah, it must have been a fluke or something. I can't seem to replicate it. *shrug*

I guess it's actually a good thing in this case :P

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Has anyone found a way to define the way the files are named?  Below is your list from above, and you specify formatting options which work, but is there a way when the scraper runs (or afterwards to retroactively make changes) to specify which format to use?  Ideally I would like my filenames to match my romnames (the third option on the list).  This includes both artwork and videos.

Final Fantasy VI.jpg - matches the library title; this will work :)
FF6.jpg - matches the rom file name minus special characters; this will work :) note however that appended numbers (-0#) do not work in this scenario.
FF6(1994)(Squaresoft).jpg - matches the rom file name with all special characters; this will work :)
FF6(1994).jpg - includes special characters from the rom file, but not all of them; this will not work :(
FFVI.jpg - doesn't match either the library title or the rom name; this will not work :(

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If I recall, the media/metadata scraper uses the first option and appends numbers on the end (-01, -02, etc.) for each image you download in a given category (it does this even if you only download one image). I don't believe there's a way to actually specify that you want it to name them in a specific alternate format. There might be a way to bulk-rename them with some kind of separate utility for such things, but I don't think there's a way to do it via LB.

The list I provided was designed to show people how your media filenames could be formatted and still have it automatically match in LB.

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What about the use of another scraper?  What is the scraper LB uses?  Perhaps I can look into it and see if there are any settings or anything.

 

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Yes, the LaunchBox scraper is internal from the LaunchBox Games Database. There's also Wikipedia but of course it doesn't work nearly as well. Unfortunately adding more scrapers would require internal development unless someone wanted to just access the XML files directly.

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I'm reaching far back in memory here, but there are multiple ways to bulk edit media files. If I recall, I was able to do it based on either an xml and even rom names. I'm sorry I can't remember which programs I used. I think one using xml was for roms and I just changed the filename it looked for to png so it thought my media was roms. Maybe FatMatch?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

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Hey guys, question...so I see that when there are duplicate games (such as region and revisions etc), it will download the same image for the different versions of the game.  It will than append a hash of characters to the end of the file name to make it unique.  I've hidden the duplicates of the games, but would also like to remove the duplicate media.  

-Is there a quick way to remove the duplicate media?

-Is there a way to remove the hash of characters at the end of the filename, as they are no longer necessary as duplicates are gone...possibly an automatic way of doing this?  I've tried removing the metadata link on the game and readding it, but it remembers it's unique hash somewhere.

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You could do a windows search and delete it? Like search for 02 or whatever it appends the files with?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

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