Kodi 16.0 beta 2 – Jarvis is getting ready #2

Posted By: Martijn Kaijser on Nov 22, 2015 in Pre-Release

Only a week ago we announced 16.0 beta 1 and with this announcement we are releasing beta 2. Why the rapid succession of these releases you might wonder? By doing more releases in the shorter period we reduce the amount of changes that are included in each one. Instead of a huge list of changes it now only has several which gives a better overview. The advantage of that is possible regressions get picked up way faster and that you as user also get the benefit of not having to wait a long time to get these fixes.

This Release Early Release Often (RERO) is what we as a team have decided to go forward with as we see the benefits of this approach. Our developers don’t have to wait a very long time before their features get included in a release and you a user will also get to try them out without having to wait many months. Enough about the RERO approach as we’ll soon devote a special review about this.

New in this beta

Well not exactly new but certainly something that got overlooked a lot is getting your music scanned to library. For videos it’s quite obvious there’s a library where you can scan in all your movies and tv show from your local or remote storage. Setting this up is relatively straight forward because when you add a source it immediately asks if you want to add it to the library. For music this was anything but obvious. You add a new music source which contain all your music files and that was it. Although that was how it seemed. Somewhere hidden in the context menu (which you pull up with right or using “C” key) there was an option scan to library. This magically started scanning your music files and reading all the tag data which contain artist, title, year and whatever more in a nicely organised library. Time to make it more obvious.

Add music source Scan music to library

After you added a new music file source it will now ask you if you want to scan all the files in that folder using the tag data in those files and organise it for you.

Caveates to music library:

  • • Your music needs to be properly tagged. For example with ID3v1, ID3v2.3, ID3v2.4, Vorbis Comments or APE
  • • If not properly tagged Kodi can’t properly organise it and things might be completely misplaced.
  • • Properly tagging music files can be a tedious job however there are several tools for assisting on that: MusicBrainz Picard, Mp3Tag, TagScanner and so on
  • • Scanning these files could take quite a while before it’s finished depending on the amount

Advantages to music library:

  • • You will get an awesome looking library view just like for movies and tvshows
  • • You can search your music files
  • • Library splits up the music in sections: Genres, Artists, Albums, Singles, All songs, Years, Top 100 (based on your playback), Recently added/played albums, Compilations
  • • You can split everything up even further using smartplaylists
  • • You can rate your music and filter based on that
  • • Since Kodi also acts as UPnP server you can share them over you home-network if the clients support this
  • • You can scan for additional information like artist biography or album review/synopsis (right click or C key in album or artist library)
  • • This can be enabled by default in settings -> music -> library -> “Fetch additional information during updates”
  • • You can change the default language for online information by going to settings -> addon-ons -> my add-ons -> Information providers -> Album or artist information -> open the universal album or artist scraper

Although music library is not yet at the same level as movies or tv shows, there is certainly work being done in this area to make it better. Stay tuned for next version.

Example of tagging your album with MusicBrainz Picard

Fixes done in this beta 2:

  • • Fixed: Library export now shows the correct dialogs
  • • Fixed: Don’t include broken add-ons in the update panel which is accessed through add-on information
  • • Fixed: Next recording widget for PVR
  • • Fixed: Timer dialog fixes for PVR
  • • Fixed: Ignore volume changes on corked sink for Pulse
  • • Fixed: Don’t show repeating timers on PVR recording list
  • • Fixed: Redact file name in log output for smb://

An enormous list of improvements

A lot of changes went in Kodi 16. Removing old code, splitting up parts in more logical chunks and making it all more resilient to future changes. All these changes are part of a massive change list that only makes sense to developers actually knowing what the source code does. In short we will no bother you all with summing up the list. It’s just something that is worth mentioning that not all improvements have to be actual features and are visible to users. We prefer that the program actually works than adding bells and whistles.

Known problems in this beta

As with all developments we sometimes hit problems that need a little more time. One of the problems was export library but as you read above that has now been fixed. One of the other known problems is using profiles. With the splitting of skin settings we hit a small regression that affects users who are using the profile feature. Switching will possible cause your profile to be reset so in case you use this feature we suggest to not upgrade to this version. The other is file manager with touch control. It will still work for remotes and keyboard but touch is currently not working in that specific section.

