|Steps to create your Music Library|
|1. Guide Main Page|
|2. Music Settings|
|3. Music File Tagging|
|4. Scanning Music Into Library|
|5. Artist information folder|
|6. Scraping Additional Music data
|7. Update Music Library|
|8. NFO Files
|10. Import-export library
|11. Rebuild your music library|
|Music Library Index||Artwork||Music artwork|
Music artwork are images directly related to an artist or an album, preferably of high quality, that are displayed when viewing the album or artist entry in the library. They may also be used as visualizations while playing music. The artwork support in Kodi's music library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork, but this page will describe the types of artwork readily available for the Music library of Kodi.
It is important to note the following:
- Artwork is skin dependent. This means that some skins display a small number of artwork types, while other skins will display many different artwork types.
- The default skin, Estuary, displays only a limited selection of artwork. Another skin must be used to see other artwork.
- To ensure local artwork is added when scanning new media items, the image files must be arranged in a certain folder hierarchy. See Music folder and file structure for a basic option and the Artist information folder for a separate directory option just for artist artwork and NFO files.
- Each artwork type must be whitelisted in advancedsettings.xml to be added to the library automatically during scanning and scraping.
- Kodi 18 is required for expanded artwork type support in the music library.
- 1 Artist artwork
- 2 Album artwork
- 3 Source Folder Artwork
- 4 Experimental music artwork
- 5 Embedded Artwork
- 6 Library artwork source priority
- 7 File Mode
- 8 Kodi version updates
1 Artist artwork
1.1 Artist "fanart"
Fanart is also known as wallpapers, backdrops, or backgrounds.
For Kodi they are used as full screen displays to enhance the user experience. The fanart displays the artist or band.
Fanart have a recommended resolution of 1920x1080 the display, with a specific aspect ratio of 16:9 to match the ratio of current generation televisions and monitors, which allows the screen to be completely filled by the image. Fanart also does not have transparency and preferably does not have a logo or title on the image.
1.2 Artist "thumb"
Artist thumbnails display the artist or band members, and are often paired with an artist logo or title of the band.
Artist thumbnails have a recommended resolution of 1000x1000, with a square (1:1) to somewhat portrait aspect ratio. They do not have transparency and preferably do not have a logo or artist name on the image.
Artist banners are wide and short images that contain the artist or band members and typically includes a clearly visible logo or the name of the band.
Artist banners have a recommended resolution of 1000x185 with an aspect ratio of 1:0.185. They do not have transparency.
1.4 Artist "clearlogo"
Artist logos typically use the distinctive font associated with the musicians and is uncluttered by other images.
Artist logos have a recommended resolution of 800x310 with an aspect ratio of 1:0.388. The transparent background allows it to be overlaid on other images or video with minimal impact.
1.5 Artist "clearart"
Artist clearart have a transparent background with an image of the artist or band along with their logo or name.
Artist clearart have a recommended resolution of 1000x562 with an aspect ratio of 16:9. The transparent background allows it to be overlaid on other images or video with minimal impact.
1.6 Artist "landscape"
Landscape images are specially made 16x9 images that contain an image of the artist or band and a logo. They are used in certain page layouts for browsing. Skins can make passable replacements for media items without one with fanart and the clearlogo.
Artist landscape have a recommended resolution of 1000x562 with an aspect ratio of 16:9. They have no transparency.
1.7 Local artist artwork
Local artist artwork can be saved in the Artist information folder or a common artist folder among your music files if Kodi can find one. The general rule for artist artwork file names is "<arttype>.<ext>" with some arttype examples listed below and extension matching the file type. Artist artwork can also be added from online services with an "information provider" scraper add-on. * "folder.jpg" to "thumb" is a special case for the music library.
Example naming convention for locally saved artist artwork:
|Artwork type||File Name||Save name & location example||Recommended resolution||Aspect ratio|
|thumb||folder.jpg *||f:\Music\Madonna\folder.jpg *
2 Album artwork
2.1 Album "thumb"
Album thumbnails are high quality images of the album front cover. The design varies widely and may or may not include the name of the album and or artist.
