0Constant Kodi Irritations

A few years back I migrated from Windows Media Centre to Kodi (thanks to Microsoft for ending support and development of MC). Kodi is widely used and very versatile, however it has never worked quite flawlessly and I continue to come across a range of annoying issues. Where I have found a solution I will document it below

1. Kodi doesn’t work with madvr as standard. [WORKAROUND]

One option is to use Kodi-dsplayer but this doesn’t seem to work with liveTV which is one of the main uses for my kodi system. The only alternative is to set up the use of external players in kodi which generally does work ok, but livetv is still played with the internal player

2. Setting a universal default view is difficult or impossible

I can’t find a way to set a “default view” for my emby media library with the aeon nox skin. It isn’t clear to me where this option should be – is it a skin responsibility? an emby responsibility? or a core app responsiblity? But this should *always* be available somewhere – it seems like pretty basic stuff to me

3. None of the weather providers work reliably. [FIXED]

I’ve tried several, some don’t work at all, some work for a few days and then stop. I eventually got the MET office plugin to work by registering for my own API key. Setting the locations is a bit fiddly but once done it seems to work.

4. Photo info on slideshows [FIXED]

Displaying info about photos on slideshows requires all sorts of manual coding which is in danger of being wiped out with every update. I have written a post on how to modify the slideshow screensaver, but not the actual slideshow.
To edit the regular slideshow depends on the theme. I use Aeon Nox Silvo. For this edit the file %AppData%\Kodi\addons\skin.aeon.nox.silvo\16x9\SlideShow.xml
Mine looks like this

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<window>
<defaultcontrol>2</defaultcontrol>
<controls>
<control type="label">
<description>Picture comment</description>
<posx>0</posx>
<posy>980</posy>
<width>1920</width>
<height>35</height>
<align>center</align>
<aligny>center</aligny>
<font>font15</font>
<textcolor>white</textcolor>
<label>$INFO[Slideshow.Caption]</label>
</control>
<control type="label">
<description>Picture details</description>
<posx>0</posx>
<posy>1030</posy>
<width>1920</width>
<height>35</height>
<align>center</align>
<aligny>center</aligny>
<font>font15</font>
<textcolor>white</textcolor>
<label>Taken with $INFO[Slideshow.CameraModel] on $INFO[Slideshow.EXIFDate]. $INFO[Slideshow.Byline]</label>
</control>
</controls>
</window>

5. The log system is horrible [FIXED]

Why would I want to prat about loading a plugin to view logs. Just give the logs sensible names and stick them all in a log folder somewhere where people can open them with whatever viewer they wish to use!
On windows logs can be found in %AppData%\Roaming\kodi

6. The emby addon for Kodi stops working with beta versions [FIXED]

Browse to %appdata%\kodi\userdata\Database and look for a file called myvideos###.db Make a note of the version (currently for me 112). Then edit the file %AppData%\Kodi\addons\plugin.video.emby\resources\lib\database.py and make sure the number matches (for me thi is on line 29) – it should say '18': 112 # Leia

7. Customising menus in Aeon Nox to point to emby folders [FIXED]

When creating custom menus in Aeon Nox there are a couple of routes to point to emby folders. One route prevents you from selecting the final subfolder (e.g. going directly into the movies folder) whilst the other option does navigate the whole way but forces the type of folder to be music not videos. Create the menu this second way and then change it manually (custom option) and change the word “Music” for “Videos” at the start of the command line.

8. Displaying UK BBFC ratings in Aeon Nox Silvo [FIXED]

The icons for BBFC ratings are included and are supposed to work if you have coloured icons turned on and have your region settings correct. However, the system is only compatible with 1 particular way of storing the metadata for the ratings, where my metadata managers use a slightly different system. I fixed this by editing %AppData%\Kodi\addons\skin.aeon.nox.silvo\16×9\variables.xml and editing the lines that start with UK: by replacing UK: with GB-

9. Kodi + Emby + External players [FIXED]

External players don’t work with emby if it is in “addon mode” as the files are played via HTTP rather than by SMB. Of course there is no clear documentation that explains this, nor is there an option to force SMB whilst in addon mode. Switch emby to native mode and then clear the kodi database and let it rebuild.

