Kodi isn't that bad of a music library. Once you configure some things, the user experience improves

Kodi playing music

In early February, seeing that there was no new news about VLC 4.0, i wrote an article in which I anticipated the events and assured that there would be people who would publish that the fourth major update of VLC would arrive in this 2023. The same thing that was said in 2021 and 2022. Actually, it was an article about a multimedia topic, and there was also space to talk about Kodi, more specifically with how bad it is as a music library. But it has given me to touch some things and my opinion is no longer exactly the same.

For me, for many years, and thanks or because of the MediaMonkey that I used in Windows, the music library It has to have a specific design. The artists must be on the left, and in the rest of the interface there must be some controls and extra information that can be that of a record, images... I think you can get an idea. When I switched to Linux, Ubuntu specifically, things changed a lot. AmaroK was recommended to me, and I liked that it even offered information that I downloaded from the internet, but then I was "stumbling" until I ended up with KDE's Elisa, waiting for that VLC 4.0 whose design I love. But Kodi…

Kodi does show covers and more information about albums and artists

Mea culpa, and with that I'm not saying that guilt urinated or anything like that. My frustration with Kodi was the result of ignorance, of not having given it a chance or thoroughly investigated something that is very important to me. We all know: Kodi, after a fresh install, is software, I would say, limited. It plays videos, but it can't be done from a right click. As there is a lot of reading lately on networks, you can "create your own Netflix", but you have to install add-ons. Kodi is capable, but you have to configure certain things. And one of them is the music library.

When I entered the Music/Performers section and saw icons, as happened to Elisa until recently, well, you don't want to look anymore. In Elisa I did discover relatively soon that in order for the covers of the disks there had to be an image with the name cover.jpg inside the same folder, and the disks thing was fixed for me, but that image does not work the same on Kodi. So when he would start it, he would have a bad feeling.

That bad feeling was accentuated when he saw the previous capture. This is what it looks like by default when you play a song on Kodi and the controls go away after some time of inactivity. I thought that the Kodi team had to do something, and I still do, because one has to discover certain things for oneself does not seem the best to me. Still, in a preview of what's to come, I now see this:

Kodi Music Player

Also, by pressing the M or the menu button found on different keyboards, the controls can be down, and the disc cover in view.

What to do to improve the musical experience

If we are seeing our music in the library, it is assumed that we have already added a folder in the options. But if not, the first thing to do is go to the music section and then, on the right, select the "Enter the files section" option. There we have to add our music folder so that Kodi recognizes it as such. But that way it will stay ugly, as it depressed me. You have to do something else.

  1. We go to the gear/Contents/Music section.
  2. On the right, we have to choose a default provider for the information, both for the artist and for the album.
  3. We check the box for additional information during updates. We can make other changes, but this will already be a base for Kodi to display something.
  4. Now we go to the Music/Interpreters section. There will be images, not icons.
  5. Something else, by default Kodi likes lists. That is, almost everything shows it in a list or in a layout that could be improved. If we scroll to the top of the left (left-up if the left only goes back to the bottom of the list), we can choose between different ways of presenting the information. I have chosen the Mays view type. and it looks like this:

Shift view.

Information, lyrics, visualizers… Kodi does not disappoint

Already in the playback window, from the gear you can also make images appear. ShaderToy is the addon that shows the equalizer type bars (and many other options that can be found on the net). In order for the group to appear in the background and sway a bit, you must have both the "Show fanart background" and "Animate background" switches activated. These images can be modified if you click on the options button while on top of an artist (it is usually next to Alt Gr), and the images can come from the Internet or we can choose our own. From the same gear we can also install an addon so that the letters appear that, although it is ugly, shows them. Of course, you have to tell it not to show them by default, or I prefer it that way.

So Kodi gave me a “whoops”, or would have if they were the ones telling me all this. And also if there was a slightly more "music" and less "netflixera" disposition. Oh well. I like Kodi better now.

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