Kodi is the most advanced free opensource televsion and media center for home users. Learn how to use Kodi, how to configure Kodi and how to develop extension for Kodi.
Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a free and open-source media player software application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating systems and hardware platforms, with a software 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most streaming media, such as videos, music, podcasts, and videos from the internet, as well as all common digital media files from local and network storage media.
It is a multi-platform alternative to Windows Media Center for home-theater PC (HTPC) use. Kodi is highly customizable: a variety of skins can change its appearance, and various plug-ins allow users to access streaming media content via online services such as Amazon Prime Instant Video, Crackle, Pandora Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, and YouTube. The later versions also have a personal, video-recorder (PVR) graphical front end for receiving live television with electronic program guide (EPG) and high-definition digital video recorder (DVR) support.
The software was created as an independently developed homebrew media player application named Xbox Media Center (abbreviated as XBMC) for the first-generation Xbox game console, and was later made available under the name XBMC as a native application for Android, Linux, BSD, macOS, iOS, and Microsoft Windows-based operating systems. It is also available as a standalone version referred to as Kodibuntu.
Because of its open source and cross-platform nature, with its core code written in C++ (ANSI standard), modified versions of Kodi/XBMC together with a JeOS have been used as a software appliance suite or software framework in a variety of devices including smart TVs, set-top boxes, digital signage, hotel television systems, network connected media players and embedded systems based on armhf platform like Raspberry Pi. Derivative applications such as MediaPortal, Plex, ToFu, Voddler, and Horizon TV have been spun off from XBMC or Kodi.
On 1 August 2014, it was announced that starting with version 14, XBMC would be renamed Kodi. On 10 November 2015 the KODI trademark was registered by the XBMC Foundation.
Kodi supports most common audio, video, and image formats, playlists, audio visualizations, slideshows, weather forecasts reporting, and third-party plugins. It is network-capable (internet and home network shares). Unlike other media center applications such as Windows Media Center, MediaPortal and MythTV, Kodi does not include its own internal digital TV-tuner code for Live TV or DVR/PVR recording functionality, as instead it acts as a unified DVR/PVR front-end with an EPG TV-Guide GUI interface which, via a common API interface, abstracts and supports multiple back-ends via PVR client add-ons from third parties, with those running either locally on the same machine or over the network.
Plug-ins, using either C/C++ programming languages to create Binary Addons or the Python scripting language to create Script Addons, expand Kodi to include features such as television program guides, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Veoh, online movie trailer support, and Pandora Radio and podcast streaming. Kodi also functions as a game launcher on any operating system.
Kodi's source code is distributed as open source under the GNU General Public License (GPL), it is governed by the tax-exempt registered non-profit US organization, XBMC Foundation, and is owned and developed by a global free software community of unpaid volunteers.
Even though the original XBMC project no longer develops or supports XBMC for the Xbox, XBMC on the Xbox is still available via the third-party developer spin-off project "XBMC4Xbox", which forked the Xbox version of the software and completely took over the development and support of XBMC for the old Xbox. 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". The Xbox version of XBMC had the ability to launch console games, and homebrew applications such as emulators. 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.