How to Merge Kodi Streaming Add-ons into the Video Library

Learn how to add your favorite shows from Kodi (XBMC) video streaming add-ons (like Genesis) into your TV Shows video library... and same for movies.

If you use Kodi (formerly XBMC), chances are this tutorial is going to blow your mind… at least mine did when I discovered it.

If you download TV show episodes and movies via Usenet/Sickbeard/SAB, those video files would be stored on a hard drive that is set as a video library source for TV and for Movies.  Meanwhile, there are some amazing add-ons that will give you access to just about any TV show or movie you would want anyway.

The problem with that is now your experience is fragmented between those 2 different places.  You would look in your library for an episode, and if you know that is should be there and it didn’t download, then you would open the add-on and manually search for it.

All of that ends when you learn this trick that will make you mad that you didn’t learn about it before.  Read on to learn how to add your favorite shows from video streaming add-ons (like Genesis) into your TV Shows video library.

In Genesis, Search for TV Shows and “Add to Library”

Before we get started, make sure to add some shows to the library from the Genesis video add-on.  If you haven’t installed Genesis yet, see my post on how to do that.  Select the name of a TV show series, press menu or “c” and select “Add to Library”.

No need to rush over to the library to see if it shows up.  It won’t be there… yet!

Note: I’m only having you do this first in order to see something happen in the later steps.  You can come back later and add more shows.  For now, just add at least one.

Show Hidden Files

The next step is important in order for the following steps to work.  By default, hidden files and directories do not show in Kodi, so you’ll need to turn on a setting to see them.

Go to Settings > Appearance > File lists > check “Show hidden files and directories

Add a Special Video Source to your TV Shows Library

Here’s where the magic happens!  There is a certain hidden directory that stores the “library” that you added that Genesis show into.

Go to Video > Files > Add Videos, then Browse for Home Folder (which is a shortcut to C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Kodi) > userdata > addon_data > > TV Shows

UPDATE: Find the userdata folder on different operating systems.

UPDATE: If you want to be able to sync this library across multiple HTPCs, then please check out this better way to browse to this path.

Give the source a name like “Genesis” and select “OK”

You will then select the type of content it is, like TV Shows or Movies.  In this example it’s TV Shows.  However, when you’re done with this, you can do this entire thing again with movies as well.

When you’re done, it should scan the source for any content and you’ll see your new source along with any other video sources you have.

Browse the Library

Now, go to your TV Shows library, and you should see the show that you added from Genesis.  It should have all seasons and episodes.

If you click on an episode to play it, instead of starting immediately like normal video sources would, you will see a popup saying “Opening stream” followed by another small popup showing the list of streaming links available from Genesis.  Select one or just select “AUTO-PLAY” at the top to have it pick a good link for you.

Recent Episodes Home Screen Widget

One of the coolest things about this setup is when you have a Recent Episodes widget on your Kodi home screen.  Genesis will actually update it’s library periodically to make sure that you have the most up-to-date library data.

Never again will I miss an episode of my favorite show because Sickbeard or SAB failed to find it or download it.   Thanks to this integration of Genesis into the Kodi libraries, I can always see the more recent episodes of my favorite shows.

Play It Safe With a VPN

One more thing, if you’re going to be using a Kodi streaming add-on, I highly recommend you play it safe and use a VPN.  A VPN will encrypt your traffic so your ISP doesn’t see what you’re streaming or where you’re streaming it from.  Better safe than sorry, am I right?!

Anyway, I personally use IPVanish and it works great.  Feel free to give it a free trial to make sure it works well for you.


I hope you like this.  Don’t forget that you can do the same thing for movies like I mentioned earlier.

If your mind was blown (like mine was), be sure to leave your comments and subscribe to KinkeadTech for more tech tips and tutorials.

