How to use Kodi: Get to grips with XBMC on your PC, Mac and more

By March 31, 2017Kodi

Kodi lets you stream content from the internet as well as your hard disk, and it’s actually very simple to use. If you’ve just downloaded Kodi but you’re not sure where to start, this quick guide is for you. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the current build of Kodi, Isengard. If you don’t have that version, don’t worry, as Kodi tends not to change too much between builds.

After installing Kodi, the first menu you see shows a carousel on a blue background. This will be the screen you see the most, and its size means it’s easy to operate whether you’re using a smartphone or PC setup. From there, using Kodi is relatively easy. It’s important to remember that although Kodi gives you access to a range of services across the internet, it also acts as a browser for your own content.

Tip: The £39.99 ($49.99) Amazon Fire TV Stick is one of the best Kodi streaming devices. It’s wireless, cheap and delivers a solid stream – here’s our tutorial for how to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick. 

How to use Kodi for video

  1. Clicking on Video gives you two options. To watch media already saved to your hard disk, click Files.
  2. From there, using Kodi’s built-in browser to search for files will enable you to view your locally stored media in Kodi.
  3. If you can’t find all the videos on your machine, your best bet is to place them in an easy-to-find folder, and then add them as a source.
  4. Adding a video source is very similar to adding one for music. After selecting Add Files, scroll down to the folder you made, and save it as a source. We named our source “Car videos”, and from there it’s easy to navigate to our video of choice.
  5. If you’d prefer to stream content hosted on the web, instead click Video Add-Ons, and then “Get more…”. The next menu will show you a list of extensions that give you access to even more content. For some of the best addons for film, see our best film addons guide.
  6. After you’ve found one you like, simply click on it and select Install.
  7. Just like when listening to music, Kodi will provide a set of controls to navigate through your content, and will even display it in the background when you’re on the software’s main screen.

How to use Kodi for music

  1. Using Kodi for music works in a similar way to the video function. To use Kodi for music, first select the Music tab on the startup screen.
  2. Next you’ll be given two options. To listen to your own tracks, select Music | Files. From there it’s possible to locate your music files, and stream them through Kodi.
    Best Kodi extensions in 2016: 13 AWESOME add-ons to improve XBMC for UK users
  3. If you already have a folder with all your music in it, you can also add it as a source. To do that, click Add Music, and then select the folder and save it as a source.
  4. If you’re bored of your own music, you can also click on the Add Ons tab instead, and then click Get More. From there you’ll be able to browse all of the music extensions available for Kodi.
  5. In the following screenshot we’ve downloaded MixCloud, an extension that provides access to hundreds of free, user-submitted mixes. For more music addons, check our Best Kodi addons for music.
  6. Once you’ve got your music up and running, Kodi will provide onscreen playing functions – and will even revert to visualizer if you leave it for long enough.