Nexus just won’t end, it seems: we’re back already, this time what we hope will be the final release for the Nexus line. Welcome to 20.5!

An assortment of bug fixes, some backports, no real new features. Full changelog since 20.4 on Github, as usual.

Release notes

Input

  • Reverted a number of controller changes that caused massive failures on Android devices. Input handling will now be the same as what was available in 20.3.

Platform Specific

  • Android

    • Some great detective work was done by @spdfrk for a fix that meant Kodi would close the app during potential colour mode changes.
    • A backport by @fritsch that intends to bring Nexus inline with Omega behaviour for AudioTrack on Android. This means that some device users will need to add an extra setting to their AdvancedSettings.xml file. Details can be seen at https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/24729.
  • Linux

  • iOS/tvOS

    • A change that wasn’t actually in Kodi’s codebase, but a fix nonetheless, means that the inputstream.ffmpegdirect addon is now available to the iOS/tvOS release debs.

… plus, of course, some behind-the-scenes fixes and updates for e.g. library versions.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who has helped us track down and fix any issues. We endeavour to minimise the issues everyone experiences, but with such a large project, and the fact everyone contributing to Kodi is a volunteer, issues and bugs are a part of life. if you happen to experience any bugs/issues, don’t hesitate to reach out on the forums, or raise an issue on Github.

As this is a point release, there are no major changes since the previous version, and you should be fine to install this straight over the top of any existing Kodi 20.x installation – indeed, this will happen automatically on many platforms. However, as for all software installations, back up your userdata beforehand if you’ve any doubts or have anything you can’t afford to lose (and definitely do this if you’re going for a major version upgrade).

A list of all changes for this version can be found at GitHub. If you want to read back on the full history of v20 itself, or of previous versions, you can find the corresponding articles in the relevant blog posts.

Application deployment on different platforms (notably the Microsoft Store) can vary considerably due to circumstances outside of our control, so just be patient, and the update will inevitably find its way through.

Android Deployment

We always do what’s known as a “staged” deployment roll out for Android. So if you don’t receive the update immediately, be patient, as it will come through over the next week. As the majority of fixes are related to Android Playstore deployment, we will be cautious with the deployment time. If you do receive 20.5 and have any issues with the Playstore deployment, please let us know as soon as possible.



Source link



Editorial note: this blog post has been delayed for technical reasons, so the release is already available.

Time marches on for Kodi 21 “Omega”, we are here with the third Beta release!

This is a major release, so, as you’d expect, it comes with many new features. However, with a core change to FFmpeg 6.0, there is a very good chance that some regressions may occur. As such, please be aware that installing this will most likely break things, and we’d really like your help at that point to identify the problems and get them fixed. Please raise Github issues with full debug logs to help us resolve any issues you wonderful testers come across.

First, we’d like to make a few targeted announcements.

Android users

Many users may still be on the Kodi testing track for their Android devices. It’s far easier to leave the testing track from a ‘phone-based device, but be aware that if your device is on the testing track, we will be continuing to deploy Beta 3 releases over the next week or so. If you wish to opt out of the testing group, one way you can is by visiting the following link Google Play – Kodi testing track. From here, you can opt out for your Google Play account. This is the best (and possibly only) way to opt out on many Android TV devices (e.g. Nvidia Shields).

With that said, for those adventurous types who would like to help us with testing, you can use the same link to opt in for a Google Play account.

Skin Developers

An API bump has been made for Kodi 21’s testing cycle. See the following PRs for details:

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23926

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23862

This will require changes and submissions to the Omega branch for skins for those who submit to the Kodi repository. Reach out on the forums if you have any questions/concerns.

Please note, https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23927 has been merged shortly after Beta 2, and all skins will need to update the GUI version number to be available in Omega repos for any builds (including nightlies) after Beta 2.

The following forum thread has the skinning change info for Omega: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=372280&pid=3174566#pid3174566

And now, for the list of changes for Beta 3.

Build/Dependencies

  • Support for building with swig 4.2.0

General

  • The way in which buffer fill was handled was changed to care more for low-power CPU devices. Under certain circumstances, and with especially high manually-configured readbuffer factors, the buffer filling thread caused high CPU usage and introduced stutter by itself.
  • Implemented new “Adaptive” setting in Services / Caching / Read Factor that allows a variable read factor based on cache level. This means that the cache fills faster, while at same time using a less aggressive read factor when it’s already filled.
  • Fixed media served through plugins not being accessible when a master lock is used.

