I have Kodi installed now, I will probably test OSMC later today, are there any other programs similar to them that I could test?

What I am mostly interested in:

  • fullscreen mode (dark mode / theme preferably, even if I would have to make it manually somehow)
  • option to navigate my drive or external drive
  • xbox controller support
  • subtitles support

What I want to accomplish is quite simple, every now and then I want to play a movie from my pc on my tv (connected via hdmi) and I don’t want to use mouse or keyboard while watching it to pause or turn the volume up a notch.

Kodi is kinda okay for all that but it feels a little wonky and pretty often makes a mess with my files, creating duplicates or ghost files on lists…

Thanks for any help!

  • comicallycluttered
    link
    fedilink
    2
    edit-2
    3 months ago
    • fullscreen mode (dark mode / theme preferably, even if I would have to make it manually somehow)
    • option to navigate my drive or external drive
    • xbox controller support
    • subtitles support

    I’m a bit confused as to why Kodi isn’t working fine for you when it comes to all of this.

    I use it on an old laptop specifically for media and all that stuff works perfectly for me, although, admittedly, I do sometimes find that Kodi can initially be somewhat unintuitive (I also had issues when I first set it up, and I think the official wiki is basically required reading at this point).

    Either way, no idea why you’re finding issues with those features.

    It should be fullscreen by default, but if it’s not, (I think?) there should be a fullscreen button somewhere in the top left of the home page if you’re using the default skin.

    There are dozens of skins/themes you can install, some of which are pretty dark by default.

    I personally disable the entire library scanning thing and just browse my external drive because I prefer doing that due to my own organisation of media.

    Multiple controls are natively supported, including most game controllers like Xbox (provided the kernel has the drivers, and if you’re using Windows it absolutely does), and you can also use your smartphone/tablet as a remote control, if you’d like.

    Fully supports most popular subtitle formats, as well.

    The reason it’s messing with your files is because of the way sources can be set up. Don’t add anything to a specific “media library” and disable all media scraping add-ons.

    You can just add your drive (or specific directory) as a basic source and browse it via Kodi’s native file manager that way. You’ll still get thumbnails and basic metadata info, but nothing else (which is perfect for me, personally).

    I’m not at my machine right now, so I can’t really give instructions on that specifically, but for any other stuff, the rest of the Kodi wiki is fairly detailed.

    Again, I also think it’s sometimes a bit unintuitive, but once you sort it out, it can just be left alone to do its thing and shouldn’t bother you with anything you don’t want. For me, I use it as a pretty basic media player, just using a few extra features here and there, but not really as a library management tool like most other people do.

    I would install the backup add-on, though, so you don’t have to go through the whole setup again if you happen to lose the configuration or accidentally enable features you might not want.

    • @somnuzOP
      link
      2
      edit-2
      3 months ago

      First of all, thank you for your answer! I am starting to have a feeling as if my post sounds to everyone replying like “Kodi bad”… When the main idea was more around “I am researching the subject, need some guidance from people that know more than me and all those top five Kodi alternatives articles”.

      From your reply, I have yet another feeling, you sound to me now probably like I sounded over ten years ago talking about how Photoshop is a great software and how many amazing options it has to someone asking me “is there a simple way to rotate / resize my pictures?”…

      Sure, I am still using Kodi, I even mentioned in another reply that I’ve found quite a cool theme that already feels better for me and I definitely have some more reading and tinkering to do… But the question is still jumping around in my brain, “is there any other / simpler / better way to achieve this effect?” — I hope you understand what I mean by that and why I posted here.

      • comicallycluttered
        link
        fedilink
        2
        edit-2
        3 months ago

        Ah, sure.

        Yeah, I get it. I hope my post wasn’t unnecessarily overwhelming or anything. Didn’t mean to be all “come to the light, Kodi has all you need”. I see now what you were getting at. Not that Kodi is missing those features, but that you want something simpler with those features.

        I actually wanted something similar before I even bothered with Kodi. All I wanted was to maybe go through my files and play my videos with SMPlayer (I just prefer that over VLC).

