Running Kodi for the First Time – Part I
Hopefully, you’re now looking at Kodi’s main interface. But there’s no content there, no setup wizard, and no hint of how to use add-ons and repos.
Don’t worry, we’re going to explain everything, but let’s get some basics out of the way first.
On the left-hand side of your screen, you will see shortcuts for all the different media classes. They are Movies, TV shows, Music, Music videos, TV, Radio, Add-ons, Pictures, Videos, and Weather. If you’re not planning to use all the shortcuts, you can remove some by heading to Settings > Skin settings > Main menu items and sliding the appropriate toggles into the Off position.
As you use Kodi more, you will probably find it’s easier to navigate through the app using your keyboard rather than your mouse.
There are more than 100 different keyboard shortcuts you can use. Some even perform different functions depending what’s on the screen. For example, Page Down will skip to the previous queued video (or previous chapter) if you’re watching a video, but will decrease the rating of a song if you’re listening to audio.
Nonetheless, there are some important keyboard shortcuts that all users should know about. Here are some of the most common:
• F9 or –: Volume Down
• F10 or +: Volume Up
• Spacebar or P: Play / Pause
• X: Stop
• F: Fast Forward
• R: Rewind
• Left arrow: Jump back 30 seconds
• Right arrow: Jump forward 30 seconds
• I: Show information about the currently playing video
• T: Turn subtitles on or off
Note: You can use a keymap editor add-on to change which keys perform which function.
Advanced users can also change the shortcuts by editing the user’s data file.
Adding Your Media to Kodi
If you’re just starting your Kodi journey, there are probably three forms of media that your keen to add to the app as soon as possible: videos, music, and photos.
We’re going to look at each one individually.
Adding Videos to Kodi
Kodi is a supremely powerful app which skilled users can force to perform all manner of tricks. However, for the vast majority of users, the principal reason for installing the software is to watch videos.
If you want to maximize the enjoyment of watching videos on Kodi, there is an exact process you need to follow.
Prepare Your Video Files
Preparing your video files is crucial because Kodi uses scrappers to search for the appropriate metadata for your videos. Metadata includes artwork, synopses, show/movie descriptions, season numbers, episode numbers, cast lists, directors, and a whole lot more.
This data isn’t essential to being able to watch your videos through Kodi, but it’s the only way to build your library into a vibrant and dynamic list.
So, if you’re naming a TV show, place the files in the following folder structure:
• /ShowName/Season XX/ (for example, Friends/Season 05)
For single episodes, name each file as sXXeYY, and for multiple episodes, name the file as sXXeYY-eYY. For example, S05E02.
Specials should be put into the following folder structure:
Movie files can either be saved as standalone files or each saved in their own sub-folder. Use the following structure for the movie file itself:
• [Movie Name] (Year) (for example, The Hurt Locker (2008))
Therefore, the folder tree should look like either Movies/ The Hurt Locker (2008).mp4 or Movies/ The Hurt Locker (2008)/The Hurt Locker (2008).mp4.
If your content is a disorganized mess, you could try using FileBot. It’s a TV show and movie renamer; it’ll scan online databases and do all the hard work on your behalf. However, FileBot does cost $19.99.
Note: You should keep your movie and TV shows in separate folder trees.