More Plex tips–Ripping TV Shows

I haven’t posted Plex tips in a long time, which I realized as I tried to remember how to rip TV shows today and couldn’t find enough instructions. 😛  So welcome to another episode of Pain and Suffering of Being Stubborn About Going Cordless!!!

Today’s topic: television episodes (and other multi-episode items).

Most disks with multiple episodes of things (such as TV episodes, but also old shorts like Looney Tunes cartoons or Little Rascals bits) don’t have the uber-painful highly controlled stuff to make discouraging ripping horrible.  They don’t need to; the episode format is painful enough.

I’m going to assume you have the basics of Plex ripping down (if not, you can go here though the info is older).  But when you rip anything that needs to be broken into episodes, it is often (though not always) stored on the disk under 1 big Title file, not individual episodes.  Here’s how to break it up in a way that Plex understands.

  1.  First, make sure you know which episodes, from what season, are on that disk.  Some (such as Little Rascals or Carol Burnett, etc.) are NOT in any logical order.  imdb.com is a good resource for this if the disk information is unclear.
  2. Go to the folder where you store your Plex TV media and create the necessary folders according to the Plex naming rules.
  3. Rip the main title you need into an MKV (or MP4 or whatever.  I use MKV).  Leave the disk in the drive.
  4. Open your movie playing software of choice, and choose ‘play all.’  With Power DVD, as I play I get the option at the bottom (it’s a button that looks like a star in a box) to view the Bookmarks/Chapters.  It’s the CHAPTERS you want to note.
  5. Click the ‘next media file’ option as needed, writing down the chapter where each NEW episode starts.  This will tell you which chapters you need to break up the episodes properly.  For instance, if episode 2 starts at chapter 12, then episode 1 is chapters 1-11, then if episode 3 starts at chapter 30, episode 2 is 12-29, etc.
  6. Once you have notes of all this, open Handbrake and pull up the MKV file you ripped, and select the preset you usually use.  BUT! don’t just start the encode!  You need to: a) select ONLY the chapters for the episode you want to select, then b) change the ‘save as’ path to the proper folder AND episode name, then c) add to queue, and repeat steps a-c until you have every episode from that disk queued up.  THEN start encoding your queue.

Hopefully this helps everyone a little, though I will admit I am doing it mostly for my own future reference. 🙂

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