JSON-RPC

  • Add command to change playback speed (tempo).
  • Add a command to activate screen saver.

Music

Platform Specifics

  • Android:

    • The audio changes for the Android ecosystem were documented in https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=376161.
    • Due to various firmware bugs on multiple devices we were forced to add some opt-in audio settings for (especially) the widely-used FireTV Cube 3rd Gen, which were enabled by default until this beta, but sadly regressed on half-broken firmwares of other devices. It’s not possible to maintain a deny list as available systems and versions change too quickly, plus Kodi release cycles can’t be synchronised with every big vendor putting out fixes. As such, we decided to move this into an advanced setting, with more information available in the linked forum thread. Feel free to open new issues if you see regressions of some sort, but please don’t forget your debug log, as help isn’t possible otherwise due to the sheer variety of differently-broken boxes.
    • Another advanced setting now allows the output of high-precision 32-bit float from within Kodi for multi-channel PCM files. This is again an advanced setting because some devices fail silently when opening this combination. Float32 is the highest precision Android’s Audiotrack Soundserver can handle. It was tested and is working on Shield and FireTV 4K 2nd Gen.
    • We received a whole lot of bug fixes from external contributors this time, with the focus on HDMI Hotplug after refresh rate changes and also Audio device enumeration. The long-standing bug of losing Android IEC devices during IDLE is solved. We are very thankful for these contributions.
    • @quietvoid has implemented a new setting in Player / Processing that allows filtering of HDR dynamic metadata HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision to improve compatibility on devices that had issues, especially with hybrid videos that includes both types at same time.
  • iOS/tvOS

    • Disable VTB (hardware decoding) for real-time interlaced videos.
  • Linux:

    • Pipewire sink got a fixup for sample rate switching. With that updated code, the back-end server of Pipewire will switch the base sample rate whenever Kodi is run without additional other clients. This way, Kodi’s audio will be output in the best possible and lossless way throughout the audio chain, including soundserver and audio device.
    • Adjusted dependencies to build packages compatible with Ubuntu Focal to Noble for CPack building
    • @fightforlife has fixed an issue with RenderCapture used by things like Hyperion that fixes sporadic black screen captures
  • webOS

    • Map info key on webOS remotes.
    • Disable core dumps by default to reduce less storage being used on webOS TVs.
    • Implement shutdown/reboot .
  • Windows:

    • Improved chroma upscaling when using Pixel Shaders or Software render methods, and also DXVA only in specific cases: AMD + old drivers + 10-bit SDR.
    • Improved channel layout match in WASAPI when audio drivers do not support the exact speaker layout. This is only relevant for PCM (not passthrough).
    • Increased the number of video surfaces in DXVA H.264 decoding to prevent video corruption in some rare H.264 streams.

Pictures

  • Long time contributer @notspiff added avif image support.
  • @enen92 fixed an Exif parsing regression that was introduced in Matrix (v19).

Scraping

  • .nomedia files can now be used to exclude folders inside a TV show: https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/24330
  • @78andyp fixed what looks like has been broken for a long period – the ability to scrape episodes in Bluray folders (BDMV).

Skinning

  • The estouchy skin has been retired from default installs. If anyone would like to continue working on the skin for future use/availability, you can find the new home for the skin at https://github.com/jjd-uk/skin.estouchy for now.
  • The player control dialog for Estuary has been updated, along with other changes to bring the skin up to date for 5.17.0 API.
  • A fix for duplicate music flags was made by @jjd-uk.

UPnP

  • @enen92 has once again made an assortment of fixes for UPnP, such as fixed broadcasting of item updates and ‘mark as watched’ state.
  • An option was added to avoid volume synchronisation to a UPnP target.

Known Issues

You can see open issues on our 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).
  • We’ve had reports that the new splash screen looks like an OpenGL corruption; we know, it’s not a problem, so don’t panic. We’d be happy to have your artwork contributions if you’d like to work on an alternative.
  • If remote sources are unavailable at startup, users are seeing significant delays while waiting (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23958).

We continue to march forward to what we hope will be a successful v21 Omega release in the new year.

If you love to live on the bleeding edge, you can get Beta 3 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section. Again, though, please: expect some breakage, don’t use this as your daily installation unless you know how to get things working again, and please share your experiences back with us so we can really get going on those bugs.

There is always a great deal more changes/fixes/updates than what we can highlight in these reports, so as usual you can see a fuller list of what has been merged between v21 and v20 here. For a more targeted look at the changes made since v21 Beta 2, you can see those changes here.



