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The ending of Xbox support by the original project was also the reason that it was renamed "XBMC" from the old "Xbox Media Center" name, and why it later was renamed "Kodi". Since the XBMC for Xbox version was never distributed, endorsed, or supported by Microsoft, it always required a modchip or softmod exploit to run on the Xbox game-console. Kodi has greater basic hardware requirements than traditional 2D style software applications: it needs a 3D capable graphics hardware controller for all rendering. Powerful 3D GPU chips are common today in most modern computer platforms, including many set-top boxes , and XBMC, now Kodi, was from the start designed to be otherwise very resource efficient for being as powerful and versatile framework as it is.


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By taking advantage of such hardware-accelerated video decoding, Kodi can play back most videos on many inexpensive, low-performance systems, as long as they contain a supported VPU or GPU. From version These addons can be installed separately as plugins in Kodi. This software can run on the same computer or on other computers on the same network.

The Video Library, one of the Kodi metadata databases, is a key feature of Kodi.


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It allows the organization of video content by information associated with the video files e. This information can be obtained in various ways, like through scrapers e. Automatically downloading and displaying movie posters and fan art backdrops as background wallpapers. Kodi uses one multimedia video player "core" for video-playback.

Kodi (software) - Wikipedia

This video-player "core" for video-playback is an in-house developed cross-platform media player, "DVDPlayer", which was designed to play back DVD-Video movies, and this includes support native for DVD-menus, based on the free open source libraries code libdvdcss and libdvdnav. This FFmpeg based video-player "core" today supports all widespread mainstream formats. The Music Library, one of the Kodi metadata databases, is another key feature of Kodi. It allows the organization of a music collection to allow searching, and creating smart playlists by information stored in music file ID meta tags , like title, artist, album, production year, genre, and popularity.

Automatically downloading and displaying album covers and fan art backdrops as background wallpapers. The code for all was being developed in a separate branch to be incorporated into the mainline tree. The Games Manager, once integrated into Kodi, provides a unified games manager library and GUI front-end launcher with online metadata web scraping support for information about the games.

It also introduces Game Addons as new type of addon with just-in-time emulator installation. Adding a Games Library for Game Metadata, exposing info current level, number of lives, number of coins earned, etc. It also provides a joystick and gamepad abstraction layer for common joystick API and input clients. Also under development is the "RetroPlayer" video game console emulator ROMs interface, supporting the libretro API and emulator cores from the RetroArch project, which is its reference front-end.

Kodi can take advantage of a broadband Internet connection if available to stream Internet-video-streams like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and Veoh, and play Internet-radio-stations such as Pandora Radio. Kodi includes the option to submit music usage statistics to Last. Kodi features several open APIs to enable third-party developers to create capabilities which extend Kodi with a multitude of addons , such as audio and video streaming plugins for online sources, screensavers, skins and themes, visualizations, weather forecasts, web interfaces, web scrapers, widget scripts, and more.

Kodi developers encourage users to make and submit their own addons to expand media content and value-added services accessible from within Kodi. Many of these online content sources are in over-the-top content high definition services and use video streaming site as sources for the media content that is offered. Kodi has extensibility and integration with online sources for free and premium streaming content, and offers content from everything from commercial video to free educational programming, and media from individuals and small businesses. Not all content sources on add-ons are available in every country, however.

Due to rights agreements, many content sources are geo-restricted to prevent users in outside countries from accessing content, although some have taken to bypassing the regional restrictions in order to unblock these sources, disregarding the usage rights.

Python widget scripts allow normal users to add new functionality to Kodi themselves, using Python scripting language. Kodi has the built-in optional function to automatically download metadata information, cover art and other related media artwork online through its web scrapers that looks for media in the user's audio and video folders and their sub-directories.

These "scrapers" are used as importers to obtain detailed information from various Internet resources about movies and television shows.

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It can get synopses, reviews, movie posters, titles, genre classification, and other similar data. Like the majority of applications that originated from a ' homebrew ' scene, modification and customization of the interface using skins is very popular among Kodi users and hundreds of skins and themes are available for users to install. The Kodi skinning engine's flexibility is also advantageous to third parties wanting to create derivative works, as it facilitates rebranding the environment and making deeper changes to the look and feel of the user interface.

As of Kodi version 17, the official default skins for new installs are "Estuary", for typical home-theater usage, and "Estouchy" for touchscreens. These newly designed skins replace the longtime default skin "Confluence", and are intended to present more content on the homescreen, be easier for new users, and bring "Kodi into the present day of UI design. Users can also create their own skin or simply modify an existing skin and share it with others via public websites that are used for Kodi skin trading and development.

Many such third-party skins exist that are well maintained by the community, and while some skins are originals with unique designs, most begin as a clone or an exact replica of other multimedia software interfaces, such as Apple Front Row , Windows Media Center Edition MCE , MediaPortal, Wii Channel Menu Xii , Xbox interface , and others. In addition to skins and themes users can create a themed package called a 'build'.

Within this package homebrew developers are able to distribute a skin and multiple addons. The delivery mechanism used within the Kodi scene is called a wizard with the Replicant Wizard [33] being the most prominent. Web Interface addons for Kodi normally allow browsing a media library remotely, to handle music playlists from a computer instead of television.

