This section covers advanced topics for power users and those not afraid to break things.
An Add-on is another piece of software that can be added to a program to further expand and enhance the features of that program. Imagine a smart phone and all the additional Apps that can be installed to enhance its functionality. Kodi has the same ability and these apps are referred to as Add-ons. Kodi has a growing list of community driven add-ons which can be installed from a common official repository, while still enabling third-party developers to also host their own unofficial repositories for add-ons that any user can choose to add themselves. This page details the following:
- Adding and removing Sources
- Scan (import) your music collection into the Music Library.
- Troubleshooting common problems
A reminder of the following:
- Ensure the setting Fetch additional information during updates is disabled
- Ensure you have taken care to correctly tag your music and set up your Artist information folder
1 Adding Music to Library
- Populating the music library is a two step process.
- The first step reads the tags embedded in the music files. This is referred to as scanning. If there is any embedded artwork, this will also be scanned and cached.
- The second optional step fetches additional artwork, artist and album information. This information and artwork can be downloaded from either online sources or fetched from local nfo files. This is referred to as scraping and is covered in detail in the next step of the guide.
1.1 Initial Set Source & Scan
This process achieves the following:
- Sets your music source(s) in Kodi. Simply explained, this points Kodi to your music files
- Allows Kodi to scan the tags in the music files and import that data into the library
At this point you should have a functioning Music Library
1.2 Adding Additional Music Sources
1.3 Scan to Library
In step 6 above, you were asked Do you want to add the media from this source to your library?
Click the below link if you selected No and would now like to add the music files into the library
2.1 Library contains random or duplicated entries
This is a result of errors in tagging.
- Take note of the errors and correct them by following the recommended procedure in the previous step of the guide- Music Files and Tagging
- Once errors are corrected follow the steps detailed in Remove A Source
- Re-add the source using the Initial Set Source & Scan procedure detailed above
2.2 I cannot add a source on my network
Seek further information in Section 5 - Network Sources, below
If you have successfully scanned your music library, then you can safely ignore the next section and proceed to Scraping Additional Music Data
Next step: Artist Information Folder
3 Network Sources
Kodi gives you the ability to listen to music from a variety of sources.
Some examples of sources that allow you to easily access all your digital music collection:
- On your computer or a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device/system, which supports SMB file sharing
- Stored directly on the hard drive
- On CDs/DVDs
- Streamed from the Internet
If you use an non-standard network protocol to stream your media from a network, or for information on how to configure remote file shares
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Next step: Artist Information Folder
The advancedsettings.xml file, which does not exist by default, can be created by a user in their userdata folder.
This file is used for advanced settings and options that do not have GUI controls inside of Kodi. Some settings are experimental or very rarely set, so they can only be used via the advancedsettings.xml file. The file is simply a plain text file and can be edited by various text editors, so long as the name is "advancedsettings.xml". These advanced settings can be used to tweak various things such as episode naming patterns, special network ports, special behaviors, and more.
In v18 the concept of the Artist Information Folder is introduced as a new way to handle providing local artist artwork and information via nfo files. The Artist Information Folder is a user nominated folder that Kodi will look in first for artwork or NFO files for any artist.
This topic is of interest to those users that want to provide local artwork for artists, or capture their current artist art and additional data for transfer to another installation of Kodi
The use of artwork will transform your mundane media player into a showpiece to be proud of, especially when teamed up with your favourite skin. Kodi will allow you to display Movie Posters, Fanart, Album Covers, Actor and Artist images to name a few. Install the Kodi slideshow add-on, and you will have a constant display of video or music fanart to brighten your entertainment room. Kodi maintains a texture cache on local device storage for all artwork displayed in the GUI, whether from an online source or the local file system. These textures are optimized and stored locally for faster loading.
When artwork is added to the library, Kodi initially only has a URL or path to the artwork. The artwork itself is only downloaded (if from an online source) and then cached when the image is displayed in the GUI or other interface such as the Chorus web interface.
This page describes the common types of artwork used by Kodi skins, scrapers and other art add-ons, where they are used and their specifications. See the linked pages for information on how to use them in Kodi.
With the release of v18, the lines between basic and extended artwork have been blurred. All artwork has an artwork type and is treated the same as the traditional thumb or poster and fanart. If a skin has been coded to recognise an artwork type, and the artwork is scanned into Kodi, then it will be displayed.
