Using Recorded Date as Broadcast Date?

I’m having some trouble matching metadata on programs recorded with Plex. Because Plex has a crappy EPG now, sometimes the only information that comes in is the show name, subtitle, and recorded date (and even that is only because @Goose implemented some additional metadata logic to parse it from the file name).

Unfortunately, per the pinned post, MCEBuddy will need the show name (have it), and the original broadcast date (shows as 1900-01-01T00:00:00), season/episode info (blank), or the IMDB ID for the show (expectedly blank) to complete matching, and I’m looking for creative ways of making this work.

For most (maybe all?) of my shows, I’m only recording the first run of them. Therefore, in nearly all cases, the broadcast date is the same as the recorded date. Is there a way I can tell MCEBuddy to treat the recorded date as the broadcast date if no broadcast date information is found?

I’m also open to other ideas to fix this, but this is all I can think of for now. Conversion log attached so you can see my issue. Thanks for any ideas.

Dateline NBC (1992) - 2020-03-13 22 00 00 - Dateline NBC.ts-Convert to MP4-2020-03-13T23-04-30.4679001-04-00.log (1.7 MB)

I have the same thing going on. I’m re-recording all Seinfeld episodes using Plex and processing them to remove commercials. They are all saving with the 1900 date which I’d sure love to change.

Change your plex naming scheme to include atleast 2 pieces of information, the Title (e.g. Seinfield) and the Subtitle (episode name) or the Original Broadcast date (when it first aired) or include the Season/Episode number.
Without any of this information how will MCEBuddy know what you’re recording, it could be anything.

Unfortunately, Plex has no options (that I know of) for changing the naming scheme. It does not use the metadata in the broadcast, so if the EPG does not have the information, it is kind of SOL. I have the option to run a post-processing script, so perhaps I could change around some of the filename info, but I’m not sure how that would help. Are we just SOL with the Plex limitations?

Use MCEBuddy to rename the output file and move it to your library location after processing.

I do not believe that will solve the issue. Rename it to what? My current work flow is what you describe, but the issue is that if the metadata isn’t there, and if there isn’t a way to tell MCEBuddy to treat the recorded date as the original broadcast date, it can’t match the metadata online.

I can maybe do some sort of processing of the file before MCEBuddy sees it so that certain dates are in certain places in the file name, but based on what I see, MCEBuddy will never parse anything in the file name as the original broadcast date, so there is no point.

I personally believe the simplest way would be a checkbox in MCEBuddy that treats the recorded date as the broadcast date if no broadcast date is found, but I could also work by changing the file name around if MCEBuddy has the ability to parse a broadcast date from the file name.

Here is my renaming pattern. I’ve broken up the all-in-one-line for readability.
I have a global output prefix of “M:\Video” in MCEBuddy.
My Plex library root directory is set to M:\Video\TV Shows.
Using the \Season ##<show>-S##E##-- format lets Plex organize the shows just fine into seasons and orders the episodes properly. I do have to put some overrides into the exception list, but those are mainly for PBS shows that don’t populate theTVDB well or reboots.

\TV Shows\%showname%\Season %season%##\

For the overrides, they are shows like America’s Test Kitchen, and reboots like Will & Grace (reboot became seasons extending the original show), or Magnum PI (reboot became a separate “Magnum PI (2018)”). ATK changed the name in the guides, the “from Cook’s Illustrated” when they erased the founder from the show after a buyout), or the apostrophes are “smart quotes” or other unicode/UTF8 weirdness and so don’t always match between my HDHR DVR guide and my TiVo guide (or the metadata in the file).

I think we might be talking about different issues here. My issue is before the file gets moved. It isn’t possible for me to use the renaming rules you are talking about because MCEBuddy cannot gather the metadata from the Internet. If MCEBuddy does not know what the show is, it cannot reliably use renaming rules.

We did a little more investigation and it appears that may work. We’ve made updates to use the date for air date as well as recorded date. You can try the latest build.

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I converted TiVo recordings for multiple “episodes” of 1 hour showings that do not have any episode or airdate info in the guide, and I found that the “airtime” always came up as “0000” in the above renaming, and caused the multiple recordings to get skipped as MCEBuddy thought it had already converted the show after the first one. The TiVo filename has the record time in the name, but not in the meta-data. I also put in an exception to assign a TVDB series ID to the show, but that seems to be ignored too and gets treated as a “special” (with no seasons or episodes).

I adjusted the above renaming to use %recorddate% and %recordtime% instead of %airdate% and %airtime% since the show had no airdate or airtime info in the guide or recording, and that is working as expected to put the record time into the output filename, creating separate files for each “episode”. I will still have to manually rename the files into “seasons” and “episodes” to make them more Plex-friendly, but the record date and time will help with ordering.

BTW, the show is “Dust”, which is really a web site,, for SciFi short films with a Youtube channel, and broadcasts different films packaged up into 1-hour “episodes” on a local secondary channel, TBD. And since it is from a website, there really isn’t an “airdate” for them, since it is an anthology type of show that never actually aired.

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Fantastic, thanks, @Goose. I’ll check it out.