Others allow remotely controlling the navigation of XBMC like a remote for remote controlling of an installed and concurrently active Kodi session running on a computer if it runs on an internet tablet or similar device with a touch interface. Others act like a media manager to allow modifying metadata and artwork in XBMC's video and music libraries.

Kodi has a "My Programs" section which is meant to function as an application launcher for third-party software such as computer games and video game emulators , all from a GUI with thumbnail and different listings options. However, while this feature was fully functioning on the Xbox version of XBMC, it is still in its infant stage on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows, thus requiring third-party launcher plugins to function properly. There are many software applications for mobile devices available for and associated with Kodi. Some of these mobile apps just works as simple remote controls, while others function as more advanced second screen companion apps, offering additional information about what users are viewing or listening to on Kodi, such as metadata about movie actors and music artists, with links to other works available from those persons in their collection or online.

These applications act as a second screen [34] and remote control solution which allows for fully browsing the media library and for remote controlling of an installed and concurrently active XBMC session running on a computer via the handheld touchscreen user interface of these device. Some of these remote control apps are made specifically for controlling Kodi, while some universal remote control apps are capable of controlling many different media center and media player applications, and some of these third-party remote apps cost money while others are free.

Due to the dated hardware of the first-generation Xbox game console that Kodi-XBMC was designed for, and a desire to expand the project's end-user and developer-base, many official ports of XBMC to computer operating-systems and hardware platforms have been created. Through the processing power of more recent computer hardware, XBMC can decode high-definition video up to and beyond p resolutions, bypassing hardware limitations of the Xbox version of XBMC. Kodibuntu uses Kodi software for all media playback and is primarily designed for bare-metal installations to achieve instant-on type boot to achieve a set-top box experience on an HTPC.

Kodibuntu was based on Lubuntu , an Ubuntu Linux fork that was "lighter, less resource hungry and more energy-efficient" than the standard Ubuntu desktop distributions. Following the principles of MythTV distributions and GeeXboX , Kodibuntu is designed to simplify the permanent installation of Kodi onto a computer for use as a dedicated home theater PC. The user can directly install XBMC from the bootable CD onto a USB flash drive or internal hard disk drive, since it comes with a complete instant-on Linux kernel -based embedded operating system.

When installed on a USB flash drive or internal hard disk drive, Kodibuntu can save settings and make updates to XBMC and the operating system back to that drive. Third-party packages for most other Linux distributions are also available, and it is possible to compile XBMC Media Center from scratch for any Linux distribution, as long as the required dependency libraries are installed first. Hardware video decoding via DirectX Video Acceleration is supported, although this enhancement only runs on Windows 7 or later? It supported both p and p hardware accelerated video decoding of H.

XBMC 9. XBMC for Xbox can be run as an application like any Xbox game , or as a dashboard that appears directly when the Xbox is turned on. Accordingly, unofficial executable builds from the subversion repository are often released by third parties on sites unaffiliated with the official XBMC project. On 29 December , Kodi developers announced via the news section of their official website that a Kodi app had been released for the Xbox One.

It is noted that the UWP version will retain the characteristic Kodi appearance, however, many core features are missing or broken. They envision Kodi being pre-installed as a third-party software component that commercial and non-commercial ODMs and OEMs and systems integrator companies can use royalty-free on their own hardware, hardware such as set-top boxes from cable-TV companies , Blu-ray Disc and DVD players , game-consoles , or embedded computers and SoC System-on-a-Chip built into television sets for web-enabled TVs, and other entertainment devices for the living room entertainment system, home cinema , or similar uses.

Below is a list of third-party companies that sell hardware bundled with Kodi or XBMC software pre-installed, or sell uninstalled systems that specifically claim to be Kodi- or XBMC-compatible. Many of these third-party companies help submit bug fixes and new features back upstream to the original Kodi-XBMC project. Other than the modified skin, what is unique with the AIRIS Telebision's XBMC build is that it comes with a digital distribution service platform that they call their "App Store" which lets users download new Spanish plugins and updates for existing plugins.

Telebision also lets users download a Live CD version of their software as freeware , which lets users install their Telebision distribution on any Nvidia Ion based computer. The first-generation Xtreamer Ultra uses Nvidia Ion chipset with a 1. Myka ION is a fanless Nvidia Ion-based set-top device designed to bring Internet television and media stored on the home network to the living room; it comes pre-installed with XBMC Media Center, Boxee, and Hulu Desktop as applications that can be started from the main menu.

In addition it features a remote control, as well as a p 8. It comes complete with SMK-Link remote control. Many of these third-party forks and derivative work of Kodi-XBMC are said to still assist with submitting bug fixes upstream and sometimes help getting new features backported to the original Kodi-XBMC project so that others can utilize it as well, shared from one main source. They are both designed to be extremely small and very fast booting embedded Linux-based distributions, primarily optimized to be booted from flash memory or a solid-state drive , and specifically targeted to a minimum set-top box hardware setup based on ARM SoC's or Intel x86 processor and graphics.

It was not started by official members of the official XBMC project, nor will it be supported by the official Team Kodi in any way.

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Kodi is a non-profit and free software community driven open-source software project that is developed only by volunteers in their spare time without any monetary gain. The online user manual is wiki -based and community driven, and it also works as a basic developers' guide for getting a good overview of Kodi's architecture. However, as with most non-profit software projects, to delve deeper into programming, looking at the actual source code and the Doxygen formatted "code documentation" comments inside that code is needed.