10. Using external players [FIXED]

The examples for windows users are horrible, for example with paths using the wrong slashes (unix / instead of windows \). Below is the one I currently use which works as I would expect. A couple of things to note – I have included settings for VLC even though I don’t use it as an external player. Simple change the names for the rules in the bottom section from MPC-HC to VLC if you want to use VLC. Also note my rule for filenames with the word Photos – this is because videos from my digital cameras are stored with my photos, and when in slideshow I want the videos played with the internal player, not with an external player.

<playercorefactory>
  <players>
    <player name="MPC-HC" type="ExternalPlayer" audio="false" video="true">
      <filename>C:\Program Files\MPC-HC\mpc-hc64.exe</filename>
      <args>"{1}" /play /fullscreen /close</args>
      <hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
      <hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
      <warpcursor>none</warpcursor>
      <playcountminimumtime>540</playcountminimumtime>
    </player>
    <player name="VLC" type="ExternalPlayer" video="true">
      <filename>C:\Program Files\VideoLAN\VLC\vlc.exe</filename>
      <args>"{1}" --fullscreen --play-and-exit</args>
      <forceontop>false</forceontop>
      <hidexbmc>false</hidexbmc>
      <hideconsole>false</hideconsole>
      <hidecursor>false</hidecursor>
    </player>
  </players>
  <rules action="prepend">
    <rule bd="true" player="MPC-HC" />
    <rule dvd="true" player="MPC-HC" />
    <rule filetypes="bd|ifo|bdmv|mpls" player="MPC-HC" />
    <rule video="true" player="MPC-HC">
      <rule internetstream="true" player="VideoPlayer" />
      <rule filetypes="pvr" player="VideoPlayer" />
      <rule protocols="pvr" player="VideoPlayer" />
      <rule filename=".*Photos.*" player="VideoPlayer" />
      <rule filename=".*trailer.*" player="VideoPlayer" />
    </rule>
  </rules>
</playercorefactory>

11. Live TV is a little jerky [FIXED]

The use of “fullscreen window” mode seems to cause juddery playback for some reason. I don’t know why it is enabled by default, but turn it off!

12. Player controls inconsistent position [FIXED]

In Aeon Nox Silvo the player controls (e.g. start, stop etc.) appear at the bottom of the screen when in liveTV but the top of the screen when playing music. To move the liveTV ones to the top edit the file %AppData%\Kodi\addons\skin.aeon.nox.silvo\16x9\VideoOSD.xml and %AppData%\Kodi\addons\skin.aeon.nox.silvo\16x9\Includes_LiveTV.xml. In my case I changed several “top” values in the second file by adding 50 to them to move the large OSD window slightly lower. To move the player controls to the top of the display I changed the 2nd, 3rd and 4th “top” values in VideoOSD.xml to 0, 1085 and 5

13. Horrible micro-stutter since Kodi 18 beta 1 [FIXED]

Kodi 18 beta-1 introduces a smooth motion feature that currently can’t be turned off. For me (and for other users on the kodi forums) this has caused the introduction of micro stutter on panning scenes on some videos.
I have fixed this, but only because my projector can display 25Hz and because I play all non-TV videos in an external player. The issue is caused by playing 25fps content at 50Hz with the smoothmotion settings causing some horrible judder. The same problem occurs in madvr with 24p content at 48Hz which is why I turn off smooth-motion in madvr. To fix it I set my display to 60Hz (looks best and forces kodi to switch), enabled the refresh-rate switching setting in kodi, and whitelisted all of the 1080p options except 50Hz. Now when I play liveTV and recordedTV with the internal player the display switches to 25Hz and the videos play without judder. This should be fixed before the final release.

14. LiveTV timeshift glitchy with DVBLink [FIXED]

In fairness to kodi it seems this was at least partially the fault of DVBLink. Earlier versions (5, 5.5) worked better with the liveTV buffer on my RAID array, but I found by moving it back off my RAID array I was able to avoid the glitching that has been occurring. My guess is that the buffer file wasn’t playing nicely with the RAM-based cache on the hardware RAID card.

15. Kodi loses window focus when run on startup [FIXED]

I have always had problems with Kodi losing window focus on startup. There are various unsatisfactory solutions to this that are offered e.g. loading Kodi instead of windows explorer on boot up, effectively as the shell. Many people suggest using “Launcher4Kodi” but I have found this is itself full of problems. After much exploration I discovered that my issue was caused by the Samsung Magician software that supports my Samsung SSD. I had already found some issues with Magician (e.g. RAPID mode causing problems with removable drives and USB devices) so I uninstalled it. Since removing it I have had no problems with window focus in Kodi.

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