        Too many features can be unnecessary, so I get you.

        Even for me, Kodi can sometimes be too much. My setup is so basic that it might as well be a glorified video player, but there are a few features I still use and the laptop isn’t for anything else, so no reason to use anything else at this point.

        Now, this might sound like an odd idea, but have you looked into maybe trying to launch a video player via Steam’s Big Picture mode? I ask because you can set up your controller to work similarly to mouse and keyboard with Steam Input and then you can control the video with your Xbox controller.

        You could probably make a custom layout and then map certain buttons to their respective keyboard shortcuts.

        You then wouldn’t need to install or set up anything else, and it’ll allow you to use whatever media player you want.

        I know this does add a bit more complexity for the initial starting up the player, but once everything’s mapped, you just launch it from Steam and watch your stuff (admittedly, you would need to open your files from within the media player, which could be annoying due to most standalone media players not really having their own “big picture” mode).

        • @somnuzOP
          link
          2
          edit-2
          3 months ago

          I appreciated your message, like everyone else’s here. It’s still amazing for me that I have my tiny, contrived idea of what I need, a whim, or a problem (that doesn’t exist) on a level of “duh, this button and color scheme doesn’t represent my spirit animal well enough”, and yet — there are people willing to put an effort and their time into replying, sharing their ideas / knowledge with me…

          With Steam Input I once had such a twisted situation — circus would be the word to describe it best. It just somehow stopped working after my Windows updated once and made all my USB ports unusable so I had no input at all… and simultaneously in Safe Mode Steam didn’t want to start — so I just couldn’t untick that hellish option, deleting steam made things even worse, it was my second bluescreen on W10 since installation. Luckily some registry magic did the trick and I am never again touching the Steam Input.

          I will probably continue using and one day get used to Kodi, but it won’t stop me from searching for a player or something that will have the closest functionality to what I am looking for.

          • comicallycluttered
            link
            fedilink
            23 months ago

            Ah, good ol’ Microsoft. Always finding ways to “surprise” us.

            I know you can use AutoHotKey to map controller input as well, but I totally understand why you might not want to after that other mess happened (and I imagine you may have actually tried this already anyway).

            Anyway, no prob. I’ll look around as well and if I come across anything, I’ll let you know.

            In the meantime, I hope your search goes well!

            • @somnuzOP
              link
              23 months ago

              Why… Why I haven’t thought about that…

              Thank You! I am using my AHK script for so many different things already but I have never thought that I even could map controller inputs to do anything there… When I was rewriting things from v1 to v2 and tidying everything up, I was reading the wiki a lot but not even once saw controller mapping as an option.

              Or maybe I just don’t remember?

              I always knew AHK was really versatile but it just keeps on coming with yet another pleasant surprise! Plenty of reading ahead of me!

              • comicallycluttered
                link
                fedilink
                23 months ago

                Or maybe I just don’t remember?

                Lol, actually that’s on me. I was an idiot and confused AHK with Joy2Key for some reason.

                However, I did find this on the AHK wiki, although it seems like Microsoft, as usual, makes things harder than they need to be:

                For Xbox controller 2013 and newer (anything newer than the Xbox 360 controller), Joy1 to Joy32 hotkeys will only work if a window owned by the script is active, such as a message box, GUI, or the script’s main window. This limitation also applies to GetKeyState for Joy1 to Joy32 and JoyX, JoyY, JoyZ, JoyR, JoyU, JoyPOV (and possibly JoyV), but not for JoyName, JoyButtons, JoyAxes and JoyInfo. To detect those controller inputs for other active windows, use the XInput.ahk library.

                Still, it’s worth a shot regardless. Seems like it does support gamepads but there might also be some tinkering required.

                • @somnuzOP
                  link
                  23 months ago

                  Yeah, got this page opened in my browser already, just for the v2. I will definitely play with that and do some testing on what can be achieved with all that.

                  I still have no clue why I didn’t even consider AHK as a solution or at least a partial solution when it was the solution so many times before already…