Chorus - A web interface for Kodi and XBMC

Tagged InAllKodiProjectsWebDesignUXJavaScript

It's like iTunes in your browser controlling a stereo somewhere else

A bit of history first

I really enjoy throwing parties and one of the most important things about being a party host is the music. I wanted a way to control the music while not running back to the stereo whenever a song, playlist or album finished. I also like taking song requests from the crowd. So I started playing around with solutions to this problem.

I had been using XBMC (running on the original Xbox) for a few years as a player for all my media and had discovered it had a web interface, which I could actually access via my mobile phone. 2005 me was amazed! The problem was the UI, It was designed for a much larger screen.  So being open source, I decided to do some customising of my own and hacked away at the thing until it worked on my phone.  Thus started my addiction with the Kodi web interface.

As the years passed, so did phones and my "phone remote control" versions and had actually made it do some neat things (especially with search). But then, XBMC released a new version with an official API via JSON-RPC. This provided a clean and documented method of interacting with XMBC, or more specifically, what is playing on your home entertainment system.  My addiction went up a notch and now actually had another user for the remote controlling of music.  The office! We have a shared office space with speakers and an amp, If we had a nice web interface we could control what was playing in the office with our web browsers. So with that I started creating the first web interface I felt worthy of actually sharing with the world. Its unimaginative name was xbmcwui or XMBC Web UI and actually worked really well, I had just been introduced to Google music so had a good source for inspiration on how to do things in a browser.

Xbmcwui was good and all, but had some big limitations and looking back, it is safe to say the code isn't that great, I hadn't really leaned many best practices at that point.  I had also discovered some wonderful JavaScript frameworks, particularly ones that are really designed for an app like this.  I am looking at you Backbone.  So as I have said to myself so many times before... "Time to make another new web interface for XBMC". And this time, Chorus was born.


So what is Chorus exactly...

Essentially, Chorus is a way for you to remotely control the video on your TV and the audio from your stereo. All via a web browser.

To really understand what Chorus does, you need to know what XBMC/Kodi does. If you don't know, Kodi is a media player very much like iTunes, Windows Media Player or VLC but designed to look good on a TV and controlled with a simple remote. Kodi can be installed on anything from a HDMI TV stick to a your Desktop pc these days.

A use case of this is installing Kodi on your phone, install Chorus addon, plug phone into loudest stereo in the house. Control the music pumping out of said stereo via a web browser on any phone/tablet/computer in the house. You could even control it all via the internet.  DJ from the other side of the world if you like!

From github:

A nice modern Web UI for your XBMC. Browse your Music, Movies or TV Shows from the comfort of your own web browser. You can play media via XBMC or stream it in your browser. Works best with Chrome but plays well with most modern browsers. Used by the Doghouse Media Team to control the shared office music box (an old pc running XBMC with chorus, plugged into an amp and a NAS)

Read more @ GitHub


What does it look like

I came across this video showing off Chorus, unfortunately it is not in english, but you should get the idea.


How to in install

You will need to know how to install Kodi first, but once that is done, installing Chorus is a breeze. Thankfully Lost Packets over on the You Tubes has put together a video on doing just that: 


Other Chorus Links


Chorus 2

Started early 2015, the addiction continues..

Chorus2 Development  


Next Article