Source link



Editorial note: this blog post has been delayed for technical reasons, so the release is already available.

Time marches on for Kodi 21 “Omega”, we are here with the third Beta release!

This is a major release, so, as you’d expect, it comes with many new features. However, with a core change to FFmpeg 6.0, there is a very good chance that some regressions may occur. As such, please be aware that installing this will most likely break things, and we’d really like your help at that point to identify the problems and get them fixed. Please raise Github issues with full debug logs to help us resolve any issues you wonderful testers come across.

First, we’d like to make a few targeted announcements.

Android users

Many users may still be on the Kodi testing track for their Android devices. It’s far easier to leave the testing track from a ‘phone-based device, but be aware that if your device is on the testing track, we will be continuing to deploy Beta 3 releases over the next week or so. If you wish to opt out of the testing group, one way you can is by visiting the following link Google Play – Kodi testing track. From here, you can opt out for your Google Play account. This is the best (and possibly only) way to opt out on many Android TV devices (e.g. Nvidia Shields).

With that said, for those adventurous types who would like to help us with testing, you can use the same link to opt in for a Google Play account.

Skin Developers

An API bump has been made for Kodi 21’s testing cycle. See the following PRs for details:

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23926

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23862

This will require changes and submissions to the Omega branch for skins for those who submit to the Kodi repository. Reach out on the forums if you have any questions/concerns.

Please note, https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23927 has been merged shortly after Beta 2, and all skins will need to update the GUI version number to be available in Omega repos for any builds (including nightlies) after Beta 2.

The following forum thread has the skinning change info for Omega: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=372280&pid=3174566#pid3174566

And now, for the list of changes for Beta 3.

Build/Dependencies

  • Support for building with swig 4.2.0

General

  • The way in which buffer fill was handled was changed to care more for low-power CPU devices. Under certain circumstances, and with especially high manually-configured readbuffer factors, the buffer filling thread caused high CPU usage and introduced stutter by itself.
  • Implemented new “Adaptive” setting in Services / Caching / Read Factor that allows a variable read factor based on cache level. This means that the cache fills faster, while at same time using a less aggressive read factor when it’s already filled.
  • Fixed media served through plugins not being accessible when a master lock is used.

JSON-RPC

  • Add command to change playback speed (tempo).
  • Add a command to activate screen saver.

Music

Platform Specifics

  • Android:

    • The audio changes for the Android ecosystem were documented in https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=376161.
    • Due to various firmware bugs on multiple devices we were forced to add some opt-in audio settings for (especially) the widely-used FireTV Cube 3rd Gen, which were enabled by default until this beta, but sadly regressed on half-broken firmwares of other devices. It’s not possible to maintain a deny list as available systems and versions change too quickly, plus Kodi release cycles can’t be synchronised with every big vendor putting out fixes. As such, we decided to move this into an advanced setting, with more information available in the linked forum thread. Feel free to open new issues if you see regressions of some sort, but please don’t forget your debug log, as help isn’t possible otherwise due to the sheer variety of differently-broken boxes.
    • Another advanced setting now allows the output of high-precision 32-bit float from within Kodi for multi-channel PCM files. This is again an advanced setting because some devices fail silently when opening this combination. Float32 is the highest precision Android’s Audiotrack Soundserver can handle. It was tested and is working on Shield and FireTV 4K 2nd Gen.
    • We received a whole lot of bug fixes from external contributors this time, with the focus on HDMI Hotplug after refresh rate changes and also Audio device enumeration. The long-standing bug of losing Android IEC devices during IDLE is solved. We are very thankful for these contributions.
    • @quietvoid has implemented a new setting in Player / Processing that allows filtering of HDR dynamic metadata HDR10+ and/or Dolby Vision to improve compatibility on devices that had issues, especially with hybrid videos that includes both types at same time.
  • iOS/tvOS

    • Disable VTB (hardware decoding) for real-time interlaced videos.
  • Linux:

    • Pipewire sink got a fixup for sample rate switching. With that updated code, the back-end server of Pipewire will switch the base sample rate whenever Kodi is run without additional other clients. This way, Kodi’s audio will be output in the best possible and lossless way throughout the audio chain, including soundserver and audio device.
    • Adjusted dependencies to build packages compatible with Ubuntu Focal to Noble for CPack building
    • @fightforlife has fixed an issue with RenderCapture used by things like Hyperion that fixes sporadic black screen captures
  • webOS

    • Map info key on webOS remotes.
    • Disable core dumps by default to reduce less storage being used on webOS TVs.
    • Implement shutdown/reboot .
  • Windows:

    • Improved chroma upscaling when using Pixel Shaders or Software render methods, and also DXVA only in specific cases: AMD + old drivers + 10-bit SDR.
    • Improved channel layout match in WASAPI when audio drivers do not support the exact speaker layout. This is only relevant for PCM (not passthrough).
    • Increased the number of video surfaces in DXVA H.264 decoding to prevent video corruption in some rare H.264 streams.

