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Templates

Collection, Playlist, Metadata, and Overlay Files often share a lot of common or generalizable configuration details. Templates allow you to define these details in order for them to be used across multiple definitions.

Templates definitions are placed under the top level attribute templates. The templates top level attribute and its templates can either be defined in the same file as the other definitions or from an external file using the top level external_templates attribute. See File Blocks for how to define files for external_templates.

External Template Example (click to expand)

In this example this is a file in your config folder called my_templates.yml.

templates:
  Actor:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release

This is a Collection File in your config folder called actors.yml.

external_templates:
 - file: config/my_templates.yml       
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template: {name: Actor, person: 19429}
  Chris Pratt:
    template:
      name: Actor
      person: 73457

Template Definition

Inside a template definition, you can use all the Builders, Filters, Settings, Updates, and Item Updates attributes that you can give collections/playlists [except template; templates cannot be nested].

In addition, templates also have a few special attributes that they can use:

default - Sets what template variables default to.

The default attribute allows default values for template variables to be used if they're not specified in the call. It's value is a dictionary of key value pairs where the key is the template variable and the value is the default value to set it to when not provided.

A variable cannot be default if it is a conditional variable.

Example

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templates:
  Actor:
    default:
      my_sync_mode: sync #(1)!
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: <<my_sync_mode>> #(2)!
    collection_order: release
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template:
      name: Actor
      person: 19429
      my_sync_mode: append #(3)!
  Chris Pratt:
    template: #(4)!
      name: Actor
      person: 73457
  1. This sets the default value of the template variable my_sync_mode to sync.
  2. The value for template variable my_sync_mode will replace <<my_sync_mode>> here.
  3. This specifiys that my_sync_mode for this definition will be append.
  4. Since my_sync_mode is not passed to this definition the value of my_sync_mode will be the default sync.
optional - List of template variables to be removed when not provided.

The optional attribute can specify variables that when not specified on the template call will cause any attribute using one of those variables to be ignored in the template. It's value is a list of template variables to be considered optional.

You can make any template variable optional per collection by setting it to null.

A variable cannot be optional if it is a conditional variable or has a default value.

Example

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templates:
  Actor:
    optional:
      - my_sync_mode #(1)!
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: <<my_sync_mode>> #(2)!
    collection_order: release
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template:
      name: Actor
      person: 19429
      my_sync_mode: append #(3)!
  Chris Pratt:
    template: #(4)!
      name: Actor
      person: 73457
  1. This sets the template variable my_sync_mode as an optional variable.
  2. The value for template variable my_sync_mode will replace <<my_sync_mode>> here or removed as optional.
  3. This specifiys that my_sync_mode for this definition will be append.
  4. Since my_sync_mode is not passed to this definition it will ignore the entire sync_mode attribute in the template.
conditionals - Can set template variables based on other template variables.

Each conditional is identified by its mapping name under the top level conditionals attribute can have these attributes:

Attribute Description
conditions A list of condition blocks where if all conditions are met then the variable will be the value specified in that condition block. Once all conditions in a block are met, that value will be used and no other blocks will be run.
This attribute is required
default The default value for when no condition block is met. If default is not specified the variable becomes an optional variable.
This attribute is optional

Condition Blocks

A condition block consists of one or more key value pairs comparing given template variables to pre supplied static values.

The key is the name of the template variable who's value you want to compare. While the value is the staic value or values to compare aginst. Every condition block must also have the value key which will be the value of the template variable if all the conditions in that block are met.

There are three ways to compare values:

  1. Using no modifier:

    • The given template variable's value must equal the static value or be in the list of static values.
  2. Using the not modifier by appending .not to the key template variable:

    • The given template variable's value must not equal the static value or not be in the list of static values.
  3. Using the exists modifier by appending .exists to the key template variable:

    • While ture the template variable specified must exist in the template call.
    • While anything but true the template variable specified must not exist in the template call.
Example

