It is a truth universally acknowledged that, no matter how much testing you do before a major release, you’ll never find and squash anything like all the bugs until you get a proper, large-scale, mass test of the code. In other words, it’s time for a bugfix release on the Kodi 19 “Matrix” series, as – thanks to your feedback – we’ve managed to fix a whole batch of issues over the past few weeks.

In no particular order, this version includes fixes for the following:

As a bug fix release, don’t bother going to look for new features; while there are some, that’s not the main purpose of this version. Full details are on GitHub, but here’s the short form…

Video

  • Fixed: HDR metadata is now detected in VP9 profile 2 streams and can be used on platforms that support HDR passthrough or tone mapped when playing this kind of videos.

Discs

  • Fixed: playback of optical DVDs in Linux
  • Fixed: BD-J Blu-ray chapter skipping via remotes/keyboard

PVR

  • Fixed: context menu not accessible in PVR Guide window when using very basic remote to control Kodi
  • Fixed: client channel name and number not persisted when changed
  • Fixed: play count and resume position of recordings lost after Kodi restart
  • Fixed: crash while browsing the EPG when MySQL is used as EPG database
  • Fixed: next recording on … label time is not localized in Estuary Timer/Timer rules window
  • Fixed: channel manager does not rename backend channel
  • Fixed: playing archived programme not selected when opening the Guide window
  • Fixed: GUI not updated on removal/insert/hide/unhide of channel groups
  • Updated: improved look of PVR windows in Estuary

Music Library

  • Fixed: issue with music from cuesheets where only the first track was being added to the library on rescanning, with the rest being deleted

JSON-RPC

  • Fixed: PVR – Reintroduced broadcast properties ‘hastimer’, ‘hastimerrule’, ‘hasrecording’, ‘recording’
  • Fixed: PVR – Reintroduced channel property ‘isrecording’

Subtitles

  • Fixed: detection of system fonts (directwrite) on windows for ASS subtitles
  • Fixed: detection of user fonts (in userdata/fonts) for ASS subtitles
  • Fixed: rendering of semi-transparent ASS subtitles on Wayland

GUI/Interface

  • Fixed: media flagging for DVD/BluRay

Web Interface

  • Updated: Chorus2 based on community contributions

Filesystem

  • Updated: enable filecaching by default for network filesystems
  • Updated: improve filecache error handling

Network

  • Updated: improved reliability for HTTP and NFS network filesystems

Windows specifics

  • Added: support for WS-Discovery protocol that enables locating SMB servers and browsing shared folders using SMBv3.
  • Added: debug Info OSD Video. Extends current Debug Info Player (Ctrl+Shift+O) with new video-only info (Alt+O)
  • Fixed: with some unusual streams, incorrect HDR metadata could be passed (HDR10 passthrough).
  • Fixed: green screen on systems with old HW (DX feature level 9.1) playing 10-bit videos.
  • Fixed: black screen with Software render method and with DXVA2 hardware acceleration disabled.
  • Fixed: green screen when playing the menu of some DVDs (MPEG2 SD only).
  • Fixed: credentials being requested for anonymous SMB shares
  • Updated: VC runtimes included in the installer to add compatibility with VS2019 and VS2017 at the same time.

Android specifics

  • Fixed: SMB shares mounted on system level not visible in Kodi
  • Fixed: SMB shares labelled with cryptic numbers (UUID) instead of actual disk name

Xbox specifics

  • This version also brings 19.1 to the Xbox – while 19.0 has been in the Microsoft Store since launch, this was Windows-only while we found a way to adequately test the new release on Xbox. We’ve fixed that now, so Xbox users will automatically upgrade from 18.9 to 19.1 if you’ve got auto-update enabled. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a known memory limitation – present in 18.x as well – that causes Xbox application crashes with 4k content, so please be aware.

*EDIT Ah, so close. Sadly, this isn’t going to happen – there’s a new issue that’s bubbled up on Xbox that means you can’t download any addons, which is a touch… inconvenient. As such, we’ve had to pull Xbox 19.1 – sorry, folks. Let’s see if we can resolve that for 19.2…*

Thanks to everyone who has helped by reporting, isolating or fixing issues.

As usual, there really should be no problems in installing this straight over the top of your existing Kodi version – indeed, this will happen automatically on many platforms – but, if you’ve any doubts, back up your userdata beforehand. Similarly, this is a minor version bump, so there’s no change to database versions or anything else that’s likely to break things.

If you’re interested, you can read the merged PRs here. If you want to read back on the full history of v19 itself, or of previous versions, you can find the corresponding articles in the relevant blog posts.

