HOW-TO:Video addon

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Home icon grey.png   ▶ Development ▶ Add-on development ▶ Python development ▶ Python examples ▶ HOW-TO:Video addon


Contents

1 Introduction

This tutorial will explain how to write your first Kodi/XBMC video plugin Add-on

2 Tools

Assuming you have already followed the Hello World Add-on you will have a text editor already setup. Since we are dealing with videos this time its probably a good idea to have a video player setup. We recommend another great open source project for this

- VLC http://www.videolan.org/vlc/


3 Installing

For this example we will use 2 nice basic video Add-on tutorials You can find the source-code here:

https://github.com/romanvm/plugin.video.example

You can either download as a zip and install both of these inside the kodi GUI from the install from zip feature. Or extract the zip into your userdata/add-ons folder.

4 Testing

You can first give the add-on a test run by going to: System >> Add-Ons >> Enabled Add-Ons >> Video Add-Ons >> Example Kodi video Plugin. You should now be able to watch some test videos hosted from an internet web server.

Videotutorial1.jpg

5 Explanation

So whats happening in this add-on?

Basically the Add-on is checking a website for the hosted videos. In this example we are directly linking to the videos, but there are possibilities for dynamic content and scraping of just about any online source

Once the video link is sent to Kodi, our video player takes over and buffers, then plays the video just like any other media.

6 Structure

main.py <-- This is the actual python code for your Add-On

addon.xml <-- This is the Add-Ons metadata

icon.png <-- A PNG icon for the add-on. It can be 256x256 or 512x512 pixels big. Try to make it look nice!

Readme.md <-- The readme text file with a description of the Add-on and install instructions. This shows on the front of the GitHub page and helps users to understand your Add-on before downloading.

7 The Code

So now we come to the actual Add-On code, this is where most of your Add-on is written and is a simple text file containing python code.

First we initialize the Add-on and import and bits we need

     import sys
     from urlparse import parse_qsl
     import xbmcgui
     import xbmcplugin

Now we do something else...

     # Get the plugin url in plugin:// notation.
     __url__ = sys.argv[0]
     # Get the plugin handle as an integer number.
     __handle__ = int(sys.argv[1])

Here we use a fixed set of properties simply for demonstrating purposes. In a "real life" plugin you will need to get info and links to video files/streams from some web-site or online service.

VIDEOS = {'Animals': [{'name': 'Crab',
                       'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/crab.jpg',
                       'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/crab.mp4',
                       'genre': 'Animals'},
                      {'name': 'Alligator',
                       'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/alligator.jpg',
                       'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/alligator.mp4',
                       'genre': 'Animals'},
                      {'name': 'Turtle',
                       'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/turtle.jpg',
                       'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/turtle.mp4',
                       'genre': 'Animals'}
                      ],
            'Cars': [{'name': 'Postal Truck',
                      'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/us_postal.jpg',
                      'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/us_postal.mp4',
                      'genre': 'Cars'},
                     {'name': 'Traffic',
                      'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/traffic1.jpg',
                      'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/traffic1.avi',
                      'genre': 'Cars'},
                     {'name': 'Traffic Arrows',
                      'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/traffic_arrows.jpg',
                      'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/traffic_arrows.mp4',
                      'genre': 'Cars'}
                     ],
            'Food': [{'name': 'Chicken',
                      'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/chicken.jpg',
                      'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/bbqchicken.mp4',
                      'genre': 'Food'},
                     {'name': 'Hamburger',
                      'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/hamburger.jpg',
                      'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/hamburger.mp4',
                      'genre': 'Food'},
                     {'name': 'Pizza',
                      'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/pizza.jpg',
                      'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/pizza.mp4',
                      'genre': 'Food'}
                     ]}

And now we define something else...

def get_categories():
         """
         Get the list of video categories.
         Here you can insert some parsing code that retrieves
         the list of video categories (e.g. 'Movies', 'TV-shows', 'Documentaries' etc.)
         from some site or server.
         :return: list
         """

         return VIDEOS.keys()

And now we define something else...

def get_videos(category):
    """
    Get the list of videofiles/streams.
    Here you can insert some parsing code that retrieves
    the list of videostreams in a given category from some site or server.
    :param category: str
    :return: list
    """

    return VIDEOS[category]

And now we define the list of categories

def list_categories():
    """
    Create the list of video categories in the Kodi interface.
    :return: None
    """