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templates:
  CustomTemplate:
    conditionals: #(1)!
      offset: #(2)!
        default: 15 #(3)!
        conditions: #(4)!
          - align.exists: false #(5)!
            value: 150
          - align: center #(6)!
            value: 0
          - align: [top, bottom] #(7)!
            value: 15
      key_name: #(8)!
        conditions: #(9)!
          - style: standards #(10)!
            key: 1080
            value: Full HD
          - style: standards #(11)!
            key: 4k
            value: Ultra HD
  1. This is the main conditionals attribute to start the whole seciton.
  2. This is the main mapping of the conditional template variable offset.
  3. This sets the default variable of offset to 15.
  4. This is the base attribute for the condition blocks.
  5. If the variable align is not provided to the template then set the variable to 150.
  6. If the variable align is passed with the value center then set the variable to 0.
  7. If the variable align is passed with the value top or bottom then set the variable to 15.
  8. This is the main mapping of the conditional template variable key_name.

    Since default is not used key_name will be added to the optional variable list.
  9. This is the base attribute for the condition blocks.
  10. If the variable style is passed with the value standards and the variable key is passed with the value 1080 then set the variable to Full HD.
  11. If the variable style is passed with the value standards and the variable key is passed with the value 4k then set the variable to Ultra HD.
move_prefix - List of prefixes to move to the end of the collection/playlist name for sorting.

The move_prefix attribute can be used to specify a list or comma-separated string of prefixes to move to the end of the collection/playlist name for sorting. This changes the template variables collection_sort and playlist_sort.

Example

If you have move_prefix: The, A, An and a collection is called The Avengers then <<collection_sort>> is replaced with Avengers, The instead of The Avengers for that collection, but the collection Iron Man will still just be Iron Man.

templates:
  Movies:
    move_prefix: The, A, An
    tmdb_collection: <<tmdb_id>>
    sort_title: <<collection_sort>>
    collection_order: release
collections:
  The Avengers:
    template:
      name: Movies
      tmdb_id: 86311
  Iron Man:
    template:
      name: Movies
      tmdb_id: 131292

Every template also has access to these template variables:

  • Either <<collection_name>>, <<playlist_name>>, or <<overlay_name>> which is the name of the definition.
  • <<mapping_name>> is the original mapping name for the definition in the YAML file.
  • Either <<collection_sort>> or <<playlist_sort>> which is the name of the definition after move_prefix is applied.
  • <<library_type>> which is the library type (movie, show, artist, video).
  • <<library_name>> which is the name of the library.
  • All template variables can append _encoded to the variable name to use a URL encode version of the variable. ex. <<collection_name_encoded>>

Template Call

To call a template from a definition you use the template attribute with the name attribute under it. Any attribute besides name under template is considered a template variables which are used to define the data that going to be changing in the template.

Tip

The name of the template and the template variable names that you define are arbitrary, but they must match exactly between the template definition and the template call.

Template Name

The name attribute is what tells the template call which template to use. Its value must correspond exactly to the template mapping name you want to call.

Template Name Example (click to expand)

This is an example using the template name Actor showing the template being called in two different ways.

templates:
  Actor: #(1)!
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template: {name: Actor, person: 19429} #(2)!
  Chris Pratt:
    template:
      name: Actor #(3)!
      person: 73457
  1. This defines the template name as Actor.
  2. This calls the Actor template using inline YAML syntax.
  3. This calls the Actor template using a more readable YAML syntax.

Template Variables

Any other attribute aside from name under template is considered a template variable whose name must correspond exactly with the template variable name surrounded by << and >> in the template definition. These template variables will replace any part of any value that contains the template variable name surrounded by << and >> in the template with the specified template variable's value.

Template Variables Example (click to expand)

This is an example using the template name Actor showing the template being called in two different ways.

templates:
  Actor:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>> #(1)!
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template: {name: Actor, person: 19429} #(2)!
  Chris Pratt:
    template:
      name: Actor
      person: 73457 #(3)!
  1. The template variable person will replace <<person>> here.
  2. This calls the Actor template with the template variable person set to 19429 using inline YAML syntax.
  3. This calls the Actor template with the template variable person set to 73457 using a more readable YAML syntax.

Multi-Template Variables

When using multiple Templates in a single definition you can send the same variable to all templates by using the variables attribute.

