Kodi on the Amazon Fire TV stick (and trouble resuming and mark as watched)

By | January 15, 2016

I recently picked up an AFTV stick to replace my Raspberry Pi. The main reason was that the Android-based device will have Netflix, HBO-Go, ShowTime and other apps handy AND it will run Kodi so I can keep all my media in one spot.

The RPi had no (easy) provision for anything but Kodi, leaving me to use the apps on my “smart” TV for Youtube, Netflix et al. A horribly-slow-and-rarely-updated option that left me annoyed.

 

 

Here was my process to get it all setup after the initial startup.

  1. Go to Settings -> System -> Developer Options and enable Unknown Sources and ADB Debugging.
  2. Install ES File Explorer.
    Either use your computer, log in to your Amazon App Store and deliver it to your FireTV Stick, or –
    Search for ES File Explorer on the FireTV, install and run it.
  3. Add KODI download link & install Kodi.
    In ES File Explorer, click ADD under the Favorites menu.
    In the PATH field, enter http://kodi.tv/download
    In the NAME field, call it Kodi or something to identify the link by.

    Exit out and then click the link you just created. It will take you to the Kodi download directory.
    Browse to the ARM link under Android, then wait a minute for Kodi to finish downloading. Once done, click OPEN FILE, then INSTALL.

  4. To launch Kodi, click Settings -> Applications -> Manage Installed Applications -> Kodi.

 

I ended up using FireStarter to create a quick-start menu for apps and start Kodi automatically when the FireTV boots up, but there are plenty of resources for how to do that.

Now with Kodi installed, this is where I ran into issues.
I accessed my file shares via UPnP and mapped them that way in Kodi. This later proved problematic as I couldn’t resume videos I had started but not finished, and I also didn’t get the check mark for “watched” after videos I had seen. In a 22 episode TV show it was a hassle to remember where I stopped.

This “mark as watched” feature and resume doesn’t seem to work over UPnP, which a lot of googling seemed to reveal.

I decided to switch to SMB to access the files, but then I got an error from Kodi saying “this operation not permitted“.  Blast!

More googling and it turns out that SMB wants to use the Guest Account on the NAS.  It’s disabled by default. I enabled it and then all was well!
I got the check marks on completed videos and the little arrow on videos I had started but not finished.  I also noticed that scraping began to work again.

In short;

  1. Use SMB to access file shares
  2. SMB requires the Guest Account to be enabled on the NAS.

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