After photos, your home videos are the next most essential elements of your media library. They are irreplaceable slices of your life. This step is all about your home videos and commercial movies and TV shows.

Home Videos

It will be quite a bit easier to organize your home videos as compared to your photo library. The main reason is that you have less than five hundred home videos in your library whereas you might have thousands of photos in your photo library.

Less than five hundred is a lot more manageable than quantities in the thousands. You can do the organizing by hand. You will notice a lot of repetition from the previous step, Photos. We are starting with your folder named "Home Videos" which has all your home videos in it.

Just as you did in the previous Step, pay attention to your home videos,

  • Duplicates
  • File Names and Rename
  • Folders
  • Tags

Movies And TV Shows

Your commercial movies and TV shows are a valuable part of your media libraries, one notch lower than your personal photos and home videos.

Pirated Movies / TV Shows

This is a good place to talk about illegal copies of movies and TV shows.

First, I am not offering any legal advice here. I am not an attorney. I am just making you understand that there are consequences to stealing copyright media.

If you copy, download, or get illegal movies or TV shows, you are robbing the creators of this media. They depend upon sales for their income just like you depend upon sales of your personal labor at work or sales of any products you create. There are penalties for this criminal activity.

Then if you "share" these pirated or illegal files with your friends or family or others using these media management applications, you are compounding your criminal behavior by "streaming" this media. You don't have to charge people to view it to break the law, you simply must share it to break the law.

There are a variety of fines and imprisonment in place for these violations.

In short, stay away from illegal, pirated movies and TV shows. As they always say on TV, "You have been warned."

Whew, I am glad we got that over with so let's move on.


Home Videos

Duplicates: There really is no need to employ any automated duplicate removal tools in a library with five hundred or fewer videos.

  1. Sort the videos by name and then visually review the results. You will see the duplicates which have the same file name. Keep the video with the largest file size (highest quality) and delete the duplicate.
  2. Sort the videos again only this time by size. Visually review the results. You will see the duplicates which have the same file size sorted right next to each other. Delete the duplicate.

Rename: Again because we are dealing with w relatively small number of home videos, renaming your home videos is a manual task. All your home videos are going to be named by time (year), event, or both.

When you rename your home videos there are some naming conventions or standards which you should absolutely follow.

The date format is critical.

  • Janurary 3, 2005
  • 01/03/2005
  • 2005-01-03

The year must be first, then the month and finally the day. This is the format that allows you to easily sort your home videos by date.

Special characters are not to be used, ever.

  • 01/03/2005 No backslashes
  • #%! and so on, forget it
  • 2005-01-03 Dashes are OK
  • 2005_01_03 Underscores are OK

If you use special characters, somewhere down the road you will try to backup, copy, create a compressed file and other file manipulation actions and you will be told that you cannot do whatever you are trying to do because there are special characters in the file name.

How do you rename your files? Its pretty simple. Right click on the name and choose “Rename” from the dropdown menu. Or you can just click the icon to the left of the name once and then click on the name itself once. Now you can type in the new name. See WikiHow for detailed instructions.

Be very careful not to remove the file name extension i.e. .mpg, .mp4, .mpeg and so on. If you inadvertently remove this file name extension the video will disappear from your list because your computer no longer see it as a video. It does not disappear from your folder, you just can not see it until you replace the missing file extension.


Here is your folder named "Home Videos."

  • Home Videos
    • Europe Trip
    • Graduation
    • Summer Home

I have add three sub-folders to illustrate how you should organize your home videos. You may prefer adding dates.

  • Home Videos
    • 2003 Europe Trip
    • 2015 Graduation
    • 2017 Summer Home

Its all pretty easy just be careful not to create duplicates. If you have a home video that should be in two different folders at the same time, pick one and forget about the other.

Tags: Tagging your home videos is optional. There are a lot of available fields in the video metadata, and it is up to you if you think the effort is worth it. I say this as there are a manageable amount of home videos as opposed to thousands of photos. Adding tags to your video files is just the same as adding tags to your photos in the previous step Photos.

Movies And TV Shows

Duplicates: It is unlikely that you will have duplicate movies or TV shows as they are not cheap, and you are careful with your library. If you do end up with duplicates you can rely on the media management software in the last step to help you with duplicates. No need to worry about them now

Rename: No worries here as all of your commercial videos have already been named using standard formats.

Folders: If you place all your movies in a "Movies" folder and all your TV shows into a "TV Shows" folder you are good to go the media management software will organize all of this for you.

The only thing I would point out is that if you have some favorites, you can separate them from the pack by creating a "Favorites" sub-folder. You do not need this for the media management software, but it may come in handy when you are managing your folders during backup and moving operations.

Albums: You do not need to worry about creating albums for your movies and TV shows. The media management software will add the correct genre as part of the management function.

If you still want albums, any work you do to create albums (or collections) will stay with the media management software, just like photo albums.


You now have an organized video library. Congratulations! Excellent job!

ITEM: Home Videos

Over the years I kept copies of my home videos on my phone(s), desktops, and in the cloud. I was very paranoid that I would lose these, so I overcompensate by keeping copies everywhere. This is normally a good thing, but I did an extremely poor job of organizing and keeping track of them.

When I started organizing them, I discovered that I had many copies of the same videos and a lot of them had different names. I resolved this by putting everything in the same folder and then sorting them by size. This put all the "same" videos next to each other and then, regardless of the name, I could weed out the duplicates.

My master folder of home videos is now treated like it is full of irreplaceable artworks and I am extremely careful about adding new and copying old home videos. Surprisingly, now that they are organized, it's not awfully hard to keep them protected.

ITEM: Movies and TV Shows

All my commercial movies and TV Shows are on DVDs which I have purchased over the years. But I keep my DVDs as the protected source copies, and I have made MP4 or AVI copies for my home network. Doing this, I lose the remote-control DVD features but that's OK because my media management software likes MP4 and AVI formats and has better controls than the DVD format. You can do the same.