Application deployment on different platforms (notably, Google Play and 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.





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KODI Matrix 19.1 bring a lot of fixes but nothing really new

It has been just 3 months since the stable release of KODI 19 Matrix was released and we already have a new update. KODI released the incremental update of KODI Matrix 19.1 and it comes with a lot of bug fixes. In no particular order, the bugfix list of the latest version of KODI Matrix 19.1 is as follows:

Video

  • Fixed: HDR metadata is now detected in VP9 profile 2 streams and can be used on platforms that support HDR passthrough or tone mapped when playing this kind of video.

Discs

  • Fixed: playback of optical DVDs in Linux
  • Fixed: BD-J Blu-ray chapter skipping via remotes/keyboard

PVR

  • Fixed: context menu not accessible in PVR Guide window when using very basic remote to control Kodi
  • Fixed: client channel name and number not persisted when changed
  • Fixed: play count and resume position of recordings lost after Kodi restart
  • Fixed: crash while browsing the EPG when MySQL is used as EPG database
  • Fixed: next recording on … label time is not localized in Estuary Timer/Timer rules window
  • Fixed: channel manager does not rename backend channel
  • Fixed: playing archived program not selected when opening the Guide window
  • Fixed: GUI not updated on removal/insert/hide/unhide of channel groups
  • Updated: improved look of PVR windows in Estuary

Music Library

  • Fixed: issue with music from cuesheets where only the first track was being added to the library on rescanning, with the rest being deleted

JSON-RPC

  • Fixed: PVR – Reintroduced broadcast properties ‘hastimer’, ‘hastimerrule’, ‘hasrecording’, ‘recording’
  • Fixed: PVR – Reintroduced channel property ‘isrecording’

Subtitles

  • Fixed: detection of system fonts (directwrite) on windows for ASS subtitles
  • Fixed: detection of user fonts (in userdata/fonts) for ASS subtitles
  • Fixed: rendering of semi-transparent ASS subtitles on Wayland

GUI/Interface

  • Fixed: media flagging for DVD/BluRay

Web Interface

  • Updated: Chorus2 based on community contributions

Filesystem

  • Updated: enable file caching by default for network filesystems
  • Updated: improve file cache error handling

Network

  • Updated: improved reliability for HTTP and NFS network filesystems

Windows specifics

  • Added: support for WS-Discovery protocol that enables locating SMB servers and browsing shared folders using SMBv3.
  • Added: debug Info OSD Video. Extends current Debug Info Player (Ctrl+Shift+O) with new video-only info (Alt+O)
  • Fixed: with some unusual streams, incorrect HDR metadata could be passed (HDR10 passthrough).
  • Fixed: green screen on systems with old HW (DX feature level 9.1) playing 10-bit videos.
  • Fixed: black screen with Software render method and with DXVA2 hardware acceleration disabled.
  • Fixed: green screen when playing the menu of some DVDs (MPEG2 SD only).
  • Fixed: credentials being requested for anonymous SMB shares
  • Updated: VC runtimes included in the installer to add compatibility with VS2019 and VS2017 at the same time.

Android specifics

  • Fixed: SMB shares mounted on system-level not visible in Kodi
  • Fixed: SMB shares labeled with cryptic numbers (UUID) instead of actual disk name

Xbox specifics

  • This version also brings 19.1 to the Xbox – while 19.0 has been in the Microsoft Store since launch, this was Windows-only while we found a way to adequately test the new release on Xbox. We’ve fixed that now, so Xbox users will automatically upgrade from 18.9 to 19.1 if you’ve got auto-update enabled. It’s worth mentioning that there’s a known memory limitation – present in 18.x as well – that causes Xbox application crashes with 4k content, so please be aware.

Should you update to KODI Matrix 19.1?

So it comes apparent that if you already run KODI 19, then you should update to the latest version for overall better performance and stability. No drastic changes, just some bug fixing work from team KODI.
If on the other hand you still use KODI 18 Leia because of some addons incompatibility then you have no reason to update at this point. Just wait a little longer until your favorites KODI addon updates to the latest version of python (KODI 19 Matrix is using python version 3.0) and then make the jump over KODI 19 Matrix.

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LibreELEC 10.0 BETA 2 is released! bringing Kodi (Matrix) v19.0 (including additional fixes) to LibreELEC users.
Changes from LibreELEC 10.0 BETA 1 are listed here. As discussed in the recent Upcoming Changes blog post it, the 10.0 release is a disruptive and limited hardware release. If you have not read the blog post – please do – because we are not releasing images for all hardware. In summary: this is a stable release for Generic (x86_64 PCs). Stable-Beta for Allwinner and Rockchip. Stable “Alpha” for Raspberry Pi 4 as the code is still very new. RPi 2/3 are still in development targetting an LE10.2 release. RPi 0/1 are discontinued. All others hardware is still in development and not in a state for formal releases.

