Synology Video Station indexing with TMDb and TheTVDB


So I’ve had a Synology 1817+ NAS for a couple of months now and been using their package Video Station to index and sort the metadata of my movies and tv shows.
One of the great features of their indexing is that it utilizes some open source alternatives like TMDb and TheTVDB.
If we look at their own list of sources they claim to be using the following:

Problem is that you’re not able to choose which sources you’d like prioritized, so everything that’s automatically indexed is using the metadata of the first source that it can reach which isn’t always is never the preferred source.
A small example of the indexing gone wrong:

Which I then manually edited to use the right source:

The sources list for the particular episode looks like this:

The source that I would consider crap is one provided by Synology themselves and are chosen first by Video Station, as they are discovered before the results from TheTVDB.
So how can we fix this permanently? How can we make it so that we won’t have to manually fix the metadata for every single episode of every single tv show / movie?!

Well, I started looking into the config files for Video Station.
I found a file called plugin.conf located under: /volume1/@appstore/VideoStation/etc
In this file I found the following code:
"movie": {
"Movie":{
"prepare": [{"id":"com.synology.FileAssets", "enable":true}],
"metadata":[{"id":"com.synology.Synovideodb", "enable":true},
{"id":"com.synology.TheMovieDb", "enable":true}],
"similar": [{"id":"com.synology.TheMovieDb.Similar", "enable":true}],
"extra": []
}
},
"tvshow": {
"TV Show": {
"prepare": [{"id":"com.synology.FileAssets", "enable":true}],
"metadata":[{"id":"com.synology.Synovideodb", "enable":true},
{"id":"com.synology.TheTVDB", "enable":true}],
"similar": [],
"extra": []
}

It must have been my lucky day, I thought! I changed the value for com.synology.Synovideodb for both movie and tvshow from true to false and thought that it would solve all of my problems.
It didn’t… It was still utilizing the metadata provided by Synology, instead of data from TheTVDB. I even tried disabling and re-enabling the entire Video Station package in the hopes that it just had to reload the file, but I was still out of luck.

So I continued digging into the files of the Video Station package files via SSH and found a folder called syno_synovideodb under: /volume1/@appstore/VideoStation/plugins
I tried renaming this folder to syno_synovideodb_old to try and avoid loading the plugin used, but it had no effect.
Just for the fun of it, even though I had no expectation of it working, I tried to move the syno_synovideodb folder into another directory instead:
sudo mv /volume1/@appstore/VideoStation/plugins/syno_synovideodb /volume1/@appstore/VideoStation/plugins/temp/syno_synovideodb

I then tried to search for sources for the episode I was testing with previously:

Success!! It only found one source and it was from TheTVDB and all future episodes of any tv show added after this, was automatically indexed with metadata from TheTVDB only! Hurray!

I hope that this little hint can help anyone else tired of manually indexing all of their stuff in their Synology Video Station.

Have any Question or Comment?

22 comments on “Synology Video Station indexing with TMDb and TheTVDB

GnaXi

Happy that I could of help! 🙂

Reply
Matt

You da real MVP, man! Thanks a lot for this insightful and helpful how-to. Worked like a charm. 🙂

Reply
GnaXi

You’re very welcome!
Just make sure to keep the guide handy, as you unfortunately will have to perform the steps again, whenever you update Video Station.
I do however believe that it is worth it! 🙂

Reply
David Keating

Spot on thanks ever so much!!

Reply
Delpy

Thanks so much for that!

Do you know if there’s any way to bulk update all of the episodes that are named #7.2, #7.2, etc. using TVDB or do you have to do each episode one-by-one?

Reply
GnaXi

No problem! 🙂
After you’ve followed the instructions, just remove all of the episodes from the indexed folder, so that they are no longer showed in Video Station, then put them back.
It will then re-index all of them and name them correctly! 🙂

Reply
Delpy

Perfect! Thank you!

Reply
Kevin

This looks interesting but I have a question.. How do you find the config files for Video Station?

Reply
GnaXi

I haven’t been able to find any config files for Video Station either, which is why I go to the extreme here by simply moving around folders instead.

Reply
Guy

Awesome trick, works great, thanks for sharing!!

Reply
GnaXi

You’re very welcome! 🙂

Reply
s1mwest

I found this very interesting, after investigating why indexing was so poor all of a sudden, so thank you for putting it out there GnaXi.

It helped me work towards an alternative method that doesn’t require modifying Video Station’s config files (and thus doesn’t require repeated editing when the package is updated).

So instead I use DNS blocking to prevent Video Station from connecting to the first sources that you, quite rightly stated, are so frustratingly useless.

As I use DnsCrypt-Proxy by PublicArray from GitHub, I use the DNS blocking in there. I have two Synology boxes, both running Video Station and DnsCrypt-Proxy for resilience, so I just wanted to minimise the maintenance when updating Video Station or when performing re-indexing. It’s also great for ad-blocking (but that’s not why we’re here :D).

Anyway, I block these:

allocine.com
allocine.fr
atmovies.com.tw
freebase.com

Make sure NOT to block these (they need to be allowed):

imdb.com
thetvdb.com
themoviedb.org

This solved it for me. Hope it helps anyone that can use this method.

Reply
GnaXi

Awesome! Thank you very much for your feedback!
This would definitely be a better solution for people that have their own DNS Server! 🙂

Reply

Or for people who just want to edit their hosts file in Synology box 😉
It would actually be better to do that, SO you can still access AlloCine website from other devices 😉

Reply
GnaXi

I believe that the hosts file is reset whenever you update DSM?
If that is the case, you would have to edit the hosts file whenever a new version of DSM is released.
I could be wrong though?

Reply
s1mwest

My point was that if you have a Synology box, you already have the ability to use a DNS server; either Synology’s own or a 3rd party one which, once loaded with your preferences i.e. zones you want blocked/allowed etc., preserves them.
One question I have is; If AlloCine is giving us useless/inaccurate information, why would you want to continue to use it?

Reply
GnaXi

Continue using Synology’s Video Station? Because I liked it at the time and found a workaround to my issue, which I decided to share with the world! 🙂
However, I have in the meantime decided to switch to Emby, as I find it better in every way, but leave the article up for people that might want to keep using Synology’s Video Station.

s1mwest

Maybe I didn’t word that so good 🙂 My question was aimed @ElMac; Why would you want to continue to use AlloCine, if it gives inaccurate meta data within VideoStation.
I’ve stuck with VideoStation so far and ‘only’ because there is a VS app on my Samsung TV (although it needs a simple but much needed feature: auto-play next video/file)

GnaXi

Ah! Now it’s making a lot more sense! 😉
Yeah, I couldn’t really see what other services that you might want to use AlloCine, considering how bad their current data is.

Robin

Thanks very much to everybody who contributed for all the information and help in here. It was a problem that was really bugging me as it kept finding Japanese TV shows or American versions of UK show. I used my router to block acces to the sites listed above and now all my information appears to be coming from thetvdb.com. Great solve althought the better solve would be to be able to select your preffered provider. Cheers.

Reply
GnaXi

Happy to hear that you got on the right track! 🙂
And I would definitely agree that Synology should make an option for this themselves.

Reply

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