Kodi 17.6

Media player for all Android mobile devices

  • Category:

    Players

  • Version:

    17.6

  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP

  • Also available for:

    AndroidMac

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free (gpl)
  • Vote:
    7.0 (238)

Cord cutters are addicted to the open source entertainment hub known as Kodi. Free to use, the deceptively small software package installs on computers, mobile devices, and set-top boxes to form the core of a powerful multimedia center. Additionally, the program may have been designed to perform as a powerful streaming platform, but its open source heritage guarantees a feature-rich user experience, one that includes local media playback.

The media stored on a laptop, desktop, mobile device, or external hard drive quickly maps to the Kodi file structure during the media scan phase. Once cataloged by the media platform, playback is a breeze. That statement applies to any type of video, image, or music format, so there should never be any playback hiccups. Next, the discovery of local content has been cleverly designed to access one other clever online feature, a visually-oriented function known colloquially as "scraping." Simply put, when a Kodi library is scraped, a software plugin is triggered. This small program searches through an online database in search of special metadata. The metadata contains artwork, DVD and CD covers, and media thumbnails. The information is then retrieved and used as a frontend for the file, a true visual library.

It's worth dwelling on Kodi's openly coded framework, for this is where repositories enter the mix. The main Add-On repository contains hundreds of extras, most of which enable extra streaming channels. Weather and radio Add-Ons are available here, as are specialized programs and screensavers. Basically, the programming community has built an entirely customizable media center. Skins are also based on this design philosophy. Skins are special Add-Ons. They change the way the application looks and performs. Again, the knowledgeable Kodi community is what keeps this media portal thriving, with new skins and extras making the difference between a spartan performer and a highly embellished playback champion.

Interestingly, this program possesses several transformative attributes. Of course, it can be contained on a laptop or a smartphone, but the Android flavor can also be installed on a set-top box so that the full potential of the software is realized. This means a remote control and a WiFi connection are both obviously required, but many hardware profiles readily adapt to support a Kodi installation. The download page for the program even supports the Raspberry Pi platform, a hardware setup that has been enthusiastically received by hardware tinkerers. But, at least for casual users, a plain Android box will host a very powerful media center, a version of Kodi that will play movies, TV shows, and music effortlessly. That playback aptitude applies to streaming channels, local content, and to networked multimedia.

Pros

  • Free to download
  • Supported by a large community
  • Highly customizable
  • Plays any type of video, music, or image format
  • Streams online content and plays local media
  • Many Add-Ons are available

Cons

  • Some skins hog system resources
  • Set-top installation requires technical expertise

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