There's no denying the massive popularity of Kodi, and the streaming media center has become infamous as well as famous. While the negative press concerning the software tends to focus on the potential for piracy, there's also the question of privacy and security.
Kodi includes -- as does the likes of Plex -- a remote access feature. While wonderfully useful for when you're away from home, it also poses a security risk and represents a serious privacy concern if not correctly configured.
As someone who was born in the 1980s, I experienced the golden age of video games. While the graphics were archaic by today's standards, the games were much more fun than the ones of today. People tend to forget that fun is the most important aspect of video games -- sound and graphics be damned. You bought a completed game and there were no updates, DLC or loot crates to be had. It was an amazing time.
Luckily, enjoying these classic games of yesteryear is very easy thanks to emulators. While the legality is a bit sketchy, you can download thousands of retro games (ROMs) and play them on your PC with near-flawless results. To make things even more convenient, the Kodi media center can now be used to play these ROMs. If you want to try this for yourself, I am happy to say you can do so immediately. The folks over at TVAddons have created a very useful guide.
Six years ago, web developer umOuch launched XBMC HUB, the first add-on community for the XBox Media Center (Kodi's original name).
It provided an easy way to find and install unofficial add-ons, and later evolved into TVAddons, branching out into new areas in the process. In 2016, TVAddons even created its own fork of Kodi, called FreeTelly.
Kodi started life as XBMC (XBox Media Center) and was designed to run on Microsoft's original Xbox. The software has since then enjoyed a meteoric -- and somewhat controversial -- rise, and is now available for most platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux.
One platform it was missing from was the latest generation of Microsoft's console, the Xbox One, but that oversight has finally been corrected. You can, from today, install Kodi on both that console and the Xbox One S. Although there is a catch.
There is a lot of software in the world, and much of it is terrible. It is rare that a truly great program comes along that actually disrupts things. When that software is open source, it is even more remarkable. That is why Kodi is such an impressive program. The open source project has impacted the way much of the world consumes music, movies, TV and more -- both legitimately obtained media and pirated content.
Earlier this year, we shared with you that a pre-release version of Kodi 18 "Leia" 64-bit for Windows was available. There was a big catch, however -- it was not up to par with its 32-bit brother. And so, many people just stuck with the 32-bit version, because, well... why not? It is finally time to make the jump to the 64-bit variant, however, as according to the Kodi team, it is now identical to the 32-bit version from a feature perspective.
Using Kodi is not without risk. While crazy scaremongering attacks might (and indeed should) have you rolling your eyes at the people making the outlandish claims, the truth is there are legitimate issues to be aware of. You could be hacked, or spied upon.
The developers behind Kodi have announced that users should update to the latest version of the media center software immediately "to improve security and reduce possible risks."
Christmas is almost here, and I don't know about y'all, but I am thrilled. While I am looking forward to spending time with family and thinking about the birth of Jesus, I am not ashamed to say I am excited about presents too!
Today, Christmas comes a bit early thanks to a new LibreELEC (Krypton) release. Version 8.2.2 of the Kodi-focused Linux-based operating system is being called a minor release, but it is still a very special gift for users of the media center. After all, version 8.2.1 was previously called the final Krypton version, but as we now know, it wasn't.
Kodi has been the subject of controversy for some time, and addon repository TVAddons has, in particular, been criticized from many quarters. Having recently announced that it will no longer proactively check for pirated content, TVAddons is suggesting that there's a very good reason to use Kodi addons to stream online content -- security.
The site says that one of the reasons Kodi is so hated by the industry is that addons give users the chance to avoid advertisements and "all forms of monetization." TVAddons says that Kodi addons not only enable people to avoid ads, but also potentially dangerous malware and secretive cryptocurrency miners.
Justified or not, Kodi has been somewhat synonymous with pirated content. At the heart of Kodi-related controversy are the addons that provide access to such material, and addon site TVAddons constantly finds itself embroiled in things.
Having recently announced that it managed to build up 12 million monthly users despite being closed down, TVAddons has now announced a change to the way it operates. While still perfectly happy to comply with the law when it comes to pirated content, the site will now rely on DMCA takedown notices rather than proactively checking for infringments.
Back from the dead: Unofficial Kodi add-on provider TVAddons now has 12 million monthly active users
TVAddons has had a tough year. The site, which provides access to unofficial Kodi add-ons, and for a time had a custom build of Kodi called FreeTelly, has been sued, had its site closed down and its domains and social media accounts seized.
On top of that, it’s also had a number of run-ins with Team Kodi, which called for the site to be permanently shut down, claiming it brings "nothing but misery to everyone."
You can’t have failed to notice, but copyright holders and anti-piracy groups are waging war on Kodi -- and "fully loaded" Kodi boxes in particular -- at the moment. And as is the case in all wars, the first casualty is truth.
A new video from the Hollywood-backed Digital Citizens Alliance is so full of lies and nonsense it will have you shaking your head in wonderment. Does anyone truly believe this propaganda anymore (if they ever did)? Clearly the DCA thinks they do.
Kodi boxes, and other so-called illicit streaming devices (ISDs), are the big-target for anti-piracy organizations at the moment. It’s a war being fought on many fronts. While bulling third-party add-on developers into retiring using legal threats is one of the most high-profile approaches, it’s far from the only tactic being used.
Governments and anti-piracy organizations are also using heavy doses of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to persuade Kodi lovers to seek other -- legal -- methods for streaming content.
LibreELEC is a fantastic open source Linux-based operating system designed to run Kodi. It is particularly well suited for devices like Raspberry Pi. If you want to build your own Kodi box, it's ideal.
Today, the LibreELEC team releases a new build that it expects will be the last from the current branch -- going forward the focus will be firmly on LibreELEC (Leia) 9.0 development.
Kodi, and "fully loaded" Kodi boxes in particular, are frequently in the news. Mainstream media likes to spread a lot of FUD about the hugely popular streaming software.
If you’re a Kodi user streaming content via third-party add-ons, you know there’s a danger that those add-ons might stop working, or disappear altogether due to legal action, and there’s always the (very distant) threat that rights holders might start targeting end users. Now there’s another concern to keep you up at night -- your Kodi box might kill you.
After the Exodus Kodi add-on shut-down many users switched to its replacement, Covenant. There’s bad news for users of that add-on however, as the Colossus repository has now been deleted following legal threats.
This affects not only Covenant but other add-ons hosted there, including Bennu and DeathStreams.