Pictures

  • Long time contributer @notspiff added avif image support.
  • @enen92 fixed an Exif parsing regression that was introduced in Matrix (v19).

Scraping

  • .nomedia files can now be used to exclude folders inside a TV show: https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/24330
  • @78andyp fixed what looks like has been broken for a long period – the ability to scrape episodes in Bluray folders (BDMV).

Skinning

  • The estouchy skin has been retired from default installs. If anyone would like to continue working on the skin for future use/availability, you can find the new home for the skin at https://github.com/jjd-uk/skin.estouchy for now.
  • The player control dialog for Estuary has been updated, along with other changes to bring the skin up to date for 5.17.0 API.
  • A fix for duplicate music flags was made by @jjd-uk.

UPnP

  • @enen92 has once again made an assortment of fixes for UPnP, such as fixed broadcasting of item updates and ‘mark as watched’ state.
  • An option was added to avoid volume synchronisation to a UPnP target.

Known Issues

You can see open issues on our 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).
  • We’ve had reports that the new splash screen looks like an OpenGL corruption; we know, it’s not a problem, so don’t panic. We’d be happy to have your artwork contributions if you’d like to work on an alternative.
  • If remote sources are unavailable at startup, users are seeing significant delays while waiting (https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/issues/23958).

We continue to march forward to what we hope will be a successful v21 Omega release in the new year.

If you love to live on the bleeding edge, you can get Beta 3 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section. Again, though, please: expect some breakage, don’t use this as your daily installation unless you know how to get things working again, and please share your experiences back with us so we can really get going on those bugs.

There is always a great deal more changes/fixes/updates than what we can highlight in these reports, so as usual you can see a fuller list of what has been merged between v21 and v20 here. For a more targeted look at the changes made since v21 Beta 2, you can see those changes here.



Source link



It looks like one last hurrah was premature for the “Nexus” line: we find ourselves back again already, this time with a new 20.4 release.

An assortment of bug fixes, some backports, no real new features. Full changelog since 20.3 on Github, as usual.

Release notes

Build

  • A backport aimed at fixing the failure rate of binary addon builds has been merged by @garbear.

Input

  • Update to the controller addons.

Platform Specific

  • Android

    • Several fixes have been backported from master to fix deployment issues on Google Play. Thanks to @joseluismarti for working with us on these.
    • A number of fixes backported to resolve input issues (remotes/controllers).
  • iOS/tvOS

    • A long-time-coming fix to reduce black screen playback when interlaced content is played on iOS/tvOS. Users should no longer have to specifically disable VTB Hardware playback for most interlaced content. Please keep in mind some methods of content playback (HTTP URLs provided in .strm files) will still be affected.
    • A memory leak with game controllers on iOS/tvOS has been fixed by @kambala-decapitator.
  • tvOS

    • @kambala-decapitator fixed what seems to be a long standing bug regarding framework plist metadata for shared library frameworks.
  • Windows

    • A fix for AESinkWASAPI to improve fallback when the exact output channel layout isn’t supported by drivers or hardware.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who has helped us track down and fix any issues. We endeavour to minimise the issues everyone experiences, but with such a large project, and the fact everyone contributing to Kodi is a volunteer, issues and bugs are a part of life. if you happen to experience any bugs/issues, don’t hesitate to reach out on the forums, or raise an issue on Github.

As this is a point release, there are no major changes since the previous version, and you should be fine to install this straight over the top of any existing Kodi 20.x installation – indeed, this will happen automatically on many platforms. However, as for all software installations, back up your userdata beforehand if you’ve any doubts or have anything you can’t afford to lose (and definitely do this if you’re going for a major version upgrade).

A list of all changes for this version can be found at GitHub. If you want to read back on the full history of v20 itself, or of previous versions, you can find the corresponding articles in the relevant blog posts.

Application deployment on different platforms (notably the Microsoft Store) can vary considerably due to circumstances outside of our control, so just be patient, and the update will inevitably find its way through.

