How to play media files from External USB Storage on Amazon Fire TV

firetvscreenshot_20140615-192701Now that the Amazon Fire TV has been rooted, a slew of new capabilities can be unlocked. For starters, with a rooted Fire TV you can play media files from a USB drive or external hard drive. Read on for the full guide.

This guide will show you how to mount a drive plugged into the Fire TV’s USB port and play video and music files via XBMC.

  1. If you haven’t done so yet, you will need to root your Fire TV.
  2. Sideload XBMC media player. You can download the Android ARM apk form here. Use one of the several methods we’ve written about to sideload XBMC onto your Fire TV.
  3. Download StickMount using the evozi APK Downloader.
  4. Sideload StickMount onto your Fire TV.
  5. Plug your USB thumb drive or hard drive into the USB port on the back of the Fire TV.
  6. Launch StickMount
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-194327
  7. Select the “Mount” menu option.
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-192342
  8. Grant StickMount permission.
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-192350
  9. StickMount will display a message indicating the drive has been mounted
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-192357
  10. Launch XBMC
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-194725
  11. Go to “Files” under the “Videos” menu
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-192630
  12. Select “Add Videos…”
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-194945
  13. Select “Browse”
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-195024
  14. Select “External storage”
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-192701
  15. Navigate to the directory StickMount listed in step 9 (probably “usbStorage/sda1”) and select “OK”.
    firetvscreenshot_20140615-192729
  16. Select “OK” at the bottom and your media source will now show up within XBMC.

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47 comments
  1. brunzbushn says:

    does not work here with me… firetv rooted, tried two different usb-sticks formatted with different filesystems (ext2, ntfs, fat32, exfat)

  2. Kirky says:

    Works great, thanks for the easy to follow writeup.

  3. Itsmyworld18200 says:

    I followed all the procedures, shows usbstorage/sda1, but no folders inside my 1TB HD? showing no folders or file?

    • Alex says:

      I have the same issue. I can mount the hard drive (Seagate 1TB External 2.5″) and I see the SDA1 and SDA2 folder but both are empty (in the System view and the Videos view).

      Any ideas why this is happening / how to fix?

      Thanks,

      Alex

  4. J says:

    Can you play mkvs on network shares this way?

    • AFTVnews says:

      For network shares, you don’t need to use this USB method. Just add your network shares in XBMC as you would on any device running XBMC. In step 14, just select your specific network share type (e.g., SMB, NFS, etc..).

      More info here: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=File_sharing

      • RichieF says:

        hey, i have an unrooted firetv and im trying to play some roms through xbmc (using rom collection browser). the roms are located on a NAS drive which all my devices have access to. I was able to get the plugin to import the roms and scrape the data but when i try to play any rom using an emulator i installed i get a message saying “unable to locate path sda1/blahblahblah/roms, path does not exist”. I figure that this is because the device wont allow me to play the roms from the network shared

        but if i were to root my drive – would it be possible to play the games i have from the shared drive or would i have to try something else like Samba or mounting a USB stick and porting the games to it?

        even though XBMC can see the network drive.. im not sure if the fire TV itself does, so how would i let my firetv have access to the shared drive so i wont see this message anymore?

    • dunwan says:

      Did you get to find out if the rooted Fire TV will play MKV?

  5. Max says:

    Thanks so much! After days of frustrations, your instructions were absolutely the best!

    For those, like me, who could verify that the external drive was mounted but could see no content it, you are most likely looking in the wrong location. Instead of intuitively looking under the SYSTEMS menu and the External Storage there, be sure you are looking under the VIDEO menu.

  6. Pod says:

    Does not work for me it shows me the amazon home folder

  7. Joe says:

    Thanks for the Guide. A little suggestion for everyone, download an app for your PC called Amazon FireTV Side App Installer found here:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2736774

    This is an amazing app that lets you root your Amazon Fire TV in one push, sideload apps in one push. I can’t say enough about how amazing this app is and it is currently well supported. Last update for me was 38 hours ago. Used this app – and have my 3TB External Drive up and working with XBMC.

  8. dequan says:

    what version of xbmc do you think works best with fire tv? 12.3.2 or 13.1

  9. LRG says:

    Like somebody already mentioned, I’ve already tried 2 external hdd’s and 1 usb stick all formatted with different file systems. And still nothing isn’t working at all.

    There should be a specific list on what type of storage and formats that officially works.

    Truly a pain in the ass.

  10. jason says:

    I rooted the fire tv and installed stick mount. Went into stick mount and loaded it clicked on mount mass usb device.
    I plugged in a kingston USB flash and when i go into XBMC and find it as sda1 i don’t see the folders either. BUT i click on ok anyway and then when it shows up under SDA1 in my xbmc files i click on it and i can see folders and files

  11. william says:

    I bought 3 Amazon Fire TV (2 for me and 1 for someone else) and rooted and installed all the same apps for each device. They all recognize Sandisk 32gb usb stick. However, only 1 Fire TV (with 51.1.0.1_user_510055620 software) would recognize my 1 TB WD portable hard drive. I could play my movie collection on XBMC from my portable hard drive…. The Fire TV (with 51.1.0.2_user_510058520 software) and the Fire TV (with 51.1.1.0_user_511070220 software) couldn’t recognize the WD hard drive but they all recognized the usb stick. Stickmount keeps saying “Active mounts: none” with the portable hard drive. I have no idea why this is happening. Any solutions how to fix this problem?