** DO NOT UPGRADE! **

Yes, we mean that. The team are super keen for you to run the latest LibreELEC release but we recommend you clean install not upgrade an existing installation – unless you are upgrading from a recent nightly image, i.e. you are already using Kodi 19.

The two simple (but complex) reasons for this advice are:

a) Python3 changes in Kodi v19 mean 99.99% of add-ons stop working. Most official Kodi add-ons now have Matrix compatible versions in the Kodi repo, but the transtion to them is not always smooth. Incompatible Python2 add-ons are disabled automatically on upgrade and users need to find/update add-ons to Python3 versions before re-enabling them. Banned/piracy add-ons are heavily impacted by the Python3 change, and while we don’t care about them breaking, we do care about the abuse that’s often hurled at staff when we refuse sympathy or support to that subset of users.

b) Kernel changes for RPi4 users combined with no release for RPi2/3 users and discontinued support for RPi0/1 users means signifant changes in the user experience (Raspberry Pi users are a combined 80% of our active installed base). We are pretty confident RPi4 users will like the update since it brings HBR audio and initial HDR video support, but it’s still a big change. Generic (where there is a lower level of change) and Allwinner/Rockchip (which already run on modern kernels) are less impacted.

SPARE CARDS AND BACKUPS

Using a spare SD card or USB stick to clean install onto makes “rolling back” in the event of problems simple. If you will reuse the same boot media, make a backup first and move it off-box so you can clean install an earlier release then restore from the backup. Kodi does not support in-place downgrades and it ever worked for you in the past it was luck not design (and Python3 guarantees problems this time). Your failure to make a backup is not our problem!

So unless you are already running an image with Kodi 19 inside, a clean install is preferred. We apologise for the inconvenience but we expect a much higher than normal support effort with in-place upgrades so it’s sensible advice.

CHANGES

You can read the official Team Kodi release announcement for Matrix/v19.0 here and (again) the recent Upcoming Changes blog post for more info on Kodi changes and the transition to GBM/V4L2. You probably (and hopefully) won’t notice, but every package that goes into the LibreELEC OS has been updated to a latest or recent release. It’s been two years since Kodi 18 was released so the changeset is too large to list. GitHub has the full history.

SUPPORT

Project staff are available in the forum to answer questions and provide advice. Please remember this is a beta. We are expecting some minor bugs/issues to be found and there will probably be a BETA2 release before we reach 10.0. If you have a problem, technical issues are best accompanied by system and Kodi debug logs – help us to help you.

Enjoy! 🙂

Click here to go to the download page.

 



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Since we released 19.0 “Matrix”, we’ve been hearing a lot of noise about how people’s addons have stopped working, and why we’re all Really Bad People for doing this. We thought it would be worth helping people understand what’s happening here – mostly, because our fingers are getting tired from trying to explain, and it’ll save an awful lot of typing in the forum, or on Facebook, or wherever.

Please remember, first of all, that Kodi itself does not automatically update. We might tell you that a new version is available, sure, but we never force a new version onto you: that’s entirely a product of your chosen operating system and configuration. It’s probably enabled by default; it may be something you have to trigger; it may be a completely manual process – but it’s not under our control. We’re genuinely not “forcing a new release onto you”, but we equally can do nothing to stop an automatic update if you have it enabled.

From Ancient History …

So, where did this all come from.

Kodi’s addons traditionally ran in Python 2, which was first released in October 2000. Some years after release – in the distant days of 2008, when Katy Perry and Kings of Leon were the new kids in town, and The Dark Knight and Indiana Jones were still huge in the cinema – it was announced that Python 2 was scheduled to go end-of-life in 2015. Before they got there, though, the Python team realised that people were slow in making the switch, and decided to extend this EOL date further to 1st January 2020. You can read all about that here.

So, aware that the clock was ticking loudly – and that we were already behind the curve – we announced in January 2018 that we’d drop Python 2 support from Kodi in version 19. Given that we were on 17.x “Krypton” at the time, and we hadn’t made any breaking changes to Python since shifting to Python 2 in 2013, this seemed fair. Remember, as well, that 18 “Leia” didn’t see the light of day as a final release until January 2019, so Kodi 19 wasn’t exactly going to leap out suddenly at anyone – so we felt that this was adequate notice for developers and users to prepare for the change. This is, after all, not just our issue: the whole software industry had to make this switch, so you’ll have seen, for example, Canonical making the switch to pure Python 3 on Ubuntu with their 18.04 release.

