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

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kptaylor67
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

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

Post by kptaylor67 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:07 pm

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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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:46 pm

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

Post by Grauhaar » 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)

kptaylor67
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

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

Post by kptaylor67 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:39 pm

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: 36
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 » 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.

kptaylor67
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

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

Post by kptaylor67 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:08 pm

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: 15
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:20 am

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

Post by oddeyeball » 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.

kptaylor67
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:35 pm

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

Post by kptaylor67 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:30 pm

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?

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