Android FAQ

From XBMC
Jump to: navigation, search
XBMC FAQs
Home icon grey.png   ▶ Android ▶ Android FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for Android.

Contents


1 General FAQ

See also: XBMC all platforms FAQ for FAQs that apply to all versions of XBMC.

1.1 Will this really do 1080 and all that stuff the desktop can do?

Link
  • Yes! This is a full port of XBMC! It is not a thin client or lite version!
  • The initial aim for the Android port is to get XBMC working on inexpensive Android set-top-boxes. Phones and tablets will be supported as well for those who want XBMC on-the-go.

1.2 Requirements

Link
Attention.png NOTICE:
It is highly recommended for users to not make any purchases in anticipation of running XBMC on Android without researching the device you want to buy. If you do buy, make sure multiple people can verify that it works! If in doubt, do not buy that hardware!
  • Due to the nature of Android hardware it is hard to give exact minimum requirements, so instead the basic set of requirements includes at least:
    • NEON compatible ARM processor, (for example: Nvidia Tegra 3 and later are fully supported by XBMC, while Tegra 2 and older Tegra probably will never be supported).
    • Android 4.0 or later is supported, but Android 4.4 and later is recommended.
    • Hardware decoding support in XBMC is likely a must for high definition video playback (720p or higher resolution). Do not expect this to work on any device until someone knowledgeable have specifically already tested it and can confirm hardware decoding support for that device. For more details on hardware video decoding support, see Android hardware.
  • The main aim for the Android port is to initially target media-players/set-top-boxes/sticks that connect to a large screen television and uses a standard remote control as interface device, (that is the same market as for HTPC). However expect tablet/phone/touch/mobile/etc support to eventually improve with time.

1.3 There are two versions of XBMC for Android. Which one do I use?

Link

The vast majority of users will want to use the "ARM" version. Users who have an Android device with an Intel or AMD CPU will want to use the "x86" version.

1.4 Installing/getting XBMC for Android

Link
Note: XBMC v13 "Gotham" now has hardware video decoding! Right now we recommend v13 stable for most users.

1.5 Is XBMC for Android different from normal XBMC?

Link
  • The current version of XBMC for Android is based on XBMC v13.1 Gotham, and is based on the same code as XBMC for all the other supported platforms.

1.6 How do I find out what version of XBMC am I running?

Link
  • XBMC main menu > System > Lower submenu > System info. Note the version and/or build date.

1.7 Why is XBMC not in Google Play, OUYA store, Amazon store, etc?

Link
During the time between XBMC v12 and v13, an unofficial version of XBMC in the OUYA store (XBMC on OUYA) had to remove software decoding of AC3 and DTS by demand of the companies that owned those audio formats. The only way to enable software decoding of those formats would be to pay a licensing fee. The same thing happened for several video player apps on the Google Play store.
Well, crap.
Because of this, Team XBMC is considering their options. We don't want to remove features or ever charge money for XBMC just to expose it in an app store. We also want to make XBMC easily accessible to as many people as reasonably possible.
For the time being, you can always sideload the full version of XBMC from the apk downloads from xbmc.org. See HOW-TO:Install XBMC for Android for details.

1.8 Video and audio formats XBMC for Android can playback

Link
  • XBMC for Android supports all the same formats that other platforms do (such as desktop OS).
  • Due to the weak processing power of most ARM processors, for smooth playback most Android hardware will require proper hardware decoding. (See #Requirements below)

1.9 Accessing media

Link
  • You can connect to media that's being shared from a computer, HTPC, or NAS device on your local network.
  • You can access media on the internal memory, SD cards or from USB ports (hard drives, USB stick drives, directly or via hubs, etc).

1.10 Add-ons and skins

Link
  • XBMC for Android is a full version of XBMC and will be able to use all non-platform specific add-ons and skins. More feature rich (CPU demanding) skins like AEON Nox might not run smoothly on lower powered systems, so keep to "lighter" skins for those boxes.
  • If you are using a touch screen device and the build you are using did not include it, you can manually instal Add-on:Touched for better touch screen support.

1.11 Remote controls

Link
  • Some Android set-top-boxes come with a remote and an IR port which XBMC can use.
  • Any Keyboard such as wired, wireless, bluetooth (if supported in your Android ROM). This includes "keymotes" such as a Rii, Boxee remote, most "air mouse" keyboard remotes, and others that appear as a normal USB keyboard to the system.
  • Web interfaces, including add-on interfaces.
  • XBMC smartphone and tablet remote apps.
  • Other IR remotes can be used with IR receivers such as the Flirc.
  • Some Android devices support CEC

1.12 Google TV

Link
  • You can install XBMC on Google TV devices that have the Android 4.2 update.

1.13 Launching Android apps from within XBMC

Link
  • XBMC can launch other Android apps by going to "Programs" (on the home screen) and selecting the app you want to run.