Python 3 builds of 18.x “Leia” were available, and the code was in the Python 3 feature branch – but this was merged in October 2019, so any build after that date would have included it. More broadly, developer builds of Kodi 19 became available in November 2019, with Alpha builds following along in August of last year. That means, nearly two years after saying we were making the switch, the first test builds of a pure Python 3 Kodi became available – and we’ve then finally switched over our release code just over a year later. That’s three years after the initial announcement.

… to Today

And yet… and yet… the move seems to have taken people by surprise. Operating systems have dropped support for Python 2; it’s a huge security risk, as it (and its libraries) are unmaintained; you shouldn’t be using it unless you really, really have to. And yet…

To really rub salt into the wound, it’s not really our addons that are causing grief. Some justifiable complaints are around skins, and we understand that: if you have a favourite skin that isn’t compatible with the new release, or has fallen out of fashion, then it’s a jolt to have to change – but the skin developers are entitled to maintain or not maintain their work, that’s entirely up to them. It’s not just skins, though: there are very many third-party addons out there that are having problems, and that’s where we’re getting a lot of flak.

It’s arguable that you really shouldn’t be using these if they require you to use an unmaintained platform, but that’s your choice. We’ve genuinely done our best, and we simply have no influence or control over these addons, however useful they may be, whatever you use them for. There is a simple reality that major version bumps nearly always leave some platform or component behind, plus there’s a truth that addons often simply wither and die – if the author doesn’t want to maintain them, eventually, they rot.

Options, Options, Options

So, whinge over. What can you do if you’re caught in this trap.

  • Well, if you really want to, you can stick on Python 2 with whatever addons you choose – stay on 18.x “Leia” and never update your operating system, as a future patch or wholesale upgrade is likely to remove Python 2.
    • If you’re on Android and have had a forced update, be aware that “auto update” is enabled by default on applications from the Play Store. Switch this off, and you’ll stick with whatever version you have installed. You may be able to do this on a per-application basis as well, but that varies by Android platform.
    • If you’re on Linux, be careful of apt update or similar, as repositories are likely to automatically shift you to the next release (our PPA definitely will). Likewise, an OS update is likely to pick up different versions of all pre-installed applications, including Kodi, if it’s from a distro-maintained repository.
    • If you’re on a JeOS “bundled” platform, be sure to switch off auto-update in Settings – or keep a beady eye on it, anyway. LibreELEC is probably the most common platform here, and that has no auto-update between major versions (“channels”) anyway, but other platforms exist, or you may have updated manually.
    • Windows, it depends on how you installed it. If you’ve downloaded from our web site, simply don’t upgrade it; if you’re using the UWP version from the Windows Store, then you’ll need to disable “Update apps automatically” for all applications.
    • Apple devices are typically user-installed (e.g. sideloaded), so just don’t install something new. The exception is if you’re using a repo on a jailbroken device (e.g. Cydia) – in which case, you’re in the same boat as Linux repo users.
    • If you’ve already updated, you can normally go back. This can be tricky on some platforms (e.g. Android), where you’ll need to be careful to uninstall the application but not the data, and then re-install the app alone. Similarly, on a JeOS distro, you’re likely to have to export your library and addon settings where you can, re-install, and then re-import everything. To explain for every platform is outside of the scope of this blog post, so perhaps turn to the forum for help here.
  • Be aware that every major version bump in Kodi upgrades your database. Downgrading should immediately revert to the previous version in whatever state it was (e.g. watched status) when you upgraded, but there are implications if you use a shared database across multiple client versions.
  • You can lobby your addon authors to get their collective fingers out and make the shift to Python 3 – as said above, this is hardly new news to anyone. Other than addons we write and provide, we have absolutely no control or influence over whether they get ported to Python 3, or whether they stay on 2 (and thus you can’t go past Kodi 18 “Leia”).

We’re not currently planning any future changes of this scale, so the next couple of versions are likely to be a far easier ride. However, with those upcoming releases, just like this one, you have choices, and you’re always in control of your own devices – so, please, don’t have a go at us or leave us lousy reviews when we’ve really tried our best here, and yet something well outside of our control (your platform, your settings, third-party addons, maybe even third-party repositories) has broken something.