Album thumbnails have a recommended resolution of 1000x1000 with an aspect ratio of 1:1 (square). Depending on design they can be somewhat wider or somewhat taller, and many skins are designed to accommodate that. They do not have transparency.
2.2 Album "discart"
Album discart replicates the picture on the physical CD or other disc. Although the disc artwork is round, the image itself is square and the disc image is placed in the center on a transparent background.
Album discart have a recommended resolution of 1000x1000 with an aspect ratio of 1:1 (square). They have a transparent background.
2.3 Album "back"
This is the album back cover, which often includes a track listing, though the design varies. They are often used in detail views focused on a single album.
Album backs have a recommended resolution of 1000x1000 with an aspect ratio of 1:1 (square). Depending on design they can be somewhat wider or somewhat taller to match the album cover. They do not have transparency.
2.4 Album "spine"
Album spines replicate the album spine found on standard CD cases. They typically have the name of the album and artist, but are too thin to have much of a design beyond continuing the front or back image. They are often used as thin identifiers for unfocused items in a list of albums.
Album spines have a recommended resolution of 50x1000 with an aspect ratio of 1:20. They do not have transparency.
2.5 Local album artwork
Local album artwork can be saved in the album folder. The general rule for album artwork file names is "<arttype>.<ext>" with some arttype examples listed below and extension matching the file type. Album artwork can also be added from online services with an "information provider" scraper add-on. *"folder.jpg" to "thumb" is a special case for the music library.
Example naming convention for locally saved album artwork:
|Artwork type||File Name||Save name & location example||Recommended resolution||Aspect ratio|
|thumb||folder.jpg *||f:\Music\Madonna\Like A Prayer\folder.jpg *||1000x1000||approximately 1:1|
|discart||discart.png||f:\Music\Madonna\Like A Prayer\discart.png||1000x1000||1:1|
|back||back.jpg||f:\Music\Madonna\Like A Prayer\back.jpg||1000x1000||approximately 1:1|
|spine||spine.jpg||f:\Music\Madonna\Like A Prayer\spine.jpg||50x1000||1:20|
3 Source Folder Artwork
The Folder Artwork, also known as Source Folder thumb, can be landscape, portrait or square images that are used to replace the standard folder icons when browsing your music sources in the files section. You will not see this artwork in the Music menu. This image file is saved directly within the Source directory.
To enable the image, navigate to Music>Files in the menu system. Highlight a source and call up the Context Menu. Select Choose Thumbnail. If you have saved the image in the correct location, it will be available to select immediately. If not, you will need to navigate to locate and select it. The image must remain in its original location once selected as it will not be cached. Deleting the image will remove it from view in the folder icon.
You are able to also apply the folder thumb by modifying the \userdata\sources.xml as follows
<source> <name>music</name> <path>xbms://192.168.1.100:1400/Music/</path> <thumbnail>F:\Apps\XBMC\thumbs\shares\thumb.png</thumbnail> </source>
Required file properties:
Note: The resolution may be increased but ensure the aspect ratio is maintained
|File Type||Aspect Ratio||Resolution- recommended|
Naming conventions for your own manually sourced artwork:
|Source||File Name||Save name & location example|
4 Experimental music artwork
4.1 Artist "extrafanart" folder
It is possible to download and save additional high quality Fanart which the skin can display, usually in a slideshow. Extra fanart is reliant on a supporting skin and the images have exactly the same properties as the standard Fanart described above. This is older and more widely supported in skins.
Extra Fanart is stored in a separate Folder named "extrafanart". Create a Folder named extrafanart in the folder of the Artist, and place each extra fanart image in it. This artwork is not added to the Kodi library, instead skins list the folder directly; this can wake hard drives while browsing the library. The filename is mostly not important.
Example naming convention for locally saved extrafanart::
|Music saved as||File Name||Save name & location example|
4.2 Multiple fanart
Multiple fanart is an alternative to "extrafanart" that adds all of the fanart images to the Kodi library, and they are treated just like any other artwork type. This is newer and not supported in as many skins as extrafanart.
