While it does some things brilliantly, such as presenting your movie or TV show collection, it lacks somewhat when it comes to user generated content or off-beat fetishes (home made soap operas anyone?).
This is not going to be addressed in the near-term (see Jonathan's plans for a library rewrite), so until then the following, relatively easy procedure can be used as a workaround.
For the purposes of this example I will use Home videos, but the basic premise holds for any type of content you want to add to your video library and not mix with the existing movie, TV show and music video content.
What we are going to do is to create a second user profile to store library data for the type of content you wish to separate from your movie, TV show etc content and switch between it and the master profile (containing all your 'regular' media) transparently.
1.) Note that this tutorial assumes that you are using the default Confluence skin, I would suggest that you switch to it before going any further.
Also make sure that the location of your home videos is available as a source before you begin (called 'home videos' below).
2.) Go to Settings, press right to have a sub-menu blade pop up -there select Profiles and proceed to create a new profile (via add profile.. let's call it Home). Let us go with the defaults, inheriting Media Sources from the default profile and separate media info. Just press OK when prompted to Browse for folder.
3.) To switch between profiles we will create a custom keymap, the letter b on the keyboard doesn't seem to be used much.
Create a text file called keyboard.xml, containing the following:
This simple keymap change, tells XBMC to use the b key to switch profiles. Put this file in the keymaps subfolder of userdata
Similarily create another text file called keyboard.xml, containing the following:
Put this file in the keymaps subfolder of the profile folder (userdata\profiles\Home\keymaps).
If you use other control methods to operate XBMC such as a remote, this procedure can later be adapted to that. But that's beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Alernatively you can add buttons to the Home menu to switch between the profiles, a good tutorial can be found here.
Now we should have two profiles you can switch between at will using the b key.
4.) Now on to populate the video library of the Home profile with all your home videos.
Let's say you have n video files from two different vacations (2008 and 2009) and you want to create a category for each in the movie library node of the new Home profile.
The video files are stored in a folder called 'home videos' with subfolders called v2008 and v2009, the filename of the first file from 2008 is v2008-001.avi, second v2008-002.avi etc.
You create an nfo file for the first 2008 vacation file (again this is just a simple text file). Call it v2008-001.nfo (it's imperative that the nfo filename matches the video filename).
<title>Arriving at the destination</title>
<plot>Arriving on location, only to find that there is no one to pick us up.</plot>
This data can be extended to include anything supported by XBMC.
Now repeat this for all the video files in your collection, making sure to include the correct data (year etc) in the appropriate nfo files.
5.) Proceed to set contents on the 'home videos' folder as you would do with any other folder. Choose Movies and any old scraper (just the one you use normally).
Check 'Run automatic scan', 'Scan recursively' and select OK, XBMC should read all the nfo files and populate the library with your media.
After a while when you feel comfortable with the profiles and have the one button switch working to your liking, you can disable the login screen in Settings- Profiles.
Then the only way to switch will be via the one button action (until you re-enable the login screen).