Take the Next Steps

Sync Genesis TV & Movie Libraries Across Multiple Kodi HTPCs

Add Shows to Kodi Genesis from any HTPC in the House

109 thoughts on “How to Merge Kodi Streaming Add-ons into the Video Library

  1. So, I got my device to show the directory but it wont play the streams. xbone says unsupported file format

      1. Sorry about that. I was hoping that since the video folder can be set up to share stored files over the network that possibly the links that were being saved into the folder would be playable on other devices.

  2. Thanks for all the Kodi tutorials on your site. I’m running XBMC on a fire stick and there doesn’t seem to be a /home folder. Do you know what I need to do to set up the syncing? Or what folder it would be in?

    1. It looks like the Kodi home folder on the Amazon Firestick is at /sdcard/android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata … give that a try and let me know if it works or not. Thanks for reading!

  3. It’s not working for me. I followed the instructions to a tee. When I go to TV Shows, there’s nothing there….any ideas?

    1. You added “Home Folder > userdata > addon_data > > TV Shows” as a video source and chose the “type of content” to be “TV Shows”? … and you right-clicked on some TV shows from within the Genesis add-on and chose “Add to Library”? If you’ve don’t those correctly, I don’t know why it wouldn’t work for you. I’ve done it on multiple computers. Did you do a library update?

  4. Thanks for this! I thought I knew the ins and outs of XBMC but as I continue to find out, there is always some undiscovered feature I’ve yet to find. This truly is a great feature and a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  5. All work perfectly thanks any idea how to populate the watched status from Genesis to my library?

    I know I can manually set that up but that would be a real pain it didn’t carryover from Genesis favorites folder.

  6. This is great! Just wanted to confirm that the confluence skin also supports the recently added episodes. Nate, have you tried this with other video addons out of curiosity? Wonder how it would work with live streams? Not sure how they would get scraped…


    1. Yes, Confluence has widgets for recent episodes.

      I haven’t tried this with other video add-ons. I don’t know of others that have the “Add to library” feature. If anyone finds other add-ons that can do this, let me know.

  7. I have Genesis installed and have added several movies and TV shows to the library, but doesn’t show up under addon_data. No clue what’s going on.

  8. Hi Nate,
    just discovered your blog and I must say it is the best thing I found for kodi, not even the forums do justice to the tricks detailed here..

    I was successfully able to show the tv shows from Genesis, however am wondering how to achieve automatically the play next episode functionality since now it is part of a library.. any ideas?

    once again, big fan of your blog! am going to try everything you got here..

    1. Anirudh, thank you so much for the complements! I definitely appreciate it, and I’m glad you like it!

      So, you want to be able to play the next episode automatically when an episode ends (epic binge-watching)? If there is some add-on that would give you that ability, there would still be the issue of having to select which link to play. Even it you could configure it to do “auto-play” automatically, you would still have bad links from time to time so it couldn’t ever be a full-proof solution, unless Genesis develops a feature to automatically retry more links when it detects an issue with link.

      That would be cool!

      1. Thanks for responding back, keep up the good work! So the xbmc library doesn’t natively support queuing or auto play next? Actually that reduces the benefits of having it in the library, compared to loading the add on going to favourites it just saves one additional click, what am I missing?

        1. I just got it working!! so basically first go to Genesis and enable autoselect stream so that it doesn’t bore you with selecting the stream source each time, then if you want to enqueue entire season, navigate to tv shows->the show->the season desired. bring up the context menu and select queue item.

          now comes the most important part, bring up the menu from the left to bring up the current Playlist option, it is detailed here select an episode from there and then on hitting next would play the next episode automatically.

          this has been my most productive day, makes me feel my life is now’s a toast to your awesome blog and epic binge watching awaits!

          1. Thanks for sharing, Anirudh! I know you can do that setting that will automatically choose “Auto-play”, and I forgot about the playlist feature. The only problem I foresee is that the “auto-play” doesn’t work many times and then it wouldn’t work very seamlessly. But still, very cool stuff you found. Glad you had such a productive day.

