Kodi Compendium [Part 6]: Artwork, Fanart, & Artwork Beef

Kodi Compendium [Part 6]: Artwork, Fanart, & Artwork Beef


[Music] Welcome to the Grok Shop and part six in my series the “Kodi Compendium”. In this video I wanted to take a little bit of a deep dive into Kodi artwork. Of course the artwork is the images you see in Kodi which brings Kodi to life. If you run straight Kodi with no artwork add-ons, you might find out that you’re coming up a little bit empty-handed on your artwork in some cases. Of course you can manually fill in the gaps or hope that the built in Kodi artwork scraper can do the job for you but having an automated addon to get the artwork you need plus extra artwork it can be very helpful and save you some headaches. So the way it works is Kodi basically stores URLs to the artwork inside the database. So here you can see I’m looking at the video database and I’ve got some URLs that are local we can see with the NFS there and then some that are on the internet with HTTP and basically this artwork will be fetched one time and then it’ll be stored in a local texture cache per Kodi client so four URLs on the internet there’s a little bit of a performance in it to go out and fetch for that very first time but once it’s cached it’s pretty much just as fast as if you had it on your file system. Another thing to keep in mind is that there’s many different artwork types; not all skins in Kodi will use all of the artwork types so depending on the skin you have some of the artwork may or may not show up and it can get a little confusing and frustrating if you’re not seeing something that you think you should be seeing also be aware going from Kodi 17 to 18 there’s been some changes in this area especially in the music database area but most of what I’m going to talk about here will be generic to both 17 and 18 in typical Grok Shop form, I’m going to recommend some URLs that go into even more detail on this topic and I’ll put these links in the description below. so the go-to add-on that everybody used to use is called Artwork Downloader and the thing about it is artwork downloader has pretty much become defunct and you can see here it’s no longer supported it’s been marked as broken; the good news is the core Kodi functionality for scraping artwork is expanding and we may not need any add-ons in the future but until then there’s still a need and luckily a team Kodi member rmrector has stepped up for us and created Artwork Beef. I’ve personally been using Artwork Beef now for a couple of months and for me it does everything that Artwork Downloader did for me and a lot more. As you’ll see it’s very configurable so there’s a little bit of a learning curve but you can totally tailor it to your needs and once you get used to it it’s pretty nice by default Artwork Beef does not download the artwork to your local file system but you can set a configuration for that and once you have it set up that way it works kind of similar to the way artwork downloader did only with more capability and flexibility since Artwork Beef is not in the official Kodi repo we need to add the repo for it so I’m going to go ahead and do that now just ssh into your Kodi box I’ve created a temp folder right off the Kodi home you can put it wherever you want but just W get the URL I’ll put the URL below of course and let it finish downloading okay next back in Kodi you want to go to settings and then add-ons and install from zip file and then we’ll browse to the temp folder or wherever you downloaded the repo zip and just select it then in the status bar below you should see Rector Stuff add-on install there we go okay next we can select install from repository scroll down to Rector Stuff and select ok next we stroll down to program add-ons and select and then scroll to Artwork Beef and select and then select install and we should see it downloading and then when it’s finished downloading it should become automatically enabled and you’ll see it’s a add-on installed at the bottom there ok at this point you want to select Artwork Beef and then go to configure and one of the nice things about Artwork Beef is it’s very configurable I recommend checking the top box here at artwork for new videos after library updates and the other options are really just your personal preference I’m just going to kind of breeze through here but you definitely have a lot of configurability with this add-on and I think it’s pretty cool obviously rmrector put a lot of work into this and it was sorely needed now earlier I mentioned that you can download the artwork to your local file system so the way to do that is at the bottom of each submenu here like I’m in movies you’ll see this area called downloading artwork to local files and pretty much you can tell it to download specific types which you specify manually in a comma separated list download to the Kodi cache or download everything that you’ve checked above if you’re going to manually configure specific types you can hit this fill with all configured above and it’ll pre populate the list for you here that just makes it a little easier for you to select the list use the on-screen keyboard to manually twiddle whichever types of artwork you want to download locally now inside the settings here you have an option to add your own personal fan art TV API key I ran it for a while without a personal API key and it ran pretty good I’ll add the key here in a little bit and we’ll do a test to see the effects of that so now referencing the Artwork Beef website if we go to problems and other questions there’s some information in here about the API keys pretty much what it says is that a fan art TV personal API key is the only key you should really get and add to the add-on other keys should not be needed the project API keys that are built-in should not be a problem but like I said we’ll do it before and after tests on this to see what kind of difference