The Music Library, one of the XBMC databases, is a key feature of XBMC. It allows the organization of your music collection by information stored in your music file ID tag, like title, artist, album, genre and popularity.
- Support for a countless number of formats and codecs.
- A full-featured customizable music library that makes it easy to organize, find and listen to your favorite music
- Support for Music Videos
- Built in ability to stream media from other computers
- Full support for Playlists, including Smart playlists
- Jaw-dropping Visualizations that add the visual element to your music experience
- Integrated CD Ripping
1 Adding music to the library
XBMC adds music to the library by scanning music files to extract identifying information from tags in the files. In order to be able to include information on your music collection in the music library, XBMC needs your music to be tagged. When your collection is scanned, XBMC stores all the tagging information (artist, album, year, genre, etc) in the database which allows you to efficiently search and manage your music collection.
Your audio files MUST have a valid ID tag for them to work properly in the XBMC music library. There are third party applications available for download from the internet that allow you to add and manage ID tags in your music files.
2 Music playback
- See: Music playback
3.1 Side bar
The library organizes your music into many categories, allowing you to find a specific song using one of many possible criteria. Below you can see root menu showing the different sections.
3.2 File mode
File mode is the most basic way of browing your music. In file mode, you browse through your sources folder by folder, in the exact same way they are stored. What you see in file mode is the same as you would see if you were to browse the folders on your computer.
3.3 Library mode
The library mode is much more advanced and has many more features than the Files View. It has features like song, album and artist info to name a few. In order to utilize library mode, you first need to scan your music into the Music library using the #Contextual menu.
4 Searching your Library
The search button is available on the left side of the 'Music' window, and is also available in the root listing of your music library. Select it to begin your search. A keyboard will pop-up where you may enter search terms (SMS style with the remote, or just using the virtual keyboard). As you enter more letters, the search will be performed in the background, and results displayed in the search node of the music library. Previous searches are saved, so if you return to the search node later on, it will have the results of your previous search. Artists and Albums are shown on top, followed by matching songs. If the search string you enter is less than 3 characters, XBMC will just search in the first word of each artist/album/song. Otherwise it will do a full word search. NOTE: In order to search within words as well as just for words beginning with your search string, place a % sign in front of the match.
5 Party Mode
The Party Mode option allows you to randomly play music from your entire music or music video collection based on criteria specified in PartyMode.xsp. Simply build a Smart Playlist and save it as partymode.xsp in The UserData Folder.
Selecting 'Party Mode' from the sidebar will play ALL valid media scanned into your libraries in a random order that meet the conditions specified in the Smart Playlist.
The Party Mode option allows you to randomly play music from your entire music or music video collection based on criteria specified in PartyMode.xsp. Simply edited the "Party mode playlist" item in the Playlist menu. Bring up the context menu and select "Play in party mode". You can do this for any valid playlist.
6 Context Menu
In the default configuration you pop up the Context Menu using the 'C' key on your keyboard. If you are navigating XBMC using a remote control, the default button is, for some releases, the 'title' button. If your remote control has no 'title' button then you may need to remap the ContextMenu action to another button.
6.1 File mode
The context menu allows you to interact with the individual media items. The following options are available whilst in File Mode, selecting an album:
Other possible menu items
- Allows you to search for specific media
6.2 Library mode
You perform actions on your music files using the Context Menu. In Library Mode selecting an album, the following options are available:
- See: Karaoke
XBMC supports both basic playlists and smart playlists. A basic playlist is a normal text file that lists one or more media files (Audio or Video), and plays them in succession. You can either create your own or use existing playlists from other sources, such as a playlist generated from Winamp, iTunes, or other sources. Basic playlists can be created and edited directly from XBMC's GUI.
9 Smart playlists
XBMC supports smart playlists for all types of media (excluding pictures), which essentially use a set of rules to limit the results from the databases. This means that to be able to create a smart playlist in the GUI, music/video must first be added to the libraries using a scraper addon or by creating NFO files. Smart playlist can be created either by using the built-in GUI smart playlist editor accessible from the Playlists section, or by creating an XML file with the extension XSP (XBMC Smart Playlist).
10 Music Library Settings and Maintenance
The main Music Library settings can be accessed from the Library tab in Music Settings. Those can be accessed either from the Settings menu from the home screen, or via the context menu as seen above.
Some settings can only be altered through the advancedsettings.xml file, such as settings affecting the "All" database nodes and they way tags are displayed.
10.2 Clean Music Library
As of v11 (Eden), XBMC supports being an AirPlay target, allowing any device/platform that can run XBMC to receive AirPlay content from an iOS or iTunes source (as well as other 3rd party AirPlay sources for desktops and even Android).
12 Cue sheets
Cue Sheets are used to provide index and playlist information for a large audio file. They are generally used in conjunction with either extracting from, or burning to, Music AudioCD. Cue sheets have the file extension ".cue", and are simple plain text files.
13 Internet video and audio streams
Various internet video and audio streams can be played back in XBMC as if they were locally stored on your media center by using STRM files. As long as the format and streaming-method (network-protocol) is supported by XBMC, stream can be added. These are basic text files that look like <name>.strm and contain a URL to the internet stream. STRM files can also be added to the video library and can have cover art, summaries, etc.
Some internet sites may have an add-on available that can also access these media streams, rather than having to manually create STRM files. See Add-ons for more information on how to find and install add-ons.
14 Import-export library
15 NFO files
NFO files can be used to provide data for a video file in XBMC or influence the search behaviour of scrapers. In particular they are helpful if the information fetched from a web site does not match the video file, or data for that particular file does not exist.
Add-ons are packages that add features and functions not normally included with XBMC. Add-ons are developed by people on Team XBMC and third-parties. XBMC has a growing list of community driven add-ons for online content like YouTube, Hulu, Grooveshark, Pandora Radio, as well as skins (themes) and more available 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 if they like.
17 Music videos
XBMC has the ability to include Music Videos in the Video and Music libraries. All scanned music videos will show up in both. Music Videos can also be part of Party Mode and Smart Playlists. Playlists containing both music and music videos should be stored in the mixed playlist subfolder under the userdata folder.
18 Ripping CDs
XBMC has integrated Audio-CD (CDDA) ripping functionality. In order to use this feature, first configure the CD ripping settings (to set which encoder quality to use and where to store the files). To Rip the entire CD, highlight the Audio CD from the My Music root listing and choose Rip Audio CD from the context menu. To rip a single track, enter the Audio CD, highlight the desired track, and choose Rip Audio Track from the context menu.