I was using XBMC (now “Kodi”) as my media center front-end along with a shared database to handle synchronizing the state of the media library. I had gone from Windows Media Center to XBMC in December 2011 because Windows Media Center couldn’t handle the volume of content I had and the XBMC interface is much more friendly.

While I liked the ease of use and the handling of VIDEO_TS folders, once I updated my goals for more accessibility of media, Plex seemed like a better fit for me, so I switched again.

Media Organization#

XBMC media organization is very similar to Plex so moving wasn’t too hard.

Advanced Configuration#

In order to have a shared database and proper scanning of VIDEO_TS folders, I had to do a bit of advanced configuration in XBMC.

Advanced config settings are stored in the userdata folder in a file called advancedsettings.xml

Here’s what I used for my advancedsettings.xml file:


  <!-- Regular expressions to match VIDEO_TS folders. -->
  <tvshowmatching append="no">
    <regexp>[\._ \[\-\\/]([0-9]+)x([0-9]+)([^\\/]*)(?:(?:[\\/]video_ts)[\\/]video_ts.ifo)?</regexp>
    <regexp>[\._ \-\\/]([0-9]+)([0-9][0-9])([\._ \-][^\\/]*)(?:(?:[\\/]video_ts)[\\/]video_ts.ifo)?</regexp>

  <!-- Don't show "unwatched" flags. -->

  <!-- Don't recognize disc images as videos. -->
    <!-- add>.ex1|.ex2</add -->

  <!-- Database sharing/synchronization. -->

  <!-- Central cache for thumbnails. -->


I ran into various challenges getting XBMC to properly work on my somewhat-underpowered front-end machine. I also ran into challenges getting it to start up automatically after a reboot. These notes helped get me past that.

The “boot to desktop” batch file looks like this:

C:\Windows\explorer.exe shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}
"C:\Program Files (x86)\XBMC\xbmc.exe" shell:::{3080F90D-D7AD-11D9-BD98-0000947B0257}