Kodi (XBMC) Review

XMBC gained recognition as an outstanding media server that offered a solid performance and great compatibility. Although XMBC has been rebranded as Kodi, it maintains the quality that made it a favourite solution for many users. Kodi comes with enhanced features that ensure that you can enjoy versatility to access and manage your media. This award-winning open source software media player and entertainment hub has a wide range of plugins and options and while it may be more difficult to configure than other media servers, it is a strong solution that works on multiple devices. The team behind this software has been working on its development since 2003, which makes Kodi a well-established solution.

Getting Started
Kodi is compatible with OSX, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. Additionally, it offers an interface that will suit TV sets and remote controls. It gives you the possibility of enjoying digital content on practically any format. You can play music, podcasts, watch videos and access other media files online or from local and network storage media. The installation process is fast and clear, although you may need to spend a little longer configuring the media folders. You can change and configure your service settings and file sharing settings.

Selecting the add-ons will take a while and is not as straight-forward as the installation. The main reason for this is that there is a large number of options available, but once you have finished choosing the options you prefer, the app can be navigated easily. While Kodi can handle the task of being a media server, it offers limited DNLA/UPnP support. Transcoding is not the strongest point for Kodi, but you should have no problem locating the media server, looking through the content and playing it. The server will transcode the streaming media to a format supported by the player.

Supported Formats
Kodi enables you to play music in MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, AAC and FLAC formats. You get options like tagging support, cue sheet, smart playlists and MusicBrainz is also included to ensure that you can manage your music collection easily. In terms of video formats and sources, Kodi offers support for streamable online media, 3D, HEVC, WEBM, ISOs and more. The software enables you to import a wide range of data related to movies, including posters, cast information, trailers, extras and disc-art.

There is also a comprehensive TV show library that supports episode and season views, as well as posters, banners, watched tags, plots, cast information and other options. Smart playlists and video nodes/tags also allow you to organize your library in different categories or genres. With Kodi, you can also import pictures into library and look for different views, start a slideshow, organize and filter them with the help of your remote control.

Additionally, Kodi lets you watch and record live TV using a GUI interface. It is compatible with a variety of popular backends such MediaPortal, MythTV, Tvheadend, VDR, Windows Media Center and others. Another interesting option that Kodi provides is the possibility of accessing add-ons for music, videos, additional artwork, web services and even an option to change Kodi’s performance and controlling lights. You can also modify the appearance of Kodi thanks to the customization flexibility that the interface provides and the great selection of community created skins. It is also possible to create your own interface to make your Kodi experience unique.

The fact that Kodi works with UPnP means that you can stream to and from any Kodi instances and play content on other devices in your home network that support UPnP. This enables you to have a main UPnP device and use other Kodi options as clients which keep up with your watched status and library. It is possible to import content from UPnP sources to synchronize your data with other devices using Kodi. You can manage Kodi remotely thanks to its JSON-RPC based remote interface. This increases your options when it comes to web browsers, remote controls and other third party tools to manage Kodi as you prefer.

Conclusion
Kodi is a practical and effective way to access and manage your media content easily. The software offers a great deal of add-ons that allow you to customize the experience according to your preferences. The app also comes with additional options that will be enjoyed by many users, including Movie Quiz, Lazy TV and other fun extras. The name may have changed, but the new incarnation of XMBC is still a reliable solution for users who want to get the most out of their media content.

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