  12. Bill says:

    I have installed Stickmount on three different Fire TV’s and they all work fine using a powered usb hub with a thumb drive (for thumbnails), a Bluetooth keyboard dongle and Ortek an IR receiver installed. Now I am trying to get an external CDROM working, but it doesn’t want to mount.
    Anyone have any success getting an external CDROM drive to work?

  13. stephen says:

    i get a no active mounts when i use stickmount to mount a 32gb flash drive
    help!

  14. giantjoebot says:

    It was working great, and then all of a sudden stopped working. Uninstalled, re-installed, restarted, uninstalled just about every other app, and re ran the rooted update. Still won’t work. So weird.

  15. Wolverine says:

    Does anybody experience judder when playing 1080p H.264 (AC3 audio) MKV files with the fire TV?

    I’ve tried XBMC and MXPlayer. I am seeing judder and frame drops with my AFTV, but can’t figure out how to tweak it. The same files play smoothly on my Galaxy S4 and Nexus 7.

  16. norcal says:

    When select the “Mount” menu option, it does not ask to Grant StickMount permission but it closed the Stickmount window every time.

    What am I missing? How do I get the Superuser? Any help would be appreciated.

  17. Hello Friends

    I went through the guide to add an external drive , It mounted correctly but i didn’t see any files .

    Solution- after you select usb storage / drive name / folder containing files – you will see two ..’s then select ” ok ” from the right

    It should then say add video source with the path you want to add heres mine path .

    /storage/emulated/0/usbStorage/sda1/Movie Vault/

    select ” ok ” from the right side
    you will tell XBMC what type of file it is Movie /Tv etc and hit ” ok ” from right side

    it will then scan usb drive for you media . and create a folder with the name of folder containing said files .

    hope this helps someone .

  18. Rick says:

    Hello,

    Can you please confirm if this modification will automatically recognize your external drive going forward or do you have to manually mount the drive with Stickmount each and every time you unplug and plug the external drive?

    Thank you

  19. Rick says:

    Worked flawlessly!! Thank you. I am now able to play movies from my WD Passport 2TB via XBMC.

    The only problem I’m having is that XBMC won’t rewind a movie. It starts all movies from the beginning when you try to rewind.

    Anyone else experiencing this symptom?

    • AFTVnews says:

      You can use the circle directional buttons on the Fire Tv Voice Remote to skip around the movie. Pressing Right and Left will skip forward and back by 20 seconds. Pressing Up and Down will skip forward and back by 2 minutes. That’s the best way to rewind and fast forward in XBMC on the Fire TV

  20. Fig says:

    So annoying. Was working fine, restarted the FT and now it won’t mount at all. It says it does but after a while my HD goes on stand-by mode. Tried deleting apps, clearing everything, loading the apps again, nothing. So damn annoying.

    • Fig says:

      Well, I tried everything. I even went completely back to rootable stock. Rooted, installed CWM, unlocked the bootloader, upgraded to latest fw, installed XBMC, SPMC, followed every step again and it still didn’t work. Not sure if it was a problem with the type of HD or partition I was using or a bug within StickMount but, anyways… I got rid of the thing and got me a WD MyCloud so no need for me to use USB anymore. Excellent guides, by the way!

      • KEAT says:

        Hi Fig, did you get the my cloud drive working okay? Are you able to stream movies direct from my cloud to XBMC? Also, I would like to stream roms from a my cloud to an emulator on FTV. Will it work?

        Thanks!

  21. santi says:

    works for me …….BUT when i play back a show or movie is stops and crashs back to ftv menu why? is there a fix?

    All praise and be thankful for AFTVnew.com u r the real MVP

  22. Matt says:

    If I mount the drive is there anyway for other devices to stream from the fire TV?

  23. Rick says:

    Greetings and thanks for all of the great advice. I’ve managed to d/l and install XBMC on my Amazon Fire Stick without problem.

    My issue is, now that I can’t actually see any of my movie files on my NAS or other pc’s linked to the network.

    I’m presented a list of options, and the ‘Windows Network (SMB)’ link gets me to ‘Workgroup,’ then to my drive folders. However, when I select a folder, there is no media visible.

    I have no problem accessing with my WDTV and Android phones, but the Fire defeats me.

    Any help is appreciated!

  24. Bill Jobs says:

    I have stickMount installed correctly but when I try to mount, I get this popup:

    “The mount service is busy – tragin again in a few seconds.”

    After trying again, it still shows the same message?

  25. Chad says:

    @Bill Jobs – Force close the app, reopen, unmount, remount.

  26. Bubi says:

    This is way better than a brick & mortar esbislathment.

  27. big joe says:

    i go to mount and it just goes back to launch app screen agen can some one please help thank u

  28. Adam says:

    I’m not an expert, but it seems the new AFTVs are not able to be rooted. I have 2 AFTVs. 1 when it was released, I was able to root it and use stick mount with no issues. 2nd one was purchased in Feb 2015. Not able to root is because towel root is not compatible. Therefor, when you run stick mount, it will close the software. Nothing happens when you go back into it because the AFTV is not rooted.

  29. cialias says:

    No question this is the place to get this info, thanks y’all.

  30. Maik Sterling says:

    the mount is busy, please help.

    sorry, my english is bad

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