</grump>

Tags: 





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LibreELEC 10.0 BETA 1 is released! bringing Kodi (Matrix) v19.0 to LibreELEC users. As discussed in the recent Upcoming Changes blog post it, the 10.0 release is a disruptive and limited hardware release. If you have not read the blog post – please do – because we are not releasing images for all hardware. In summary: this is a stable release for Generic (x86_64 PCs). Stable-Beta for Allwinner and Rockchip. Stable “Alpha” for Raspberry Pi 4 as the code is still very new. RPi 2/3 are still in development targetting an LE10.2 release. RPi 0/1 are discontinued. All others hardware is still in development and not in a state for formal releases.

** DO NOT UPGRADE! **

Yes, we mean that. The team are super keen for you to run the latest LibreELEC release but we recommend you clean install not upgrade an existing installation – unless you are upgrading from a recent nightly image, i.e. you are already using Kodi 19.

The two simple (but complex) reasons for this advice are:

a) Python3 changes in Kodi v19 mean 99.99% of add-ons stop working. Most official Kodi add-ons now have Matrix compatible versions in the Kodi repo, but the transtion to them is not always smooth. Incompatible Python2 add-ons are disabled automatically on upgrade and users need to find/update add-ons to Python3 versions before re-enabling them. Banned/piracy add-ons are heavily impacted by the Python3 change, and while we don’t care about them breaking, we do care about the abuse that’s often hurled at staff when we refuse sympathy or support to that subset of users.

b) Kernel changes for RPi4 users combined with no release for RPi2/3 users and discontinued support for RPi0/1 users means signifant changes in the user experience (Raspberry Pi users are a combined 80% of our active installed base). We are pretty confident RPi4 users will like the update since it brings HBR audio and initial HDR video support, but it’s still a big change. Generic (where there is a lower level of change) and Allwinner/Rockchip (which already run on modern kernels) are less impacted.

SPARE CARDS AND BACKUPS

Using a spare SD card or USB stick to clean install onto makes “rolling back” in the event of problems simple. If you will reuse the same boot media, make a backup first and move it off-box so you can clean install an earlier release then restore from the backup. Kodi does not support in-place downgrades and it ever worked for you in the past it was luck not design (and Python3 guarantees problems this time). Your failure to make a backup is not our problem!

So unless you are already running an image with Kodi 19 inside, a clean install is preferred. We apologise for the inconvenience but we expect a much higher than normal support effort with in-place upgrades so it’s sensible advice.

CHANGES

You can read the official Team Kodi release announcement for Matrix/v19.0 here and (again) the recent Upcoming Changes blog post for more info on Kodi changes and the transition to GBM/V4L2. You probably (and hopefully) won’t notice, but every package that goes into the LibreELEC OS has been updated to a latest or recent release. It’s been two years since Kodi 18 was released so the changeset is too large to list. GitHub has the full history.

SUPPORT

Project staff are available in the forums to answer questions and provide advice. Please remember this is a beta. We are expecting some minor bugs/issues to be found and there will probably be a BETA2 release before we reach 10.0. If you have a problem, technical issues are best accompanied by system and Kodi debug logs – help us to help you.

Enjoy! 🙂

Click here to go to the download page.



Source link

Top 5 Bright Ideas to Increase your YouTube views & subscribers

YouTube’s fanbase surpasses that of Netflix and Facebook combined. Over one billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube on an everyday basis. The platform is constantly growing and evolving and becoming better. It has been a constant source of entertainment and information since the birth of the internet. Even now, it significantly contributes by being one of the busiest search engines. YouTube is now a place for creators and business marketing. The user base keeps growing and it is only a matter of time before you end up asking about the elephant in the room- How can one increase their YouTube views and subscribers?

Both YouTube views and subscribers are interdependent on one another. With more views, you can increase the number of subscribers on your channel. On the other hand, with more subscribers, you are going to get more views on your videos. However, the question remains- How? Well, you have come to the right place looking for answers. Here are the top five bright ideas that will help you increase your YouTube views and subscribers.

Create Playlists

A methodical way to navigate your crowd in a place as crowded as YouTube is by creating playlists. Playlists are a great way to categorize your content. It increases the probability of your video becoming more discoverable by the viewers. It keeps the viewers hooked to your channel as videos from the same category auto play one after another. Playlists visibly improve your search rankings as the title contains targeted keywords. It is very difficult to finish watching a video and move to the next one if you are enjoying it a lot. In these moments of weakness, playlists help the viewers watch a similar type of content from your channel benefiting both sides.

Make your thumbnails standout

Not a lot of people pay attention to thumbnails while uploading their videos. However, it is a prime factor that helps the viewers determine if they want to watch your video or not. An averagely done, basic thumbnail with generating average or lesser views. However, if the thumbnail is aesthetically pleasing viewers are likely to stick by and increase your channel’s views and subscribers. You must put effort while constructing the thumbnail as that is the first thing viewers see when they come across your videos. Applications like Canva and Picsart are free of cost and offer a large variety of templates to choose from. They give a professional touch to your templates. Use non-YouTube colors like blue, green, or yellow to make your thumbnail stand out.

