Articles by Team Kodi

In Defence of Our Good Name

In Defence Of Our Good Name

 

As most who read this will know well, Kodi is a free and open source media centre software application. It is created and supported by the group of unpaid volunteers known as Team Kodi, along with a large number of members of our very large and active user community. The software is freely available for anyone to download and use, and to fork and modify if they so desire. It is not a commercial product, and no money is gained from it, as it is not sold.

 

One important point of note is that whilst Team Kodi produces media centre software, one thing that we do not provide is actual media. We don’t make films, television channels or programmes, nor do we directly provide them as part of the software package that we distribute.

 

Similarly, we do not produce hardware – there is no “Kodi Box” that’s supplied by us. This is a key fact, as there are many third party hardware suppliers out there who do supply such boxes, which either come pre-loaded with Kodi on them or onto which it can be loaded by the end user.
 

To the uninitiated this may seem like a trivially small distinction, but it is actually a very important one. As noted, we make the software available to anyone who may wish to use it, and do so for free. But this does not mean that we are responsible for how those end users make use of the software, and how they may modify it when installed on their boxes. We have no commercial interest or stake in any such sale, nor do we receive any monies from any media player box sold anywhere.

 

Kodi also does not provide any media itself. Users must provide their own content or manually point Kodi to third party online services. The Kodi project does not provide any support for bootleg video content.

 

Unfortunately, some of these vendors are less than scrupulous, and modify the Kodi product with third party addons giving access to illegally supplied or otherwise-pirated media sources. Hence we wish to make it crystal clear that Team Kodi does not condone, support or benefit from any such usage or device. Indeed, through our official Foundation policies, we actively deny support for any such device on our community forums, and through our trademarks and other legal means will act against any vendor who falsely claims any such endorsement from us.

 

This has also, on numerous occasions, lead to false or misleading statements being made about both the Kodi software and also the team behind it. These have been from a range of sources, from sellers wishing to falsely claim association or endorsement from us to YouTube channels wishing to make a buck by offering “support” (usually involving 3rd party piracy addons) and, sadly, even from media outlets (both mainstream and technical) where a little basic research would yield the truth.

 

Our aim has always been to give our users the best media experience possible, and to ensure that, whilst they are free to use our software in any manner they wish, it is done with full knowledge and understanding of what they may be doing, enabling them to make responsible choices. Sadly some of these sellers, either deliberately or through ignorance, confuse the users as to what may be legal and what is not.

 

We do not support media piracy, we support the best media player possible for everyone and provide a media centre, not “free TV and movies”. In the past, out of our very scant resources, we have worked in cooperation with media companies on such matters to check illegal activities and we will continue to do so. We do not have resources to be involved in litigation, especially those in foreign jurisdictions. We are disappointed and reject the incorrect characterisation of Kodi, its software, or its volunteer community.

 

Licence:

 

Kodi is provided under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2.0 or later, with some individual source files distributed under additional other licences. Full details of these can be found here.

 

Further reading:

 

Kodi at FOSDEM 2020

Kodi at FOSDEM 2020

 

Hello Belgium once again.

 

In the tradition of the last few years, members of Team Kodi will be present at FOSDEM in Brussels this weekend. If you live somewhere nearby or are attending, please feel free to come and meet some of our team members in person.

 

FOSDEM is an annual, volunteer-driven, non-commercial event that focuses on free and open source software development. It’s primarily aimed at developers, although the talks and stands are open to anyone who’s interested. Its main aim is to simply create a meeting place; it’s a fantastic opportunity for people to mix, chat, share ideas, collaborate, promote awareness, and generally interact with like-minded individuals.

 

Every year, thousands of developers from all over the world descend on the Université Libre de Bruxelles to attend. This year, there will be representatives of projects such as Gnome, Mozilla, Debian, GitLab, LibreOffice, Apache – and of course some of the Kodi team as well. We won’t have a stand this time, but in between attending talks and generally mingling, we’d love to meet with our friends in the community who might be reading this.

 

Kodi Team Meet and Greet

 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a user or developer, whether you work with Kodi or something else, if you have commercial interests, or if you’re simply curious. Pop along if you’re interested; several Team Kodi members will be present to chat at your leisure.

 

Room J.1.106, Sunday 2nd February, 12:00-13:00.

Kore v2.5.0 Released!

Kore v2.5.0 Released!

 

Team Kodi are proud to announce the release of the latest version of our Kore Android remote application. Team members and other contributors have added several great new features which we think users will love. The changes for this new version includes: 

 

  • Improved PVR section: new search option, sort recordings and hide watched items.
  • Add support for sharing local files to Kodi, by using the side menu “Local Files”, or by choosing Kore as the share target for a file.
  • Allow changing Kore’s language in Settings.
  • Add new sort option for albums, movies and tv shows (by year).
  • New color themes (Sunrise and Sunset) and tweaks to the others.
  • Show all the available playlists (in the playlist screen), even when nothing’s playing.
  • New translations (Korean, Slovak)
  • Bug fixes and UI tweaks.

 

The full changelog can be found here

 

Kore is available as a free download from the Google Play Store, and also from F-Droid.

Tags: 

Kodi at the Chaos Communication Congress

For the next few days the 36th Chaos Communication Congress, the largest hacker conference in Europe, is held in Leipzig, Germany. Organized by the Chaos Computer Club, it features a lot of tech related talks and assemblies.