Multiple additional fanart is named "fanart1", "fanart2", and so on with the number increasing for each artwork. The number can increase to 10 and beyond, but numbers cannot be zero-padded. This currently requires more work from skins to display than "extrafanart" and can be awkward to configure because each numbered fanart needs to be added to the artwork whitelist, but the improved performance and behavior that matches other artwork is worth it.
Example naming convention for locally saved multiple fanart:
|Artwork type||File Name||Save name & location example|
|fanart (standard fanart)||fanart.jpg||f:\Music\Madonna\fanart.jpg
5 Embedded Artwork
As of v17, Kodi supports embedded album art in mp3 files with ID3v2 tags, WMA/WMV files with ASF tags, FLAC files with Vorbis comments/Xiph tags, and mp4 files with itunes tags. It does not currently support embedded album art in APEv2 tags or Ogg files.
Kodi cannot recognise multiple embedded images in a song file. It can only extract the "Front Cover" image assuming they have been tagged correctly within the file. All other images are ignored.
A list of embedded tags recognised by Kodi is available
- see also: Tags Kodi Reads
6 Library artwork source priority
- Local artwork files
- Local artwork files next to your media items or in the "Artist information folder". These are expected to be mid-high quality level for display in an interface like Kodi.
- all types of artwork can be saved to local artwork files
- Artwork embedded in tracks
- Artwork embedded in individual tracks of an album. These are expected to be lower quality to reduce the size of the image duplicated to many song files.
- Only supports the album front cover
- Online source from "information provider"/scraper
- only if the option in Kodi settings -> Media -> Music -> "Fetch additional information during updates" is enabled
- will only be set if there is no local or embedded artwork unless the option in Kodi settings -> Media -> Music -> "Prefer online information" is enabled
- all types of artwork can be added from information providers
7 File Mode
File Mode is similar to using the file manager provided by your operating system- eg Explorer in Windows systems. It is simply a file browser that allows you to view and play your media even though it has not been scanned and/or scraped into the Library. This mode does not provide the added benefits of Extended Artwork and Album/Artist metadata that the properly scanned and scraped library provides. As a result, Music Artwork is handled differently using this mode as follows:
- The only artwork displayed in File Mode is artist thumb and album thumb.
- You must have local artwork named and saved as detailed in the sections above.
- These images are not loaded automatically. The Artist or Album must be viewed once to allow Kodi to locate and cache the image.
- When Enable tag reading is Enabled the song must be viewed to allow Kodi to scan for embedded images if no local image is available.
Kodi looks for and caches artwork in the following order:
- For Artist artwork:
- Local artwork named and saved as detailed in the sections above. There is no fallback image
- For Album artwork:
- Local artwork named and saved as detailed in the sections above. If there is no local artwork then
- If you have Enable tag reading set as Disabled in Settings>Media Settings>Music then there is no fallback image
- If you have Enable tag reading set as Enabled in Settings>Media Settings>Music then Kodi will search for an embedded image to cache.
Be aware that if you use File Mode, then upgrade to Library Mode at a later stage, your existing cached artwork may interfere with the correct scanning and scraping of new artwork. There is no simple fix for this. Your choices are
- Manually amend the affected artwork as described in chapter 2 above
- Perform the delete textures13.db procedure. This will also affect your Video Library.
8 Kodi version updates
- Kodi 17 and before did not have the "Artist information folder" option, so could have trouble identifying a local folder for artist artwork in some cases.
- Kodi 17 and before was limited to just "fanart" and "thumb" for artist images and "thumb" for album images, it did not have the flexibility to add a wide variety of artwork. Expanded artwork is new and still being explored from multiple angles, so not all skins or scrapers or tools will support a full selection.
- Skins for versions of Kodi prior to v18 could use Skin Helper Service for some support of expanded artwork, but that has been superseded with this Kodi built-in functionality.
- Kodi 18 adds a flexible collection of artwork for music items, but each artwork type must be whitelisted in advancedsettings.xml so that Kodi will add the specified artwork from scrapers and the file system automatically.
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