Increase YouTube Views Subscribers

Increase your video’s watch time

Watch time plays a key role in helping your video get more views. The longer viewers watch your video, the more is its probability to get featured on the YouTube homepage or YouTube video sidebar. Your content surfaces more with increased watch time. To increase the watch time, use simple but informative graphics. Incorporate pattern interrupts by changing camera angles and including jump cuts. Moreover, make sure your video is not dull but has witty and humorous elements in it. Corny jokes are important when it comes to YouTube videos!

Use your best for your YouTube trailer

When new visitors enter your channel, they get to see a small trailer about what your channel is about, what type of content you create and have created, and a little something personal about you. It can be compared to the introduction of a long essay. Thus, it is here where making an impression matters as your potential subscribers are going to be influenced by it. Use the best content you have created and incorporate it in a trailer form to feature on your channel’s page. There is no maximum length of the trailer but try keeping it under 30 seconds to give the best in a short period.

A clear Call to Action

A clear CTA or Call to Action button is what drives your viewers to stick around. It helps them understand what to do next and where to head. A good call to Action button goes a long way to get subscribers on your YouTube channel.

YouTube is a platform to experiment and create. Don’t compromise on your content creation to be “technically” ahead in the game. These five tips are organic enough to land you in a decent position on YouTube. Meanwhile, it is important to push yourself and achieve something new or unique every day while you create.


… yes, it’s here! After several iterations of alpha, beta and RC, Team Kodi is pleased to announce that Kodi 19.0 “Matrix” has just been formally released on all supported platforms. Dare you take the red pill, and find out how deep the rabbit-hole goes?

By the numbers, then, this version is the product of:

  • Nearly 50 individual open source developers contributed code
  • About 5,000 commits in over 1,500 pull requests since the first release of 18.x “Leia”
  • Over 5,500 changed files, with some 600,000 lines of code added, changed or removed
  • Countless hours of dedicated free time conceiving, designing, developing and testing (including all the infrastructure you see around them, including this web site)
  • … and, of course,very little travelling, obviously – that’s not good at the moment!

The broad list of new features is below, but – before we get to that – I’d just like to take a moment to say “thank you” to the huge amounts of work put in by the broadest team behind this release. Whether you submitted a few lines of code or a major new feature; whether you worked on video, audio, gaming, or a skin; whether you tested in pre-release and helped identify a problem, debugged an issue or updated a translation; whether you fixed some documentation, looked after the various systems that keep kodi.tv running, or helped to moderate the forum – thank you, one and all. Kodi is a community, and, without all of you, we would all lose something.

So, onward – what have we got. If you’ve been following the release cycle, you’ll have seen these already, but for people who only take final releases… hold on, it’s a long list!

Kodi 19 “Matrix” Features

Playback

For audio and music lovers, there are significant improvements across the board to metadata handling: library improvements, new tags, new displays, improvements to how Kodi handles release dates, album durations, multi-disc sets, and more. There’s a new, Matrix-inspired visualisation, there are improvements to display when fetching files from a web server, and several changes to how audio decoder addons can pass information through to the Kodi player.

For video, most of the changes are more technical, and may depend on your hardware: AV1 software decoding, HLG HDR and static HDR10 playback on Windows 10, static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support on Android, and more OpenGL bicubic scalers.

For those who combine the two, and have libraries of music videos, you get some goodies as well: database and metadata display improvements mean that Kodi will now fetch and display related album and artist information from the music library, where appropriate. There are also new features around grouping videos by artist (not just album), support for .NFO files that list all performers instead of just the main artist, plus better search links to return related albums and videos by the same director director.

And, finally, if your definition of “play” is more game-related, we’ve implemented integer scaling to improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games across the board, while iOS get support for Xbox, PlayStation and other supported Bluetooth game controllers.

Skin/Look-and-Feel

For many people, the interface is Kodi – it’s how you find your way around, it’s how you interact with the application and your media. As such, it’s always getting some attention, and this release is no different: screen redesign, especially for music; new metadata displays; changes to playlist views; a new “now playing” view; artwork and image file improvements; both new and updated GUI controls. Some changes may be subtle, but all are designed to improve your experience.

Subtitles

An often-overlooked feature, but immensely useful to so many people, subtitles get some attention in this release: timestamp overlays get fixed, plus you can now select a dark grey colour and set an opacity for the captions (particularly useful in HDR – protect your eyes, kids, you’ll miss them when they’re gone).