Android Deployment

We always do what’s known as a “staged” roll out for Android – so, if you don’t receive the update immediately, be patient, as it will come through over the next week. As the majority of fixes are related to Google Play deployment, we will deliberately be cautious with the schedule. If you do receive 20.4 and have any issues with the deployment, please let us know as soon as possible.



Source link

For whose benefit does a business exist? It’s tempting, especially in the early days, to see the business as being for the benefit of the founder. But it’s always best to view a business as being there for the customer, not the business. That’s the mindset that has propelled some of the world’s biggest brands, including Amazon. 

If you run a business, then it’s worthwhile looking for ways to make your customers’ lives easier. It’ll help to elevate the customers’ experience of your brand, and ultimately that’ll help to drive more sales. 

Making your customers’ lives easier sounds good, but how do you actually do it? Let’s take a look at some effective methods. 

Offer Consistency

Consistency is highly underrated in business. Customers don’t just want to receive an excellent product or service once; they want to receive the same standard every time they hit the purchase button. Think of your favorite restaurant. You go back again and again not because you have the memory of the first meal you ate there, but because it delivers every time you walk through the doors. You can provide consistency by incorporating quality control measures into your operations, as well as doing periodic spot checks to ensure your high standards are always being met. 

Gather Feedback

It’s best, whenever possible, to take the guesswork out of your business decisions. Before launching your enterprise, you’ll have put together ideal customer profiles that drive your strategic decisions. However, once you actually have customers, you can move beyond those profiles. Instead, it’s best to gather direct feedback from your customers. In doing so, you’ll gain valuable insights into what your customers are really looking for — and that makes it much easier to incorporate elements that put a smile on your customers’ faces. It’s a fast, effective way to give your customers what they want, and there’s arguably no better way to make their lives easier than that. 

Streamline the Journey

Your customer is not your enemy. As such, it’s recommended to ensure that their journey is as smooth as possible from beginning to end. For instance, it shouldn’t be difficult for them to find the products they’re looking for on your website, get the information they need, or make a purchase. It’s worthwhile looking at your purchasing process through the lens of a potential customer. Would they like using your website? Is it easy for them to pay? If the answer is no, then look up credit card solutions or work with a website design agency to bring your website up to speed. Ultimately, the goal is to make the process feel so natural that the customer doesn’t even notice it. 

Have an Eye on the Future

Customers are loyal to brands under the right circumstances. In fact, they want to be loyal. It’s much easier to stick with the same business rather than find a new one all the time. However, they’ll only do that if they have confidence that the business is moving in the right direction. If a business takes its foot off the gas or otherwise fails to innovate and improve, then it’ll be giving the customer cause to look elsewhere. As a business owner, it’s recommended to instill a culture of progression and forward-thinking, which will ensure that the business is always moving in the right direction. 

Make Yourself Available 

If you set up your business in a way that serves customers, then it’s unlikely that you’ll have to field too many issues. But they’ll happen from time to time. If there’s one thing that annoys customers, it’s being unable to reach a customer service representative when they need to. You can ensure that your customers never have this issue by investing in your customer service team, and making all key information — contact phone number, email address, and social media accounts — easily viewable on your website. 

Respect Their Time 

Finally, remember to respect your customers’ time. All too often, brands assume that they’re as important to their customers as they are to themselves, and that can lead to a bombardment of emails and other marketing materials. Your customers will like your brand, but it’s best not to come off too strong. Another way to respect their time is to deal with issues efficiently. A customer shouldn’t be waiting on the phone for tens of minutes until they’re connected to a different department, nor should they have to repeat their details every time they speak to a new employee. Investing in customer relationship management software can help avoid this issue. 



Hi!

This is just a quick note to let everyone know that Team Kodi will be present at the Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels on 3 & 4 February 2024. We will have a booth in Building H level 1 where you can try out Kodi and chat with us at your leisure :)

We have team members attending that are knowledgeable about, among other things, Python add-on programming, Kodi on Linux, the Kodi flatpak package, and Kodi on embedded GPUs.

If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you and get your first-hand feedback about … well, anything, really. We’re also planning to have some sample branded merchandise for you to look at – so, please, join us for a chat and a coffee!



Source link



A new year dawns, and brings with it one last hurrah for the Kodi “Nexus” release line.

An assortment of bug fixes, some backports, no real new features. Full changelog since 20.2 on Github, as usual.

