Advanced topics

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This section covers advanced topics for power users and those not afraid to break things.

1 Topics

Adding music to the library
This page details the following:
  • Adding and removing Sources
  • Scan (import) your music collection into the Music Library.
  • Troubleshooting common problems
  • Describes the network protocols accepted for remote music sources

If you are a new user of Kodi, or you have little experience setting up the Music section, then it is important that you followed Steps 2 (Music Settings) & 3 (Music File Tagging) of the guide.

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.

The use of artwork takes pride of place in Kodi. The 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. is an optional python script that users can create in their userdata folders that will be executed when Kodi starts up.
Basic controls
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.

In addition to indexing media files when activated by user-selected Content settings, Kodi also puts a video in its database if you change any OSD setting while watching it. Resume points are stored in this database as well. These entries are added to the database whether the affected video is part of the Video Library or not.

Edit decision list
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 .
External players
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.
Import-export library
Kodi offers the ability to import and export metadata and artwork manually into/from the Media Library, as well as importing media info automatically from .nfo files.
Live TV Artwork
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.
Log file
At some point during your foray into Kodi, you will likely come up against a problem that isn't made 100% clear from errors in the GUI. This is where the log file comes into play. Kodi writes all sorts of useful stuff to its log, which is why it should be included with every bug/problem report.
Log file/Advanced
Movie artwork
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 movie section in Kodi has the impressive ability to display up to 14 types of artwork. This page will describe the different types of artwork available in the Movie category of Kodi.
Movie sets
A Movie Set, also known as a Movie Collection, is a collection of movies that are, in some way, related to each other. 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.
Music Video artwork
Music Video artwork are images directly related to an Artist or an Album. The images are, preferably, of high quality, that are displayed when viewing the Album or Artist entry in the library. The Music Video section in Kodi is able to display four types of artwork. This page will describe the different types of artwork available in the Music Video category of Kodi.
Music artwork
Music artwork are images directly related to an Artist or an Album, that are either scraped into the Music library from extenal sources or, in the case of Album art, scanned from the appropriate tags embedded in the music files. The images are, preferably, of high quality, that are displayed when viewing the Album or Artist entry in the library. They may also be used as visualisations while playing music. The Music section in Kodi is able to display up to six types of artwork. This page will describe the different types of artwork available in the Music category of Kodi.
Music navigation
This page will provide information to navigate around the music section and the various ways to play your music.
Music tagging
If you have more than one Kodi device on your local network then you might want to synchronize them using a MySQL library. Using a MySQL library allows you to store information about your whole video library in a central database, so that multiple devices can access the same information at the same time.
NFO files
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.
NFO files/Movies
NFO files/Music
NFO files/Music videos
NFO files/TV shows
Path substitution
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.
Scraping Music
Music Scraping downloads additional information about the Artists and Albums in your library, as well as downloading any missing artwork for the Artists and Albums. This step is optional, but if you choose to scrape, it must be performed after your music is Scanned into the library.
Settings/System information
Special protocol
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.
System data
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
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 TV Show section in Kodi has the impressive ability to display up to 13 types of artwork. This page will describe the different types of artwork available in the TV Show category of Kodi.
Update Music Library
The userdata folder is where all of your settings and customizations are stored.
Wake on lan
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.

2 How-tos

HOW-TO:Change data location for Android
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
HOW-TO:Install Kodi for Universal Windows Platform
HOW-TO:Install languages offline
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.
HOW-TO:Modify automatic watch and resume points
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.
HOW-TO:Modify dirty regions
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.
HOW-TO:Modify the video cache
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.
HOW-TO:Reduce disk space usage
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.
HOW-TO:Remotely update library
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.
HOW-TO:Update SQL databases when files move

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.

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