Kodi 18 'Leia' 64-bit for Windows is here, but some addons and packages are not yet compatible
Kodi -- the software previously known as XBMC -- is a cross-platform media center solution that many people enjoy daily. Quite frankly, its not hard to see why it has become so ubiquitous -- it has tons of features, a great user interface, and the ability to gain new functionality with addons.
While the program is 64-bit on macOS, Android, and Linux desktop operating systems, Windows has remained a 32-bit affair. According to the developers, the transition to 64-bit on Windows was not seen as a priority. Finally, however, after many years of users requesting a 64-bit Windows program, it is here. Well, technically, it is still a nightly development release, but users can download that immediately and begin using it. A stable release will be here soon, with a UWP version much further out.
"Since we originated on the XBOX we had a lot of legacy code related to Windows which wasn’t there for other platforms. Code was scattered everywhere and tied together in the most impossible ways. Slowly we started to clean up our build system and the core code that would make it possible to have a 64-bit version. Over time other platforms did add 64-bit support as the way we build them is totally different. Their main advantage point was how the external libraries that were used were build as it was almost as easy as just set compile to 64-bit. On Windows however we had to rely on the external library teams to provide such 64-bit versions and sadly almost none were available," says the Kodi Team on why it took so long to transition to 64-bit on Windows.
The team also shares, "During past years several of our team tried to improve this situation and started to work getting those libraries updated to be 64-bit compilable and compilable. This is a huge undertaking as some were simple never intended to be anything else than 32-bit. Slowly but steadily the work progressed and after currently having ported 31 external libraries to 64-bit we are finally in a state that Kodi is usable and near feature complete. There are still some missing packages and add-ons but we hope that those get done quite soon to have it on par with Kodi as you already know."
Sadly, not all packages and addons will work with the Kodi 18 'Leia' 64-bit nightly release for now, so if you rely on some of those incompatible things, you may want to stay on a stable 32-bit release for now. If you do run into bugs or other show-stopping issues, it is extremely easy to just uninstall it and re-install, thankfully.
Ready to download? You can get the pre-release software here. Please tell me how it works for you in the comments below.
If you intend to use Kodi with add-ons to stream potentially illegal content, you may wish to consider a VPN.