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This tutorial will focus on a “Movies by Genre” Media Collection, but the same applies to “Movies by Actor” and “Movies by Year”.

In Media Browser, it’s possible to view your media files based on their genres. You can do this on the fly. This however has it’s limitations:

  • If you have 'Remember Folder Indexing' enabled then the next time you enter the Media collection you will see the Genres again instead of your “normal” view
  • If 'Remember Folder Indexing' is disabled then you have to re-filter the view everytime you want to view your collection by genre.

Fortunately there is another way. You can create a seperate Media Collection that will show your media by genre at all times.

For this tutorial the following is presumed to be in place:

  • a Media Collection for all your movies (named Movies and pointing to `D:\Movies` in this example).
  • all movies are stored in their own subfolder under the main collection folder (for example D:\Movies\Last Action Hero\`,D:\Movies\Titanic`). For more details about the recommend folder structures, have a look here.
  • metadata for all your movies is populated with at least 1 genre per movie. Either by using the builtin Internet Provider or by having the metadata stored locally using a third party tool.
  • Remember Folder Indexing” is enabled in the configuration menu.

General misunderstanding

There is often a general misunderstanding about “genre folders”. There are 2 seperate definitions of “genre folders” used by the community, which often leads to confusion.

Genre folders which are actually movies stored in a genre subfolder under their main Media Collection folder. For example:

D:\Movies\Action\Die Hard\
D:\Movies\Comedy\Caddy Shack\

These Genre folders are often configured as seperate Media Collections.

Genre folders which are actually movies filtered by Genre by using the view settings in Media Browser. The actual movies are stored in the recommended folder structure, like this:

D:\Movies\Die Hard\
D:\Movies\Caddy Shack\

This results in a single Media Collection and the genres are shown based on the metadata that’s retrieved for each movie.

We strongly recommend using method 2 due to all the benefits:

  • All movies can be accessed using a single “Movies” Media Collection instead of a limited view of your entire collection.
  • Movies can have multiple genres instead of only 1 (unless using shortcuts, which would also be a drawback)
  • This tutorial can only be completed by using method 2.


What you are going to do is create a new Media Collection that you can then group and sort however you want (in this example we will be grouping by Genre).

Important Note:

Mediabrowser uses the folder name for the default Media Collection name whenever you create Media Collections. You can not have two Media Collections with the same name. For this reason, you need to rename your original Movie Collection so you can create a new one.

To do this, highlight your original Media Collection (“Movies” in our example) and click rename. Give it a name of your choice, other than the same name as the folder that your movies are in. For example, rename it “Movies By Name” which will be your Movies with no grouping and sorted by default (which is by movie name).

Start the Configuration Wizard from the start menu.

Now add a new Media Collection, pointing it to the same folder (or folders) as your normal movie collection. In our example here, this is “D:\Movies". Give the collection a name of your choosing (as long as it is different then your other one) for example: "Movies by Genre”. After this, close the configurator.

Start Media Browser and open the new “Movies by Genre” Media Collection. Set the “INDEX BY” to group by “Genre” and voila! This Media Collection will now show your Media grouped by genre. Going back to your original media collection it will still show it sorted however you have it setup.

You can do this same thing for Actors, Date Added and Year. This gives the ability to have many views of your collection, with different sort orders, groups, etc. all setup how you want.

Additional information and notes

  • The more accurate your metadata is, the better the Genre view will be.
  • Assigning multiple genres in your metadata will make your movie show up in all genres. e.g. if a movie has two genres “Action” and “Adventure” it will show up in both genres in Media Browser
  • You can have custom Icons for your Genre folders. For more information about this have a look here and here

Known side effects

  • If you use Metabrowser and point Metabrowser to your startupfolder it is likely that the section header will not be “Movies” but “Movies by Genre” because Metabrowser will find the latest media files in the last folder it encounters. This does not affect the actual program. It is just a visual thingie.

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