In XBMC one of the things that is probably the most important is to get the software hooked up to your personal media. This includes media from all of your various collections like videos, pictures, and music. If you’re new to XBMC you’ll probably be better off adding your first source or two through the XBMC interface, but after that you can make the changes a little more quickly by directly updating the appropriate configuration file. So we will show you both ways.
We will even take things a step further and explain how you can have all your XBMC instances share the same configuration file. With that in place anytime you add a new source to the configuration file that same source will be added to any XBMC instance using that file.
Note that our tutorials below are going to focus on videos, but a similar process can also be applied to music and pictures.
Adding Sources in XBMC
Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to add your media to XBMC through the built-in interface.
- Go to Videos -> Files -> Add Videos
- XBMC will let you add sources in one of two ways:
- Click the Browse button and browse for your media based on the type of source:
- If you know the path to your media source you can just enter it in manually:
Highlight the None option and press Enter:
Enter in the path and select Done:
- Click the Browse button and browse for your media based on the type of source:
- Enter a name for your media source at the bottom of the window and press Enter:
- Select the type of media the folder contains so that it can scrape information from the Internet for each of the files contained within the folder:
Adding Sources in the Config File
If you have a ton of folders that you want added to XBMC then using the interface above may not be the most efficient and practical method. You can speed things up a bit by editing the configuration file directly. For starters go ahead and close out of XBMC, and then navigate to your profile folder:
- Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/XBMC/userdata/
- Windows: %appdata%\XBMC\userdata\
Once in your profile directory find and open up the sources.xml file. If the file doesn’t already exist I recommend adding a source in the XBMC interface first so that you can see what the structure of the file looks like. When it comes to videos you’ll be adding nodes in the <video> section of the file that look like this:
In my particular case this will create a source pointing to a shared SMB/Samba/CIFS folder for movies that I had set up. You can also use paths to local folders or any of the supported source types.
There is one caveat that I should mention about adding media directly through the sources XML file. While any changes you make to the file should be reflected in XBMC once you restart the app you’ll still need to go in and update the type of videos contained in the source. Here’s what you need to do:
- In XBMC go the Videos -> Files
- Highlight the source you just added, and then open the context menu by pressing “C” on the keyboard. Then select the Change Content option:
- Now you can choose the type of media contained in the source (TV shows, movies, music videos):
Sharing One Config File
How about we take a look at sharing the XML file now that you have already familiarized yourself with the file itself. The process is pretty simple, and for a more detailed explanation I will refer you to our guide on sharing configuration files in XBMC.
For more experienced users I will point out that all you need to do is add the following lines to your advancedsettings.xml file:
Just update the path with the shared location of the sources.xml file. Repeat this process for every instance of XBMC you have running in your house and they should all pick up any sources that you add or remove.
After doing all of this may need to run through the steps mentioned above for setting the content type on each of the sources since that’s not configurable through the sources.xml file, but that’s just a minor step.
CyberNet’s XBMC Guides:
- XBMC: Introduction to Our Upcoming Guides
Our introduction provides some of the deciding factors for switching from Windows Media Center to XBMC.
- XBMC: Build Your Own HTPC
Our extensive guide on the hardware we chose for our home theater PCs (HTPCs), the cost, and some tips on choosing the hardware for your own HTPC.
- XBMC: Prepare and Optimize Windows 7
A helpful list of tips to optimize the performance of Windows 7 so that the system is able to offer as many resources to XBMC as it can.
- XBMC: IR Receiver and Remote (Harmony, Xbox 360, and More)
If you want your HTPC to operate like a set-top box you’ll definitely want to get a remote control configured, and for me this was a critical step so that I wouldn’t have to be concerned about less tech-savvy users trying to use my TV.
- XBMC: Share and Sync Media/Settings Between Multiple XBMC Installs
Configuring XBMC to share settings between multiple instances means you’ll be able to stop a show in one room, and seamlessly pick up where you left off in another room.
- XBMC: Fit the Picture to Your TV with Overscan
If XBMC doesn’t fit your TV screen perfectly there are a couple of steps you can take to get it just right.
- XBMC: Installing Skins
How to tweak the appearance of XBMC so that it looks the way you want it to.
- XBMC: Custom Home Screen Menu Backgrounds
Make the backgrounds of your chosen skin/theme a little more interesting by having it flip through artwork from your favorite TV shows and movies.
- XBMC: Dynamic Weather Backgrounds
If you’re using the Aeon MQ 3 theme you can have it use dynamic wallpapers that change based on the time of day and current weather conditions.
- XBMC: SMB on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)
I use a Mac to serve up files to my XBMC instances running on Windows, and so my preferred protocol for sharing files is SMB. This guide explains how you can get a XBMC-compatible version of SMB running on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
- XBMC: Adding Media Sources
Learn how to add your media to XBMC and turn on the appropriate content scrapers.
- XBMC: Troubleshoot Buffering Issues
Trying to troubleshoot buffer issues in XBMC can be quite a pain, and so I lay out some of the most common culprits.
- XBMC: Test Your HTPC with High Bitrate Sample Videos
Want to see how well your HTPC performs? Throw some of these high bitrate 1080p sample videos at it.
- XBMC: More Advanced Settings
Configure some of the settings that you won’t find anywhere in the GUI.
- XBMC: Stream Hulu, Food Network, and More
Thanks to add-ons you can stream videos from some of your favorite sources including Hulu, Food Network, HGTV, TWiT, and more.
- XBMC: AirPlay on Windows
Send videos from your iOS device to any XBMC instance with very little configuration.
- XBMC: Web Interface and Chrome Extension
As long as you are on the same network as your XBMC box you can control it from any browser using the built-in web interface, or you can install a Chrome extension to make it even easier.
- XBMC: iPhone and iPad Remote
If you own an iPhone or iPad you can enjoy one of the best XBMC remote control experiences I’ve seen, and it will only cost you a few bucks.
- XBMC: A List of Our Guides, Plus Helpful Wiki and Forum Posts
A recap of all the guides we’ve written as well as useful wiki and forum post from the official XBMC.org site.
- XBMC: Free and Official iOS Remote for XBMC Released
This is the free and official XBMC remote control iOS app (optimized for both the iPhone and iPad). It will let you easily control all of the XBMC instances in your house as long as they are all on the same network.
- XBMC: Running XBMC on Startup in Windows 8
Learn how you can make XBMC start automatically when Windows 8 boots.
- XBMC: Send YouTube Videos From Chrome to XBMC
Send YouTube videos from your PC to any XBMC instance in a single click.
- XBMC: Aeon MQ 4 Skin
If you’re looking for one of the best and most popular XBMC skins the Aeon MQ 4 is a great choice.
- XBMC: Android Widget Remote Control
Control multiple instances of XBMC without ever having to open an app on your Android device!