What is Kodi?

Whether you have long given up on physical media or just started the process of digitalizing your music and movie collection, chances are you have heard of Kodi. Kodi is a tool that combines all your entertainment content in one interface and then shares it across various devices. The media player is quite popular among technically-minded people.

Kodi is becoming more popular and attractive due to the high demand for a networked home media center. This article explains what Kodi is all about and how the media server software has grown to dominate home streaming.

Kodi: What Is It All About?

Kodi is a free and open-source media player software that can run on any device, whether an Android phone, or a computer. The media player, which began its life in 2002, was first known as XBMP-Xbox Media Player. In 2004, it evolved further and was known as XBMC or Xbox Media Centre.

XBMC is a tool that controls digital media from a central point in any home. At first, it ran on Xbox but needed users to have installed a modchip; at the time, it was an independently written program that Microsoft didn’t approve; hence users often had to crack the console to access the media player. With its huge success, many coders have tried expanding the media software, but it’s still primarily run by XBMC Foundation.

Long after splitting from the main Xbox, XMBM rebranded and relaunched as Kodi in 2014. The name change helped establish the media streaming tool as a multifaceted media center in its own right and not a protegee of Microsoft. From then on, Kodi has only grown in leaps and bounds, becoming one of the most sought-after home streaming tools.

What Can Kodi Do?

Kodi can convert any device into part of an online streaming center, connected wireless across the internet or in the home. Upon installing Kodi, the media tool enables users to draw on movies, music, TV shows and photos saved on a device and then play them on another device. Kodi can also record and stream live shows, Videos, and TV programs and supports smartphone apps and electronic program guides, allowing you to use your phone as a remote control.

Kodi as a media player is quite versatile as it supports most file formats for video and audio, thus becoming the focal point for music and shows bought from various sources. The media player can also access online databases such as MusicBrainz and The TVDB and helps you categorize your content on them.

While Kodi is a great streaming tool, its customization is what really sets it apart from the others. Since its open-source, tons of add-ons and plug-ins are available to add new services and features to Kodi. Examples include weather forecasts, Vimeo apps, YouTube, radio station integration, and software such as email and IRC chat. Kodi can be skinned, and you can even create your tools.

What Devices Do Kodi Work On?

Kodi works on literally any device. The streaming tool supports Linux, Android, OSX, and Windows devices; there are also versions for Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire TV, and dedicated albeit obscure boxes like WeTex Play.

However, there are caveats to the above. For instance, there’s no legal IOS version. Hence Kodi does not work for iPhones. The ban is alleged because Apple disapproves of Kodi supporting third-party apps, which could pose security risks. If you wish to have Kodi on your iPhone, you will need to get a jailbroken device. Also, Kodi does not have a Windows Phone version, and neither does it seem likely that it will change shortly.

Furthermore, no Kodi version runs on game consoles, which is surprising given Kodi’s relationship with Xbox. However, this is likely due to the design of modern consoles that only allow content that its providers duly approve to prevent piracy. However, the earliest forks of Kodi still work on XBMC4Xbox. Therefore, if you happen to have a first-generation Xbox, you can turn it into a home media hub.

Why Should I Use Kodi?

Kodi offers security and freedom. At home, it enables you to pull media saved in various libraries and locations and play it through a central point such as the sitting room TV. While traveling, it ensures you are never removed from the contents you love. Besides, Kodi provides more audio and video options than others, giving you a high level of control over your media files. For instance, you can adjust a movie’s subtitle speed to align with speech.

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