Audio & Video

Kodi 21: Basic facilities including library

The first steps in Kodi, from language settings to corrections in the library

Kodi can confidently be described as a mature product: as of today, version 21 is still one alpha version, But it's already running stable here and looks exactly like the last versions. The setup is simple and can be done in 10 minutes at best. Only corrections and manual additions in the library could take a little more time. But from the beginning, step by step and image by image:


First of all: The article may look quite long - but it mostly consists of pictures. Many dialogues are actually self-evident, but we show every step, no matter how small, including a picture, so that no questions remain unanswered and you can see in advance what exactly you have to prepare for.

To Installation: Kodi can be used on a number of devices, tablets, normal desktop PCs, Raspberry Pies, some NAS, smart sticks and so on. But that's not what this is about. What we have on the topic:

Install Kodi on:

And another word about Code 21: As already mentioned, as of today it is a very early alpha version that must be viewed as experimental. However, nothing will change in terms of the interface and the workflow shown here. Not much has changed in the area of ​​user experience/user interface (UX/UI) for a while, so most of our 80 or so Kodi articles still fit. Here are a few examples for you to zap:

But now back to the beginning. So you just installed Kodi...

1. Switch Kodi and metadata to German

Opens the settings via the gear symbol:

kodi settings.
Open settings

You can find the settings for the user interface at Interface:

system dialog.
Interface = user interface

Select German here and confirm.

language selection.
Yes, the selection is huge...

Now you should open the view directly Expert switch – why miss out on options?

be an expert.
As an expert, you see everything

If you want your library to later show German titles and descriptions, you still have to change the information provider's add-ons. Here as an example for Default movie information provider: Opens from the home page Addon browser in the field of Addon:

addon browser in kodi.
Open addon browser

Continue with User Addons:

addon browser.
Addon directory

Now All:

select all.
Yep, everyone

The addon you are looking for is The Movie Database Python (By the way, you can find the series version directly below!).

the information provider.
Scraper addon found[/captio

Opens the context menu for the settings:

[Caption id = "attachment_65374" align = "alignnone" width = "640"]Context menu. Once again a context menu, how nice

Switches to the desired language:

language selection.
Not only the language, but also the age rating system can be changed

2. First settings

The most important settings concern Kodi on the network: Will it be seen on the network? Which remote controls are allowed? Does Kodi stream? For security reasons, most network services are disabled by default. And so everything happens in the same area. Otherwise, almost all of the presets in Kodi are fine as is.

Starts under Settings/Services. This is primarily about collaboration with other programs that are running in your home network. Under General you activate Zeroconf and if necessary, give it a better name than just Kodi. Other network players will then find this Kodi installation under this name.

zeroconf dialog.
Kodi shows itself in the network via Zeroconf

Under steering You can activate the web interface for the browser, which is practical for accessing the library on the desktop, for example. You should also allow remote control so that you can control Kodi on the network, for example with an app on your cell phone.

remote dialogue.
Remote control via apps and HTTP/browser

The UPnP / DLNA You activate the media server so that you can stream the titles from the library using smartphone apps, for example.

upnp dialog in kodi.
Kodi can act as a media server

You will usually only need further settings after you have had some experience with Kodi and as your requirements grow. It may be worth taking a look at, especially if you use a special monitor or sound setup Settings/System, for example, to turn off screens that are not in use.

3. Build a library

Now the most exciting point: Add media. In the area Movie and in all other empty video areas you will also see a notice that the library is empty - click anywhere on it “To Files” button. Alternatively, you can always take the route Settings/Media/Library .

blank film view.
The default view of an empty library

Let's continue again Files:

file manager in kodi.

Continue over Add videos...:

add videos dialog.
Sounds plausible...

Now you finally see it “Add video source” dialog. Click on Browse, to search.

Kodi's add source dialog.
Now you define a source – initially a higher-level one without specific content

If the files local available, i.e. on the computer on which Kodi itself is running, navigate to your media folder. As a rule, the videos should be in Network are, usually as Samba releases Windows network (SMB). Unfortunately, for security reasons, you have not been able to browse the network for some time (by default). Feel free to try it, but probably nothing will happen. So you have to do this manually Add network share take care of.

network browser.
You usually have to add the network share manually

This is where you contribute now Server & Hosting can The IP address or the name of the computer with the network share. Under Network share The name of the share ends up, which you have to look up on the NAS, for example. On Linux computers you can usually find the answer via

cat /etc/samba/smb.conf

path = /media/evo
valid users = mirco
read only = no

The appropriate name is above the respective release in square brackets. Ultimately you still have to Password and User name enter for approval. And only then can you open Browse ...

