Categories for Movies or TV Shows to reduce screen clutter

I recently posted this question on the KODI forum and got this response:

How can I have categories for various Movie or TV Show content types? For example, for movies and/or TV Shows: comedies, Science Fiction, mysteries, …
See…Custom home items - Official Kodi Wiki

In that link they say that special skins are needed to create categories. Are there such skins available within OSMC/KODI? Or is there a better way? Thanks…RDK

I use Arctic horizon … very beautiful skin,with al the needs you want👌🏻

Thanks. I’ll give it a try this evening…RDK

I use Aeon Nox Silvio. It takes some effort to get it right but you can name the categories anything you want. That does mean you have to organize all you movies by hand in new folders.

You can do the kind of customization that the wiki you linked outlines with the OSMC skin. There is a how-to about customizing the main menu [here]. That being said, are you sure that is the route you want to go? Have you tried clicking on the “…” at the top of the list in library view?

Ok folks. Thanks for the info and the pushback!!! I’ll do some more exploring before I make any significant changes

@ bezulsqy and darkmantom as I’m looking into this further, can you supply more details (references or text here) on what changes you had to make to your OSMC and KODI setup and file structure to implement the categories?

Thanks…RDK

@ darwindesign…OK, I read the link and before walking down that path I’m wonder if I can start the modification process, but if I’m not happy revert to the original OSMC skin. IE, can I save the original skin or, if needed, restore it from a repository? I always like a fallback option in case things don’t work out…RDK

@rdk45 if you want to @ someone it doesn’t work if you add a space.

There is a backup option in the My OSMC add-on that can backup and restore all of Kodi’s settings including the skin. There is also a reset option in the OSMC skin settings if you just needed to reset that skin by itself.

So you found the built in categories and still decided to follow down this path? From what you posted on Kodi it sounded like you had a modest size library and limited technical skillset and to me this seemed like this particular path was not the best fit.

I can tell you it can be a lot of work. With the skin I use I have to create smart playlists for each category. Because I have multiple HD’s I had to do that for each HD. I took some trial and error to get the correct path.

However, you can always switch between the OSMC skin and the other skin you are using.

For my skin go: How To: Custom Home Items using Aeon Nox Silvo - Official Kodi Wiki
You see that you have to do a lot of work and structuring.

@bezulsqy …OK, thanks. I have enough on m y plate right now so that I don’t need more complications. Thanks for your thoughts…RDK

I use 2 approaches:

  1. view by genres. This has the benefit that it’s an out-of-the-box feature, and the genres are already generated for you, with the drawback that you have to just trust the how things are indexed by your metadata provider (tmdb)
  2. (more involved). 1st, organize all movies into “category” sub-directories. 2nd use a metadata manager to populate nfos for everything (TinyMediaManager, MediaElch, etc). 3rd, use a shell script to remove the <tag></tag> from all the nfos, and replace them with a <tag> that matches the subdirectory. 4th, create a playlist that groups by tag.

For music, you can just add each “category” directory as a separate source, and then view the sources, but TV and Movies don’t seem to have the ability to view by sources.

In the same theme of your option two you could edit the genre using NFO files.

If your moving your files into category subfolders why not just make a playlist that grabs by source path and save yourself all the work of messing with nfo files in the first place.

Some skins like Estuary point have main menu items that point directly the the library view so it can’t be changed without actually modifying the skin itself. Other skins like the OSMC skin allow for you to point to a node or playlist and either can have a path function.

Well, I’ve got multiple types of playlists, other than the category thing. I wanted to have menu item that opens up a list of categories (for which I’ve created icons), similar to the genre screen. I left genres “as is” because its sometimes useful to see a movie is “fantasy/mystery/action” (multiple genres). So, after overriding the Tag for everything, I can use one playlist, and attach it as a menu item (and as a widget on the main screen). I tried the “playlist for each category” approach, couldn’t get it to do what I wanted. (display a list of my categories)

It still sounds to me like you could still have skipped the NFO’s and messing with <tag> altogether if your new <tag> is only redundant to where the file path is. Unless I’m missing something here (which certainly isn’t out of the question) your kind of going the long way round and this method requires ongoing effort when adding new media beyond simply putting the media in the folder that relates to where you want it to show up in Kodi.

Well, all I had to do was write one more shell script up update the tags, and that’s it. Since I use nfo’s anyway (I do a lot other things that also require scripts to manipulate the metadata, not all of them for kodi), it was the simplest solution. (note scanning is orders of magnitude faster when all the data is present in the nfo) I do other things like clean up the actor/role names so that I can link to role based images (like thetvdb has) for the actor instead of displaying the same generic image on each show the actor is in, and manipulate the sort-title (to use collection name+release date), “normalize” some genres, and so forth. (I’ve got a customized skin that does a done of stuff that Kodi does not support natively)

And when it was time to display the “category” icon image, that requires the category to be in the kodi metadata so that the skin can access it. Tag was the one I chose to use for that. (the media file “path” was not useful, because it was not exposed to the skin in a way that made it easy to use as an icon link)

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Thanks folks, but for now I will leave things as they are. I have better things to do right now and some of these options “sound” overly complicated.

Maybe later after I get my content all added. Thanks again…RDK