Kodi is the ultimate Media Center operating system
Kodi is powerful, open-source software for organizing your media library through a media center application, available on many different operating systems, that allows you to consume streaming media. Now, that one-sentence definition doesn’t do justice for this incredible piece of software. Its task is to host applications and components that will be used for your viewing enjoyment.
You will be able to watch live TV, sports, movies, TV shows, and so much more – all FOR FREE using the Kodi application. It's been around since 2003 when it was first available on the original (modded) Xbox gaming console.
Back then, it was named XBMC, short for bothered Center. The service has actually been available since 2002, when it was known as the Xbox Media Player. In 2003, it became the Xbox Media Center, which it remained until 2014. Then the XBMC Foundation, which works behind the scenes to deliver the service, renamed it Kodi. Kodi has come a long way since then thanks to the thousands of add-ons, skins, builds, and wizards available for this software.
There have been numerous versions of Kodi since the beginning with tons of updates and improvements. The standard Kodi install relies exclusively on your existing media, so it won't save you from having to subscribe to video streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu, or music streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora. Instead, Kodi's utility is its support for lots of file types and compatibility with many different devices.
What Can Kodi Do?
If you’re talking about entertainment, it might be better to ask what Kodi can’t do. On the music front, Kodi can play a slew of formats, including AAC, MP3, and OGG. It also comes with smart playlists and the ability to tag different tracks. With video, Kodi works with ISO, 3D, and H.264, among a lot of other formats, and can also stream content over the Internet.
Once you import the films, Kodi can add posters, fan art, trailers, video extras, and more to each item. Not surprisingly, Kodi also works with TV shows, allowing you to store your favorite programming in the service. The TV shows section supports posters and tags, and will give you show descriptions and actors. If you’re looking to stream your pictures, Kodi can do that, too. It lets you import images into a library and start a slideshow, among other features.
And just in case it’s live television you’re after, Kodi lets you stream and record live TV from its software. In order to do it, though, you’ll need to use one of many backend services that support this feature, including MediaPortal, MythTV, TVheadend, and NextPVR.
How Does Kodi Work?
Kodi is designed to run on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows, and Raspberry Pi, meaning you can put it on all your devices and access your content whenever and wherever you are. You can also run it on televisions and set-top boxes and streaming devices, as well as on the Xbox One. This free app provides all of the functionality and much more that you'd find in other media center apps, such as special feature installations, according to Kodi.
The company continually adds more features over time. Once it’s running on your devices, you’ll see a banner that lets you choose Pictures, Videos, Music, and more. Simply go to what you want and upload the content of your choosing. Your content will need to be stored somewhere locally or on a network drive that you might be able to access around your house and, potentially, from afar. Kodi will catalog all of your content and make it easily accessible on all the devices where the software is installed.
Best Streaming Devices: No doubt there are many television streaming boxes that use Android as its base operating system. An example of this is the Amazon Firestick/Fire TV and the Google Chromecast. Both of these devices run a modified version of the Android operating system. Amazon built the Fire TV operating system off the Android OS which means Kodi can be installed onto this device.
However, the BTAndroid is exceptional in that it is a Kodi installation on top of a skinny kernel that eliminates any bloated operating systems between the application and the hardware allowing Kodi to run without buffer issues and more direct control of the board functions that creates the streaming and media playing magic.