OSMC skin usability

Dear friends,
I had my RPi with Kodi and Confluence for quite a while so might be suffering from too much of an habit but find the OSMC layout on my new Vero somewhat confusing and after a while installed the Confluence skin and feel better :smile:

Is there a thread on “How to do X as I used to under Confluence ?” or similar ?

For one thing I can only see my movies in one List layout which I don’t like too much since it gives me no clues as to what I have before or after the title I’m looking at.

Thanks !!!

The skin is being heavily worked on so we don’t have a skin guide just yet. The skin settings and functions should be in the same place as in the confluence skin. All the layouts that confluence offers is not yet ready for the osmc skin. but more will come :smile:

Thank you very much. If I may point out the two things that I personally find confusing/not optimal:

a) When I scroll through lists such as the movies list, the highlighted item is right at the top so I can see only the subsequent items but navigationally have no clue as to what’s before that. Would it be at all possible to have the current item pinned at the MIDDLE of the list ?

b) In some screens I really have no clue as to what is the selected item and on which direction to go to select what I need.

Keep up the good work and take care.

The upcoming versions of the skin will be much clearer about what is selected.
I agree with the list issue. I’ll forward that on to the skin dev.

It’s a skin. You need to poke around and “learn” it. In looking at most of the popular skins on the Kodi skins forum, I have yet to find ANY that include a guide on how to use it. It’s ALL Kodi, no matter what skin it’s wearing. The combined time/effort of OSMC staff to write a guide and you to take time to read it would be far more than the time it will take you to explore on your own. Enable expert settings so that you are able to see all the available options. These options have not been given any special, cryptic names in the OSMC skin. They are the same Kodi options in any skin so, they can easily be looked up by searching the “[option name] kodi wiki” in google or similar. Kodi is Kodi… The official Kodi wiki is far more informative than any guide we could put together.

Unfortunately the menu sequences for the Confluence and OSMC skins are not quite the same at times - most notably to get to “My OSMC” which even has a different name (“OSMC Settings”) under Confluence if I remember correctly. I suspect rjalex’s needs could be met by a few equivalence statements such as:

{OSMC} Settings = {Kodi} System - Settings
{OSMC} My OSMC = {Kodi} System - Settings - … - AddOns - OSMC Settings

I would be happy to start generating such a list if the OSMC skin is unlikely to change much in these respects.


Hey, one quick question:

With confluence skin we can see the ratings of movies/episode series and the quality of the file (SD or HD), with OSMC skin that is not available, only when we select to see the info of that movie/episode. Any plans to change that?

I think you’ve kind of missed the point of skins - they allow the user interface to be heavily customised and rearranged. Different skins don’t have a one to one functional correspondence with Confluence - they’re not just Confluence with a lick of paint.

Try a few other skins such as Xperienence1080, Nebula and Arctic Zephyr, and you’ll find that while they’re all very good skins they’re very very different from each other and from Confluence. You could be forgiven for wondering if you are still running Kodi they’re that different, both visually, and functionally. That’s the point.

I’ve also never seen any documentation of significance for Kodi skins - it’s always been a case of poking around, looking through all the menus and options and learning where things are.

I’m afraid you have not understood the point I was trying to make, and I feel you are looking at the issue from the point of view of a software developer rather than a user. I appreciated what the aim of skins is, though perhaps not the extent to which Kodi allows the menu system to be re-arranged until I read you comments.

If you look at the issue from the point of view of a new user of Kodi, a change of skin effectively creates something that seems totally different, and the underlying Kodi code being largely irrelevant. The best Kodi documentation I can find is based on the Confluence skin, and to a new user of OSMC is at best very difficult to use at times. It seems to me that you have the following choices:

  1. Accept that OSMC is only for people who are willing to “poke around and learn it” as suggested by ActionA. If this is the case, please make this clear in the introductory paragraphs to OSMC on the web so as not to waste the time of those without the time and inclination to spend a lot of time getting it to work.
  2. Try to help people by pointing out the possibility of using the Confluence skin to new users (as I have done in my suggestions for a new user guide in http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/emjbtaps/OSMC/OSMC_New_UserGuide.doc on which I await comments from Sam) and producing the Confluence/OSMC selection sequence comparison I suggested above. No doubt others will be able to suggest other material that would help the new user once something was started and circulated.
  3. Produce a whole set of documentation for the OSMC skin - a very major undertaking.