it really makes so anyway moving on I like to personally have all the information I can so include more detail yes show final artwork count update notification yes so pre loading the artwork into the texture cache will speed up that first fetch so you don’t have that delay the first time you go to look at something but yeah you can see it’s really configurable there’s a lot of options and might seem a little overwhelming at first but since you were smart checked out my video you’ll be rockin the Artwork Beef in no time and here in the Advanced Settings you can also set save album and song art with song files if possible and here are those project API keys that you shouldn’t have to mess with we’ve referenced earlier so now you can just okay out and then hit run and add missing artwork for dot dot and then select all videos since this is our first time running it we want to run it on everything and you can see at the bottom away it’ll go munging away and once it’s complete you’ll get that information at the bottom with that extra information like we requested in the settings now if you want to go back into artwork be from the main menu you can go to programs and use the context menu on Artwork Beef and go to settings and now you’re back in there and in here we can look at the kind of log of what’s been updated by going to the show latest artwork report and it shows the latest stuff on top and as you go down it gets older now if you like the command line you can come in with your favorite SSH – I got putty going here at this moment and CDE here to this folder Kodi user data add-on data scrip Artwork Beef and then we can also see the artwork report dot txt file which is basically the same information we just looked at in the GUI of course it’s the order is reversed with the newest stuff on the bottom also in this folder is the settings.xml file where you could obviously change the settings via your favorite text editor if you prefer doing it this way so now just to illustrate the process I’ll put in my fan art TV personal API key if you do this be sure not to use this API key dot fan art TV apparently that’s the project one to do the personal one you want to put it under this fan art TV underscore key so now if we just go straight back into the GUI settings we’ll be able to see that key in the air just like so now anytime you go and manually twiddle around with your XML files I recommend rebooting in some cases you might get away with the skin reload but it’s not always clear whether that’s effective or not so I just reboot since it’s so fast anyway so now with our new personal API key in place I’ll go ahead and force it to rescan and add missing artwork for all videos we’ll see what happens here and by the way if you’re not clear on how to get that personal API key be sure to check out some of my earlier videos I’ll also put a link in the description that links to some form information on how to do it so now just looking at the log here I could see that some updates occur because of the personal API key not a lot but we see 1 Z 2 Z’s in here at the bottom here he says 8 artwork updates so you know didn’t make a huge difference as far as the count goes looking at it qualitatively from the home menu Finding Nemo says it was updated ok that looks fine Aladdin this one looks kind of bad and the poster art as well as the fan art looks kind of jacked up or we have to fix that I’ll show how to do that here in a minute so C says Incredibles was another one that looks new and does look fine to me so you can see it’s it’s done some work I don’t know that it makes a huge difference and I don’t know that it’s really all that helpful so if you’re happy with what the results you get without the personal API key you might not even this with it would be my take on it so let’s see if we can fix the Aladdin problem here if you hit I on the widget menu and select information then you can select choose art and then you can change the art for any of the art types that are available here so first I’m going to fix the poster art note it shows the current art at the top and you can just select any of the remote arts below I’ll set it back to what I had or maybe something else that I like and that one looks better okay next I’m gonna fix the fan art and I don’t know where this image came from it’s so bad but anyway same process just select one that you like from the remote fan art yeah that’s more like it one more thing I wanted to point out is Artwork Beef does not support artwork for music for Kodi 17 and below for Kodi 18 and above it does and Kodi 18 is eminently pending as of this video. A lot of people are on beta versions but The release candidates are out so we should be looking forward to music artwork support if you don’t already have it in your beta release. So yeah there you have a big shout out thank you to rmrector for putting together this important add-on so that’s it for this video guys I hope it’s been helpful be sure to stay tuned for more Kodi compendium videos on the way but as far as the current state of Kodi artwork that’s how it’s done [Music] [Music]

Dereck Turner

3 thoughts on “Kodi Compendium [Part 6]: Artwork, Fanart, & Artwork Beef

  1. Der Hof 2007 says:

    Just to confirm. If I choose to save locally. I've already acquired most of my art using Media Companion 3… Beef wont replace any of my existing artwork if I choose to save locally will it? Actually fanart and poster art I wont want touched at all. This will all be hand chosen before I start.

  2. Darrel Drake says:

    My question artwork beef pop up with list

  3. Timothy Andoniadis says:

    Kodi is lousy for music, none of the add ons work, it says it has found fanarts but they don’t show up, it works good for movies, it’s a breeze, not sure why music is so complicated, mediaportal was better with fanart handler, cheers.

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