          2. I use lazy TV and I can select play from here, but like they say occasionally it won’t find a source.

  9. Great blog, but my head is aching. Tried to do as described above but when I get to the “Add special video source” part and start browsing, select “Home Folder,” it comes up with only “/users/username/” leaving off the “app dataroamingkodi” and does not provide selections to continue. Even changed skin from the original confluence to your Aeon Nox thinking selections may differ… but noooooo….Help.

    1. Blueshead, did you follow the instructions to enable the setting that shows hidden files and folders? AppData is a hidden folder, so it sounds like you haven’t checked that setting.

      1. I did check and uncheck and checked again. I am using an Apple Air Book if that could affect what I need to do. Just does not provide the path to move ahead…so I am stuck at selecting home and only populating “/users/username/”

  10. I followed the steps and enabled the show hidden files and directories, but when I try to do the next step… go toVideo > Files > Add Videos, then Browse for Home Folder… the home folder is not there. What am I doing wrong?

  11. Hi i use genesis and its great but today the lists have gone blank so i dont know what im clicking on . Once i can find the movies none are playing plus there is only one page as wont let you go to the next one . If you could help it would be great as such a fab service

  12. Nathan,

    I have been searching online trying to find what I think your post describes but i wanted to make sure before I started the process and then found out that it wasn’t what I was looking for. I have been using Kodi on my windows PC for a few months now and use the genesis add-on all the time. I added all my shows to “my favorite” in genesis and then when i would want to watch one I would just click on the season and episode i wanted to watch. It would then bring up a box with all the links and I would click through until i found one that worked. I ordered a G-box Q and it just arrived today. I am going to install it in a different room. My question is if I follow your directions will it allow me to use genesis on my G-box to stream/watch the shows I already have setup on my first system? Also will the check mark that shows which episodes have been watched transfer from each device as I move from one to the other watching shows? And If I add a new show on one box will it also transfer to the other box? Thanks in advance for all your help.


    1. Jason,

      Yes, it should do all that you describe except you will no longer be using “favorites”, but will use “add to library” instead. You will need to make sure to follow the instructions on in order to setup a MySQL database to host your Kodi video library. Doing this may cause you to have to start over with a new empty library, but from that point on, you can fill it up by clicking “add to library” on all your shows from Genesis, and it should sync your entire library with all computers that you have set up advancedsettings.xml to use your MySQL database.

      Let me know if you have any questions.

      1. Thanks a million Nathan, I look forward to setting it all up tomorrow. One last question for tonight. After I set all this up will I be able to watch one show on one system while simultaneously watching a different show on the other system?

          1. Sorry, I had that page already. I meant an article on how to install and set up MySQL on my computer so that I can then use the article you just mentioned?

          2. Oh, no I haven’t included any instructions specific to installing MySQL server.

            Basically, if you use Windows, you go to and download the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version (depending on what you are running). It says it recommends the MySQL Installer, but I’ve found that to download a bit more bloat than what is needed, so I stick to the regular install file for just MySQL server.

            Then just install it. It will ask you what type of instance you want and you pick the server instance that allows remote network connections to access it (don’t remember the exact wording). Then it will have you pick a root username and password. Make sure you write those down since you will need to use them in your advancedsettings.xml file.

            Let me know if you run into any questions. Thanks.

          3. So I was able to download and install MySQL. I couldn’t figure out how to get the MySQL IP. To build the advanced settings xml file do I just write it in notepad and then save it as an .xml file? I was able to navigate to where you said to put the xml file but there was already one there titled “advancedsetting”. Do I delete it and put the one I build in there or save it as something different? the last problem i’m having is when in kodi and I go to video/file/add videos/ browse my username is not there, just the public username and I made sure I shared my username on the network. I thought I was going to be able to get this figured out but I’m starting to have second thoughts now. Thanks again for all your help.

