How to collect and share media files in Kodi

Many people keep media files rather fragmented, so they have little knowledge of which movies and music they own. Think of MP3s on a lost portable music player and secretly downloaded movies on a laptop. From now on, keep everything neatly together with the help of Kodi, so that you can play all media files on the desired device.

Tip 01: Collect media

Before you get started with Kodi, it is important that the media files are stored somewhere on a computer. This can be any system, as long as the PC or laptop is connected to the home network. Copy music files from an MP3 player and snapshots from the camera to the computer. Kodi is not simply able to index the content of mobile devices, so you also prefer to store valuable data from a smartphone or tablet on a computer. For an optimal result, it is nice if the folder and file name contain the title of the film or series, while series also have a season and episode number. For example, the fifth episode of the third season of Breaking Bad would be written as Breaking Bad S03E05 (season 03, episode 05). For films, put the year in parentheses. It is important to save films and series in separate (umbrella) folders. Kodi can then retrieve additional information about the titles later in this article, so that descriptions and images appear in the catalog.

Tip 02: Share folder

Are your media files stored on different computers, while you want to play them from one user environment? No problem, although it is a condition that you share the media folders with other systems in the home network. You can easily do this in Windows. In Windows Explorer, right-click on the media folder and select Characteristics. Through the tab To share click the button To share. Now click on the arrow and select your name or, if necessary, the user account of another family member. It is important that you log on the systems with the correct user account to enable map sharing. For convenience, you can also select Everyone, so that any system with any user account on your home network can access the folder. Confirm with Add / Share / Done / Close.

Easily share media folders with other systems within the home network

Tip 03: Install Kodi

Kodi has been a popular program among media enthusiasts for many years. This software is free, easy to use and incredibly versatile. With Kodi you can transform practically any computer into a media player that plays just about any media format without murmuring. Install this program on a machine that you use to watch movies and series. This can be, for example, an (old) laptop or mini PC that you then connect to a television. You can install Kodi without any problems under the operating systems Windows, macOS and the best-known Linux distributions. There is also a version for Android. A welcome addition, as there are quite a few Android-based media players in circulation. The Nvidia Shield TV, Venz V10 and Cood-E TV 4K are well-known examples of this. Finally, tinkerers can also convert a Raspberry Pi into a media player. Preferably install Kodi on a system on which you can also use an (optionally available) remote control.


If you only want to install Kodi on a computer, the Linux distribution LibreELEC is worth considering. After installing this operating system, you can only access Kodi. There are minimal system requirements for LibreELEC, so that you can use this operating system on an older PC or laptop. In addition, it also works on many media players and the Raspberry Pi. Finally, under the product name Eminent EM7680, a ready-to-use media player with a pre-installed version of LibreELEC is available. If you search carefully, you will find this product for less than 100 euros.

Tip 04: First use

Once you have installed Kodi on a suitable device, you will see an English language user interface. However, you can also use the program in Dutch. At the top left, choose the tools icon to open the settings. Navigate to Interface / Regional and change at Language the language to English. Within seconds, Kodi now activates the Dutch language. You return to the previous screen by pressing the right mouse button or Escape. If you have a remote control, you usually press the button back.

Tip 05: Settings

From a practical point of view, it is wise to change some settings in advance. This prevents, among other things, that you have to deal with faltering images or that you cannot find newly added videos. Within the settings, go to Player / Videos and choose the part Adjust screen refresh rate. Confirm with All the time. That prevents Kodi from using a wrong refresh rate, causing the images to stutter. Return to settings and go to Media / Library. Both at Video library if music library activate the switch at the back Update library on startup. Now new movies in Kodi are also visible as soon as you start the program. Have you connected the machine directly to a receiver or soundbar? In that case, it is smart to take a look at the sound settings. From the settings go to System / Sound and choose at Sound output device the correct device. Also check the number of channels, in case you want to listen to movies with surround sound over more than two speakers. Most modern receivers and soundbars can decode surround formats, such as dts and dolby digital, with their own hands. In that case, activate the rear switch Allow transit. Choose on the left for Default and if necessary indicate per surround format whether you want to outsource the decoding to the amplifier.

Tip 06: Add movies

In the main window you will see categories like Movies, Series, Music, Pictures and Videos to stand. The content of this is still empty. Kodi first wants to know where the files are stored. It does not matter whether the files are on the current PC or another system on the network, as long as you have shared the folder (see tip 2). You can also easily add the contents of a NAS to Kodi. From the main window, go to Movies / Files / Add Videos / Browse. Are the media files on the current system? Then click on the drive letter and browse to the correct media folder. If the films are stored on another PC, laptop or NAS, choose Windows network (SMB). Then click on the system name and browse to the folder containing the media files. Confirm with OK and come up with a name for this media location. Behind This Map contains point you the option Movies at. Choose via Institutions Bee Preferred Language in front of NL and close the window with OK. As soon as you confirm with OK / Yes, Kodi adds the titles to the library.

