Kodi initial setup guide on how to add videos, movies, music and photos, how to install add-ons and repositories
We have already written in another article about how with Kodi every PC becomes a multimedia player for the TV tooalso reporting the fact that Kodi can access live web TV and streaming content thanks to its numerous add-ons.
In the following guide we will find out how to watch movies and streaming on Kodiusing it both to index films that may be present as video files on the PC (for traditionalists) and as view streaming content via dedicated addons.
READ ALSO -> Best media center apps for Android
1) What is Kodi?
For those who don’t know it yet, Kodi is one of those applications Media Center per PC, initially known as Xbox Media Center or XBMC. Kodi’s most significant strength is the fact that it is open source and that it is not a for-profit software for some company.
Kodi development is kept alive by a community of programmers and developers who make changes to the code and add new features through add-ons. Kodi does not provide content, but is an audio and video multimedia content manager.
This is important to know because if you don’t have videos and music on your computer, Kodi remains an empty box, especially if you don’t add content repositories and add-ons. Furthermore, the customization and initial configuration of Kodi requires some effort, which will however be well repaid by the enormous features of this software.
Keep in mind that if we want a program that is easier to use and have no interest in adding repositories and streaming content, there are several very valid alternative a Kodi come Plex.
2) Install Kodi
Kodi is available for free on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (mobile and TV), iOS and Raspberry Pi.
You can download Kodi from official site where all the download links are located. On Windows you can install it both as a program and as an app from Microsoft Store, Kodi for Android it can be downloaded from the store while on iPhone and iPad the installation is more complicated because it is not available on the Apple Store (you need to follow a separate guide).
When you first launch Kodi on the left side of the screen, there are shortcuts for all the different media categories: movies, TV series, music, music videos, TV, radio, add-ons, images, videos, favorites, weather.
If you see Kodi in Englishyou need to set the language to Italian by pressing the gear button to enter the settings, then go up Interface Settings and change the language in the regional settings. In Settings > Skin Settings it is possible to change and remove the category entries on the home page, to make the list shorter.
Furthermore, the program starts in full screen by default, if you want it to open in a window instead you have to go to Settings > System Settings and change the Display mode putting “in the window“.
You can control Kodi with the mouse or keyboard. With the mouse you just have to take into account that the right mouse button has the “go back” function. There are more than 100 different keyboard shortcuts that you can use and the main ones are:
- F9 or -: volume down
- F10 o + : volume su
- Spacebar or P: Play/Pause
- X : Stop
- F : Fast forward
- A : Rewind
- Left arrow: Skip back 30 seconds
- Right arrow: Skip forward 30 seconds
- I : Shows information about the video currently playing
- T : Turn subtitles on or off
These combinations can also be modified with a “Keymap Editor” add-on or, for the more experienced, by modifying the file userdata.
For further information we can read the guide above how to control Kodi remotely with your smartphone.
3) Add media to Kodi
Although Kodi is an extremely powerful app on which experienced users can enjoy special and very varied tricks and functions, for the vast majority of people, Kodi is primarily for watching videos.
To enjoy Kodi as a Media Player you must, first of all, prepare your video files and let Kodi automatically download the metadata to describe them: illustrations, posters, summaries, descriptions and other information on the season number, number of episodes, actors, directors and much more.
Organizing video files means placing them in a specific folder structure on your PC and renaming the files in a certain way. So, for a TV series, the files for each episode must be in the folder Title Series / Season X.
Each episode must have a name like S05E02 say season 5 episode 2. Specials should be placed in the following folder structure: /Series Name/Specials/. Movie files can be saved as standalone files or saved in a folder called Film with name Film Name (Year).
In Kodi, press on the section Film or that TV series and then select File e Add Video to add the video source, i.e. the folder where the films or TV series are located. When adding the source you need to press on Set content and tell Kodi if it is a film or TV series or something else, so you can give it input when searching for information and metadata.
After the scan, the main Kodi page in the Movies section will be populated with posters of the various contents and a sort of really convenient video library will be created for choosing what you want to see.
Adding music to Kodi
Even for music you must select the folder that acts as the source and let Kodi create the metadata to find the songs according to the artist or genre. However, music files should be organized on the PC with a folder structure like this: Artist > Album > title.
If we were not yet organized, it is possible to use programs to rename MP3, manage music tags on PC like Musicbrainz. Adding your music collection to Kodi, if organized by artist and album, will be like browsing CD covers and it becomes very easy to create playlists.
Add Photo collection
Adding photos and images to Kodi requires much less preparation and you just need to add the folder with the photos on your PC as the source. Kodi offers some features to make viewing images more enjoyable, viewing them in a shuffle scrolling slideshow or in other ways.
4) Add streaming content to Kodi
Kodi’s functions can be dramatically increased through Add-ons. To add streaming features to the Kodi app you need to go to the left side of the home screen, press on Add-onpress on Download and choose what to add.
Radio in streaming
To listen to the radio online, press on Add-on musicapress on the add-on Radio and click on Install. At the end of the installation let’s go back to the Kodi Home, let’s go in Add-onwe click on Radiowe press on Local radios and we choose which Italian radio to stream. We can also use the button Browse by country, Browse by city, Browse by language o Search for a station to find the radio station to play.
Streaming channels and videos
To view some streaming channels, just go there Add-on -> Scaricaclick on Add-on Video and choose what to add from the list.
From the official repository we can download the add-ons to see the contents of Mediaset Infinity, Sky Video Italia, Red Bull TV, Rai Play, Pluto TV, Twitch, Vimeo and numerous foreign channels.
IPTV list manager
Kodi is also famous as an excellent IPTV list manager, particularly for those who want to access this type of content from a PC (where high-quality apps are scarce).
To add a convenient IPTV list manager, all we have to do is take us along the path Add-on -> Scaricaclick on Client PVR and install the add-on IPTV Simple Clientaccepting the recommended dependencies and configuring everything necessary to access the list.
For further information we can also read our guide on how to load IPTV lists to watch on Smart TV, Android Box, Chromecast.
This guide should be enough for you use Kodi right away for multimedia content and streamingthen leaving the user to search for more advanced guides, especially in the search for repositories and addons, which are constantly evolving.
To learn more we can read our guides on how to install Kodi on Fire TV Stick to manage movie collection and on best apps to have on Android TV Box.