The Dharma Guide: Additional settings
1 Library settings
Navigate back to the Home-Window (hit Backspace to get back) and open up the Settings-Menu. Open the "Video"-Tab and click on the Library-Tab. I recommend using "Automated Scan on Startup", this way you make sure that every new file you add will be there after you restart your XBMC. I will explain later how you can start the scan by yourself. Remember the "Clean Library"- Button – if you delete files out of the folders you specified under your Sources it still will show up in the library of XBMC, even after you scanned for new content. To remove dead entries hit the button "Clean Library", it will remove them. Be aware: If you added a removable device as a source and you hit the "Clean Library"-Button while the device is disconnected you can lose your library.
2 Customization (skins!)
You can modify the behavior and appearance of your skin by applying extended settings. Each skin has specific settings; you have to choose what you like. Generally you can disable/enable specific Home-Menu-Buttons and more. Play a little bit with the settings if you are not sure and see what you like. You should in any case activate the home-screen menus "TV Shows" and "Movies" (accordingly to your sources) – because this are the library-sections which you want to use later.
Every skin has also own views for the different media-sections (TV Shows, Movies, Music) between which you can choose in order to customize everything for your needs. This is also a little bit of a "Trial & Error"-Game – switch between the different views in order to find out what you like most. In order to apply a new view for a specific section, navigate back to the home-menu and click on the "Movie"-Tab for example. Now – in the movie section – click the Right-Arrow-Key on your keyboard. This will open up the side-menu, where you can choose the view. In this example you see the view "Thumbnail" selected:
You can apply complete new skins to your XBMC which will change the look and feel of XBMC entirely. I recommend the Night-Skin, although you might prefer something else. To install a new skin, open up the "Appearance"-Settings. You will find an option "Skin" – click here to open the Skin- Selector. Click on the "More"-Button at the bottom of the selector. Choose the skin you want to try and it will download. After the download completes you will be asked to switch to the skin – choose what you like.
3 Networking and external access
XBMC has advanced features available. Several external applications can make use of these features in order to communicate with the XBMC. They also have the possibility to actually control the XBMC. These advanced features require you to enable the http-access of the XBMC because it is not enabled by default. This can be done under "Settings" -> "Network". You also have the possibility to share your libraries via UPnP. This again gives you the opportunity to use DLNA-certified devices with your XBMC – this way you can share and stream the contents of your library. Be advised though: XBMC will share nothing which is not indexed in your library. A list of compatible software/hardware can be found here (it may be incomplete...): UPnP Sharing
In order to use the Webserver of XBMC properly I advise to use a predefined IP instead of obtaining one via DHCP. This way you’ll always know where your XBMC is located. This also comes in handy when using Sickbeard, Couch Potato and sabNZBd. This however is not required – you always can access the XBMC, Sickbeard, Couch Potato and sabNZBd via "localhost" (if you do not change the default settings that is).
After enabling webaccess you can secure your XBMC with a username and a password. Just enter the values in the boxes below the option. By default XBMC restricts access from the network to your machine. Every request coming from another machine than the XBMC’s machine will be rejected. You can lift this restriction by enabling the "Allow programs on other computers to control"-Option in the network-settings.