All platforms FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions for XBMC that apply to all versions/platforms/OSes.

Contents


1 General

1.1 About XBMC

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XBMC Media Center is an award-winning free and open source cross-platform software media player and entertainment hub for digital media for HTPCs (Home theater PCs). It uses a 10-foot user interface designed to be a media player for the living-room, using a remote control as the primary input device. Its graphical user interface (GUI) allows the user to easily browse and view videos, photos, podcasts, and music from a harddrive, optical disc, local network, and the internet using only a few buttons. The XBMC project is managed by the non-profit XBMC Foundation, and developed by volunteers located around the world. Since its creation in 2003 more than 500 software developers have contributed to XBMC, and around 60 developers on regular basis. Also 200-plus translators have worked to expand its reach, making it available in more than 72 languages.


XBMC was originally created as a media center application for the first-generation Xbox game console (no longer supported) but is now officially available as a native application for Android, Linux, Mac OS X, iOS (iDevices and Apple TV 2), and Windows operating systems, running on most common processor architectures.

1.2 Installing XBMC

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  • See Installation and select the OS for your device for installation instructions.
  • The current stable build of XBMC is XBMC v13.1 Gotham.

1.3 Uninstalling/fresh installing XBMC

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  • To completely uninstall XBMC, or to preform a fresh reinstall, you will need to delete the userdata folder and the containing XBMC home folder that holds the userdata folder, in addition to deleting/uninstalling the XBMC application.

1.4 What version am I running?

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  • In the default skin go to: XBMC main menu > System > Lower submenu > System info. (For a nightly build, note the build date.)

1.5 Quick Start Guide for XBMC

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See: XBMC Quick Start Guide

1.6 Sync the XBMC library between multiple installs

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See: Syncing and sharing

1.7 Controlling XBMC

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See: Remote controls
See: Keyboard controls

1.8 Switching between windowed and full screen

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  • To toggle between windowed mode and full screen mode, press the \ button on a keyboard. (This, or any keyboard button, can be assigned to a remote control button if you wish. See Remote controls for more info.)
  • If you have backed out of a playing video and see it behind the GUI, you can toggle back by pressing Tab .

1.9 Can I run XBMC from my PC to my TV using DLNA/UPnP?

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  • XBMC has some support for this, and more is planned for the future. Normally XBMC is meant to be ran on a computer/supported-device that is directly connected to the TV by a video cable.
  • Some files can be shared from XBMC using the built-in UPnP server and files scanned into the Video library. XBMC will not currently transcode any files, so only file formats that your TV/device can natively playback will work. This will only work with video (so you won't see XBMC's GUI) and currently does not work with add-on content.

1.10 Can I install XBMC on a PS3, Xbox360, or Wii?

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  • Not to be confused with XBMC4Xbox, which is the continued effort to run XBMC on original Xbox hardware.
  • No. The required reverse engineering (to get access to the video acceleration hardware, among other things) has not happened on any of these game consoles. Further more, no one on Team XBMC feels that it is worth the effort to port XBMC to any of them, as it would be a huge undertaking.

1.11 Does XBMC still run on the original Xbox?

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  • Team XBMC no longer officially supports the original Xbox, but the group over at XBMC4Xbox does.

2 Videos

2.1 How do I add videos with summaries and that show up under "TV Shows" and "Movies" on the main menu?

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2.2 How do I update the library?

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There are several ways you can scan your videos into the Video library:

  • When a source or file has "content set" or changed, XBMC will ask you if you wish to update the library after you are done.
  • In Library view you can choose "Update library" from the lefthand sidebar menu by pressing (left).
  • Select the item in file view and either press I on the keyboard, or bring up the contextual menu (press C) and select "Movie information" or "TV show information"
    • If the file is already scanned in, you can also use the info screen to refresh/update that entry in the library.
  • You can select the share, folder, or TV show (anything that is basically a folder) that your videos are in and choose "Scan for new content" from the contextual menu (press C or Menu), which scans all files in that specific share/folder.
  • Have XBMC scan for new items upon start up by going to Settings -> Video -> Library -> Update library on startup
  • Add-on:XBMC Library Auto Update can be used to schedule automatic updates to the library.
  • Add-on:Library watchdog can be used to watch folders for new files to trigger library updates.

2.3 Why don't all movies/shows show up in my library?

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See: Adding videos to the library/Incorrect and missing content

2.4 How to separate the library (cartoons, documentaries, anime, etc) from normal listings

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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.

2.5 Bluray

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  • XBMC can playback unencrypted bluray discs and bluray images. There is limited support for some bluray menus.

2.6 Can XBMC handle multi-part movie files?

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  • 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.

