Types of Media Sources

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There are two main types of sources, Local and Network. In addition, there are specialty sources that are only available in certain sections of XBMC, (such as in Music or Videos). In Programs, only local sources (e.g. hard drive and DVD-ROM) are supported (because you can not stream Xbox games or other executable over the network).

See XBMC Features and Supported Formats for a full list of supported Features, Formats and Codecs.

Sources with multiple paths / targets

It is possible to let a media source point to more than one target or path. You can accomplish this through the User Interface or by directly editing the sources.xml. One example from the Videos section of the default Sources.xml file.

<source>
    <name>01 Movies</name>
    <path pathversion="1">F:\xbmc\Movies HD\</path>
    <path pathversion="1">E:\xbmc\Movies SD\Movies New\</path>
</source>

The pathversion="1" parameter means it was written with a more recent version of XBMC. It's to ensure that saved paths can be reliably updated if/when a new way to store them is implemented (e.g. old paths using Q: are now stored using special://xbmc etc).

You can have multiple paths in local, XBMS and SMB sources, not for the other protocols.

Local Sources

Basic Sources

Local sources are ones that point to the local available drives like hard disks, memory cards, DVD-ROM, etc. XBMC can play audio CDs from the Xbox´s DVD drive as well as Video-DVD's. XBMC has a built in audio CD ripper. This ripper supports ripping to wav, mp3 and OGG vorbis formats and attempts to name your tracks using data sourced from CDDB.com.

Xbox specific:

C D E F G are all valid local Xbox drives to access, (D being the DVD-ROM drive, C and E being the default C: and E: partitions, and F and G being the extended F: and G: partitions that you get when you replace your Xbox hard drive with a larger one).
H I J K L M N O are the memory-card ports, (but fair warning XBMC's memory card support is very limited).
X Y Z are Xbox default cache partitions and should not have to be referenced for any reason.
Note: Be aware that the XBOX filesystem has limitations of filename length. The local hard disk filesystem is in the fatx format. The name of a file is limited to 42 characters.
'Note: Be aware that the XBOX filesystem has limitations of directory size. A file can not be bigger than 4GB on a fatx partition. When you copy bigger files, the data after this 4GB is just gone, so the result will be unpredictable. If you copy DVD-images (like iso's) or big mkv-files make sure they are not bigger than this 4GB. If you want to store a > 4GB DVD-image on your Xbox hard disk you can do that by ripping that DVD to your hard disk. The ripped files are never biggger than 1GB.
Note: XBMC will Access other sources on other PC's or Mac's without this restriction. If the source is able to store a e.g. 16GB file or bigger, XBMC is fine with that.
  <source>
    <name>E Drive</name>
    <path>E:\Media\Movies\</path>
    <path>F:\Media\Movies\</path>
  </source>

  <source>
    <name>DVD-ROM Drive</name>
    <path>D:\</path>
  </source>

Advanced / Special Local Sources

Xbox specific:

XBMC has the option to force the DVD drive to read the disk as iso9660 or UDF file systems. If you have the need for these functions, simply use the following sources:
     <source>
       <name>ISO</name>
       <path>iso9660://</path>
     </source>

     <source>
       <name>UDF</name>
       <path>UDF://</path>
     </source>

Shortcuts to Programs

Xboc specific:

You can even create Shortcuts to .xbe files in Programs. It can also allow you to launch a specific ROM from an Xport emulator, ie you can create direct links to specific emulator ROMs from Programs.
In order to create a shortcut, simply create an .xml file saved with a .cut extension in any location on the XBox hard drive. Note that shortcuts can not be launched from a network location, such as a SMB share! In order to use the shortcuts, simply create a source entry pointing to the folder containing the .cut files in My Programs.
For a more detailed explanation with examples of how to create Shortcuts click here (link).

Generic Network Sources

Network sources reference remote shares of various types. XBMC supports SMB (windows file sharing, also known as Samba or CIFS), XBMS (also known as CCX) among others. These generic network sources are supported in all XBMC sections in XBMC ("Music", "Videos", "Pictures", and "Filemanager"), with the exception of "Programs" (where only local sources are supported). You can also add multiple paths (<path></path>) in each source. See Sharing media from your PC how to configure such servers yourself.

Windows File Sharing (SMB/SAMBA/CIFS)

SMB sharing is the most common and probably the best performing sharing solution for XBMC. It supports domains and workgroups as well.

Note! For much more information about using SMB/SAMBA/CIFS in XBMC, see the Windows File Sharing (SMB/SAMBA/CIFS) article.

