How to use Kodi and how it works

Using Kodi, formerly known as XBMC, is very simple. After installing and opening this free, open-source program, you will find yourself in front of its interface that runs full-screen horizontally. In the add-on, we will see a menu or list on the left-hand side that gives access to the different types of content while on the right-hand side, we will have all of the options related to the menu section we are in.

Kodi’s home screen or main windowKodi’s home screen or main window

At the top of the menu on the left, you will see some key buttons: the power button, the setup button, and the search button.

Upper options on Kodi’s side menuUpper options on Kodi’s side menu

Kodi is a media center, but initially, it does not show content of any kind, it is empty. The easiest way to get started is to import the media content you store locally on your device (video, images or audio). To do so, enter the settings through that gear-shaped button and access the File Manager section:

From here you can import multimedia contentFrom here you can import multimedia content

Tap on Add Source and a file browser will open.

Press here to add content sourcesPress here to add content sources

You will be able to browse all the directories on your device by choosing those where you store multimedia content that can be used in Kodi. Add as many folders as you want and tap Add to incorporate it into the app.

Choose as many content folders as you wishChoose as many content folders as you wish

From the side menu of the Home, it is also possible to add content. Simply access the section that corresponds to the content you want to add and click on the corresponding option to import content. This file browser will open for you to locate the folders containing your videos, audios, photos, and others.

The other option to provide content to Kodi, and possibly the most interesting, is to use the add-ons available. Add-ons are user-created extensions that can be added to Kodi for additional functionality or content. To see the available add-ons, find their section in the side menu. Once there, you can access the add-on search engine.

The Kodi add-ons sectionThe Kodi add-ons section

There are many online add-ons available. Move around the list until you find something of interest for you.

List of add-ons availableList of add-ons available

Tapping on one of these add-ons takes you to its information window. Tap Install in the lower right corner to add the plug-in to your Kodi client.

Press here to install an add-onPress here to install an add-on

Regularly, you will see that the add-on requires others to be installed for it to work properly. Do it as it is a common requirement.

Some add-ons require the installation of other extensions to workSome add-ons require the installation of other extensions to work

When the installation is complete, you will be notified in the interface and the add-on will become available in your add-on section. By the way, this section automatically organizes each installed add-on according to its nature so you can easily navigate them.

Add-on installed and ready to be usedAdd-on installed and ready to be used

Tap on its icon to see all its contents. For example, a biopic about the musician Ian Dury. Just tap on its input to start playing the content.

Content provided by an add-onContent provided by an add-on

Once you have selected the local content or installed add-ons, the use of Kodi is simplified: when you access the software, you can see on the interface all the available and indexed content, and you only have to click on one of the ad-dons to start playing it. Take advantage of the side menu to view videos, pictures, audios, and more.

Kodi's settings

Kodi’s settings sectionKodi’s settings section

In the Kodi settings section, you can make all the changes regarding the behavior of the app and its different modules.

  • File Manager: as we have seen before, from here, it is possible to import multimedia content from your device to the Kodi library.
  • Add-ons: all settings dedicated to working with add-ons. From here, you can not only access the browser as we have seen above but also access the option to install add-ons from ZIP files. Many add-ons do not appear in the reports that Kodi offers by default and must be previously downloaded from the Internet. In fact, many of the most successful add-ons must be installed with this system.
  • System information: here you will find the data related to the app and the operating system, such as used and available storage space, Internet connection data, the hardware you use or the version of the app installed.
  • Event log: a log record with all the changes that occur in the app.
  • Player: settings related to the Kodi media player, content languages or accessibility.
  • Media: source management of the content library.
  • PVR & Live TV: setting up video streaming and recording options
  • Services: different options related to the web server, UPnP and DLNA connections, AirPlay or the weather service to be used in the app.
  • Games: as the name suggests, settings related to game functionality.
  • Interface: an interesting section where you can change the skin of the app, the colors that the interface shows, the behavior of the screensaver or a very important detail, the general language.
  • Profiles: Kodi lets you create different profiles with your own settings, this is the section where you can manage these options.
  • System: a group of general settings related to the screen, audio and Internet access options, among other possibilities.