Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

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kptaylor67
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by kptaylor67 »

I've seen many people asking for a reliable way to determine the correct order of TV episodes on blu-ray discs without, you know, actually watching parts of the episode, scanning for episode titles, comparing episode run times to those shown on Wikipedia, or similar. Well, I have one. Once it occurred to me to use this method, it has worked 100% of the time provided the disc is NOT protected with title obfuscation (tons of titles of the same / similar size where only, say, five of them are correct, and even those are not in the correct order - thanks PBS!) YMMV

So, let's say you open a disc that you know has episodes 1-5 of a TV series on it. MakeMKV shows you something like this:

<series title season 1> 3.4GB
<series title season 1> 3.2GB
<series title season 1> 3.4GB
<series title season 1> 3.4GB
<series title season 1> 3.3GB
<lots of other stuff>

Just looking at this list, there's no way to determine whether the episodes on the disc are in order are not, and the running times are so close that looking at the running time won't do it. So instead, just highlight each title and look at the "source file" name in the MakeMKV information pane. It'll be something like 00800.mpls. You can determine episode order by putting the source file .mpls in numeric order, with the lowest number being episode 1. Example:

<series title season 1> 3.4GB > 00802.mpls = episode 3
<series title season 1> 3.2GB > 00801.mpls = episode 2
<series title season 1> 3.4GB > 00800.mpls = episode 1
<series title season 1> 3.4GB > 00804.mpls = episode 5
<series title season 1> 3.3GB > 00803.mpls = episode 4
<lots of other stuff>

When you move on to disc two, with episodes 6-10, then 00800.mpls (or similar) will be episode 6, and so forth.

The important thing to remember here is that you're just looking to put the numeric .mpls file names in order, no matter what the numbers actually are. They're usually 00x00 and following, but they could also be 00113, 00112, 00111, 00110, etc. Doesn't matter. Rule is, lowest .mpls file number attached to an *episode-sized* file / title is first episode on that disc, next highest number is episode 2, and so on.

BTW, this method ALSO works with Disney / other discs where three or four versions of the film are on the disc, each in a different language. For example, with "Force Awakens" and "Last Jedi," there were multiple versions of each film on the disc. One version had the title and crawl in English; one in Spanish; one in French, and soforth. If you want the English version, use the first MPLS (e.g. 00800). Usually, Spanish is 2 & French is 3, but English is almost always lowest number mpls.

Now, before you respond to this post, I realize that there are probably uber-geniouses out there who already knew this and that there may have been other posts buried in this forum containing some or all of this information. No need to tell me / others that this is the case. Bottom line: I couldn't find those posts or any post containing all of this info, and I know how much this would've helped me back in the day when I was watching parts of episodes to make sure I got the order right (and for shows like "That 70s Show," that took a whole Saturday afternoon), so I thought I'd leave this information here. Hope it's helpful for some of you who, like me, have been doing it "the hard way" for far too long.
Last edited by kptaylor67 on Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Grauhaar
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Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by Grauhaar »

Sounds very good. Never checked the mpls numbering to find the correct order. Just checked it with some disc, perfect match! Thank for this great information 8)
Good Luck :)
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kptaylor67
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by kptaylor67 »

Grauhaar wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:25 pm
Sounds very good. Never checked the mpls numbering to find the correct order. Just checked it with some disc, perfect match! Thank for this great information 8)
I'm really happy this helped you! Feels good to perhaps have made a solid contribution to a forum that's helped me more times than I can count.
rui-no-onna
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:50 am

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by rui-no-onna »

I wish MakeMKV would sort titles by playlist order like Handbrake does or at least provide such an option.
kptaylor67
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by kptaylor67 »

rui-no-onna wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:42 pm
I wish MakeMKV would sort titles by playlist order like Handbrake does or at least provide such an option.
Well, me too, but until that becomes an option (and Mike has WAAAAY too much to do), at least this works.
oddeyeball
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:20 am

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by oddeyeball »

Wow, this method proves to work pretty good. Now just need to figure out which is the best way to sort the episode orders, by release date or intended order. At least getting the episode titles correct helps.
kptaylor67
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by kptaylor67 »

oddeyeball wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:55 am
Wow, this method proves to work pretty good. Now just need to figure out which is the best way to sort the episode orders, by release date or intended order. At least getting the episode titles correct helps.
My scraper does this; I can select "absolute" order or "aired" order thru the TVDB. Can you do that as well?
Wikkid1
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:55 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by Wikkid1 »

Perfect! Just what I was looking for!
Gerry2k5
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Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:46 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by Gerry2k5 »

Unfortunately, this method is not completely foolproof.

I ripped 3 BluRay discs for Firefly and the first two were fine, but the third disc had the episodes in a completely different order to that on the case and the menus.

Still, it does seem to be a good method for most discs.
Woodstock
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Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by Woodstock »

Firefly is one of those series that has two orders for the episodes. Broadcast order puts the pilot episode almost at mid-season, because the network thought it wouldn't get people interested as quickly as the train robbery episode.
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tvannaman2000
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Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by tvannaman2000 »

This is very interesting. I've had to always use Wiki and hope there were production codes listed. I've learned that many BD's have their episodes backwards on disk whereas DVD's are almost always in order. If there are no production codes, sometimes the writer/director combo will identify an episode.

My current problem is this: I'm doing Vikings season 1 where there are multiple versions of each episode on a disk. The run times are a clue as to which are the extended versions, but in this case it appears there are 4 episodes on disk 1 where only 3 are supposed to exist. I assume that by reading the synopsis on Wiki and fast forwarding thru the video to see what is going on. According to the SN, they are in order of 801 -> 850.

It would be real nice to have a tool to read and decode the BD menu. My MacOS version of MakeMKV does not allow for making backups (greyed out) so this is my only recourse.
bill2468
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:35 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by bill2468 »

I have been wondering about this for a few years. This is way easier than scanning through each episode of a series and trying to see of the storyline fits with what TVDB says the plot is. Thanks a million times!
thetoad
Posts: 181
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Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by thetoad »

this doesn't always work. I've seen discs where for instance, you might have

801
802
803
810
811

where 801/2/3 are episodes without commentary and 810/1 are episodes with commentary and mixed in. So one still has to watch. Personally, I've found the easiest/most reliable way is to simply pop up the bluray in vlc, play each episode for 2s, to get the time, and associate the time to a title time in makemkv.
centuryx476
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:11 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by centuryx476 »

This method does seem to work for a vast majority of discs I have. I'm sure I will run into some that it will not work.
I'm now going to take this method and put it into a python script for automation.
MakeMKV CLI -< Output File -< Filebot (For Naming Episode)

What I did was I wrote up in a .json file the Season, Disc# and Episode Names for an entire show. I choose one that is only four seasons for easy testing. And I combined it into python. And I was able to get fully named episode files in a very automated way. For fun I wrote a way to get an email if the "Rip" failed. That way I can address it right away and not waste too much time.

Massive work in progress since the only downside is I have to manually create a .json file for the show.

But thank you so much for this info.

Edit: Quick question. You know when you load up a disc in a blu-ray player. You can choose an episode by its name. How can we access that information ? I would think that would solve all our problems.
Edit2: Nevermind. I found it, they are just .png files! Not good at all
Ezatoka
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 6:55 pm

Re: Reliable Way to Determine "Episode Order" for TV Series Blu Ray Discs

Post by Ezatoka »

Sometimes you have one huge playlists for all episodes (e.g. for a "play all" button), then one could determine the episode order from the segment list.
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