Real Basics Part 2

Pi 3 Model B Rev 1.2: I seem to have the hardware and OSMC software working. I have gotten the infrastructure to my TV area and the Pi is installed and I can manually play content from the attached 32 GB USB memory stick to both the TV and, via our network, to other PC’s. :slight_smile:

So now comes the part where I try to get fancy and use some of the other features of OSMC (KODI??). So here are my questions:

First off please do not send me to the Wiki, that site is using language and concepts which are not in my head, yet. I’m much better to start with “step-by-step” instructions/explanations.

  1. Is OSMC just a wrapper for KODI on my Pi?
  2. What is “scraping”? So far my content is all my photos and my videos in folders on the USB Stick. Well, not 100% true I have copied some music. What does “scraping” do and why would I want to do it?
  3. To start I would like to create some simple playlists for my videos. How do I do that? Do I have to “move” my content to a OSMC media library? Can play lists play only part of a video file?
  4. I have lots of family, vacation, etc photos. How can I create a photo show? And with background music? Random or specified order?
  5. Also playlists for the CD music files I copied from Windows.
  6. where can I find the documentation for connmanctl commands from the terminal command line?
  7. Finally, what do the “dot” icons next to the WiFi SSID’son the wireless setup screen mean? I see red, blue and white dots, depending on which SSID it is showing.

With answers to these questions, I can get started and then perhaps better understand the Wiki :frowning:

Thanks for your time and understanding…RDK

The difference between OSMC and Kodi is covered in the first question in the FAQ

Well, I can help you with the first two, at least.

OSMC is an operating system. It’s a version of Debian Linux, which is primarily designed to run Kodi, and launches Kodi automatically when it boots up.

Kodi itself is mostly developed by other people, although the OSMC guys do make some customised changes to the standard version.

A release of OSMC includes the operating system, an up to date Kodi release, some OSMC customisations to Kodi, and a Kodi skin (which you don’t have to use if you don’t want to).

This is something Kodi does to help you manage your media library. For each file in the library it contacts a database on the Internet, tries to identify what the file is, and then downloads additional information about it.

So, for example, if the file is a film, the scraper might download the director, actors, certificate information, date of release, a movie poster image, the film genre, etc. It can then display the poster when you’re browsing the library, and you can search the library for (for example) comedies, or films directed by a particular person, or films starring a particular person, etc.

OK, so what is the “Media Library”? Is that the same as the folders on my USB stick?

Since, for now my videos are all mine and not commercial movies, I assume scraping would not be useful. However for my music I suspect it may be handy. Thus, I have to somehow get my music into a KODI library? How does that happen?

This is a ridiculous statement and sentiment. Making such a statement seems to indicate that you are not really interested in learning anything, but simply want to blindly achieve outcomes by depending on the effort of others. Support personnel are often discouraged by those who don’t exhibit any desire to help themselves.

The Kodi wiki is very well written and for most basic concepts as you are inquiring, definitely doesn’t require an excessively high level of knowledge to comprehend. If you don’t understand something, google it!

These two questions in particular are quite simply and precisely explained in “step by step” manner under those exact heading titles in the link you were provided in your previous thread! Official Kodi Wiki

It becomes very tedious for support personnel to be required to repeatedly regurgitate the exact information that is already been made clearly and easily available. Please try just a bit harder to learn about and accomplish some of these basic things on your own. You will ultimately benefit from a much better Kodi experience and you’ll have a better idea of what configurations to look at if an issue arises, when you gain just a small understanding of how Kodi functions and is configured.


In the context of Kodi a Library is a database of information about your media. If your just browsing files then all you know is the file name. A library entry would show a proper title, description, artwork, etc.

It depends. You can make custom nfo files to add your own personal content to a Kodi library as well as add artwork. If you wanted to do playlists this would be required as Kodi will only do playlists of things in a library. The Kodi wiki that you didn’t want to be pointed to covers how to do this. I think doing it with TinyMediaManager would probably be easier than what the wiki outlines though.

When you highlight music from the main menu does it not tell you that you have to add a source (aka point it to where your music is)? Once you add a source it asks you if you want to scan. To update there is an option in the slideout menu. It is recommended that you run your music through the musicbrainz picard app to fix all your tags first as Kodi lacks options for fixing music matches and incorrect tags itself.

If you add a source folder to the Picture section and you click play over a picture it will start a slideshow. There is no method currently to make a playlist in Kodi for pictures although it is possible to manually make a text file with a .m3u file extension containing a list of the file paths to individual Pictures and then you will be able to play that playlist in the picture section.

You have to start playing the music manually and then move over to the picture section.

ActionA…OK, I consider myself properly chastised. In my defense I had visited the Wiki several times as Googled things I wanted to do. I was usually greeted by terms that I did not understand, ie scraping, or computer stuff like XLM code. I now assume that using Google took me into the “center” of the Wiki while I really needed to be starting closer to the beginning. Thanks for the start, but also realize that the concepts, technology and methods of OSMC and Kodi can be pretty strange and overwhelming to a novice…RDK

DarawinDesign…Thanks for your reply. With ActionA’s prodding and your very clear explanations, I was able yesterday to create a music “library” with 4 albums and then later add 4 more. Maybe today I will get back to the Wiki and nfo files , and the strange xml coding. Changing to the Estuary Kodi skin from my default OSMC skin may have helped as then the Wiki screen shots made “somewhat” more sense. Anyway, thanks for your time and help.

Your welcome. I think you missed ActionA’s point a bit though. Nobody here has an issue with questions, including basic ones, nor do they expect anyone to have a high level of knowledge about any particular topic. The biggest issue was your statement

It would be one thing to ask for further explanation on a topic that the Kodi wiki left you short on understanding. It is quite another to dismiss a source that you have not read because you assume it will be too difficult to understand. If your not familiar with what an xml file is then I would understand if you found something like nfo file generation a bit more difficult. However the wiki has a lot of information that is pertinent on the topic that is probably not easy to gain elsewhere. The wiki even points to multiple media managers that will allow you to generate nfo files without ever even looking at the inside of a XML file.


I guess my next task will be to better understand the xml based NFO files. As you suggested, I went to the Wiki for Media Managers. For my Raspberry Pi setup only MediaElch specifically mentions creating NFO files. Is this a good one for me to start with?

It mentions only movies and tv shows, is there a different application for music?

What function do you expect NFO files to provide for music? Is the standard music scraper not providing some piece of metadata you expect?

ActionA…My wife records her own music (voice and guitar) so I was really wondering if that would also be handled by the NFO files and thus also the Media Manager program…RDK

Understood. It’s not often we see Kodi used for such a situation as this where NFO files would be useful for a music library.

If the music is in a container that supports embedded tags then that would be how you would want to input information for those. There is lots of programs that let you edit tags and personally I find a program called Mp3tag to be very quick and easy. For commercial titles you would want to use MusicBrainz Picard as previously mentioned. If when you scrape Kodi matches your wifes music incorrectly to an online source then you will want to set settings>media>music>prefer online information>[disable]

Any media manager that is designed to work with Kodi is going to do so by creating nfo files afaik. I have only used TMM personally. I would suggest you try it and see if you like it. If something doesn’t work out for you then you can just delete the files it creates worst case. None of them should touch your actual media files (except for music tags if any of them deal with those).