2014-05-15

Simple Video Presentation with Raspberry Pi

Playing videos in an endless loop is a common problem:
  • Product demos at a trade show or fair
  • Infomercials in a public place or foyer
  • Background fun at a party
  • ...
When I faced this problem at the last LinuxTag we did not want to take a full blown computer with us but make do with a Raspberry Pi. The question was how to turn the Pi into a simple video player with a minimum amount of fuss.

The solution is simple and elegant:
  1. Install OpenELEC (an Kodi distribution) on a SD card
  2. Boot it up once in the Pi to initialize the storage partition
  3. Add the following file in the storage partition as .kodi/userdata/autoexec.py
  4. Add any amount of multimedia files in the storage partition under videos/
  5. Boot up the Pi and enjoy your videos
You can also interrupt the playback and use OpenELEC normally. To go back to the automatic playback simply reboot the system.

And here is our booth with the demo videos in front:

Update 2016-05-13: Adjust for Kodi instead of XBMC. Everything else works as before.