Release notes

Estuary

  • An assortment of fixes for Estuary, including home categories’ focus position, alignment of counter labels and Shift view for collections.
  • Fixes to the weather layout when busy.

Game/Retroplayer

  • Fixed controllers not assigned to game ports correctly on Android.
  • Fixed blue/pink washed out colours on Windows with 10-bit displays.
  • Fixed possible crash in Port dialogue box.
  • Fixed typo for the mouse middle button in Controller dialogue box.

General

  • A DVD playback fix that resolves unmounted drives not being playable.
  • A fix for infinite loops in CPluginFile that occurred when using scrapers.
  • A fix for a crash that occurred due to Addon settings being destructed in an incorrect order.
  • Redact some information from Toast notifications (user/passwords incorrectly being shown).
  • A memory leak in context menus was resolved.
  • Image cache handling was fixed to correctly regenerate when cached files for JSON API consumers.

Music

  • Music Library: now able to automatically recover if library cleaning was interrupted previously for some reason.

Platform Specific

  • Android

    • Fixed (workaround implemented) possible audio out-of-sync in recent AMLogic BSP devices: FireTV Cube 3rd Gen, Homatics Box R 4K Plus, …
  • Linux

    • VP9 Profile 2 playback failure was fixed.
    • A fix for a leak of EGLFences in the DRM Prime renderer.
  • macOS/iOS

    • Fix a crash on Apple Silicon based Macs when pressing the Caps Lock key.
  • tvOS

    • Fixed: Not persistent binary addons (PVR) settings.
  • Windows

    • Fixed: 24 Hz refresh rate related to HDR in specific use cases only (when Windows HDR auto-switch is not used).
    • Fixed: audio device “WASAPI:default” was listed multiple times in audio device list.
    • Fixed: fractional refresh rates 119.88 Hz and higher they were not displayed correctly.

Pictures

  • An exif parsing regression from v19 was resolved.

PVR

  • Fix TV channel subtitles not displayed on playback start, even when activated in subtitle settings.
  • Fix recordings with a path containing a colon (‘:’) not being displayed in recordings window.

UPNP

  • A fix for a crash that occurred when a user added a UPNP source without having UPNP enabled.
  • Playback from remote sources (ftp, http, etc.) has been fixed.

Video

  • A fix to the default Select action on certain movie-related windows.

Thanks, as always, to everyone who has helped us track down and fix any issues. We endeavour to minimise the issues everyone experiences, but with such a large project, and the fact everyone contributing to Kodi is a volunteer, issues and bugs are a part of life. if you happen to experience any bugs/issues, don’t hesitate to reach out on the forums, or raise an issue on Github.

As this is a point release, there are no major changes since the previous version, and you should be fine to install this straight over the top of any existing Kodi 20.x installation – indeed, this will happen automatically on many platforms. However, as for all software installations, back up your userdata beforehand if you’ve any doubts or have anything you can’t afford to lose (and definitely do this if you’re going for a major version upgrade).

A list of all changes for this version can be found at GitHub. If you want to read back on the full history of v20 itself, or of previous versions, you can find the corresponding articles in the relevant blog posts.

Application deployment on different platforms (notably the Microsoft Store) can vary considerably due to circumstances outside of our control, so just be patient, and the update will inevitably find its way through.

Android Deployment

We always do what’s known as a “staged” deployment roll out for Android. So if you don’t receive the update immediately, be patient, as it will come through over the next week.



Source link



We are keeping things ticking over with Kodi 21 “Omega” with the second Beta release!

This is a major release, so, as you’d expect, it comes with many new features. However, with a core change to FFmpeg 6.0, there is a very good chance that some regressions may occur. As such, please be aware that installing this will most likely break things, and we’d really like your help at that point to identify the problems and get them fixed. Please raise Github issues with full debug logs to help us resolve any issues you wonderful testers come across.

First, we’d like to make a few targeted announcements.

Android users

Many users may still be on the Kodi testing track for their Android devices. It’s far easier to leave the testing track from a ‘phone-based device, but be aware that if your device is on the testing track, we will be continuing to deploy Beta 2 releases over the next week or so. If you wish to opt out of the testing group, one way you can is by visiting the following link Google Play – Kodi testing track. From here, you can opt out for your Google Play account. This is the best (and possibly only) way to opt out on many Android TV devices (e.g. Nvidia Shields).

With that said, for those adventurous types who would like to help us with testing, you can use the same link to opt in for a Google Play account.