File stacking only works for movies and does not work yet for TV shows.

  • File stacking is currently only available for movies and not for TV shows or music videos.

2.7 Movie series and sets

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  • XBMC can optionally sort your movies into sets for better organization. Movies sets are for sequels or movies that are otherwise apart of a directly related series, rather than a genre or playlist. Movies can only be in one set at a time. Movie sets can be defined by the scraper, by NFO files, or by using XBMC's built-in sets editor.

2.8 How do I add or remove a movie from a movie set?

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  • There are a few ways to add/remove a movie from a movie set. One easy way is to use the XWMM add-on. To remove a movie from a set using XWMM, simply delete the text in the "movie set" field for that movie and save.

2.9 How do I automatically play the next video?

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  • As of XBMC v12 you can turn on automatic playing of the next video by going to Settings -> Videos -> Playback -> Play next video automatically
  • While selecting the video you wish to start at, bring up the contextual menu (press C) and select "Play from here".
  • You can also play all items in a folder by selecting the folder and selecting "Play" from the contextual menu (press C).

3 Music

3.1 How do I add music to the library?

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3.2 Why doesn't all of my music/info show up in my library?

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  • Most of the information for music is pulled from the embedded music tags inside the file. Make sure your music files are tagged correctly.
  • Some tags might show up in other programs, but might still be damaged or invalid for the tag standard, causing issues in XBMC.
  • You can use a program such as MusicBrainz Picard to easily tag files or fix broken tags. See also Category:Music tools for other programs.

4 Add-ons

4.1 What are add-ons?

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  • Add-ons are a way of extending XBMC's functionality easily. Common add-ons include: Skins, Scrapers, Video Add-ons, Subtitle downloaders but many more are available.

4.2 How do I install add-ons?

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4.3 Where can I find unofficial add-ons/skins?

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  • Add-ons not included in the official XBMC repository can be obtained by using unofficial repositories or installing the add-on using Install from Zip file option. The two main sources for finding unofficial repos and add-ons are 3rd party add-on repositories and the XBMC Add-on support forums.

4.4 What should I do when Addon repositories dont list any contents?

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See Empty repositories listing

4.5 Where do I get help with add-ons or skins?

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  • You can get help with add-ons at the XBMC Add-on support forums, with some add-ons even having dedicated threads with FAQs, and more. For skins see the XBMC Skin support forums, which has sub-forums for several skins as well as general help threads. Be sure to use the search function to see if your question has been answered before.

5 Special features

5.1 Netflix, LoveFilm, and other Silverlight-based video services

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  • Both Netflix and LoveFilm use silverlight, making it all but impossible to play inside of XBMC directly, even with an add-on. Sometimes there are add-ons for XBMC that will launch a web browser to load the service, but you will require an OS that has silverlight support (Mac OS X or Windows).
  • Editor note: Know of a guide for Advanced Launcher, or a working add-on for launching Netflix or LoveFilm? Feel free to add that info/links here

5.2 Hulu, Amazon, and other Flash-based video services

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  • While XBMC does not have Flash video support directly, very often videos can be extracted from the Flash video stream/file container. Some sites also have non-flash video streams that can be accessed from within XBMC. Sometimes these streams/files can be accessed by using a STRM file, while others are more complicated and need an add-on to access the content. For example, there is an add-on for Hulu and Amazon Prime video services (see Bluecop's add-on repo for both). Be sure to check out Category:Video add-ons and the XBMC forums to see what is currently available.

5.3 Live TV, DVR, PVR

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See: PVR

5.4 AirPlay

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6 Troubleshooting

6.1 Reporting bugs

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6.2 Platform/OS specific troubleshooting

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6.3 Getting more help

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6.4 Cache full messages and constant buffering

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  • This message refers to the playback cache that XBMC uses when a video is loading/streaming from the network (local or internet). It indicates that the video is loading too slowly for XBMC to play it back smoothly, and XBMC can't fully buffer it without having to buffer again as the video plays. The common cause for this is simply a slow connection to the file, often on the server's connection.
  • The cache is loaded in RAM and is cleared out every time a video is stopped.
  • Cache settings can be adjusted using advancedsettings.xml. See: HOW-TO:Modify the video cache.

6.5 Not all videos are scanned into the library

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See: Incorrect and missing videos

6.6 Previously watched videos are no longer listed

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  • Bring up the side menu (arrow over left or right on a keyboard or remote) and toggle the "Hide Watched" option.

6.7 No sound and red speaker icon in the corner

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Mute.png
This means that XBMC is muted. Turn the volume up.

6.8 Is there a list of some known issues?

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See: Common issues
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