ActionA has pointed out that no-one has adopted the last approach for other Kodi skins, but presumably there is one very fundamental difference - users of those skins have chosen not to use the Kodi default Confluence skin (possibly having already set up their system with Confluence!), but OSMC users have the OSMC skin as the default.

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You were also invited to add/edit the existing wiki that we have created. But you made your interest there clear. We’ve offered you a way to assist but you seem to be of the idea that your assistance will be provided your way or you’ll hit the highway… Except here you still are, complaining about documentation…


I appreciate your concerns.

As you say, we’re software developers – and this does put us under quite a lot of pressure! This is a problem however, that works both ways. As software developers, we endeavor to support as many as well as the most popular use cases possible. Users, conversely, are understandably only concerned about their specific use-case scenario.

We are already working on this – providing more documentation for our skin, as well as visual demonstrations. We are completely redesigning our skin as well, which makes us reluctant to invest greatly in documentation for it at the present time.

I have however, contacted you and we’ve had a discussion in another thread on how we encourage users to work on the documentation. I invited you to edit our Wiki as you saw fit however you did not seem wiling and have produced some alternative documents instead. Documents which our staff have done their best converting to markdown format for this forum.

Your link does not load at all. I have received a message from you with some instructions, as well as read your TV set up guide, where I gave some advice on how we should include TV firmware rather than make it a user set up step. We already bundle TV firmwares and WiFi firmwares and we are more than accommodating to add support for more devices this way. Your current methodology actually fragments the current OSMC documentation and software by splitting resources and fixes into links users must find for themselves.

Going back to the user case scenario vs software developer scenario. I have outlined how you can improve the project’s documentation, but you only seem to want to improve it to benefit yourself, and failing that, to publicly finger people who are spending their own free time on the project to make it great. While we don’t ask for user contributions, we do ask that when vocal users say we are lacking in a certain area, they undertake to improve the project in such area themselves or respect that we understand the gaps in our project and are doing our best to improve them ourselves.

If you are serious about contributing to the Wiki, please contact me personally for my direct line.


I’m sorry you feel I am trying to improve the documentation to help myself, when actually I am trying to improve it for people with the same limited experience as myself - if it was just for myself why on earth should I go to the trouble of writing it up with that level of care?

I’m glad to see Sam say that you are working on documentation for the OSMC skin, in spite of ActionA’s remarks.

To be honest, I am reaching the point where I feel that OSMC is not for me. I would not have started had I known the level of expertise expected of users, but was prepared to struggle on documenting my problems and solutions in the hope of helping others.



I would appreciate it greatly if you could point us towards a software package that provides the documentation you need, or even a list of topics we should look at expanding, so we can get a more complete idea on where we need to improve.

Sorry – but yet again I have offered to sit down and have a discussion about how we talk about improving the Wiki, but you have decided not to.


Sorry to see my thread has generated conflict rather than collaboration. I’d like it to revert to a place where the OSMC skin developers would either address what we users feel are usability concerns or point out where we can know about plans that point to either a future direction for things that are not there right now.

In an attempt to steer back the discussion on usability:

I’m a little puzzled as to why some settings are under settings while others are under my OSMC, just as an example I’d love to have the network setting under the former and not the latter.

Thank you all.

Yep I agree with you.



I see. Thank you

@ Sam

Have sent you answers to your questions by pm.


I’m pretty sure that’s coming. @HitcherUK right?

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Would it be possible for us users to have visibility in what features are being worked at ? This would avoid some unnecessary load on the burdened developers.