Anime Fansub File Naming Conventions

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”

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2 Responses to Anime Fansub File Naming Conventions

  1. DmonHiro says:

    I use another alternative renamin method. It work for me cause I keep all my anime in their own folder for that series. It’s simple realy,

    Episode number – Episode title.extension.

    It’s VERY useful for long series like Bleach, when I want to rewatch a scene or something, I can just gi by the episode title, insted of trying to remember the episode number

  2. jdinc says:

    Very good point. Actually, I keep series separated by folders (for the most part) as well. For me, if I want to get the episode title, I usually just look on Wikipedia for the episode list. That way I can just go to the arc the episode was a part of, then work from there. If I wanted to (and it’s a good idea, actually), I could put the episode title after the number as well.

    Of course, everyone has their own opinions about this. The filename convention I was suggesting was one I was thinking that fansub groups could use. Usually they’ll just supply a single file, with no folders, so it’s necessary to include the series name.

    Even with batch torrents, my personal preference is that at least the fansub group is mentioned in the filename. I’m not a fan of those batch torrents that omit the fansub group. After you’ve downloaded it, you can open the file and check, but usually I’d like to know in advance.

    Overall, I think your solution works well for its simplicity and is just fine for those who don’t care about which group did the episodes. I personally prefer each file to be self-identifying, regardless of how it fits into a folder hierarchy… but I think I should add episode titles in there as well; that’s definitely a good idea. [Edit: Added!]

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