    # Get video categories
    categories = get_categories()
    # Create a list for our items.
    listing = []
    # Iterate through categories
    for category in categories:
        # Create a list item with a text label and a thumbnail image.
        list_item = xbmcgui.ListItem(label=category, thumbnailImage=VIDEOS[category][0]['thumb'])
        # Set a fanart image for the list item.
        # Here we use the same image as the thumbnail for simplicity's sake.
        list_item.setProperty('fanart_image', VIDEOS[category][0]['thumb'])
        # Set additional info for the list item.
        # Here we use a category name for both properties for for simplicity's sake.
        # setInfo allows to set various information for an item.
        # For available properties see the following link:
        # http://mirrors.xbmc.org/docs/python-docs/15.x-isengard/xbmcgui.html#ListItem-setInfo
        list_item.setInfo('video', {'title': category, 'genre': category})
        # Create a URL for the plugin recursive callback.
        # Example: plugin://plugin.video.example/?action=listing&category=Animals
        url = '{0}?action=listing&category={1}'.format(__url__, category)
        # is_folder = True means that this item opens a sub-list of lower level items.
        is_folder = True
        # Add our item to the listing as a 3-element tuple.
        listing.append((url, list_item, is_folder))
    # Add our listing to Kodi.
    # Large lists and/or slower systems benefit from adding all items at once via addDirectoryItems
    # instead of adding one by ove via addDirectoryItem.
    xbmcplugin.addDirectoryItems(__handle__, listing, len(listing))
    # Add a sort method for the virtual folder items (alphabetically, ignore articles)
    xbmcplugin.addSortMethod(__handle__, xbmcplugin.SORT_METHOD_LABEL_IGNORE_THE)
    # Finish creating a virtual folder.
    xbmcplugin.endOfDirectory(__handle__)

And here we list the videos

def list_videos(category):
    """
    Create the list of playable videos in the Kodi interface.
    :param category: str
    :return: None
    """

    # Get the list of videos in the category.
    videos = get_videos(category)
    # Create a list for our items.
    listing = []
    # Iterate through videos.
    for video in videos:
        # Create a list item with a text label and a thumbnail image.
        list_item = xbmcgui.ListItem(label=video['name'], thumbnailImage=video['thumb'])
        # Set a fanart image for the list item.
        # Here we use the same image as the thumbnail for simplicity's sake.
        list_item.setProperty('fanart_image', video['thumb'])
        # Set additional info for the list item.
        list_item.setInfo('video', {'title': video['name'], 'genre': video['genre']})
        # Set 'IsPlayable' property to 'true'.
        # This is mandatory for playable items!
        list_item.setProperty('IsPlayable', 'true')
        # Create a URL for the plugin recursive callback.
        # Example: plugin://plugin.video.example/?action=play&video=http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/crab.mp4
        url = '{0}?action=play&video={1}'.format(__url__, video['video'])
        # Add the list item to a virtual Kodi folder.
        # is_folder = False means that this item won't open any sub-list.
        is_folder = False
        # Add our item to the listing as a 3-element tuple.
        listing.append((url, list_item, is_folder))
    # Add our listing to Kodi.
    # Large lists and/or slower systems benefit from adding all items at once via addDirectoryItems
    # instead of adding one by ove via addDirectoryItem.
    xbmcplugin.addDirectoryItems(__handle__, listing, len(listing))
    # Add a sort method for the virtual folder items (alphabetically, ignore articles)
    xbmcplugin.addSortMethod(__handle__, xbmcplugin.SORT_METHOD_LABEL_IGNORE_THE)
    # Finish creating a virtual folder.
    xbmcplugin.endOfDirectory(__handle__)

Now we tell Kodi how to find the video path to play the videos

def play_video(path):
    """
    Play a video by the provided path.
    :param path: str
    :return: None
    """

    # Create a playable item with a path to play.
    play_item = xbmcgui.ListItem(path=path)
    # Pass the item to the Kodi player.
    xbmcplugin.setResolvedUrl(__handle__, True, listitem=play_item)

This is the router function

def router(paramstring):
    """
    Router function that calls other functions
    depending on the provided paramstring
    :param paramstring:
    :return:
    """

    # Parse a URL-encoded paramstring to the dictionary of
    # {<parameter>: <value>} elements
    params = dict(parse_qsl(paramstring[1:]))
    # Check the parameters passed to the plugin
    if params:
        if params['action'] == 'listing':
            # Display the list of videos in a provided category.
            list_videos(params['category'])
        elif params['action'] == 'play':
            # Play a video from a provided URL.
            play_video(params['video'])
    else:
        # If the plugin is called from Kodi UI without any parameters,
        # display the list of video categories
        list_categories()

Call the router function

if __name__ == '__main__':
    # Call the router function and pass the plugin call parameters to it.
    router(sys.argv[2])

8 Changing the code

Hopefully by now you have managed to run the Add-On, understand the structure and can see what the code can do. Now lets trying changing it a little!

Since we already have the Add-on installed we can go directly to the Kodi userdata folder and edit the python directly. You can also have Kodi open at this time ready to run the Add-on when required. Just switch between your text editor and Kodi any time.

Now open up the main.py file from your userdata folder and lets change what the text says.

                'Cars': [{'name': 'Postal Truck',
                     'thumb': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/us_postal.jpg',
                     'video': 'http://www.vidsplay.com/vids/us_postal.mp4',
                     'genre': 'Cars'},

Try changing some of the links to another jpeg file or hosted online video. Also try to change the genre and see how that effects the view in Kodi.

Click save on your text editor and now try running the Add-On inside Kodi. You should see the new video links and navigation right away.

Congratulations! you've just played an online video from your very own Video Add-on

9 Final Thoughts

Writing a Video Add-on is actually pretty simple once you get the basic structure correct. You can scrape most online sources with Regex, or host your own videos on the web. You can also play youtube clips or vevo videos using some additional easy to use modules.

If you have any questions about this tutorial, feel free to discuss it on our forums here: http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=248774

10 Extra info

Just a reminder... IMPORTANT!!!!!!! Do not mix tabs and spaces in python

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