Archive:XBMC v13 (Gotham) FAQ

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▶ XBMC v13 (Gotham) FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for upgrading to XBMC v13 (Gotham) from a previous version. Includes how to enable some of the new features, where some controls got moved to, etc.

1 General FAQ

See also: XBMC all platforms FAQ for an FAQ that applies to all versions of XBMC.

1.1 What is "Gotham"?

Gotham is the codename for XBMC Media Center version 13 and can be downloaded from . You will often see "v13" and "Gotham" used interchangeably in the XBMC community.

1.2 Changelog

See: XBMC v13 (Gotham) changelog (and add-on developers should also see Gotham API changes)

1.3 How do I upgrade to v13?

Note: Always backup your userdata folder before upgrading, just incase!

Just install/copy the new version of XBMC over the old one.

1.4 What are some of the major new features?

See XBMC v13 (Gotham) changelog for a condensed list of large and important changes
Examples include:

1.5 Will I lose my settings/library in the upgrade?

For most users, no. All settings and your library will be preserved in an upgrade. Settings that aren't preserved are those that have been reorganised, renamed, set to a new default - usually it's only a handful, and only things that don't really matter. However, it never hurts to do a backup of your userdata folder (where all the settings/library DB files are stored).
If you are using MySQL then see MySQL/Upgrading XBMC.

1.6 MySQL special instructions?

See MySQL/Upgrading XBMC

1.7 Why does Chrome think my XBMC download is malicious?

Because Chrome uses a retarded method of marking everything as malicious unless they've specifically looked at it. Please complain to Google about this, because we don't like it either.

2 Where did it this or that go?

2.1 Where did most of the settings go?

Confluence - settings level.jpg
Gotham now has multiple user levels for settings. Hiding some more advanced settings by default. To change this setting level just select the button/label that says "Settings level". Not all skins have been adapted to this change. If you cannot find this side panel, you must switch to the Confluence skin to enable these options. After this you can switch back to the skin you normally use.

2.2 How do I use subtitle downloads now?

  • See: HOW-TO:Setup subtitle services for how to set up the subtitle download services in v13.
  • If you have bound a remote key to bring up the subtitle search window, you will need to update the keymap to use this instead: ActivateWindow(subtitlesearch)

2.3 LCD/VFD settings?

The LCD/VFD functionality in XBMC has been spun-out into an add-on. Full functionality for LCD/VFD displays is included, plus new improvements and bugfixes. See LCDs for more details.

2.4 Flatten view option?

The "Flatten" option that used to be in the left hand sidebar menu is now a setting under XBMC -> Settings -> Videos -> Library -> Flatten library hierarchy

2.5 Stack view option?

The "Stack" option that used to be in the left hand sidebar menu is now a setting under XBMC -> Settings -> Videos -> File lists -> Combine split video items

Confluence side menu - update library.jpg

2.6 Update library button?

The update library button has been moved from the out of the context menu and into the left side blade menu in library mode, when using the default Confluence skin.

2.7 Now-playing/current playlist?

The "Now playing" button has been moved out of the context menu and into the left side blade menu. It has also been renamed to "Currently playing".

3 Music library

3.1 MusicBrainzID

Stop hand.png If you are unfamiliar with MusicBrainzIDs or what that might mean for your library, be sure to backup your userdata folder before upgrading, as these changes might alter how your music library is displayed.
XBMC v13 Gotham has new "MusicBrainzID" integration. This allows your music metadata to be updated automatically when that data is updated on the MusicBrainz database if the music has MusicBrainz ID tags.

The new behavior goes as follows
  • If you don't have MusicBrainz tags and you have the option turned off, you should see the exact same as you saw in v12 Frodo.
  • If you don't have MusicBrainz tags and you have the option turned on, you should see the exact same as you saw in v12 Frodo.
  • If you have MusicBrainz tags and you have the option turned off, you should see the exact same as you saw in v12 Frodo.
  • If you have MusicBrainz tags and you have the option turned on, you should get dynamic metadata from MusicBrainz. i.e. once you've MusicBrainz tagged your files once, your library and metadata is built dynamically from up-to-date MusicBrainz data, and later kept up-to-date and refreshed automatically so you always have good tags.