Skin Developers

An API bump will be made with the next release of Kodi 21’s testing cycle. See the following PRs for details:

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23926

https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23862

This will require changes and submissions to the Omega branch for skins for those who submit to the Kodi Repository. Reach out on the forums if you have any questions/concerns.

Please note, https://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/pull/23927 has been merged shortly after Beta 2, and all skins will need to update the GUI version number to be available in Omega repos for any builds (including nightlies) after Beta 2.

The following forum thread has the skinning change info for Omega: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=372280&pid=3174566#pid3174566

And now, for the list of changes for Beta 2.

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 endeavours 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 categorise 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 our 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

You can see open issues on our 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).
  • We’ve had reports that the new splash screen looks like an OpenGL corruption; we know, it’s not a problem, so don’t panic. We’d be happy to have your 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).

We continue to march forward to what we hope will be a successful v21 Omega release in the new year.

If you love to live on the bleeding edge, you can get Beta 2 from here. Select your platform of choice, and look in the “Prerelease” section. Again, though, please: expect some breakage, don’t use this as your daily installation unless you know how to get things working again, and please share your experiences back with us so we can really get going on those bugs.

There is always a great deal more changes/fixes/updates than what we can highlight in these reports, so as usual you can see a fuller list of what has been merged between v21 and v20 here. For a more targeted look at the changes made since v21 Beta 1, you can see those changes here.



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Time slips through fingers like sand. This is never truer than when you run a business. As a business owner, you need to wear many hats but that can result in poor time management.

Poor time management leads to poor quality service and products. Before learning the art of delegation, you need to learn how to manage your time wisely. Here are some top tips for great time management as a business owner.

How Do You Spend Your Time?

The first thing you need to do is explore how you use your time. How are you prioritizing your time? What are you spending the majority of your time on?

When you know how you’re using your time, you can make adjustments where necessary. It could mean spending less time on administration and more time on quality management. 

Create a Schedule…

…and stick to it! The great thing about having a schedule is that you know everything that needs to get done is done. When you schedule your time, none of the time that you have is wasted. 

Perhaps your schedule will always be the same and soon enough it will become routine. Or maybe your schedule will change regularly and you’ll need to stay on your toes to get things done. No matter how often your schedule changes, having one is imperative.

Set Time Limits

Time limits are useful for many different reasons. It allows you to focus on several different tasks throughout the day without spending too much time on one. This results in several tasks completed over a period of time.

It also allows you to take breaks into consideration. It’s vitally important that you look after yourself as you work. Be sure to take timed breaks so you’re bringing the best version of yourself to your job.

Delegation

There are many different aspects of running a business. It’s difficult for one person to do them all. For instance, if you’re a contractor, delegating administration tasks like booking appointments or managing social media will free up your time to do work for your clients.

You may want to hire employees to take on these tasks permanently or you may want to utilize freelancers who take on the tasks as and when needed. If you feel like your working plate is too full, it may be time to ask for help.

The Wonder of Technology

Technology is a useful tool when it comes to time management. There are tons of ways you can use technology to organize your business and ensure every aspect is taken care of. From cloud services like BuildOps to managing your calendar online or using an app for payroll, you’ll find everything you need.

The advantage of using technology is that you can be prepared for your working commitments in advance. For instance, you can schedule social media posts in advance for busy working weeks so you’re free to provide services without thinking about keeping your social media accounts active. 

Learn To Say No

This is often difficult for business owners. After all, the more yes’s you can say, the more money you make. However, this puts the quality of your services and products at risk.

Unlocking Boundaries: The Impending Shift in EU Digital Policies

The European Union (EU) has been undergoing a transformative shift in recent seasons, aiming to dismantle digital barriers among its member states. This progressive change holds the potential to significantly impact the streaming industry, with a particular focus on the contentious practice of geo-blocking. As Danish MEP Karen Melchior spearheads a crucial discussion in the European Parliament, the implications of eliminating geo-blocking could reshape the dynamics of streaming services across borders.

The Geo-Blocking Conundrum

Geo-blocking, a practice entrenched in limiting users from subscribing to foreign services, has faced growing scrutiny within the EU. While territorial restrictions have seen gradual erosion, particularly in digital realms, the realm of audiovisual content remains ensnared by these barriers.

Danish MEP Karen Melchior’s initiative to discuss and potentially eliminate geo-blocking has elevated this issue to the forefront of EU policy deliberations. As the dialogue gains momentum, the looming possibility of a parliamentary vote to abolish geo-blocking raises crucial questions about the future of streaming services and user access.