          4. The IP is the local IP of the computer that you installed MySQL on. That’s usually something starting with 192.168… Or if you have Kodi and MySQL on the same computer, use which is loopback.

            For the advancedsettings.xml file, you can use notepad or Notepad++ or any other text editor. If the file is already there but not showing the extension, Windows may be hiding the extension of known file types. I always like to change that setting. I like to see the extension.

            For the issue of not being able to find your user folder, are you looking in Windows Network (SMB)? Did you share your user folder? Right click on it in File Explorer and go to the sharing section to share it over the network. I share it with “everyone” so there’s no username and password to deal with. With that said, you may want to just share the Kodi userdata folder so to not expose all your files over the network.

          5. So my main kodi program is on a windows 8 computer which is also where I installed the MySQL. Upstairs I have an android box (G-box Q) with the other kodi program, which is the one I am trying to link with. I was using 71.81…..for the IP address in the .xml file but since kodi and MySQL are on the same computer I will change it to

            Three more questions. Do I put the .xml file on one (main) or both systems? Will it still work if I name it something different than “advancedsettings”? When I add the SMB video source path, which system do I do that on, the main one or both? Thanks!

          6. Put the .xml file on both systems. On the Windows 8 machine, the xml file will have, while on the Android box, the xml file will have 192.168.x.x. You will need to look at the network details of your Windows 8 PC to find it’s IP. You can do that when looking at the network adapter within “Network and Sharing Center”, or Kodi will even tell you in the System Info submenu page under Settings. It has to be that exact file name, advancedsettings.xml. I usually add it from the main one, but if all all systems use the advancedsettings.xml file, you can add SMB video sources from either of them.

          7. Ok, I feel like I am making progress now but ran into another speed bump. On the android box when I go into the file browser and try to add the .xml file to the appropriate folder the last two folders aren’t there. I made sure that in the settings the “show hidden files” was marked. I can get to Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/ but there is nothing in the “files” folder and from reading your posts there should still be a .kodi/userdata folder and that’s where i’m suppose to put the .xml file, correct? Any clue on what I can do to fix this problem? Thanks!

          8. Jason, you are correct. I’m not sure why the .kodi folder would not appear for you in your Android file browser. You changed the setting in your Android file browser app to show hidden files? Keep in mind, the Kodi setting to show hidden files will only work when browsing files using Kodi. If you can’t get your file browser app to show the .kodi folder, try a different file browser. I like ES File Explorer.

          9. I downloaded and tried ES File Explorer and it did the same thing, nothing in the “files” folder. Could it be when I set up the kodi system I just made a backup of kodi on my main windows 8 system and put that backup on the android kodi system? Maybe because I didn’t set it up the normal way with the repository’s and just did a restore from a backup, do you think that could be causing my problem?

          10. Yup, that would do it. You can’t just backup and restore the Kodi software. You can do that with your userdata folder, but not Kodi itself. Head over the Google Play Store and install Kodi. After you open it for the first time, your userdata folder should be there.

  13. It’s really mind blown! I came here actually to see about Geneses and loved that we can add to the library!! And it is is quite simple. Thank you for that. :)

  14. First of all thanks a lot for showing us this. I use sickbeard and usenet to get TV shows but it’s getting harder and harder to get shows as they are removed fairly fast.

    Setup went perfect with no issues. It awesome to now have the features of the library like listing episodes, art, info as well as the “Watched” check :) As an added bonus I may be able to drop my usenet service now and save me some money. I also save HDD space :)

    I do have one question though. How do you remove a show from the library? In library if I R-Click > Manage > Remove from library it deletes it. But on next refresh of library it’s back.

    1. Mike, exact same story for me. I used to think that Usenet was the way to go, but now I realize how much better Genesis is.

      About your question, I’m not sure because I haven’t tried deleting a show yet, but I imagine it would have to be removed from the library from within Genesis. However, I don’t recall if it has that feature.

      If anybody knows, please post your comments. Or I’ll try to remember to check it out soon.

