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Music library

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The Music Library, one of the XBMC databases, is a key feature of XBMC. It allows the organization of your music collection by information stored in your music file ID tag, like title, artist, album, genre and popularity.

1 Preparing your Music to be Scanned

In order to be able to include information on your music collection in the Library, XBMC needs your music to be tagged. When your collection is scanned, XBMC stores all the tagging information (artist, album, year, genre, etc) in the database which allows you to efficiently search and manage your music collection. If you have never taken the time to tag your music properly, the time is now! Today most media applications and players (iTunes / iPod for example) organize your music by this ID tag information.
Note: Your audio files MUST have a valid ID tag for them to work properly in the XBMC Music Library. There are third party applications available for download from the internet that allow you to add and manage ID tags in your music files.

For information on preparing your music to be indexed see

2 Scanning your music

To scan your music collection into the Music Library, first make sure you are not in 'Library Mode' (checkmark on the left). Next browse to the location of your music collection and brings up the The Context Menu menu with various options. Select the option labelled "Scan item to database". XBMC will then proceed to scan the selected music source in the background into the database/library. Once the scan is complete, you can browse your collection by selecting 'Library Mode'.

3 Navigating your Library

The library organizes your music into many categories, allowing you to find a specific song using one of many possible criteria. Below you can see root menu showing the different sections.

You can the toggle between the different display options, amongst others; List, Icons and Big Icons.
Sort By
You can choose what criteria to sort your music by. Note the arrow to the right which controls whether the items are sorted in ascending or descending order.
Library Mode
This control allows you to switch between Library Mode and File View. (used to be called Switch View)
You can search for a string anywhere in the XBMC music database, see more below.
Allows you to filter the library to only show albums, artists or songs that include the specified string in the name.
Party Mode
See below.

4 Searching your Library

The search button is available on the left side of the 'Music' window, and is also available in the root listing of your music library. Select it to begin your search. A keyboard will pop-up where you may enter search terms (SMS style with the remote, or just using the virtual keyboard). As you enter more letters, the search will be performed in the background, and results displayed in the search node of the music library. Previous searches are saved, so if you return to the search node later on, it will have the results of your previous search. Artists and Albums are shown on top, followed by matching songs. If the search string you enter is less than 3 characters, XBMC will just search in the first word of each artist/album/song. Otherwise it will do a full word search. NOTE: In order to search within words as well as just for words beginning with your search string, place a % sign in front of the match.

5 Party Mode

The Party Mode option allows you to randomly play music from your entire music or music video collection based on criteria specified in PartyMode.xsp. Simply build a Smart Playlist and save it as partymode.xsp in The UserData Folder.

Selecting 'Party Mode' from the sidebar will play ALL valid media scanned into your libraries in a random order that meet the conditions specified in the Smart Playlist.

6 Music Context Menu in Library Mode

You perform actions on your music files using the Context Menu. In Library Mode selecting an album, the following options are available:


Queue Item
Adds the item to the Now Playing playlist.
Plays the selected file.
Add to Favourites
Adds the item to your Favourites menu.
Album / Song Information
Shows the relevant information from allmusic.com.
Query Info For All Albums
Queries information from allmusic.com for all albums in the path.
Update Library
Checks if files in the Library have been changed, added or removed, modifies the database accordingly and runs a cleaning routine. Adds missing media to the database.
Go to Root
Takes you to the Music Library root.
Now Playing...
Takes you to Now Playing screen that shows what is currently playing and what the next queued files are.
Opens the Music Settings menu.

7 Remote browsing

To be able to browse the Music Library outside the GUI, like through The Web Interface, you'll currently have to add a special musicdb:// source, which will show up as 'Library' under Music in the web interface.

8 Music Library Settings and Maintenance

The main Music Library settings can be accessed from the Library tab in Music Settings. Those can be accessed either from the Settings menu from the home screen, or via the context menu as seen above.

8.1 advancedsettings.xml

Some settings can only be altered through the advancedsettings.xml file, such as settings affecting the "All" database nodes and they way tags are displayed.

8.2 Clean Music Library

Cleaning up the Music Library (removing invalid entries and compressing)can be done via the User Interface Settings, in the Music Settings with the Clean Library option.