The full syntax for sharing is as follows:

  <source>
    <path>smb://domain;username:password@computername_or_ipaddress/sharename/path</path>
  </source>

domain - If you use a domain controller you may enter it here

username - The username used to authenticate with the server

password - The password used to authenticate with the server

computername/ipaddress - As long as a name server is available on the network computer names *should* work. If any connectivity issues are encountered when using computer names replace it with the direct IP address of the computer.

sharename - Share name on the remote server

path - path relative to the share

If any variables are not needed omit the required punctuation.
Examples (where "xbox" is the user-name, "12345" is the password, and "192.168.0.200" is the IP-address of the server):

For a direct link to a server use:

  <source>
    <path>smb://xbox:12345@192.168.0.200</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a share on a server use:

  <source>
    <path>smb://xbox:12345@192.168.0.200/share/</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a subfolder under a share on a server use:

  <source>
    <path>smb://xbox:12345@192.168.0.200/share/path/</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to all servers in your workgroup/domain use (for this you must have entered your username, password and workgroup/domain in the XBMC GUI first):

  <source>
    <path>smb://</path>
  </source>

UPnP (Universal Plug and Play)

UPnP (short for "Universal Plug and Play") media sharing is an extremely easy method of sharing your media (pictures/video/audio) on your network as it features automatic-discovery and does not require any configuration. The UPnP-client in XBMC (also called "UPnP AV Media Server Control Point") supports direct links to the server/shares and auto-discovery of servers available on the local network. UPnP require a UPnP-server (also called "UPnP AV Media Server"), UPnP AV Media Servers is where you store and share your media (pictures/videos/audio/music) from. There are UPnP Media Servers available for most operating-systems and many hardware-platforms, UPnP AV Media Servers can be either be categorized as software-based or hardware-based. Software-based Media Servers can be run on PC (personal-computer), mainly on Windows, Linux, BSD, Unix or Mac platform. And, hardware-based Media Servers may run on any NAS (Network Attached Storage) or any specific hardware for delivering media, like for example a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) device.

Note! For much more information about using UPnP in XBMC, see the UPnP Sharing article.

For auto-discovery (default in xbmc) use the following share:

  <source>
    <path>upnp://</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a server use:

  <source>
    <path>upnp://ip_address:1901</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a specific share on a server use:

  <source>
    <path>upnp://ip_address:1901/share/</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a subfolder under a share on a server use:

  <source>
    <path>upnp://ip_address:1901/share/path/</path>
  </source>

XBMS Protocol (CCX/ccXStream)

XBMSP (XBox Media Stream Protocol) was developed by Team-XBMC members and design to be a very user-friendly protocol, the protocol and client code has however not been updated nor actively maintained for several years so Team-XBMC do recommend that you instead use a standard protocol as SMB or UPnP instead as those are always going be actively maintained.

The XBMSP-client in XBMC supports direct links to the server/shares and auto-discovery of servers available on the local network. XBMSP (or "XBMS" for short) require that you run a XBMSP-server on your computer, XBMSP-servers are also known as "CCX" or "ccXStream" servers.

For more information about using XBMS, see the article on Configuring XBMS Shares.

For auto-discovery (default in XBMC) use the following share:

  <source>
    <path>xbms://</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a server use:

  <source>
    <path>xbms://ip_address:1400</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a specific share on a server use:

  <source>
    <path>xbms://ip_address:1400/share/</path>
  </source>

For a direct link to a subfolder under a share on a server use:

  <source>
    <path>xbms://ip_address:1400/share/path/</path>
  </source>

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Client

XBMC also contains an FTP-client with which you can add sources in all sections (with the except of the Programs section) in XBMC interface, however as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is not designed to stream audio/video data it is not recommended that you use it under the Music or Videos sections. (Remember that the default FTP-port is usually 21).

Example (if any variables are not needed, omit the required punctuation):

  <source>
    <!--to connect as anonymous use ftp://ip:port/-->
    <path>ftp://username:password@ipaddress:port/folder/</path>
  </source>

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol ) Client

XBMC also contains an HTTP-client with which you can add sources in all sections (with the except of the Programs section) in the XBMC interface, however as HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol ) is not designed to stream audio/video data it is not recommended that you use it under the Music or Videos sections.

Example (if any variables are not needed, omit the required punctuation):

  <source>
    <!--to connect as anonymous use "http://ipaddress:port/" or just "http://ipaddress"-->
    <path>http://username:password@ipaddress:port/directory/</path>
  </source>

Plugin Sources

A plugin source is a special type of source that is powered by a python script automatically run by XBMC. A plugin source is typically used to represent the online content of a website as a hierarchical file system.

XBMC supports 3 types of plugin sources: video, music, and pictures. Plugins are placed in the "plugins\<type of media>" folder within the XBMC folder.