Add series

Adding series works almost the same as adding feature films (see tip 6). From the main window, go to Series / Files / Add Videos, after which you locate the correct media folder. It is important that you are in the window Assign content indicates that the folder contains series. Because of this, Kodi is able to retrieve interesting data about the media files from the web.

Tip 07: Movie information

After you add movies and series, the main Kodi window suddenly looks a lot more colorful. The program shows the covers of the titles. Would you like more information about a certain film? Select an image, open the context menu (e.g. right-click) and choose Information. When using a remote control, you usually press i or info to view additional information. You can read a brief description and see how the film was judged by the audience. You can also see which actors and actresses are participating. You can also play a trailer. Would you rather display movie data directly in the menu? Then go back to the main window and click Movies. As soon as you hover the mouse pointer over a title, the information will appear on the screen. Choose via Options / View type possibly for a different view.

Kodi automatically adds extra data to the movie library

Tip 08: Play movie

Depending on the place within Kodi you choose the right film cover or select Play to start playback. In the case of a series, you also choose the desired episode. Sometimes it is necessary to change the audio track, for example if you do not hear surround sound or the spoken language is not right to your taste. Choose from the gear icon Institutions bottom right front Sound settings. Bee sound channel then point to the desired audio track. If image and sound are not synchronized, you can solve that problem with Synchronize sound. Go back to the settings screen and choose Subtitle Settings to turn subtitles on or off. Finally, select behind Subtitle the right language.

Download subtitles

While watching a movie, you can possibly retrieve missing subtitles, although you do have to install an extension within Kodi for this. First surf to and create a new account. From the main media program window, go to Settings (gear icon) / Add-ons / Install from repository / Subtitles / and choose to install. After the installation you open again, after which you choose Configure. Bee username and password enter the username and password respectively. Confirm with OK and start a movie. Through Settings / Subtitle Settings / Download Subtitle select the correct subtitle file. Chances are that Kodi only shows English subtitles. In that case, from the main window, go to Settings (gear icon) / Player / Language and select at Languages of subtitles to download the option English.

Tip 09: Add music

In addition to movies and series, you may also want to add music to the media library. In the main window you navigate to Music / Files / Add Music and select with To leaf through the audio files folder. Confirm with OK and optionally give this media location a name. Choose OK / Yes to integrate the files within Kodi. Album covers are now visible in the main window. Kodi organizes the music library based on the metadata (tags) of the present music files. If this information is incorrect, Kodi may not recognize the music correctly. If necessary, you can adjust the metadata of audio files with a specialized program such as MusicBrainz Picard or Mp3tag.

Tip 10: Rip Audio CDs

If you still have a lot of audio CDs lying around, you can easily store them digitally in Kodi. The advantage of this is that you can play the music files on different devices, such as a computer, audio streamer or smart TV (see tip 11). Insert the disc into the CD/DVD drive of the computer and in the main window choose Copy Disc / CD. You now browse to the folder in which you want to save the album and confirm with OK. Then Kodi immediately starts the ripping process, where you follow the progress at the top right. It is nice that the media program automatically links the correct metadata to the songs.

By default, the program saves ripped CDs as an m4a file. Would you prefer a different format, for example the common format mp3 or the better quality flac? From the main window, go to Institutions (gear icon) / Add-ons / Install from Repository / Audio Encoders. In this example you open Flac Audio Encoder and Lame MP3 Audio Encoder, where you choose Install. Return to the settings screen and go to Player / Discs. With the toggle function at the bottom left, make sure that the expert settings are open. You are now pointing via encoder a different audio format. You are the last to change via Institutions as needed, the quality of the stored songs.

Photos and videos

You use the categories in Kodi Videos and Pictures to add your own footage. The media program inherits the underlying folder structure of the added file location. It is therefore important that you provide a logical layout yourself, so that you can easily find your own images. It is interesting that Kodi shows various details in photos, such as the resolution, focal length and shutter speed. Are you viewing a full screen image and is the image tilted? Press the R key to rotate the photo. You also request additional image data with O. Finally, use the number keys to zoom in.

With a media server you make films, series and music available for other devices

Tip 11: Media server

Instead of media player, you can use Kodi just as easily as media server. This makes the complete media library available to other playback devices within your home network. Think, for example, of a smart TV, audio streamer or other computer. Go to Settings (gear icon) / Services / UPnP/DLNA and activate the option Enable UPnP support. In addition, you also switch the options Share my libraries and Allow remote control via UPnP in. Now see if you can access the Kodi media server from another playback device within the home network. With a smart TV, you usually do this by opening the input sources with the remote control, while you search for network sources on a media player.

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