Kodi (former XBMC) is an award-winning free and open source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub that can be installed on Linux, OSX, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.
The name Krypton
Since the dawn of time, or at least since 2008 each released version has received a code name next to the version number. Giving each development iteration a code name in a certain category is kind of a tradition that is not only applicable for software but also for hardware. Google does so for Android, Intel and NVIDIA also names their chips. Who are we to break this tradition and as such we follow in their steps with a theme that started out with mythical places or names. For our v17 release we actually let the public chose the name and with an overwhelming majority they chose the name “Krypton”.
Looking back so far at what our small team of developers has done to the code, the name Krypton certainly gives a certain emphasis to it that fits. As you may have noticed it took quite some time before we came out with our first Kodi v17 alpha 2 (sorry that we skipped alpha 1) and we have some very good reasons for that. Several years ago we set a path that we wanted to improve our code base instead of just slapping on new features and this release will certainly be no exception to that goal. Certain parts of our code underwent a complete overhaul or in some cases even went through a blender to be almost rebuild from the ground up.
The improvements so far
The expression don’t judge the book by it’s cover is certainly something that holds to this release. Sure we have an awesome new default skin however the vast improvements are deep in the bowels of Kodi core code. Since Kodi v16 there were 1179 pull-request (code change requests) which hold 3735 commits (code chunk changes) spread over 6679 files done by 39 different developers. As you imagine we can’t possible list all changes, improvements and whatever more we have done during the past months. Instead we’ll just list the most important or at least understandable changes for non developers. Should you which to see the full and extensive code change you can see them here and here.
Estuary and Estouchy
Past March we announced that we had replaced the aging Confluence skin which did it’s job since 2009 as default skin. V17 will mark the new arrival of Estuary and Estouchy (touch enabled) skin as the new default skins. Many months have been put in getting these skins build from the ground up and utilise all of the new features Kodi has to offer. During this period we also rethought on what was actually needed for skins and with this we also added features we only came up with by rebuilding this skin as we wondered why it never was able to do it in the first place. The home screen has been revamped and now utilises a smartplaylists implementation to automatically show you what probably interests you the most. We suggest you just give it a try and see for yourself. If you still prefer Confluence skin then you don’t need to worry as it’s still available from the official Kodi repository.
Estuary: MoviesEstuary: TV Shows
Estuary: MoviesEstuary: Albums
Estuary: AlbumsEstuary: Video sources
For a more extensive initial review you can read: A brand new look for future Kodi versions
For support you can visit the Estuary or Estouchy forum section.
As many of you already know is that each version we also do a lot of changes to how a skin works which sadly also means not all skin will keep working in the new versions. Some of you then say we shouldn’t do this however I can tell you it’s all backed up by the people who create these skins as often they request it their selves. These changes make future skin version easier to code and more feature rich. We are happy to say that already several skins are Krypton ready: Aeon Nox 5, Amber, Confluence, Mimic, Rapier, Titan, Transparency will auto update once you install and switch to v17. We’re sure more skins will become available once we near beta, release candidate and final.
Since the beginning of XBMC back in the days while it was running on the XBOX there was something like DVDPlayer. As the name probably implies it was used to playback DVD discs/files. During the years this DVDPlayer was improved and patched up to stay within modern day standards of video playback expectancy. However it became clear that for the future a major overhaul and rewrite was needed to keep up and be future proof. As such the developers who did the AudioEngine in v12 picked up this job and have now transformed it into VideoPlayer. Together with some platform developers they ripped out the old DVDPlayer code, chopped it in pieces, put it in the blender, picked the needed pieces and put it back in without breaking the rest of Kodi (hopefully). This certainly wasn’t an easy job as DVDPlayer was like the bottom block of Jenga tower that needed to be replaced while still being entangled throughout the whole tower. It had it’s tentacles in parts of the code where it shouldn’t have been in the first place. Probably over a year ago work started on getting this untangled and made ready to be replaced by the new implementation.
Well now you might wonder what does this all mean? Well a whole lot and it will probably not be as clear when using Kodi as a normal user. From a developers side it means a lot as the code is now more contained in it’s own section which makes maintenance a whole lot easier. As for the users here are some things they will notice already or in the future.
First wave of changes include:
• DVDplayer was very interwoven with other components, that only allowed a single instance of it. One important goal of VideoPlayer is to allow multiple instances, i.e. using VideoPlayer infrastructure for transcoding. Instead of rendering to audio device and display, it would render to an encoder which could be a file or outputted as stream to another Kodi instance. Don’t get your hopes up yet as this just makes it possible but not yet available.
• Rework of videorendering, including many fixes and minor improvements for all platforms. OpenGL got new features like dithering (reduces banding when transforming from limited to full range colour space) and first round of 3dlut (look up tables stored in OpenGL units for fast access used for colour profile calibration) which has been added for next months.
• Almost complete rewrite of audio/video syncing and make it more robust and accurate
• Hardware acceleration for DVD playback
• VideoPlayer can switch resolution without any noticeable effect. (provided decoder support it)
• Multi source demuxers of i.e. external audio files
• Improve playback of live streams: PVR and streams that can be identified as live. Live streams won’t fill internal buffers after playback was started. Sooner or laters buffers will overflow or stream stalls if no special treatment is applied.
Video stream selection
You might already know of the possibility where you can select the audio track of a movie like different languages or quality. With video stream selection you are now able to select a different video stream should that be available. Although not widely used concert DVDs are certainly a good example where you are able to select a different camera angle for watching the concert. Although this sounds like a niche feature it’s certainly important for the next feature we will bring up.