      1. I figured it out.

        Go to Settings -> Appearance -> File Lists -> Check off Allow File renaming and deletion.

        Then you can R-Click or press “C” to get the now available Manage option on things in your library added from Genesis.

        Thanks again.

  15. Thank you very much for this guide this is a game changer, such a time saver!

    How do I go about adding an entire Genesis Movie folder? I seem to have run into a problem…

    EXAMPLE in Genesis > MOVIES > Latest HD Movies when I bring up
    the Context Menu, it does not show the add to library option that the
    TV Section did. (this only brings up two options Add to
    favourites | Add-on settings please see attached pic)

    I look forward to your advice

      1. That sucks regarding one movie at a time. It would be neat to be able to add the in theatres section and have it update like it does with new episodes of tv shows.

        The icon disappears in the confluence skin randomly on my units but not those of my friends I set this up for… I guess its an issue caused by something on my network.

        Thanks again for this awesome tutorial and excellent info.

  16. Recent Episodes Home Screen Widget.

    Is this automatically added when you do this “Add a Special Video Source to your TV Shows Library” or is this something that needs to be done manually and if so how is it done.

          1. I know how to get to the skins area what I don’t know is which skin to be using or how to add a widget? I am not sure if you have to install it separately like on an android phone or comes preinstalled already within a certain skin. I have the default skin on 15.1.

          2. Widgets are always included as part of the theme and not anything you install separately.

            Using the Confluence default skin, go to Skin Settings > Home window > check Show recently added videos

            The Aeon Nox theme has a whole configuration interface for customizing the home screen which you can find the skin settings for that skin.

    1. There was a period of time where the shows I know I watched suddenly appeared as not watched. I think there was either an update of Kodi or an update of Genesis that caused and/or resolved that problem. So, I would just say make sure you’re on the latest stable versions.

    2. There was a period of time where the shows I know I watched suddenly appeared as not watched. I think there was either an update of Kodi or an update of Genesis that caused and/or resolved that problem. So, I would just say make sure you’re on the latest stable versions.

  17. Thanks for this post. I have been looking for this information everywhere. Very well described and I was using a Android system so thanks for posting the link describing the location of the Userdata folder. I have a three part question for you because I don’t know if there are limits to your library set up choices. Sorry for the hassle but this is very interesting to me.

    (1) I noticed in the screenshots posted, that you have a “Live TV” library listed. How did you create this library? I watch some streams through channels like USTVNow and others and would like to have all these channels under one library if possible.

    (2) Is it possible to create a library like “Kid Shows” so that I can selectively add certain programs under that library as a one-stop-shop for my kids to find all of their shows?

    (3) As a test, I set up the “TV Shows” library for Genesis as you described and added shows to the library. I then went into 1Channel and performed your instructions again used this addon. It created a new media source called “TVShows (2)” (i.e., I already had a “TVShows” created from the previous example) and all content I added from 1Channel and Genesis under the “TV Shows” library on the Home Screen. However, if I chose the same show from both Genesis and 1Channel, only the Genesis shows appear. Is this because I set up Genesis first?

    Sorry for all the questions but this is the first site that I have found that explains this all so adequately. Thanks again

    1. Colby, thanks for the kind comments.

      1) I have live TV because I have a USB TV tuner, Argus TV running as my TV backend, and the Argus Live TV PVR add-on in Kodi.

      2) I’ve heard of possible ways to categorize TV shows, but I haven’t done this myself yet. I know there is a feature request for it, but I think there are some add-ons that might help.

      3) Your video library merges all of the sources that you give it. If more than one source contain the same TV episode or movie, you will only see one video in your library. I don’t know how it picks which source to pull from.

    2. Colby, thanks for the kind comments.

      1) I have live TV because I have a USB TV tuner, Argus TV running as my TV backend, and the Argus Live TV PVR add-on in Kodi.

