There isn’t as much functionality included in the picture viewer, mostly because there isn’t a whole lot that you can do with images out of the box. That being said, there are quite a few great add-ons to help put a little spice into your image library.
Adding Pictures to the library
If you’ve added music or movies to your library, then this is going to look very familiar. From the Kodi home screen’s ribbon scroll over to the Pictures option. Here there’s only one sub-menu listed below for any Add-ons you want to install. That’s not what we’re looking for, so click on the main Pictures option instead.
Just as with Movies and Music, you can install Add-ons and add files to your media library in this screen. Also, when you do have pictures in your library, their folder names will be listed in this menu as well.
Unlike the Movies and Music tabs, the Pictures menu is much simpler. In fact, all you can do on this page is add pictures to your library or install an add-on.
Let’s walk through how to add pictures to your Kodi media library. As you can probably guess, you’re going to want to click on Add pictures… to start the process.
By now Adding a Source should look familiar. If you know the file path, you can enter it in the text box, or click Browse to search for it.
All of the drives that your Kodi installation can detect will be listed here, with blue icons. The red icons will be network file locations which you may or may not have, but Kodi lists them anyway, for completeness sake.
My pictures are stored on a Western Digital MyCloud Network Accessible Storage (NAS) device, which could be found in one of three ways, depending on how I set it up: Network File System (NFS), Universal Plug and Play UPnP devices, or Windows network (SMB). In my particular setup, it’s configured as a Windows network (SMB) device.
Navigate to the folder that your pictures are stored in. For this example, I went to one individual folder without any subfolders. Kodi won’t list the individual pictures, only the folder names.
There were two ways that I knew I’d reached the correct folder. First, The only option in the main window was to go back up a level, as shown by the blue up arrow and the ‘..’ at the top of the Browse for new share window. The second way is to look at the shared folder’s path which is in white text at the bottom of that window.
Once you’ve found the folder, click OK to continue.
Once you click OK, you’ll be brought back to the Add Pictures source window and your folder path will be listed in the text box. Choose a name for your pictures and click OK to continue.
That will take you back to the main Pictures sub-menu and your folder will be listed on the menu. In my case, you can see my Sample Pictures folder listed between Picture add-ons and Add pictures...
Kodi will then attempt to scan the folder to get a better idea of what kind of files are in that directory.
After the scan is complete, click in your new directory and take a look at your pictures library.
Pictures Sidebar Menu
You can access the Pictures sidebar menu by moving the mouse to the left hand side of the screen, or by pressing the left directional arrow if you’re using a remote control with a D-pad.
From the sidebar menu, you can change settings related to how you view your pictures and how you view slideshows. The View options are fairly self-explanitory, but I want to touch on the slideshow settings. They are listed under the Misc Options heading.
Once you’re in a folder that has pictures in it, you’ll see three things listed in the sidebar menu: Slideshow, Recursive Slideshow and Randomise. The only settings change here is the toggle for randomizing the order that your photos appear.
The Slideshow and Recursive Slideshow options will both (predictably) start a slideshow using the pictures in this folder. A Recursive Slideshow will also look in any and all sub-folders in the directory and include those images in the slideshow as well.
Slideshow settings in Kodi 16 have been trimmed down slightly and made a bit easier to understand. Only a bit though. I think there’s still room for improvement, especially for users who aren’t programmers or who’s primary language is not English. Recursion is a topic I don’t hear about very often, unless I’m speaking with my computer programmer friends. A simpler way to describe this would be a toggle for “include sub-folders”, which would mean the same thing and is easier to understand.
There are only two subcategories for Pictures in the Kodi Settings menu: File lists and Slideshow. There are some minor revisions to these in Kodi 16, so even if you’re familiar with how they’ve worked in the past, it’s worth a refresher.
If you’re used to having settings related to EXIF picture information, you’re out of luck. EXIF stands for EXchangeable Image File format. It tags pictures with extra information such as date and time, camera settings, orientation and geolocation.
In an effort to cleanup some of the “minor” settings options, the Kodi developers have enabled EXIF rotation by default and taken away the option to change the setting. They’ve also done the same with the Show EXIF Picture Information setting.
With those two settings removed, the File Lists settings window now only contains toggle on\off options for Automatically Generate Thumbnails and Show Video Files in Listings.
The Slideshow settings here allow you to tweak your slideshow presentations. You can change the Amount of time to display each image from as low as 1 second to as many as 100 seconds per image.
There is an on\off toggle switch for Using pan and zoom effects, that bring a little life into a flat slideshow. The effect is popular, which also means it’s overused. You may want to use it sparingly.
Finally, there is another toggle switch for randomizing your slideshow.