Multi-Template Variables Example (click to expand)
templates:
  Actor:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
  Common:
    summary: "Movies that <<collection_name>> (TMDb ID: <<person>>) are in"
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    variables: {person: 19429}
    template: [{name: Actor}, {name: Common}]
  Chris Pratt:
    variables:
      person: 19429
    template:
     - name: Actor
     - name: Common

Template Example

For this example were trying to create a template for all our various Actor/Actress Collections to save space in the YAML file and allow easier changes to all the Collections at once.

This is the example Collection File we're going to convert to using templates.

collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: 19429
    sort_title: "!_Bruce Lee" #(1)!
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release
  Chris Pratt:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: 73457
    sort_title: "!_Chris Pratt" #(2)!
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release
  1. This is wrapped in quotes because it contains a character [!] which has syntactic meaning in YAML files. This "quoting special characters" is a general YAML requirement, not something specific to sort_title.
  2. This is wrapped in quotes because it contains a character [!] which has syntactic meaning in YAML files. This "quoting special characters" is a general YAML requirement, not something specific to sort_title.

You can continue adding definitions this way, but there's a lot of repetition there. Both of these collections have the same sync_mode, collection_order, and actor settings; the other two details, tmdb_person and sort_title, depend on a value defined in the collection.

Those repetitive aspects can be moved into a template and leveraged by multiple collections. For this example it might look something like this:

templates:
  Actor:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release

The only things that change are the ID that is used with tmdb_person and the name of the collection that is used in sort_title.

Those two things surrounded by << >> are "template variables" that you can define for any collection using this template, like this:

collections:
  Chris Pratt:
    template:
      name: Actor
      person: 73457

or to do it in a single line you can do this

collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template: {name: Actor, person: 19429}

Note that we provide the template name Actor and the value to insert in the place of <<person>>. The <<collection_name>> is a template variable that is always available and doesn't have to be called out like <<person>>.

Here's the full example Actor template and two different ways to use it, as it would appear in a collection file.

templates:
  Actor:
    plex_search:
      all:
        actor: tmdb
    tmdb_person: <<person>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: release
collections:
  Bruce Lee:
    template: {name: Actor, person: 19429}
  Chris Pratt:
    template:
      name: Actor
      person: 73457

Advanced Example

Here's an example IMDb Genre template and two different ways to call it.

templates:
  IMDb Genre:
    default:
      title: feature
      limit: 100
    optional:
      - poster_id
    imdb_search:
      type: movie
      release.after: 1989-12-31
      rating.gte: 5.0
      votes.gte: 10000
      genre.any: <<genre>>
      limit: <<limit>>
    sort_title: "!_<<collection_name>>"
    url_poster: https://theposterdb.com/api/assets/<<poster_id>>
    sync_mode: sync
    collection_order: alpha
collections:
  Action:
    template:
      name: IMDb Genre
      genre: action
    summary: Action film is a genre wherein physical action takes precedence in the storytelling. The film will often have continuous motion and action including physical stunts, chases, fights, battles, and races. The story usually revolves around a hero that has a goal, but is facing incredible odds to obtain it.
  Comedy:
    template: {name: IMDb Genre, genre: comedy, poster_id: 69200}
    summary: Comedy is a genre of film that uses humor as a driving force. The aim of a comedy film is to illicit laughter from the audience through entertaining stories and characters. Although the comedy film may take on some serious material, most have a happy ending. Comedy film has the tendency to become a hybrid sub-genre because humor can be incorporated into many other genres. Comedies are more likely than other films to fall back on the success and popularity of an individual star.
  Romantic Comedy:
    template: {name: IMDb Genre, genre: "romance,comedy", limit: 200}
    summary: Romantic Comedy is a genre that attempts to catch the viewer’s heart with the combination of love and humor. This sub-genre is light-hearted and usually places the two protagonists in humorous situation. Romantic-Comedy film revolves around a romantic ideal, such as true love. In the end, the ideal triumphs over the situation or obstacle, thus creating a happy ending.
    filters:
      genre: Comedy

Check out the example files in the Plex Meta Manager Configs Repository for more uses and examples.