Here's what's new and changed in the latest big new Kodi 21 'Omega' release

Kodi 21 -- codenamed 'Omega' -- is the next version of the hugely popular home theater software.

The Kodi Foundation rolled out a major update to Kodi 21 last week, but didn’t officially announce it until today, along with the long list of changes to be found in this first beta release.

Build/Dependencies

  • A few dependencies have been bumped (openssl, python) as part of the normal update process.

Estuary, Estouchy

General

  • A change was made by @CastagnaIT that narrows the scope of the optional track title providing language specific audio track data. Information regarding this advanced setting can be found on the wiki at https://kodi.wiki/view/Advancedsettings.xml#languagecodes.
  • @rschupp has contributed to the removal of Kodi's use of the library pcrecpp. The use of this was changed to use C++ standard library capabilities.
  • A fix has been made for when some XML files written by Kodi would add a trailing null character, therefore making the XML invalid.
  • Several users contributed to compiler warning fixes affecting multiple platforms. Thanks to @CrystalP, @fuzzard, @thexai.
  • @Rechi has made further fixes to satisfy more static analysis based fixes/warnings.
  • The FFmpeg library has been updated to 6.0.1 for all platforms that don't use a system-provided FFmpeg version.
  • @rmrector continues to improve artwork cache handling. PVR images are now handled like most other image types for the caching system.
  • @ksooo has been fixing further context menu fallout as he endeavors to improve the maintainability and consistency across Kodi's context menus.

Network

  • A couple of fixes to IPv6 usage by @joseluismarti.

Platform Specifics

  • Android:
    • More Dolby Vison updates have been submitted by @quietvoid. The latest fixes playback when some data is not provided by the FFmpeg library, and we would incorrectly categorize it as a different Dolby Vision profile (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/24172).
  • Linux:
    • @smp79 has submitted a fix to VDPAU HQ scalers.
  • macOS:
    • @kambala-decapitator has updated the macOS signing tools to use Apple's newer notarytool. The previous usage of altool was deprecated/shutdown by Apple in November.
  • Windows:

PVR

  • @ksooo continues to fix/improve Kodi's PVR system. Multiple fixes for different race conditions were merged for Beta2.
  • Fix recordings with a path containing a ':' not displayed in recordings window.

Python

  • @the-black-eagle has added songVideoURL to the InfoTagMusic interface.

Skinning

UPnP

Videos

Known Issues include:

You can see open issues on the Kodi 21 tracker at https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues. However, to call out a couple of specifics, please be aware of the following if you're planning on upgrading:

  • There are seek issues with multi-part MP4 files on Android (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23673).
  • Team Kodi has had reports that the new splash screen looks like an OpenGL corruption; it's not a problem, so don't panic. The team would be happy to have artwork contributions if you'd like to work on an alternative.
  • If remote sources are unavailable at startup, users are seeing large delays of startup (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23958).

You can get Beta 2 from here. Select your platform of choice, and grab the new build from the Prerelease section.

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