How to Use Kodi\XBMC

Kodi 5

How to Use Kodi\XBMC

Kodi 5

Since this is your first time setting up and installing Kodi, I’ll touch briefly on how to navigate around the Kodi user interface, or UI.

Remember when I said earlier that you’ll hear the words “10 foot user interface” quite a lot? Here’s what that means.

The older versions of Kodi had their main controls laid out in a ‘ribbon’ along the center of the screen, and were configurable to a certain extent. Kodi 17 introduced a new skin (or theme) that aligned everything along the left hand side of the screen to match Netflix and Plex.

The main menu includes these categories by default: Videos, Movies, TV Shows, Music, Music Videos, TV, Radio, Pictures, Add-ons and Weather.

Depending on the skin, you can sometimes add extra categories or hide unused ones.

The Context menu will provide extra functionality depending on what screen you’re on when you click it. For example, in the image on the left I brought up the contextual menu for a movie – Wonder Woman. Here, the context menu gives us the option play the video, mark it as watched or pull up additional information on the movie.

In other screens, the options you see may be different, depending on what makes sense for that media type.

To pull up the Context menu, it depends on what type of device you’re using Kodi on:

  • Android: Long Press
  • Mouse: right-click
  • Keyboard: ‘C’
  • Amazon Fire TV: Menu button
  • NVIDIA Shield controller: ‘X’ button

Kodi Setup Guide: Video Library

One of the most important steps in setting up Kodi is creating your media library. Let’s start by adding videos to your library. If you haven’t ripped your movie collection to your hard drive, you’ll need to do that first. Check out my tutorial on DVD and Blu-ray ripping with MakeMKV.

Before you start just adding every file on your hard drive, there’s some work you need to do first.

Kodi expects the media files to follow a certain format, and that format is different if the file is a movie or a TV show. If the filename isn’t listed correctly, then Kodi may not be able to tell what it is.

Why does that matter? Well, Kodi uses a process called scraping to pull data from the file. If Kodi isn’t able to scrape correctly the file then it may do one of two things: It may ignore the file and skip over it when creating your library, or worse, it could mistake the file for a completely different movie.

You should probably put some thought into how your library is organized, but that is a longer topic than I have room for here. But if you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll make it easier for Kodi to figure out what’s in your library.

How to organize your media library

There are two common ways to organize your media folder:

  • One folder containing all of your media files
  • Each movie or TV series in it’s own folder
  • It’s your choice how you want to organize your media library. There are pros and cons to each method, and that’s a topic for another article. But I will offer this piece of advice. If you have a larger library, it will be easier to manage if each movie is in it’s own separate directory.