Kodi

Kodi (previously know as XBMC) is a multimedia application well suited for managing and playing your video and audio collections. It is well suited for large screens.


Summary
Our Score
Our Score

License Free
Link https://kodi.tv/
Single application – beautiful GUI (many skins available) – many plugins
Difficult to navigate and configure
Details

Kodi (previously know as XBMC) is a multimedia application perfectly suited for large screens. If you use a home theater computer feeding your big screen TV it is an ideal companion for managing and playing your audio and video collections. Kodi can probably be considered as the one that started this type of media software. I find it outstanding in this category and is my editor’s choice.

Created in 2003 by a group of like minded programmers as XBMC, today’s Kodi is a non-profit project run and developed by volunteers located around the world. More than 50 software developers have contributed to Kodi which is available for more than eight platforms (e.g. Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) and in over 30 languages.

After years of constant work and improvements the product has far separated itself from its Xbox roots. The team has therefore decided to rename the product, now called Kodi.

Kodi turned out to be the most reliable and easy to use product for me. It played all media files I fed it with, it offers convincing media library features and is highly configurable with custom skins and backdrops (wallpaper images you can select as backgrounds for different screens). If you are a bit famiiar with XML files you can even tweak it some more from under the hood.

Kodi offers good mouse support throughout the application which is not always self understanding as I learned. Most annoying for me still is that you cannot freely pick a position in your media file by clicking on the progress bar while it is playing. Instead you have to type in a time position via the keyboard. Don’t ask me why the simplest media player can do that but most of the Media Center Software cannot.

Maintaining your media library is simple joy with Kodi. Point to a folder containing your files, indicate what type of files there are (Movies, TV Shows, etc.) and Kodi does the rest. It scans all subfolders and files and downloads all relevant information (text, thumbnails, sounds, etc) from the Internet. Of course you need to name the files and folder sensefully but that’s really all it takes. Next time you navigate to your Movies gallery you will probably sigh a little “wow”. In some rare cases Kodi picked the wrong or no information for some exotic items I had. I wish I had a little more manual overwrite options through the GUI for those cases.

I recently added a NAS to my home network. All my media is now on that storage device. It was as easy as everything else in Kodi, to setup all my clients (Windows and Android) to access the media from the NAS. I can now enjoy my media with Kodi from any device wherever I am.

There is much more to say about the endless features but I will leave that to the excellent Kodi home page. In the end you need to give it a test drive in order to see it yourself.

The community around Kodi is large. You will find a large amount of plugins, skins and other goodies for it. The support through the Kodi forum is excellent and helps a lot when you start playing around with it.

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3 thoughts on “Kodi

  • 2022-04-28 at 20:44
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    Kodi may be a great application, but the description needs to be improved. No where does it say WHAT kodi is. It’s not until you get to the 6 paragraph do you get a clue what it might be. A media player? A video media player? Does it does music. The review is written from the viewpoint you know what it is. I had never heard of it, and could not figure out what it even was.

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    • 2022-04-30 at 20:26
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      Hi YDY,
      your are absolutely right. My apologies. I have changed that now and put the essence of it right at the start.
      Thanks and best regards,
      George

      Reply
  • 2022-05-17 at 00:56
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    I have tried Kodi several times over the years (thinking it might have improved over time) – even as far back as when it was called XBMC – but have always found it extremely confusing. It’s method of doing things is not intuitive – at least not to me. I have come to really appreciate the VLC player as a media player. It plays the videos/movies and gets out of the way.
    Kodi tries to be a music player, video player, photo album, and even a file manager, but trying to get to each function is awkward and confusing.

    Reply

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