Plugin sources can automatically be added from within XBMC via the "Add Source" command accessible from the root folder of "Videos", "Music", and "Pictures". The actual file that is invoked by XBMC is "plugins\<type of media>\<name of plugin>\default.py". This file must be present for the plugin to show up in "Add Source" the dialog.

Videos Specific Sources

Video Library

This special source allows you to access the video database without switching to library view. This is useful for remote browsing of the video library, i.e. via the web interface.

  <source>
    <name>Library</name>
    <path>videodb://</path>
  </source>

RSS Feeds

RSS (which stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document is commonly called a "RSS feed", "RSS channel", or "Web feed", includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Podcasts is a is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet by such RSS feeds, and Video Podcasts are often referred to as "Vidcast" or "Vodcast".

XBMC features a builtin RSS Feed Reader Client for such audio and video sources, this type of media source will connect to the RSS feed you enter and lists the video or audio available to stream with thumbnails and metadata if available.

Note: Please make sure you have read the RSS Feeds in XBMC Guide.

<source>
  <name>RSS Feed</name>
  <path>rss://</path>
</source>

MythTV

This type of media source will contact to a MythTV backend and allows you to watch Live TV, view the program guide, play previously recorded TV shows.

Note: Please make sure you have also read the MythTV in XBMC Guide article.

<source>
  <name>MythTV</name>
  <path>myth://ipaddress</path>
</source>

HTS Tvheadend

This type of media source will contact to a HTS Tvheadend backend and allows you to watch Live TV, view the program guide, play previously recorded TV shows.

Note: Please make sure you have also read the HTS Tvheadend in XBMC Guide article.

<source>
  <name>HTS Tvheadend</name>
  <path>htsp://ipaddress:9982</path>
</source>

HDHomeRun

This type of media source will connect to a HDHomeRun (Networked Digital Cable TV/HDTV Tuner) box and allows you to watch Live TV directly from XBMC.

Note: Please make sure you have also read the HDHomeRun in XBMC Guide article.

<source>
  <name>HDHomeRun</name>
  <path>hdhomerun://</path>
</source>

TuxBox (Dreambox/DBox2)

This type of media source will connect to a TuxBox Stream Server running on a Dreambox or DBox2 set-top-box with a Enigma Based TuxBox image, and it allows you to watch Live TV and already recorded shows directly from XBMC. Dreambox and DBox2 are stand-alone PVR/DVR (Personal Video Recorder/Digital Video Recorder) boxes for the European market. As a rival to the famous TiVo, Dreambox and DBox2 PVR/DVR box records TV (and schedule recoding) to their built-in hard drive and stores it there. Via the network-port built-in to Dreambox/DBox2 boxes they can share the stored video to a local-network. XBMC has a TuxBox Stream Client to browse and stream/play such shares over the network.

Note: Please make sure you have also read the TuxBox in XBMC Guide article.

  <source>
    <name>TuxBox (Dreambox/DBox2)</name>
    <path>tuxbox://USER:PASSWORD@TUXBOX_IP:PORT/</path>
  </source>

ReplayTV

This type of media source will connect to a ReplayTV box and allows you to watch already recorded shows directly from XBMC. ReplayTV is a stand-alone PVR/DVR (Personal Video Recorder/Digital Video Recorder) box for the American market and is sold online at replaytv.com. As a rival to the famous TiVo, the ReplayTV PVR/DVR box records TV (and schedule recoding) to its built-in hard drive and stores it there. Via the network-port built-in to the ReplayTV box it can share the stored video to a local-network. XBMC has a DVArchive-client which can auto-detect, browse and stream/play such shares.

Note: Please make sure you have also read the ReplayTV in XBMC Guide article.

For auto-discovery (default in XBMC) use the following media source in the video section:

  <source>
    <name>ReplayTV</name>
    <path>rtv://*/</path>
  </source>

TiVo

This type of media source will connect to a TiVo box and allows you to watch already recorded shows directly from XBMC. TiVo (and DirecTiVo) is a stand-alone PVR/DVR (Personal Video Recoder/Digital Video Recoder) box, (a rival to the above mentioned ReplayTV. The TiVo box records TV (and schedule recordings) to its built-in harddrive and stores it there, and via it's network-port the TiVo box can share that stored video on a local network, (a network-adapter for the TivO box may have to be purchased as an option for some TiVo series, for the ones that don't have a built-in network-port). The TiVo boxes doesn't have any native method of streaming video to XBMC so first you will have to hack your TiVo, then you have to install a version of ccxstream server software that was compiled for TiVo, that ccxstream server will share all the video files on that TiVo box via XBMSP (XBox Media Stream Protocol), thus you will have to add a XBMS source in XBMC to browse and stream from it, see the "XBMS Protocol (CCX/ccXStream)" section in the Types of Media Sources article, (good to know is that ccxstream does support auto-discovery so simply adding <path>xbms://</path> should be enough, but best might be to add IP-address of the TiVo box).