Addons and Scrapers

Python comes in for some major changes in Kodi 19. Because the old Python 2.7 has gone out of support, we’ve finally made the wholesale move to Python 3 and ported our addons across. Much of the community has come with us, so, hopefully, your favourite addons will still function, but we’re at the mercy of third-party contributors to update their work.

Kodi 19 replaces the old XML metadata scrapers with new default Python for movies and TV shows; there are also new Python scrapers for music, Generic Album Scraper and Generic Artist Scraper. Binary addons in general get improvements to system documentation, cleaned up settings dialogs, and better help text.

PVR and Live Television

Another significant part of Kodi that’s had a lot of attention in this release. Most new features here revolve around usability: PVR reminders, home screen widgets, group/channel manager enhancements, navigation and dialog controls, context menus, New/Live/Finale/Premiere tags, channel numbering and sorting, performance improvements, API improvements.

Security

There are a few new security features implemented now in Kodi, to help keep you safe from intentional or unintentional problems. Kodi will now enforce the origin of installed addons and their dependencies, which prevents third-party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons; broken or deprecated add-ons are now highlighted in the add-on list, so you have to actively agree to activate one; the binary addon system now has higher security around data exchange between Kodi and an addons. In addition, we’ve added a default requirement to password-protect Kodi’s web interface, plus give better information around the security implications of enabling external interfaces if you do choose to enable them.

Platform Specifics

As a cross-platform application, we try our very best to keep all platforms feature equivalent where we can. However, there are inevitably platform differences, and we also have to make room by dropping old platforms as technology moves on.

The big platform change with this release is new support for tvOS, but this means waving goodbye to iOS 32-bit. Beyond that, there are specific tweaks such as specific TopShelf support and fixes on AppleTV, better logging and notch support on iOS, and a move to a single Linux binary for multiple windowing systems (X11, Wayland, and GBM) versus the previous three. That last one will make a big difference to both users and package maintainers, since you’ll no longer have to select a different binary based on the target environment.

Behind the Scenes

Probably too hidden for many users, but there are inevitably changes and improvements that you can’t see, but might give more scope for new features later on: API changes to feed subtitle URIs to the player; multiple updates to various core modules; improvements to API calls and actions, and many more. They may not be important to you, but they took real work and I mention them for completeness.

Kodi V19 “Matrix” Gear

Why not show your support with a Kodi 19 “Matrix” shirt or hoodie? Or maybe a pillow to lounge on while you enjoy your favourite media? As well as just making you look utterly, fabulously, unquestionably cool, all purchases will make a small donation to the Foundation, and help keep everything running the way we all like it. All are available in a series of achingly-fashionable colours.

Kodi 19.x "Matrix" T-shirtKodi 19.x "Matrix" Cushion

Changelog

For the terminally-curious, you can view the merged pull requests on GitHub. If you want to read back on the full history of v19 itself, or of previous versions, you can find the corresponding articles in the relevant blog posts.

Help Wanted!

If you experience any issues or find any remaining bugs, please post in the General Support section of our forum. If you have fixes for issues please submit a pull request with your changes to our master branch on GitHub. We also welcome users who want to help answer questions in the forum or write articles for the wiki.

Donate

To show support and appreciation for Kodi, please consider making a donation or purchasing merchandise such as a T-shirt or Raspberry Pi case. Your donations help us operate, covering operating expenses, hardware and software licences for developers, and legal fees, as well as paying for team members to attend industry/FLOSS events and our annual conference.

Availability

Kodi 19.0 “Matrix” is being pushed to the usual channels right now, so should be with your devices shortly. The exception is the Windows Store build for Xbox: this will, unfortunately, be delayed, and may even be subject to a future point release. x64 and x86 builds are going ahead, however, and will appear once they get through the store certification and deployment processes.

And, on that note, please remember that deployment on different platforms – especially curated “app stores”, as above – can vary wildly due to circumstances outside of our control. It may thus take a few more days to appear everywhere, so just hang on until it gets to you.

Enjoy!





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The release of Kodi 19 is just around the corner and with it comes big changes that affects all media center hardware vendors.
One of the most obvious changes, is the switch to Python3 (the programming language that is used by the Kodi add-ons) which is incompatible with the Python2 that was previously used.
All add-ons have had to be updated to be compatible with Python3 so that they also work with Kodi 19, that has been completed successfully for many addons, but there are also many other add-ons that have not yet been updated, and therefore do not yet work with Kodi 19.