Audiobooks using the .m4b or .mka format and contain two or more chapters are natively handled in Kodi without the need for additional add-ons or special setup. autoexec.py is an optional python script that users can create in their userdata folders that will be executed when Kodi starts up. You have finally installed Kodi on your equipment, launched it, and then probably sat there for a few minutes scratching your head thinking what is this?? This page will describe the commonly used screens and basic navigation around Kodi. Its aim is to allow you to become familiar with Kodi and prepare you for the upcoming setup pages. DSPlayer is a DirectShow based player for XBMC. DSPlayer support DXVA hardware acceleration (works in Windows Vista and higher), as well as any custom DirectShow filters (e.g. LAV filters, ffdshow, ac3filter). Kodi uses SQLite, an open source light-weight SQL database-engine, to store all its library related data (Music, Video, and Program databases). By default, the database files (*.db) are stored in the Userdata folder, specifically in userdata/Database.
Performing certain actions on video files will also add content to the database even if it has not been scanned or scraped. For example if you change any OSD setting while watching it, this will be saved in the database as a preference. Resume points are also stored in this database for unscraped videos.
An edit decision list (EDL) contains information about edits that should be made to the video during playback. Edit decision list information is contained in a separate file to the video that is read by Kodi just before the video is played. Examples of use include can be to skip commercials, cut out content inappropriate for children, or skip over the half hour acid trip in 2001: A Space Odyssey . While the built in video and audio players are capable, out of the box, to handle a huge variety of content, users might find themselves in need of using a different playback software but still using Kodi for scraping and organizing content. Reasons might include improved post-processing abilities, DRM restricted media that requires a specific player (such as encrypted Blu-ray discs), special player-specific features, etc. Kodi has a powerful tool to achieve this, the external player. The current method involves the configuration of a playercorefactory.xml file. The File Manager allows the maintenace of files from within Kodi on platforms that have no underlying and easily accessible operating system. It will allow you to perform functions such as Move, Copy and Delete to name a few. Kodi has the option to Export and Import the library databases. These options may be used for a number of reasons including the following more popular ones:
- Perform database backup and recovery (This is not the only method for backup and recovery)
- Reorganization of data or eliminate database fragmentation (export, clean/remove database, re-import)
- Move data between Kodi databases on different platforms (eg Widows to Linux)
If you have more than one Kodi device on your local network then you might want to synchronize them by sharing the Kodi library databases via the MySQL protocol. Using shared library databases allows you to store information for either your video or music library in a central database, so that multiple devices can access the same information at the same time. Kodi provides the ability to insert the Logo of your TV Stations which then becomes visible in the program guide, on-screen displays and all channel listings, making it easy to distinguish each channel. The Debug Log is Kodi's most basic diagnostic tool that assists in fault finding and troubleshooting. Kodi records a process and error log at all times, but this may not be sufficent and more detail is required. The Debug Log records additional data that may assist in resolving issues experienced by the user. The Easy and Advanced methods are the two options to create the Debug Log. The method you choose will depend on your requirements. This page will describe how to create, access and upload the Debug Logfile when Kodi is unresponsive or you are unable to navigate the menu system. If you can navigate the menu system, it is recommended you use the Easy Method. This method assumes you are able to navigate the menu system of Kodi. If you cannot gain access to the menu system, then you will need to follow the Advanced Method. This page describes another method to access the log file using the Kodi File manager. This method can be used as the fallback option if the Kodi Logfile Uploader is not functioning on your installation. If you are using a desktop type operating system such as Windows, using the Kodi File Manager is not necessary as all files can be accessed through the file browser of the operating system. Movie artwork are images directly related to a movie, preferably of high quality that are displayed when viewing the movie entry in the library. The artwork support in Kodi's video library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork depending on the skin in use. A Movie Set, also known as movie collection, film or movie series, film or movie franchise, and cinematic universe is a collection of related films that are part of the same fictional universe. The normal scraper sites include metadata for Movie Sets which is scraped by Kodi and creates the Movie Set in your library. Movie sets are versatile and can be created to suit your own preferences as they are easily edited in Kodi using the built in sets editor or by using NFO files. As movie sets comprise a number of movies, dedicated artwork is available that (should) differ from the artwork of the individual movies in the set. This unique movie set artwork can be scraped and displayed while browsing your Kodi library. Music Video artwork are images directly related to a music video clip, preferably of high quality that are displayed when viewing the music video entry in the library. The artwork support in Kodi's video library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork depending on the skin in use. 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, depending on the skin in use. This page will provide information to navigate around the music section and the various ways to play your music. If you have more than one Kodi device on your local network then you might want to synchronize them by sharing the Kodi library databases via the MySQL protocol. Using shared library databases allows you to store information for either your video or music library in a central database, so that multiple devices can access the same information at the same time. NFO files can be used to provide metadata to the library for video and a music files. They are helpful if the metadata fetched from a web site does not match the video or music you have, or if data for that particular file does not exist, such as for home movies. It can also be used to control the search behaviour of scrapers. Path substitutions are settings in advancedsettings.xml to force Kodi to use different file paths. These are processed in order, and are useful for substituting an absolute path on a PC with a path suitable for Kodi to handle. Path subs work for most file and folder paths. Path subs work across local and network paths, across different network protocols, and can even be used with some of the special protocol. Pictures provides the ability to view your photos within Kodi. It has has the benefit of bringing togethar all your media- Video, Music, Photos - and making them accessible within the one location. View slideshows while playing music or read your comics on the big screen. This guide is designed to point you to the correct information that will assist in correctly setting up your Kodi. We strongly recommend you follow the guides to ensure the correct setup. Music Scraping downloads additional information about the Artists and Albums in your library, as well as downloading any missing artwork. This step is optional, but if you choose to scrape, it must be performed after your music is Scanned into the library. This page contains the options and settings to ensure your audio device functions correctly with Kodi. The settings chosen here can have a big impact on CPU load on lower powered hardware, so it is worth the time to understand the available options and how they should be configured.
