Setting up Documentaries menu in Kodi

The first thing I did was to actually separate the documentaries from the tv shows on the disk. I created a separate directory within my /emedia folder called documentaries, alongside the tvshows folder, and then moved all the documentaries into it. Then I had to adjust the nfs exporting stuff on cinnamon to mount a share named documentaries and export it, so that the other computers could see it. Then in Kodi, first I cleaned the library (to remove all the previous pointers to the documentaries which were formerly inside the /tvshows folder), then I went to Videos and created a new source called documentaries, pointing to it. When it asks for the type of content, and I tell it they are tv shows, it scrapes them all, as tvshows, and so now the library is back where it was – with all the tv series and documentaries mixed up together in the library, under the general heading of “tv shows”. What I want now is to differentiate between them – those that are from /emedia/documentaries/ are documentaries, while those that are from /emedia/tvshows/ are the tv series.

I experimented with the video node editor, and with manually creating or modifying nodes by copying the system library into the userdata/library folder. I created a documentaries.xml, and had it working. But in the end there was a much easier way using just smart playlists.

I had to use a different skin, because Confluence doesn’t have the required features. I used Aeon Nox, but I saw some stuff on the web suggesting one might also use Aeon MQ – I thought it was MQ4, but I look now and see that there is also an MQ5 and MQ6. I may experiment with them, but right now I am using Aeon Nox.

First I created two “Smart Playlists” (Main Menu->Videos->Playlists->New Smart Playlist). I named them “TV Series” and “Documentaries”. In the smart playlist I did “add new rule”. A rule is in the form <field> <operator> <value>. They have a drop down for the first two. The first one starts initialized at title, but I cycled through to find ‘path’, then set the <operator> to ‘contains’ (for Documentaries) and ‘does not contain’ (for TV Series) and set the value to ‘/documentaries/’. I also set the “order” field for TV Series to be last added, but left the documentaries as alphabetical by title.

In System->Appearance->Skin Settings there is stuff to modify the main menu in Aeon Nox, and they have some extra main menu items (Custom1, Custom2…) which one can use. So I used Custom1 and Custom2 to create entries called TV Series and Documentaries. For each of them after typing the name field, I used the “Default Select Action”, which when clicked shows a menu of different actions. I picked Video Library, and within that picked Playlists, and selected the playlist created in the last step. It asks what you want to do when the selection is picked – do you want to display the elements of the playlist, or start playing the whole playlist, and I want to display it. As soon as you finish doing this and return, the new main menu item is marked as “enabled”.

Then I went to the (old) menu item for TV Shows, and marked it as “disabled”. One can still see that by going to Videos->TV Shows, which is the same thing. It just shows the TV Series and the Documentaries all mixed up together. Which is ok, but too long a list.