The Potential Ripple Effects

If the European Parliament decides to take the bold step of abolishing geo-blocking, the consequences could reverberate across the streaming industry. At present, users are hindered from subscribing to streaming services in other countries to benefit from potentially lower costs. Consider a scenario where an Italian user might opt for a streaming service in an Eastern European country, offering broadcasts of Serie A and the Champions League at a significantly reduced price.

This potential collapse of geo-blocking transcends mere user convenience; it calls into question the validity of existing rights at the European level. The need to reevaluate such rights could send shockwaves through the streaming landscape, affecting major platforms like Dazn and Sky.

HUGE Free IPTV Playlist
Photo by JESHOOTS.com on Pexels.com

Reevaluating European-Level Rights

The proposed abolition of geo-blocking prompts a necessary reassessment of European-level rights associated with streaming content. The implications of such a decision extend beyond individual user choices, potentially reshaping the fundamental structure of streaming services.

The core issue lies in whether European-level rights, particularly those governing audiovisual content, are aligned with the evolving digital landscape. The impact could be seismic, necessitating a comprehensive review of existing regulations and agreements that streaming platforms operate within.

Immediate Responses from Streaming Platforms

In anticipation of the potential elimination of geo-blocking, streaming platforms such as Dazn and Sky are likely to formulate immediate responses. The preservation of their rights to broadcast exclusive content across borders becomes paramount in the face of this prospective change.

These platforms may opt for strategic legal appeals to assert their rights and protect their market shares. The legal landscape surrounding streaming rights could witness a flurry of activity as platforms position themselves to navigate the evolving regulatory framework.

The Seismic Impact on the Streaming Business

The outcome of the European Parliament’s decision regarding geo-blocking could have a profound impact on the streaming business. The dismantling of these digital barriers could usher in a new era where users have unprecedented access to content across borders.

Streaming platforms, in response to this potential shift, might need to recalibrate their business models. The focus would likely shift towards more inclusive offerings, catering to a broader European audience without the constraints of geo-blocking.

Reshaping Cross-Border Streaming Operations

If the decision favors the abolition of geo-blocking, the operational landscape for streaming services will undergo a significant transformation. Cross-border operations will no longer be shackled by restrictive barriers, fostering a more interconnected European streaming ecosystem.

Streaming giants may seize the opportunity to expand their reach and offer a more diverse range of content to a wider audience. The user experience is poised to evolve, with individuals having the freedom to access content from multiple countries without hindrance.

In conclusion, the impending decision by the European Parliament to eliminate geo-blocking has far-reaching implications for the streaming industry. From reevaluating rights to immediate responses by streaming platforms and the seismic impact on the business, the ramifications are profound. As we stand at the cusp of a potential paradigm shift, the streaming landscape in Europe is on the verge of transformation.

FAQ

  1. Q: What is geo-blocking, and how does it currently impact streaming services in the European Union?
    • A: Geo-blocking is a practice that restricts users from subscribing to foreign streaming services. Currently, it limits users from taking advantage of potentially lower prices in other EU countries.
  2. Q: Why is Danish MEP Karen Melchior initiating a discussion about geo-blocking in the European Parliament?
    • A: Danish MEP Karen Melchior is spearheading the discussion to potentially abolish geo-blocking, as it remains a contentious practice, particularly concerning audiovisual content, despite diminishing territorial restrictions.
  3. Q: How could the abolition of geo-blocking in the EU impact streaming platforms like Dazn and Sky?
    • A: The potential elimination of geo-blocking could lead to a reevaluation of European-level rights, with streaming platforms having to reconsider their business models and potentially face legal challenges to protect their exclusive content rights.
  4. Q: What are the potential consequences for users if the European Parliament decides to abolish geo-blocking?
    • A: Users may gain the ability to subscribe to streaming services in other EU countries, enjoying access to content at potentially lower costs. This could reshape how users choose and consume streaming services.
  5. Q: How might streaming platforms respond immediately to the prospect of geo-blocking being abolished?
    • A: In anticipation of this change, streaming platforms like Dazn and Sky may resort to legal appeals to safeguard their rights and market shares, navigating the evolving regulatory landscape surrounding streaming content.
  6. Q: What are the broader implications of the potential abolition of geo-blocking for the streaming business in Europe?
    • A: The abolition of geo-blocking could lead to a seismic shift in the streaming industry, fostering a more interconnected European streaming ecosystem. This could result in streaming giants expanding their reach and offering a diverse range of content to a wider audience while also lowering the prices.