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Some New Year Community Updates 2015

Now that the dust has settled on the new Kodi “Helix” release we thought we would take you through a few of the developments that you may have missed in our community forums. There’s some exciting stuff going on as developers and add-on creators get back to work on writing new features and brainstorming the next generation of innovations.

Joystick API
Retroplayer is a big new project for Kodi that will eventually let you play classic games from inside the GUI interface. One of the building blocks required to merge this big project is an input API, which means the software needs to be able to recognize and configure gamepads(see cover image), joysticks and other input devices, so you can play the games to their full potential. Everyone has their favourite input device so making the system extensible, reliable and easy to use, is a priority. Check out the retro-player development forum for more details on how to get involved in the design process.

Sports metadata
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A while ago, some members of the forum requested a sports scraper for Kodi. Its always been hard to find a stable site to scrape that includes the various sports people are interested in. Enough users seemed to show an interest in this project, so one of our team has created a new site which offers all kinds of sports metadata and an API interface to access that data! It’s only a matter of time until add-on developers start creating new features using the data from this site. Its also worth mentioning a separate  add-on that has popped up to show the latest Football/Soccer scores live inside Kodi from the BBC website. Hopefully in the future we will see both, event scraping and providing live scores for many different types of sports. Want to get involved? Try adding metadata to your favourite team or players, all data is contributed by users just like TheTVDB. New sports are being added every day!

Extended info Add-on
Kodi developer Phil65, has written an exciting new add-on that provides lots of extra media info to skins. Any skin developer can integrate support into their skins using simple calls. There are many features the script can provide such as trending movies on trakt.tv, upcoming DVDs, music artist discographies, comic strips, the list goes on! One feature we particularly like the look of is the music charts - imagine browsing a new artist and seeing their top 5 voted tunes… well now it’s possible! This kind of feedback loop, where people vote on the songs they like, then see other user trends, takes browsing music to the next level using Kodi. We can’t wait to see what happens when more skins support the new features of this script. You can download the add-on from GitHub and we hope to see it in our official repository soon.

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Official Android remote
The current developer of the android remote doesn’t have much free time to develop the official app so he’s removed it from the Google play store as it doesn’t work with the Helix release. The good news is he had started on a new version and has opensourced the code for anyone to continue development. Get in touch with the Kodi team if you would like to take it forward, as always we require people to continue the opensource philosophy.

OpenELEC
Our friends at OpenELEC have released their latest update to fully support “Helix”, which you can download from their website. You don’t need any Linux knowledge to get it up and running and the best thing… it’s free!

Add-on Front-end
There is a lot of internal discussion going on regarding the Add-on Web Front-end (the web page you use to browse add-ons) and what the future holds. We’re interested in community feedback on what features you’d like to see in the system. Screenshots? Reviews? Ratings? Youtube or donation links? Let us know what you think, or get involved in the development using the source from Github. Anyone can clone the code, set-up a local web-server and start tweaking the system!

Milkdrop 2 Add-on
The current Kodi music visualizations have been around a long time and some of you may have got a little tired of the same old graphics. Fear not, because one of the greatest vizualisations of all time has been ported to Kodi using our new binary add-on system! Milkdrop is now available for download on windows platforms after being open-sourced by its original developer and ported to Kodi by team member MrC. Now that Kodi supports some binrary add-ons, we look forward to many more advances in music music vizualisations.

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“Hello World” Add-on tutorial
As you can see from the many developments that are happening right now, people are writing features all the time, but how does the normal user get involved? We have been aware for a while that our “getting started” development guides need some work, so as a start, we have created an easy to follow “Hello World” guide for writing your first Add-on. Every programmer starts somewhere, and for most it’s a Hello World tutorial. Anyone can follow this guide and all you really need is a text editor and a copy of Kodi running on your machine. Give it a go, and let us know how you get on in the forum thread. We are particularly interested in anyone who can modify the code or guide and extend it with new features.

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Conclusion
As you can see, we have lots of innovations in the pipeline and the majority come from user requests, ideas or user code submissions. So get involved on our community forums and see how you can contribute to the future of the Kodi software!