The second big change concerns the methods of playing videos done by each of the hardware vendors.
In the past there was no cross-platform standard under Linux, so many adjustments and different approaches were necessary, for example “Raspberry Pi” so that it could be used with Kodi.

With the release of Kodi 19 – the standard video playback for Linux is used and the legacy techniques have been removed.
This has required that the drivers support the standard on all of the hardware vendors that are supported by LibreELEC.

This is where it gets difficult.
It is not a change that can or has been able to be made quickly. The current status is that some hardware vendors are further progressed than the others.
As a consequence – we will continue to support LE9.2 instead of just the latest version (LE10) as before. As soon there are serious improvements with a hardware vendors platform, we will also improve LE at this point and ship a new major release.

Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi 4 works well but is not yet fully tested to consider it stable.
Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 are currently not that far along – as the focus has been on the Raspberry Pi 4. RPi 2 and 3 will follow after Raspberry Pi 4.
Unfortunately RPi 0 and 1 will be omitted, the hardware simply no longer has the power to function properly under LE10.

Generic (PC)
The old X11 standard is still used here, which means there is no HDR support yet and everything works like it did before.

Allwinner
We will officially support Alwinner for the first time, there is good support across all devices.

Rockchip
The version based on the Linux video standard is equal to the LE9.2 version.

Amlogic
Unfortunately the development in the areas that are important for Kodi has not yet advanced to a state that we can recommend it to the broader audience. Development in Linux, LibreELEC and Kodi continues daily with this hardware.

In summary
We will see a stable LE10 version for Generic (PC), Allwinner and Rockchip.

The Raspberry Pi 4 remains as an alpha release because it is currently still work in progress.

RPi 2 and 3 will be shipped in a future version of LibreELEC (e.g. LE10.2.)
For Amlogic – development continues and once the required components of Linux are made available, a release of LibreELEC will be made for this hardware.



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As businesses begin to realize that lockdown is for the long-term, they are assessing whether they have made the right kinds of tech choices. You would be har-dressed to find a business that admitted they got everything right. Millions Of business owners need to redesign their IT infrastructure, install new software, upgrade their hardware and get to grips with new services, to survive the transition to remote working. Thankfully, technology is so advanced and easy to use, that it wasn’t a big deal for most companies. Here is a list of the top tech keeping everyone rolling along.

pixabay

Real-world mail problems

Since the pandemic, nobody has been able to receive their mail without risking their health. This has meant that real-world mail has been put on hold or just sent to the recipients as best it can be. However, a proper service that allows you the perks of a physical address to receive your mail is a good idea. The professionals that work here, will do the scanning in-house and not send your mail to a third party that could risk selling or leaking your documents. After they are scanned by the service, they will send you a copy and then destroy the mail if you want them to. The mail is sent to you via email so you get an authentic copy of the mail right away.

The IoT

The internet of things has rapidly become a big part of every business whether you are small or large. Everything is connected to everything, whether it be hardware or software. One Of the ways in which the IoT has advanced is to allow for business owners to know when a customer has left their basket with a product inside it and what their cookies are. This means you can see what kinds of searches they may have done as well as what things they have been looking at. You may give them a reminder if they have signed up with an account, and offer them a better deal than normal to get them through the door once more. Discounts, sales, and promotion codes are all on the list. The IoT allows for everything to be connected and thus, helps you to map out the journey of the customers. 

Zoom in for zoomers

Millennials workers have adapted very well to the now mass remote working culture. Everyone has gotten used to conference call software like Zoom. it’s been the number one driving force for communication among the elderly and the young, as grandparents and children can speak with each other all the time. But for business owners, Zoom has become invaluable. You can share lots of documents over Zoom, as well as videos and links to project folders in Google or Apple workstations. Not to mention it can host up to 100 people at a time. 

These three technologies have saved companies from going under as they have had to adapt very quickly to the new environment. But can you think of any more that we haven’t mentioned?


And, off we go again. The dust settles on the festive season, so it’s time for another pre-release to hit the streets… we’re getting close to final release now, so we’re moving out of Beta and into RC.

If you want to know the main features in this release series, please refer back to previous blog posts: this is an iteration of previous Beta releases, not a feature release, remember.

This is stable, reliable code, suitable for daily use. Please, then: install, test, and give us clear feedback on any remaining issues, either with the new features or perhaps with a regression in existing code. As this is a release candidate, we think it’s basically ready to go, but let’s aim to make sure.

You can get this release from here or – if appropriate – our nightly PPA here. If you’re on Android, you can enrol in our Beta programme and get updates directly from Google Play.

As usual, you can also see changes since the last release here or browse the merged PRs here.

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