Input stream add-ons
The work done with VideoPlayer has already gained one of the most exciting new features we can think of which is Input Stream add-ons. This enables possibility of native written add-ons can now handle part of the video playback selection and just hand over the video stream to Kodi. A perfect example of this is DASH (Dynamic Adaptive STreaming over HTTP) which is something YouTube uses to give you the different video qualities depending on network speed. With Input Stream add-ons we can now have this capability as separate add-on instead of having this in the Kodi core. Here comes the video stream selection into play as you might want to select a different quality or language if made available. We’re happy to say that by default we ship the MPD add-on that handles the DASH audio/video stream selection standard and hands over the results to Kodi. The available YouTube add-on in Kodi repository doesn’t handle this feature as of yet however I’m sure it will be updated somewhere in the future.
More features will come from this complete VideoPlayer rework and we will be sure to inform you once they have been added. For now we will try to make current features work to their fullest potential.
PVR made easier and better
With v17 the way we handle PVR add-ons has been given a makeover as well. With these changes we hope that the threshold of getting PVR running inside Kodi has been greatly reduced. Once you configured and enabled the PVR add-on you are ready. No more additional options to enable to get going. Of course you will still need to set up a PVR backend/server first however that is outside of our scope of work. Additionally a lof work has been done to improve stability and usability to this section. Switching channels, EPG (electronic program guide) as well as setting and changing recording timers have all been greatly improved. From the user interface little has changed besides the new default skin and some settings that are moved or are now a bit more clear what they do.
Estuary: Live TV
Android HD Audio and more
As you may have read several times is that the Android part of Kodi is currently low on development. It’s the platform with the largest user base but somehow there don’t seem to be a lot of developers around that can work on Kodi for that platform. Since Kodi isn’t the standard JAVA app like the million other out there working on it is certainly a challenge. Regardless for this release we still have some big improvements lined up. The most important one is probably what most of you have been waiting for and that is HD audio passthrough ca...
Best Media Center I ever used. Lots of functions.
Access to lots of cool and useful tools such as the
Photo Add-on "500pix" or "Big Picture". View world
photos of big events, beautiful nature, etc.
Play your music with all kinds of visualizations, album art, and more.
Straight from your forum I have this problem with the new OTT TV BOX with the 4X CPU Cortex-A9r4 & 8X GPU Mali-450:
"This time after the 15.0 release it became clear that for several devices using an Amlogic chipset there was a change in firmware that caused Kodi to not function properly and only show a zoomed in or only used part of the screen."
After reading the last review I tried out XBMC and must admit it has come a very long way since it began. As an HTPC app it is incredible. There are many built in functions and lots of addons you can download within XBMC. You can even download and install skins with the click of a button. Adding different video feeds is a just click of a button away. It really is incredible how far this program has come. It also supports DLNA file sharing although video support is very basic and only offers a few video formats. If you haven't tried XBMC in a while, check it out.
Posted July 15, 2012 by Specter.
Tool version 12.0 alpha 3
using OS Windows 7 64-bit
XBMC has come a long way since the last round of comments in late 2009, and I just couldn't let it sit there with a out of date 'out of 10' rating. It's a mature product with a strong following of users and programmers and has a very active forum, so it deserves a better score.
In my opinion it's the best media centre application of it's type.
Beautiful to look at and very ambitious in scope. Looks very promising. Unfortunately I was hoping that since it had Xbox origins, it would play HD DVD format, but it won't. I still have about 30 HD DVDs that I was hoping to view with this. I have an Xbox external disc drive, but no media player that will play it.
For use in Windows this software has potential but is still buggy(smb support for example is supposed to work but it mostly does not) and is lacking. The volunteer folks who are working very hard on this are spread thin and really do not have time to respond in a reasonable manner to questions or inputs. They tend to respond rather harshly to any kind of critique or questioning. It seems to be a rather aloof group.
Also, this software seems to be geared for folks with a high level of computer savy and programing expertise.
This def worth a Look . Shows its origins on the Xbox but seems to have all the bits you would expect in a media centre. Video audio and photos. I quite like the look and feel and it should support all the common codecs, with easy upgradeability. Still has some rough edges, but its a beta version. Considering the original Xbox is really just a cutdown computer without the Burden of running windows, this should transfer quite easily. Give it a try and let the developers know what you think.
Posted July 01, 2008 by RabidDog.
Tool version Beta
using OS WinXP
Ease of use 6
Value for money 10
Overall score 7
1 tool hits, Showing
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RECENTLY UPDATED = The software has been updated the last 31 days. Freeware = Free software. Free software = Free software and also open source code. Freeware/Ads = Free software but supported by advertising, usually with a included browser toolbar. It may be disabled when installing or after installation. Free software/Ads = Free software and open source code but supported by advertising, usually with a included browser toolbar. It may be disabled when installing or after installation. Trialware = Also called shareware or demo. Trial version available for download and testing with usually a time limit or limited functions. Payware = No demo or trial available. Portable version = A portable/standalone version is available. No installation is required.
v1.0.1 = Latest version available.
Download beta = It could be a BETA, RC(Release Candidate) and even a ALPHA version of the software.
Download (direct link) = A direct link to the software download.
Download (developer's site) = A link to the software developer site.
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Download old versions = Free downloads of previous versions of the program.
Download 64-bit version = If you have a 64bit operating system you can download this version.
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