share options.
The usual information about releases

... and now look for the appropriate subfolder. The top level is ideal here; you will make a more precise selection later.

file selection dialog.
Selects the top folder for the first share

You will then end up back in the higher-level dialog and see the new network share with IP and selected folder - open the entry.

new release.
You can now browse using this first release

And again you have to look for a network share - but now you specifically select a folder with films or series.

film folder.
The second release contains films here

Then give it a descriptive name and confirm again.

another new share.
The second release for films

Now you can see why films and series need their own approvals. In dialogue set content That's exactly what you're doing - so click on This folder contains and …

Set content dialog.
Contents? Movies!

... choose accordingly.

category selection.
Yes, films...

The Information provider will then be selected automatically, you should leave it like that. Here the so-called Scraping initiated, i.e. obtaining metadata for the files, such as artwork, content information, duration, rating, cast and so on.

choose scraper.
Scraping: Obtaining metadata

Allows updating.

yes-no dialogue.
Yes, of course …

Depending on the size of your file collection, the process can take a quarter of an hour or longer. But after that everything is pretty:

big buck bunny in the kodi library.
Pretty thanks to metadata

4. Correct title

Well, mostly it is not everything is pretty. If titles end up in the library with incorrect or incomplete metadata, you will have to correct them manually. For example, the artwork is missing here:

broken entry.
No picture? Not pretty …

Brings up the title's context menu and selects Information:

context menu.
The context menu, woohoo

Then click on the bottom right Update and …

no picture in bib.
Update to...well, update

...may ignore locally stored information.

update question.
Again, yes

The search then either spits something out directly or asks you to type in the film title manually - you can then select the correct hit:

Found Movie Dialogue.
Correct title thanks to good file name

If necessary, you can also find missing artwork directly via Select graphic add:

info dialog with kodi metadata.
There are often several graphics to choose from

Choose a picture...

image selection.
Poster, fits

... and another title is nice ;)

pretty caminandes.
And here is the title with artwork

5. Add title

If files have not been included in the library at all, you have to take the detour again files go. Works in the normal library view – here Movies/Titles – go all the way to the top and click on move up a level:

library view.
Library view

You will then see the display options for metadata - but click again ..

library view.
Still the library

Now you have the opportunity again files (you are just coming from the “Films” section of the library).

to files dialog.
Here you go to the file level

Then open the entry again Movie - which of course is the one folder the network share means... Yes, it's a bit confusing when Kodi's media source and the folder are named the same. But Movie it's just so obvious ;)

movies folder.
Well, the folder is also called Films...

In any case, you will then end up in a normal file browser view and can navigate to missing titles. Here, for example, the stupid file name meant that Harry Potter the First could not be found.

missing movie folder.
Harry Potter 1 not recognized – a shame

Calls up the context menu and selects Add to library.

context menu.
Manually scan titles into library

Now enter the name in whole or in part:

harry potter search.
For those who are lazy about typing: part is enough

Then choose the appropriate hit...

film selection.
Select title

... and this Potter can also be found in the library. Note: Of course, the selection here shows the German titles, provided you switched the information provider to German in step 1.

Harry in the picture.
The added Potter title

For the normal basic use Kodi is now ready to sweeten your evening. The next option would probably be to install a suitable remote control on the smartphone. Or access Kodi as a media server with your favorite music app. Or create multiple user profiles. Or smart playlists. Or install trailer add-ons... It can take a few hours until everything is the way you want it! Hence the link again backup item.

If you want to see how far you can push it, we have here something else for advanced crazy Kodi hobbyists.

And further …

Of course, Kodi also has its own functions for music and photos, but the procedure is identical to the library. Things like gaming, live TV and PVR (personal video recorder) are a little more complex, not to mention sharing a library with other Kodi installations. That means: Click through the settings, there is a lot to discover here.

And if that's still not enough, take a look at the following 15 extensions on – for example for media libraries.

And if you are still looking for the right hardware:

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.

Mirco Lang

Freelance journalist, Sauerland exile, (fairly old) skateboarder, graduate computer scientist, retail salesman, open source nerd, Checkmk handbook writer. Ex-Saturn'ler, Ex-Data-Becker'ler, Ex-BSI'ler. First contact with computers: ca. 1982 - a friend's big brother's C64. If you want to read more about open source, Linux and craft stuff and support Tutonaut here: About Coffee sponsorship via Paypal.I'm always happy. In advance: Thank you! Do not miss: and New: Mastodon

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