1.14 Automatically start XBMC

Link
  • You can automatically start XBMC when your Android device boots up using an application such as Startup Manager (free)

2 Performance tips

2.1 Performance: video buffering, stuttering, choppiness

Link
  • Note: Remember that hardware video decoding, which will be required on most devices for smooth video playback, requires XBMC v13 or higher.
  • Avoid using wireless. A lot of Android boxes and "sticks" have weak wifi, even those that advertise as being wireless-n. It may be possible to use a USB-to-ethernet dongle on some devices, or even a USB wifi adapter that has a better wifi radio than what is built-in.
  • Switch to a different network protocol to see if that has any effect, i.e. SMB/CIFS, NFS, FTP, WebDAV, etc.
  • Try sharing the media on another device to rule out a device-specific (or network) issue.
  • Turn off thumbnails, XBMC -> Settings -> Video -> File and deselect 'generate thumbnails'.
  • H.264 videos encoded with Hi10P profile will not work on most Android hardware as some (most?) ARM processors are not powerful enough to software decode it, and no hardware decoders exist for it. As faster ARM CPUs come out this will get better, but don't expect miracles from the average Android box.
  • If RSS feed is enabled, disable it in settings. This can make the main menu a bit faster.
  • Running out of disk space storage, or want to try tweaking caching and other performance settings to achieve faster response times? See HOW-TO:Reduce XBMC disk space for help on modifying how XBMC handles images.

3 Troubleshooting

3.1 Getting more help with XBMC for Android

Link

3.2 Where is the Userdata folder

Link

The userdata folder is located on external storage/sdcard at one of the following locations (depending on your device):

userdata folder
  • /Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/userdata/
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/
  • /data/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/files/.xbmc/

3.3 Where is the XBMC log

Link

The XBMC log is located inside the userdata folder (see above), i.e.

debug log
  • /Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log
  • /sdcard/Android/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log
  • /data/data/org.xbmc.xbmc/cache/temp/xbmc.log

3.4 How can I obtain a Crash Log (logcat)

Link

A crash log (also called logcat) is mandatory to be able todebug hard crashes on Android

  • Download the SendLog app from the Google Play store. It allows you to send your system log to an email address. Email it to yourself and show us where the error happened. (requires root)
  • Alternatively, you can use your computer. Plug your device, download and unzip the Android SDK and run ddms.bat in the tools folder. There you have it under LogCat.
  • The logfile is kept on a phone for a while, so you don't need to reproduce a crash in order to get the log.
  • Be sure to have hidden folders set to be shown in your file explorer.

3.5 How to hide the Android navigation bar

Link
  • XBMC v13 now supports Android 4.4 (Kitkat)'s immersive mode, allowing for fullscreen automatically.
  • To remove the navbar:
    • You can use "HideBar" (Has a free version, and is open source if you wish to compile yourself)
    • The app "Full!Screen" is free and should also work.
    • A custom Android distribution can be installed to correctly handle the navbar. Replicant, CyanogenMod and some others offer an “extended desktop” mode which hides the navigation bar and, optionally, the status bar too. Also check for firmware on sites such as http://freaktab.com for more firmware options.

3.6 Audio sync/delay issues

Link
  • Is some or all of your audio out of sync with the video? Try these tips:
    • Some AMLogic Android devices will have issues sync issues if the device is not rooted.
    • Check for firmware updates for your specific Android device.
    • If you have a delay that is consistent regardless of the file, you can manually adjust the delay:
      1. Open any video that has audio playing.
      2. Bring up the on-screen-display and select the audio options.
      3. Select Audio offset and then adjust the audio until the delay is corrected.
      4. Back in the OSD audio settings, scroll down and select Set as default for all videos.

3.7 No video/black screen, only sound, when playing files

Link

The three most common causes of only having sound, but no video, when playing a video file are:

  • The hardware in the box is AMLogic-based and another video/media app is running in the background. Quit the other media apps or restart the device and XBMC should display video again.
  • The hardware in the box is AMLogic-based and the firmware (Android installation) didn't set certain permissions correctly and isn't rooted. The easiest way to fix this would be to either root the device, so that XBMC can set the file permissions, or update to a better firmware that sets the correct permissions.
  • XBMC thinks the video can be decoded using video hardware/acceleration, but the encoding just isn't right. Using software decoding might be a work-around: Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration

3.8 Videos play, but are not always smooth

Link

There are a number of reasons why this can happen, so it's hard to give general advice for such a description, but here are some things that you can try:

  • Some Android hardware has bugs using the "MediaCodec" hardware decoding method, but plays video fine using "libstagefright". Try turning off "MediaCodec" and leaving "libstageright" on in: Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration. Users of AMLogic hardware can ignore this, as those devices use a third "AmCodec" hardware decoding method.
  • Hardware video decoding might not be enabled at all on your device. Most Android boxes will require hardware video decoding for smooth HD video playback. Check settings under Settings -> Videos -> Acceleration
  • Most Android boxes don't support hardware video decoding of some codecs, such as VC-1 Hi10P, and HEVC(H.265). Consult the compatibility list on Android hardware.
  • Rule out network performance by loading a small test video directly to the internal memory of your Android device.

3.9 Can't select letters on the on-screen-keyboard when using a remote

Link
Personal tools
Namespaces

Variants
Actions
Navigation
Wiki help
Toolbox