Instead of finishing off watching Chocotto Sister (episodes 23 and 24 are still left), I decided to rename the files. Why would I do that?
The common anime episode format for filenames is as follows: “[tag]_Anime_Title_-_##_[########].ext”
The first two numbers (represented with #) indicate the episode number. Occasionally an anime will go beyond 100 episodes, so those would use ###, with leading 0s to pad. The last 8 numbers indicate the CRC of the file. The ext is, as you’d expect, the file extension. Lastly, the tag at the beginning of the filename is for the fansub group’s specific tag.
In the case of Chocotto Sister, I have episodes from two different groups. The first is Ryoumi Subs (tag: “Ryo”). They did episodes 01 to 13 and dropped it (for whatever reason). The second group is Morally Bankrupt Translations (tag: “mbt”). Now, because they used the common convention of placing the tag at the beginning, the files, when ordered alphabetically, are not in the correct order. This is only slightly annoying when you open files manually on the computer, but it’s more annoying when you’re playing them on a stand-alone DVD player.
Back in the day, when I thought it was important to keep the original filename in tact, I found myself a victim of this annoying feature. One of my favourite anime, Trinity Blood had multiple fansub groups. When I burned the DVDs, I did so with the original filenames. To my dismay, I listened through the OP, then was surprised to see something in an episode I had yet to reach. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s somewhat annoying. I prefer seamless viewing from episode to episode. The annoyance increases when you have even more groups’ fansubs on a single DVD.
So, my solution is to rename the files (a shame, as I had believed earlier) into something better. The format I prefer is as follows: “Anime Title.##.[tag].ext”
As you can see, I remove all of the annoying, ugly underscores (they serve a purpose elsewhere, but not on any of my systems). Specifically, within the title itself, I use spaces, and the separators are replaced with single dots. I also remove the useless CRC; if it’s needed, it can be found manually. Most importantly, I
move the tag to end of the filename (but before the extension of course).
There’s a minor point I overlooked: versions. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. If you absolutely need to know what version you’ve got, you can compare the CRC of the file (found manually) to the new file being released. That’s about the only case you’d need the version number. Even so, I like to keep the version number as a part of the filename (a quirk of mine I suppose). I always place the version number after the tag. Example: “Anime Title.01.[jd].[v2].mp4”
The advantages of my format over the commonly used format are plenty. It’s easier to read (less underscores). It’s ordered by primarily by episode number, not group name. And…and…okay, that’s it. But that’s enough of a reason for me.
Opinions? Alternatives to suggest? I don’t expect anyone will read this, but just in case…please comment! Who knows; I may one day do fansubs myself.
[Edit: Thanks go to DmonHiro for making his comment.]
I think that there’s also a place for the episode title in the filename. With that in there, the filename format that I prefer would be as follows: “Anime Title.##.Episode Title.[tag].[v#].ext”