Here's what's new in Kodi 19 'Matrix' -- download it now

Two weeks ago, the Kodi Foundation released what is intended to be the final build in the Kodi 18 'Leia' branch, with the team now switching its focus to the follow up, Kodi 19 'Matrix'.

At the same time, the team also released the first Alpha version for Matrix, and it comes with a lot of changes and improvements.

Because it’s only an Alpha there are lots more tweaks and enhancements to come, but if you install the build now this is what you’ll find to be new, and it's a lot:

Audio/Music

  • Improved handling of multi-disc CD sets and boxsets
  • Additional metadata tags
  • Improved handling of album release dates
  • New setting to open music fullscreen/visualization window automatically when playback is started
  • A new, Matrix-inspired music visualization is now available to install -- great care has been put into making this perform well on lower-end systems

Video

  • Software decoding of the AV1 CODEC

Subtitles

  • Subtitle opacity can now be changed
  • New dark grey color for subtitles

Estuary Skin

  • Redesign of the music fullscreen/visualization window to match other fullscreen windows -- allows fanart and visualizations to be shown without colored overlays
  • Additional media info flags added to music fullscreen/visualization window info display
  • The default Playlist view now uses the Widelist view format with options on the sideblade menu as in other areas of the skin
  • A new 'Now Playing' view added for music playback, showing media details for both any selected song in the playlist and those for any currently playing song

Games

  • iOS now supports game controllers (Xbox/PlayStation/other supported Bluetooth controllers)

Platform Specifics

  • Darwin (Apple) platforms:
    • Objective-C code migrated from manual memory management to ARC
  • iOS:
    • Added showing total/free space
    • Kodi log can now be shared using native sharing sheet
    • Kodi GUI is no longer obscured on devices with notch
  • macOS:
    • Blank Other Displays setting no longer requires app restart
    • 'Toggle fullscreen' now uses default macOS shortcut
  • Android:
    • Static HDR10 support for all source types (if supported by the device)
    • Dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support for streaming services (if supported by the device)
  • Windows:
    • Static HDR10 support for all source types (if supported by the GPU)

Information Providers (scrapers)

  • New python scrapers for music -- available in repo as Generic Album Scraper and Generic Artist Scraper
  • New python scrapers for TV & movies - available in repo as The Movie Database Python and The TVDB (new)

PVR

  • PVR reminders
  • TV and radio channel groups and Estuary home screen widgets
  • Group manager usability enhancements
  • Channel manager usability enhancements
  • Guide window navigation controls
  • Estuary PVR information dialog enhancements
  • Setting 'Switch to full screen' now supports channel types
  • Playlist context menu items for recordings
  • Dynamic PVR categories for Estuary home screen
  • Ability to sort channels and EPG by the backend order of channels
  • Support group specific channel numbering and option to start group number locally from 1
  • Support for starting EPG entries as live
  • Support displaying recording sizes and being able to sort by them
  • New, Live, Finale and Premiere for EPG, recordings and timers
  • Guide window performance improvements
  • Search window performance improvements
  • EPG performance and memory usage optimizations
  • C++ API for PVR Addon development

Network

  • Improved information around the security implications of enabling external interfaces
  • Added default-on switch to require a password for the web interface

Addons

  • Probably the biggest change: with this release, we move to Python 3 for addons.
  • Kodi will now enforce the origin of installed addons and their dependencies. This has been implemented to prevent third party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons, which was the cause of numerous error reports in the past.

As noted above, the team has switched from Python 2 to Python 3, so that could mean some add-ons stop working for you, so be warned.

You can download Kodi 19 from here.

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