      2) I’ve heard of possible ways to categorize TV shows, but I haven’t done this myself yet. I know there is a feature request for it, but I think there are some add-ons that might help.

      3) Your video library merges all of the sources that you give it. If more than one source contain the same TV episode or movie, you will only see one video in your library. I don’t know how it picks which source to pull from.

  18. Excellent post. I was just wondering if you may know how to achieve this on an Ipad as well? I’ve been stumped as to how to even get my ipad version of Kodi to download… :/

  19. Thanks for such a clear and easy to follow tutorial! Is there someone I can find some directions to show me how to install a recent episodes widget on Kodi? Using android and am a bit of a noob I’m afriad!

  20. Hi hidden files are showing and everything but when i goto the Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/ > addon_data > there is noting in this folder (no TV Shows) why is that?

    1. Did you do the first step? In Genesis, search for a TV Shows, and press “c” on it, and select “Add to Library”. Then, you should find a “TV Shows” folder in that folder.

  21. Hi I seem to be having an issue with getting this set up but I’m not sure what the problem is.
    I’ve followed your instructions perfectly as far as I know but for some reason the shows don’t show up when I go to the tv shows section.

    Any ideas as to why this isn’t working?


    1. Tyler, I’ll need a bit more details about your situation in order to figure out why it’s not working. Was there any section of my tutorial that you weren’t too sure about?

  22. Thank you for this post. Only problem is that you can only use this feature with addon that have it built in. while others don’t. I would love to see this compatable with all addons. such as if Super Favorites added this set up it would work for every addon. I have too many issues streaming from Genesis. I enjoy a variety.

    1. Jeremiah, there may be other add-ons that have this kind of functionality. But I don’t think there is any way to do this for EVERY add-on, because the add-on developer would need to store stream files in their addon_data directory in a format which could be scraped accurately which would open in their add-on when opened from the library.

  23. i was using SALTS last night and added a bunch of tv shows to where it said ( add to library) but i cant find where that library is…i can not find where they were saved to for the life of me….i looked and looked but didnt have any luck at all….please if anyone could help i would be forever greatful….also does anyone know how to save your favorites from genesis in case i wanted to wipe my box clean and start over ? thank you all!!!
    have a great New Year!

    1. .Here it is: /Android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata/addon_data/

      Might be different for you based on your OS, but after /files/.kodi, the path is the same. :)

  24. Nathan Kinkead, I came here by mistake because I was searching something familiar. I am actually struggling for days to do this without downloading all series. I just want the streams added to video library.

    Now, THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH THANK YOUS IN THE WORLD AND ENOUGH KIND WORDS TO EXPRESS THE JOY I AM HAVING NOW BECAUSE OF YOUR ARTICLE. Man, you deserve 10 trucks of beer. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    If this is posible with Genesis, can it be done with SALTS/1Channel/etc add-on (Stream all the sources, or anything that supports ADD TO LIBRARY)?

    1. Old post but just for anyone reading…if you end the path at “addon_data”, rather than adding a specific addon (like “genesis” plugin as shown), it will instead capture ALL libraries together, regardless of where you save the stream from.

  25. Hi I’m Antoinette and it’s nice to meet you. I need to know how to do this using the android app on my tablet, thanks for all the great information here. :-)

  26. This is just for TV Shows.. How does it works with movies?
    Instead of adding single movie everytime into library every time, is it possible to add all latest movies from the addons in the video library??

    1. No, this is for both TV Shows and Movies. However, where you can easily add a TV Show to get all the episodes in your library, there is no way to bulk add more than one movie into your library at a time. So, it’s not as cool of a feature when it comes to movies.

  27. So I’m curious if anyone has a way to set the library to download into a cloud like premiumize? I’d love to have the skin capabilities of maintaining a solid library in kodi but I don’t want to load up my firestick with a bunch of data so I was thinking of using my premiumize cloud space as a library and have the video source point to it … is this possible?

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