Kodi will be represented by Sarbes, one of our Python developers. A talk about the project is scheduled at 3pm on the first day, at the ChaosZone (https://cfp.chaoszone.cz/36c3/talk/V83NXN/).

If you happen to be at the congress, Sarbes can be reached via our IRC channel (#kodi @freenode). Feel free to reach out to him to ask questions and/or to buy him a beer.

Windows Developers – Kodi Needs You!

Windows Developers – Kodi Needs You!

It will probably come as a surprise to many of you that the active team of Kodi developers is tiny – millions of users and yet only a handful of volunteers spending their spare time to do all the technical stuff at the heart of Kodi. In turn, there is another handful of valuable people providing user support, forum moderation, supervision of the addon repo, and so on. Sometimes, we have a need for specific skills that the team does not currently have. Well, that’s what has happened.

You can read all about the switch to Python3 here, an essential upgrade to one of the underlying tools which Kodi uses. This is a breaking change for us, and there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get things functional again. In turn, this has brought the lack of experience of (or even interest in) developing on the Windows platforms in the team to a crisis.

We are currently very short of active developers with in-depth, practical knowledge of developing and deploying C++ applications on Windows platforms, for both the desktop and UWP versions of Kodi. We especially need people:

  • who know and understand CMake, to bring packaging of Windows dependencies into line with those of our other actively-developed platforms.
  • with knowledge of the UWP API, and an interest in implementing Kodi as a UWP app running on Xbox, etc.

We cannot hold up releases of Kodi just for one or two platforms, no matter how large or active they may be or how many users they have. So there is a real risk that if new blood does not join the team, at least UWP (XBox) will have to be dropped for Kodi v20 and probably even Matrix v19.

Put bluntly, we need Windows developers. If that is you, and you’d be willing and interested to work on a project like Kodi, then we’d love to hear from you. We really want to say that our existing developers would be able to mentor as much as required, and we will certainly assist as much as we can, but in reality you need to be self-reliant and sufficiently experienced to be able to hold your own. Kodi is not a starter project, more a serious mountain that few conquer; it’s complex, but very rewarding too. A sense of adventure and enjoyment of unravelling mysteries and puzzles would help a lot.

Bottom line, without developer interest, the likelihood of there being a UWP release for v19 is slim, and v20 would be zero.

Your Kodi needs you!

 

Footnote: for those who may be interested, Team member Rechi has provided the following technical notes.

The current dependency system is mandatory for compilation on Android, iOS, macOS and tvOS. It can be also used for Linux, but we usually use system libraries (provided by the distribution). The process compiles all libraries needed for Kodi (link) from source, along with some required tools (link).

For Windows, however, pre-compiled libraries (except FFmpeg and libdvd) and executables are downloaded (download-dependencies.bat) and then used to build Kodi. Because some libs depend on other libs, one has to recompile all reverse dependencies to be sure everything is still working. If an issue then shows up within a library, that one has to be compiled again (and maybe also, in turn, its reverse dependencies), packaged and re-uploaded, instead of simply fixing the issue in source code.

Where we’re trying to get to with Windows, then, is to have all necessary libraries compiled from source, as an integrated part of the build process, and thus replace the download-dependencies.bat, download-msys2.bat and make-mingwlibs.bat scripts.

The main changes for this can be found here as detailed in this pull request (link). It switches from downloading pre-compiled native executables to building them from source. Target libraries are only switched to compiling from source for x86-windows, arm-windowsstore, x86-windowsstore and x86_64-windowsstore, because it currently contains only required dependencies. This means those platforms will lose some functionality until the libs are added. This can be done one by one and I can guide anyone who is interested. Once all optional libraries are added, x86_64-windows platform can also be switched to this dependency system.

 

Kodi 19 with Python 3 Goes Live

Kodi 19 with Python 3 Goes Live

Nearly two years ago, we announced that Kodi was migrating to use the Python 3 interpreter for its many addons (see here) and we explained both why we were doing it and what would change. Since then we have been encouraging all add-on developers to work towards that goal. If you want to read more about how to make add-ons work with the new Python version, see this page on our wiki.

As Python 2 is imminently reaching end of life (1st January 2020)m we’ve needed to pull this forwards, so have just taken the next big step: the nightly builds for Kodi 19 “Matrix” are now using the Python 3 interpreter to run all Python-based add-ons

This means that not only can add-on developers test their work using the most recent Kodi builds, but that early bird users of v19 also are able to use them. However, this migration is very much a breaking change for us, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get things fully functional again. This also needs to be done quickly, as we need to be complete before the end of life of Python 2 happens.

The support of the wider community in this phase will be very welcome. For early users of Kodi v19 via the nightly builds, the obvious issue is that a large number of add-ons are non-functional. Problems with specific add-ons can best be reported on the forum thread for that add-on – read up if the author is already aware before posting. However, the developers of some older add-ons are no longer active, so anyone with Python skills and an interest in Kodi is encouraged to get involved with updating some of the now otherwise-unmaintained add-ons and scripts.

There are also issues that need core developer knowledge to fix. Since moving to Python 3 there are some difficulties on all Windows platforms in particular. The version of Kodi for UWP (Xbox) does not compile at all, and needs someone to champion it. There are also issues with certain libraries e.g. Pillow, PyCryptodome, cTypes etc., being missing or incompatible versions, so those add-ons that depend on them don’t run and can’t be tested on Windows.

Things will be a little raw at the edges until we can get these things fixed, so bear with us and if you have skills and can step up and contribute then please do.