How To Add Your Podcast Feeds To Your XBMC Media Center

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xbmc media centerGet access to your favorite podcasts, video or audio, using XBMC. Whether you want to listen to Technophilia or a podcast that’s actually good, XBMC has you covered in a roundabout way.

You don’t need any plugin to listen to podcasts, but the method of doing so isn’t entirely obvious and the official documentation isn’t exactly helpful. I spent two weeks playing around with plugins that didn’t really help before stumbling upon this method, so I feel like I should share it.

Simply put, there are no good plugins, as of this writing, for managing your podcasts in XBMC, but there is a way to listen to and watch podcasts by default. Your media center will be way better if you do this.

Adding Your Podcast Using The GUI

So what’s the trick? Basically, it’s adding the RSS feed as a media source. I know, it’s not intuitive. The media source menu seems like a place to add folders with media files and nothing else, but that’s simply not the case.

Head to the “File” menu of the music or video section of XBMC, depending on what sort of podcast you are adding. Then click “Add Source.” Instead of adding a folder on your computer, type the RSS feed yourself, beginning with “rss://” instead of “http://”.

xbmc media center

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So far as I can tell, you can’t paste the URL into XBMC, meaning you’ll have to type the URL by hand. Keep reading if this is too much work; there’s another method.

podcast xbmc

Repeat the process for all of your podcasts, being sure to put video and audio podcasts in their proper places. That’s it; you can now stream music from your podcasts by browsing the “File” section whenever you like.

Editing Sources.xml

Do you prefer editing a text file rather than messing around with the GUI? That makes sense. You can manually add your sources in Sources.xml, if you’re geeky enough to figure it out.

Where is Sources.xml? It depends what operating system you’re using. Here’s the list:

  • Windows XP: Documents and Settings\Application Data\XBMC\userdata\
  • Vista/Windows 7: Users\\AppData\Roaming\XBMC\userdata\
  • Mac OS X: /Users//Library/Application Support/XBMC/userdata/
  • iOS: /private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/XBMC/userdata/
  • Linux: $HOME/.xbmc/userdata/

Once you’ve found the file, you’re going to need to add code. Use this code:

<name>RSS Feed</name>

You’re going to need to replace “RSS Feed” with the name of your podcast, and “rss://” with the URL of your podcast. Remember: you need to replace “http://” with “rss://” or this may not work. You’re also going to want to make sure that audio podcasts are within this <music> tag, while video ones are within the <video> tag.

Are you confused by this method? Stick to the GUI, then, but know that learning this can save you time.

Using The Favorites

Once you’ve added your podcasts you’re going to want to browse them regularly. They’ll be a lot easier to find if you add them to your favorites. Doing so is easy – simply right-click on the podcast in the “File” menu, or press the “C” key while the podcast is selected. Then click “Add to Favorites

xbmc media center

You can add just about anything to your favorites, including shows and sections from addons and even shows on Hulu, so this menu will quickly become the center of your media center.


XBMC is complicated, but rewarding. Adding podcasts is no exception. I don’t know why this needed to be so hard, but I really like having access now that I figured it out. I hope I’ve helped you solve a problem too.

What podcasts do you like to watch or listen to on your XBMC media center? Share, along with any other thoughts, in the comments below.

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