First usage

  • Artwork Beef must process all items in your library, and will do so automatically. There are some artwork in the file system that isn’t added to Kodi’s database with any/many other tools. It will also check web services for new artwork to fill out any media items still missing some, unless “Do not automatically add artwork from web services, only identify local files” is enabled.
  • If you haven’t been managing movie collection artwork, Kodi sets posters and fanart to those of one of the movies in the collection. You may want to run Artwork Beef from Program Add-ons and remove all existing artwork from movie collections before running Artwork Beef’s full process.
  • If you manage all of your artwork with image files and/or NFO files, the add-on settings for each media group “Do not automatically add artwork from web services, only identify local files” will prevent the add-on from querying the web services during automatic processing, saving time and network resources.
    • You may also want to disable “Update artwork for old items daily” if you don’t frequently add new artwork for existing items in the library.
  • The options “Preload local … artwork to texture cache” will preload processed item artwork to Kodi’s texture cache to speed up initial browsing. It only works on artwork saved locally.
  • For art types with multiple multiple images, the options “Prefer artwork from specific web service” will prevent Beef from adding artwork from other web services if any are found at the specified web service, avoiding some duplicate images.
  • To disable all automatic processing for a specific media type, disable all art type options for that media type in the “Automatically add …” section.
  • If you have multiple Kodi devices sharing a MySQL database, only enable the automatic processing on one of them.
  • For multiple Kodi devices with their own databases and you want Artwork Beef to download image files to be shared across them, enable “Automatically add artwork from file system only” on all but the master Kodi device.
  • If you are using the Universal Movie Scraper, configure it to use TheMovieDB for search to add the TMDB ID which improves movie matching on If you are using a media manager, configure it to add a ‘tmdb’ unique ID to movie NFOs.

Okay, so these are more interesting just after the first run:

  • Grabbing movie collection artwork from web services may not work automatically if the collection name in Kodi doesn’t exactly match the collection name on TheMovieDB. After your collections are processed for the first time, run Artwork Beef from Program Add-ons and select “identify unmatched sets with TMDb” to show a list of all still-unmatched movies collections, then select one and enter the name of the collection exactly as it is on TheMovieDB. If a collection was matched incorrectly, navigate to the collection in the video library and choose “Select artwork…” from the “Manage” menu of the context menu, then choose “Search for item”.
  • Ditto music video artwork, but when entering the name use Artist Name - Track Name to search on TheAudioDB.