4 Audio

4.1 General audio

XBMC v13 Gotham changes a number of things for audio and audio settings. For further details on audio topics see our new section on audio: Audio

5 Android

5.1 Why is XBMC not in the Google Play/ Amazon/ OUYA store?

During the time between XBMC v12 and v13, an unofficial version of XBMC in the OUYA store (XBMC on OUYA) had to remove software decoding of AC3 and DTS by demand of the companies that owned those audio formats. The only way to enable software decoding of those formats would be to pay a licensing fee. The same thing happened for several video player apps on the Google Play store.
Well, crap.
Because of this, Team XBMC is considering their options. We don't want to remove features or ever charge money for XBMC just to expose it in an app store. We also want to make XBMC easily accessible to as many people as reasonably possible.
For the time being, you can always sideload the full version of XBMC from the apk downloads from See HOW-TO:Install XBMC for Android for details.

5.2 There are two versions of XBMC for Android. Which one do I use?

The vast majority of users will want to use the "ARM" version. Users who have an Android device with an Intel or AMD CPU will want to use the "x86" version.

6 Linux

6.1 How to switch from XBMC unstable PPA (used in XBMCbuntu Beta/RC releases) to final PPA

sudo add-apt-repository -r ppa:team-xbmc/unstable
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get remove xbmc xbmc-bin
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install xbmc xbmc-bin

7 Windows

7.1 SMB/CIFS UNC paths no longer work

SMB media sources that use UNC paths ( such as \\server\path\to\share) are no longer supported in XBMC v13 and need to be converted before upgrading XBMC. There are a few ways to do this, such as what is shown on HOW-TO:Backup the video library. You can also use "Single file" export/import and then open the exported XML file and use find/replace to update the paths.
The UNC style paths were never fully compatible with XBMC and often caused various issues. In order to fix those issues and properly support SMB, the decision was made to drop support for UNC paths. Users should instead use the format smb://server/path/to/share/ or the internal XBMC SMB browser to add those media sources.

Note: If you've already updated to v13, don't panic. XBMC keeps a v12-friendly copy of your database that you can go back to in order to migrate your library to the updated URL paths. Just reinstall XBMC v12 over v13 and from there you can export your library.

8 Troubleshooting

8.1 What are some of the known issues in Gotham?

See: Common issues

8.2 Volume or navigation controls seem to stick

If volume controls seem to keep turning volume down, or it seems like something is navigating or pressing a directional key constantly, it might be due to a plugged in gamepad or a laptop's accelerometer sensor being detected as a "joystick" by XBMC. To fix this go to XBMC -> Settings -> System -> Input devices -> and uncheck enable joysticks.

8.3 What might break when upgrading to v13? (add-ons, skins, remotes, etc)

Most things from v12 will work in v13. However:
  • Add-ons may not work, prompting XBMC to ask you to disable them. You can keep using them if you wish (by choosing not to disable them), but doing so is unsupported. See Category:All add-ons for a list (check the drop-down menus). Where there is a noticeable slowdown in XBMC add-ons are likely cause, backup your userdata and as a last resort delete the userdata Addons folder and the Addons15.db & Addons16.db in the userdata Database folder.
  • Skins need to be updated for Gotham - check your skin has been upgraded ready for Gotham: Category:Skins (check the drop-down menus). If you have problems starting up XBMC after updating, you might need to move/delete your guisettings.xml file (see userdata for location) to reset your skin.
  • Should your repo appear empty, or you are missing the new subtitles services, you may need to trigger a Force refresh on the repository.

8.4 What happens if I don't like XBMC v13, can I just install XBMC v12 again?

Whilst Gotham does "upgrade" the library, it stores a Frodo compatible copy. Just replace the Gotham application with Frodo. It is still recommended to always make a backup of your userdata folder before updating, just in case. Add-ons will likely need to be reset (uninstall and then reinstall) if you go from Gotham to Frodo.

8.5 Where can I get more help?

The general and platform specific FAQs, the XBMC support forums:, and/or the #xbmc IRC chat channel on

9 See also