The options shown in the images are from a Windows 10 HTPC and may differ from other hardware platforms. Some options change depending on whether an WASAPI or Direct Sound driver is selected in the Output selector.
If this is your first time adjusting the Audio Settings you may like to use the Audio Quick Start Guide.
The "Special Protocol" is Kodi's solution to platform dependent directories. Common directory names are assigned a special://[name] path which is passed around inside Kodi and then translated to the platform specific path before the operating system sees it. This helps keep most of the platform mess centralized in the code. The system data folder is where files needed to operate are stored. This includes the executable files, system data files and default addons/settings. TV Show artwork are images directly related to a TV Show, preferably of high quality, that are displayed when viewing the entry in the library. The artwork support in Kodi's video library is very flexible and able to display many types of artwork depending on the skin in use. The userdata folder is where all of your settings and customizations are stored. Starting in v13, Kodi can automatically issue a 'wake-on-lan' packet to MySQL or a file sharing server right before it needs to connect to it.
As of v14, Kodi supports a backdoor to specify the location of your settings folder, which includes the userdata folder and add-ons. It is the equivalent of using environment variables on other platforms Sets of language strings for Kodi v15 and later are now provided in the form of add-ons. Kodi still comes with International English by default, but does not include other languages until they are selected and downloaded. If you are doing an off-line installation of Kodi and won't have an internet connection when you change the language preferences then you will need to download the language add-on ahead of time. This page describes three advancedsettings.xml settings that can be used to modify when "watched" and "resume" marks are saved. These settings can also be used to prevent automatically saving watched and resume points. A watched point records if a video has been watched or not. A resume point records where in a video file playback has stopped, so it can be resumed later. Dirty regions is an advanced setting and interface rendering method that can help speed up the GUI in Kodi and decrease the demand on your CPU and GPU. Dirty regions has no effect during video playback unless there are GUI elements (on screen buttons) visible. Using dirty regions requires Kodi v11 (Eden) or higher. This page describes three advancedsettings.xml settings that can be used to maximize the video playback cache. You can use all or just a couple of these settings to see significant improvements in cache performance, should you require it (most users will not require these modifications). This can help with intermittent network issues, buffering, reduce how long the network is tied up, and sometimes improve battery life. As your library and usage of Kodi grows, so does the disk space storage taken up by Kodi's various settings and files. If you have a device with a low amount of internal disk space storage (8GB or less), such as a Fire TV, Raspberry Pi, and various Android boxes, this can be a problem. And the same goes when running Kodi from a smaller sized USB flash drive or SD (Secure Digital) card. This how-to will show ways to reduce the space used, as well as reclaim space from files that are no longer needed. Some quick methods to updating the Kodi library outside of the Kodi interface. There are also several supplemental tools and smartphone remotes that can remotely update the library as well. These methods require Settings>Services>Control>Allow remote control via HTTP to be enabled.
Kodi has functions to fully manage its database files. Some advanced operations can be performed by editing the database tables directly on your PC. Be forewarned that database tables are relational (inter-related) - do not change any entries unless you are sure of the implications! Make a backup first, and worst-case, you just have to delete the corrupt database file and rescan your music, videos, or programs from within Kodi.