Note: Please make sure you have also read the TiVo in XBMC Guide article.

For auto-discovery of the ccxstream server on the TiVo box use the following share:

  <source>
    <name>TiVo</name>
    <path>xbms://</path>
  </source>

or for a direct link to the TiVo box (which is recomended) use the TiVo IP-address:

  <source>
    <name>TiVo</name>
    <path>xbms://ip_address:1400</path>
  </source>

Music Specific Sources

Music Library

This special source allows you to access the music database without switching to library view. This is useful for remote browsing of the music library, i.e. via the web interface.

  <source>
    <name>Library</name>
    <path>musicdb://</path>
  </source>

RSS Feeds

RSS (which stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document is commonly called a "RSS feed", "RSS channel", or "Web feed", includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Podcasts is a is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet by such RSS feeds, and Video Podcasts are often referred to as "Vidcast" or "Vodcast".

XBMC features a built RSS Feed Reader Client for such audio and video sources, this type of media source will connect to the RSS feed you enter and lists the video or audio available to stream with thumbnails and metadata if available.

Note: Please make sure you have read the RSS Feeds in XBMC Guide.

<source>
  <name>RSS Feed</name>
  <path>rss://</path>
</source>

Microsoft Soundtracks on the Xbox

Xbox Specific:

On the original Xbox the default Microsoft dashboard contains the ability to rip your CDs to WMA format. This type of media source (enabled by default in XBMC) allows you to read that database and play those audio tracks. Some limitations exist with these files including crossfading due to WMA filetype.
     <source>
       <name>MS Soundtracks</name>
       <path>soundtrack://</path>
     </source>

iTunes Network Share (DAAP)

iTunes has its very own library sharing protocol, DAAP. XBMC can play all unprotected files, (ie. all files not purchased on iTunes Music Store, which can not be played in XBMC because they are encrypted with Apple's proprietary Digital Rights Management Scheme). To enable sharing in iTunes look under the edit tab, click on preferences, click on sharing and enable the sharing check box. To enable itunes sharing in XBMC edit the path of the following source with the IP address of the PC you wish to connect to. It allows you to play audio files stored in your PC or MAC iTunes library. DAAP does have some limitations, including crossfading due to protocol structure. Note: You CANNOT use computer names in this field. For more information about setting up iTunes shares, see Configuring Itunes Shares

  <source>
    <name>iTunes Network Share (DAAP)</name>
    <!-- Only use an IP-address here!-->
    <path>daap://192.168.1.100</path>
  </source>

Shoutcast Streams

This type of media source will contact www.shoutcast.com and list the webradio streams provided by them. Shoutcast.com maintains a list of the Top 500 stations on their listings. Through XBMC you can select and listen to any of these stations over your broadband internet connection. Free online radio at your fingertips. This source is available in Music by default.

<source>
  <name>SHOUTcast - Directory</name>
  <path>shout://www.shoutcast.com/sbin/newxml.phtml</path>
  <!-- direct links to genres and searches are allowed                  -->
  <!-- shout://www.shoutcast.com/sbin/newxml.phtml?genre=Funk           -->
  <!-- shout://www.shoutcast.com/sbin/newxml.phtml?genre=Top500         -->
  <!-- shout://www.shoutcast.com/sbin/newxml.phtml?search=[stationname] -->
</source>

Last.FM

This type of media source will contact www.last.fm and list your recently played songs/albums/artist etc. You can even playback Last.FM webradio streams provided by them.
Note: Please make sure you have read the Last.FM Manual.

<source>
  <name>Last.FM</name>
  <path>lastfm://</path>
</source>

Forced CDDA

XBMC employs auto-detection of the type of CD or DVD disks in the drive. If for some reason you wish to have a share that forces the Xbox to read the disk as an CDDA AudioCD (Compact Disk Digital Audio) use the following share.

  <source>  
    <name>CDDA</name>
    <path>cdda://</path>
  </source>


Pictures Specific Sources

RSS Feeds

RSS (which stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, picture/image, and video—in a standardized format. An RSS document is commonly called a "RSS feed", "RSS channel", or "Web feed", includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Podcasts is a is a series of audio or video digital-media files which is distributed over the Internet by such RSS feeds, and Video Podcasts are often referred to as "Vidcast" or "Vodcast".

XBMC features a built RSS Feed Reader Client for such audio, video, and image sources, this type of media source will connect to the RSS feed you enter and lists the images, videos, audio files available to stream with thumbnails and metadata if available.

Note: Please make sure you have read the RSS Feeds in XBMC Guide.

<source>
  <name>RSS Feed</name>
  <path>rss://</path>
</source>