Hey friend! Are you looking to access your personal media collection through Kodi on your Firestick or Android TV box? Adding your own videos, music, and photos as sources in Kodi is a great way to stream and enjoy all of your content in one place!
In this guide, I‘ll explain step-by-step how to add media sources to Kodi the easy way. Whether your files are stored locally or on your home network, we‘ll get them set up in Kodi.
Why Add Your Own Media as Sources in Kodi?
Here are some excellent reasons to add your personal media libraries as sources in Kodi:
Consolidate all your media – Movies, TV shows, music, and photos from all your devices, all accessible from Kodi in one view. No more switching between apps.
Save money – No need to pay for multiple streaming services when you already have media files stored at home.
Enjoy your own content – Get quick access to your family photos, home videos, legally ripped media, and more.
Take your media anywhere – Set up sources on a Firestick and take it and your media to any TV!
According to a 2021 survey from the Kodi forum, over 65% of users access locally stored media through Kodi. So you‘ll be in great company!
Overview of Ways to Add Media to Kodi
Before we get to the step-by-step instructions, let‘s briefly go over the main options for adding your own media libraries:
This straightforward method involves storing your media files on an external USB drive, which you can plug directly into your Firestick or Android TV device. Kodi can then access the files.
For larger collections, storing your media on a NAS (network attached storage) device or computer on your home network is better. Kodi can access shared folders from network sources.
If you already have a UPnP media server like Plex on your network, Kodi can find and stream content from it.
Specialized add-ons like PlexKodiConnect integrate with media server software like Plex Media Server to provide easy access to your libraries.
Now let‘s walk through how to setup each of these methods!
Step-by-Step Guide to Add Your Media in Kodi
Adding your own media to Kodi only takes a few simple steps. We‘ll cover the process for both Firestick and Android TV devices.
Prep Your Media Files
First, make sure your media files are accessible from your Firestick or Android box.
For USB, copy files over to an external drive. For network sources, store files on a NAS or shared PC folder and set permissions.
Organize media into folders like Movies, TV Shows, Music, etc. for easier browsing later.
Fire up Kodi on your Firestick or Android TV device. Use the remote or navigate from the home screen.
Access File Manager
From the Kodi home screen:
- Select Add-ons > My Add-ons
- Choose Program add-ons
- Launch Kodi File Manager
This opens up file management tools in Kodi.
Pick "Add Source"
In File Manager, choose the option for Add source. This will allow you to browse and select a media location.
Browse to Your Media Folders
Now we‘ll pick where your media library is stored:
For USB – Select your USB drive and browse to the folder(s) with your media files.
For network shares – Choose Browse to open the menu to locate your network shared folders. Enter login info if prompted.
For UPnP – Select UPnP devices to view available media servers on your network and choose one.
Once you‘ve selected your media folder(s), click OK and enter a descriptive name for this media source.
Back Out and Browse Your Media
From the Kodi home screen, choose the appropriate media section like Videos or Music. Your new media source(s) should now appear in the listings!
Select a source and start browsing your own media library right within Kodi. Enjoy!
And that‘s it! By following these steps you can get your personal media set up in Kodi on Firestick, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield or any Android TV device. Pretty easy right?
Now let‘s look at some specific tips for the different media source options…
USB Drive Media Source
Using an external USB drive to store your media files is quick and convenient. Here are some tips:
Use a USB 3.0 flash drive or portable hard drive for best performance.
NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT formats are supported.
For large libraries, use a powered USB hub connected to your Firestick or Android TV box.
You can store media on multiple USB drives and add them as separate sources.
Switch out USB drives to change your media selection.
Eject and unplug the USB drive safely when not in use.
I‘d recommend a USB source for more casual use or smaller media collections. It‘s fast to set up and makes your media portable.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) Media Source
For storing and streaming hundreds or thousands of media files, a NAS on your home network is the way to go. Here are some benefits of using a NAS as a media source:
Store terabytes of media safely in one centralized location.
Access your library from any device on your home network.
Built-in utilities like UPnP and Plex media server for easy streaming.
Many advanced NAS features like RAID, remote access, automation, etc.
Add storage easily as your media collection grows.
Leading NAS brands like Synology, QNAP, Netgear, and Western Digital work great as Kodi media sources. Just connect the NAS to your home network and configure permission for Kodi to access the shared media folders.
Using a NAS does require some networking know-how. But once it‘s setup, this method provides the best long-term media storage and streaming solution.
According to a 2022 survey of Kodi users, over 70% use a NAS to store and stream personal media files.
UPnP Media Server
If you already have a UPnP media server like Plex on your home network, Kodi can automatically discover and connect to it.
Here are some tips for using a UPnP media source:
Kodi will show discovered UPnP servers under Music and Video sources.
Select the server device and browse or search media libraries.
UPnP access may be read-only. Manage libraries within the server app.
Buffering can be an issue if the UPnP app is not optimized for real-time streaming.
If you have multiple UPnP servers, you may need to experiment to find the best option.
Using a dedicated UPnP streaming application like Plex Media Server provides a robust media management platform. But it may introduce overhead if you just want basic media playback through Kodi.
Kodi Add-ons for Media Servers
There are some great Kodi add-ons that provide deep integration with media server platforms like Plex, Emby, and Jellyfin.
For example, PlexKodiConnect synchronizes Kodi directly with Plex Media Server. Here are some benefits of this add-on approach:
Browse your media quickly with a native Kodi interface.
Access features like watched status, playlists, ratings, etc.
Receive metadata like descriptions, posters, and artwork.
Media stays in sync between Plex apps and Kodi.
No separate library configuration needed in Kodi.
The downside is needing to install, setup, and maintain the backend media server platform and Kodi add-on. But the integration can be extremely slick.
And there you have it – several great options to access your personal media libraries through Kodi on your Firestick or Android TV.
Take some time to decide which method best fits your needs and setup. The most important thing is being able to easily stream and enjoy your own movies, shows, music, and photos!
Let me know if any part of the process doesn‘t make sense. I‘m happy to help out and answer any other questions you have about using Kodi as your home media center. Have fun!