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. 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. Like all technology, disaster can strike at any time, either due to a hardware failure, operating system crash which has corrupted Kodi data, or unexpected results from the use of a nightly or development build of Kodi. For these reasons, backups of Kodi are essential to enable you to quickly rebuild your setup. 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. 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
- 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)
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. 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 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. 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. Video library tags, aka Tags or Keywords, can be used to further sort and organise your library into meaningful lists. Sites such as IMDB and TheMovieDB use Keywords to describe themes, plot details or character types to group and easily locate similar titles. They are generally different to the genre. 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 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. 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.