The Video Library, one of the XBMC databases, allows the organization of your video content by information associated with the video files themselves. This information can be obtained in various different ways, like through Scrapers (ie. Movies, TV shows and Music Videos) and NFO files. Library view allows you to browse your video content by things such as; Genre, Title, Year, Actors and Directors.
1 Video playback and controls
- See: Video playback
2 Adding and managing videos
To use your video files with "metadata" like summaries, cast info, DVD covers, thumbnails, and more, you need to add those video files to the video library by following these steps:
| Adding videos to the library:
1. Naming files
The library organizes your videos into three basic categories, Movies, TV Shows and Music Videos. Further these categories are divided into sub-categories, allowing you to find a specific video through criteria like genre, actors, directors, year, or even custom video nodes. Navigating the video library deals greatly with various views, the sidebar menu, and context menu.
4 Media sources
Media Sources are virtual links to the content you wish XBMC to use. When you enter any of the Videos, Music, Pictures or the Filemanager, you will see an entry for "Add Sources". When you first start with XBMC you should at least add one source, like a drive or directory on your XBMC device to get you started.
If you select "Add sources" a dialog appears, where you may manually input a path, or browse to a source that contains media that you would like XBMC to use and display. As an example, if you enter the Music section, you could tell XBMC where it should look for your music. This can be as simple as selecting a folder on your computer or you can also choose to browse your home network for media. These two options would be the most widely used places for sources.
5 Library filtering
Advanced Library Filtering is a new feature for XBMC Frodo developed for Google Summer of Code 2012. It replaces the very basic filtering option which allowed users to enter a part of a media title and get a list of matching items with a much more sophisticated filtering functionality which, depending on the media type, offers filtering by title, genre, actors and much more.
6 Media information screen
In addition to various display layouts, a media information screen can be shown from contextual menu (C on keyboard) or by pressing info on the remote (i on keyboard).
From here you can refresh the information on your media, i.e. in the case of a wrong match during scanning. Here you can also change fanart and media thumbs, where the number of images being offered may depend on your scraper settings.
7 File stacking
XBMC's file stacking feature handles your multi-part videos in a clean, intuitive manner. File stacking combines your multi-part files into a single item in the file list or library. Playback of stacks is completely transparent to you as the user, all parts are automatically queued for playback in order. Stacking is a view option available in videos file mode window. It is always applied when scanning movies into the library.
8 Linking movies to TV shows
When you are in the Movies section of XBMC you can select a movie and bring up the contextual menu (C on a keyboard) and select "Link to TV show". This will bring up a list of TV shows that are currently in your library. When you link a movie to a TV show it will make that movie show up in the TV show's library view. Multiple movies can be linked to a TV show, but a movie can only be linked to one show at a time.
9 Movie sets
XBMC Movie Scrapers include support for sorting your movies into sets for better organization. This is especially movies that are sequels or are apart of a directly related movie series. If sets are a part of your collection, you can find them easily with the Sets node in your Video Library. As of version 11.0 ("Eden") XBMC can determine if movies are part of a set or collection when using The MovieDB or IMDb movie information add-ons.
10 Media stubs
As of v11 (Eden), XBMC has support for offline media stub files. These are files that represent a media outside of the online digital infrastructure and allow XBMC's library to catalogue your "offline" media collection, as well as ask for the media when selected for playback.
11 Internet streams in the library
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.
Since v12 Frodo, XBMC supports Tags which can be applied to movies, TV shows, and music videos. They are meant to supplement Movie sets which are (by design) limited in their usage. A movie or TV show can have multiple tags attached and a tag can contain multiple tags. They can be used as keywords, categories, filters, or whatever you want. Movies and TV shows can have multiple tags. Tags can be used to filter and navigate the library. Tags can be edited and managed directly from the XBMC GUI.
13 Custom video nodes
Video nodes are defined views that are used to organize your media from the videos menu. In the past XBMC has had a number of standard nodes such as Title, Director, Year, Studios, Countries, Genres that were hard coded. As of v12 Frodo, XBMC introduces the ability to customize these nodes using an XML file. Using XML files really gives great flexibility in how you display your media. Don't want your screaming kids stuff in your main movie node... exclude it. Want documentaries in a separate node, create it. Don't like how recently added is presented, change it.
To get full functionality from custom nodes, you need to use a skin that allows you to deploy them as you would like (e.g. latest builds of Aeon Nox). Confluence will show your nodes, but doesn't allow you to decide exactly where.
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.
15 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).
16 How to separate the library (cartoons, documentaries, anime, etc)
A common question people have after setting up their library is how can they separate their library so not everything is just in one big section, and how to have that as an option on the home screen in XBMC.
XBMC can already filter and separate library items using a number of methods mentioned above, and combined with a skin that supports custom home items, the library can be laid out exactly was you want, right from the home screen.
17 Locking video sources / Parental controls
18 Edit decision lists
An edit decision list (EDL) contains information about edits that should be made to the video during playback. Edit decision list information is contained in a separate file to the video that is read by XBMC Media Center just before the video is played. Examples of use include can be to skip commercials, cut out content inappropriate for children, or making 2001: A Space Odyssey watchable.
XBMC supports both stand-alone subtitle and embedded subtitles. Most major subtitle formats are supported. XBMC can also search and download subtitles directly from full screen playback.
20 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.
21 Import-export library
22 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.
XBMC has several built-in UPnP A/V features, including the ability to receive UPnP and DLNA content pushed to XBMC, browse UPnP and DLNA media sources, sharing an XBMC library with other UPnP and DLNA devices, and even controlling UPnP and DLNA devices. UPnP is also the easiest way to share a library from one XBMC device to another.
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).
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.
26 Video library settings
The main Video Library settings can be accessed from the Library tab in Videos Settings. Those can be accessed either from the Settings menu from the home screen, or via the context menu as seen above.