We will make sure try to resolve these issues before the final version.

Improvements so far in version 16

More in depth information can be found through the following links about the 16 release.


General: So far in version 16 there are no add-on changes that would impact any add-ons except for PVR. Since our 12.x Frodo release there have been some gradual changes but in general all add-ons, even from that time should still work, of course there are some exceptions. If the add-ons worked in Gotham, Helix and Isengard then we are happy to say that all these add-ons should still work.

Skins: Sadly due to the amount of changes we’ll have to announce that skins will have certain parts non working. This beta will mark any version 15 skin as incompatible and will ask you to switch back to Confluence. This means that for you to continue using Kodi 16.0 you will have to switch back to Confluence or wait till the skin you use has been updated in our repository. Good new however is that a variety of skin have already start updating to latest changes.
The following skins are already updated for version 16 and will auto-update when you upgrade. We’re sure more will follow soon.

  • • Black Glass Nova
  • • Chroma
  • • Confluence
  • • Eunique
  • • Mimic
  • • Nebula
  • • Rapier
  • • re-Touched
  • • Titan
  • • Transparency!

Community Designed Kodi Shirt and Hoodie

At Kodi DevCon this year we spent a lot of time talking about how to better recognize our community, and this solution was proposed. We’re going to try featuring a new, different shirt every month designed by a community member.  So this month, thanks to Sam Fisher for an awesome design! Sam was a major help in our logo search and makes most of that cool artwork you see on Facebook. If you would like to be the featured artist next month, post your design in theshirt forum thread! Also, be sure to browse through the available options. There are multiple colors of shirts and – it being winter time – we’ve also made hoodie versions available. T-shirt is available up to 5XL and the hoodie to 2XL and shipping is worldwide at a very reasonable fee.
This design is only available for a limited amount of time!
Only couple days left……



Should you want to download and install this alpha (monthly) build please visit our download page.

Please report any problems on our forum http://forum.kodi.tv and not on the release announcement.

Donations or getting involved

Getting involved is quite easy. Simply take the plunge and start using these 16.0 Jarvis builds. If you use these builds, we encourage you to report problems with these builds on our forum first and after that, if asked, submit bugs on Trac (following this guide: How to submit a bug report). Do note that we need detailed information so we can investigate the issue. We also appreciate providing support in our Forums where you can. You can of course also follow or help promote Kodi on all available social networks. Read more on the get involved page.
We are always happy to receive a donation by which you show your support and appreciation. All donations go towards the XBMC foundation and are typically used for travel to attend conferences, any necessary paperwork and legal fees, purchase necessary hardware and licenses for developers and hopefully the yearly XBMC Foundation Developers Conference.

Discussion - 71 Comments

  • James Nov 22, 2015 

    Looking really good. 2d playback of 3d content is broken (on my android at least) – but sure this will get picked up before the rc stage. Will check forums to ensure this is properly logged. But otherwise really polished for a beta product.

  • Dark Helmet Nov 22, 2015 

    Small typo

    “Should you want to download and install this alpha (monthly) build please visit our download page.”

    Should be beta and not alpha.

    Otherwise good work as always and thanks for some love for the music section.

    • Martijn Nov 22, 2015 

      Fixed the typo. Really thought i already fixed it last time

      • Geoff Nov 28, 2015 

        Still showing alpha

  • tmtisfree Nov 22, 2015 

    At which stage (beta, RC?) will new strings be added to Transifex?

    • Martijn Nov 22, 2015 


      • Porus Irani Nov 27, 2015 

        i just updated beta 16.02 and my video is all messed up it more green and flicker with red is there a updated coming soon but how can i go back to 61.01 which was working good or should go back to 15.2.

  • Tobbe Nov 22, 2015 

    What’s the minimum required version of Tvheadend?

    I am on version 3.4.27 and the PVR plugin fails to load cause of incorrect API version. I remember having this problem in the inital 15 release also but it was corrected….


  • Basje Nov 22, 2015 

    Great work on the music library. Is there any chance that http://trac.kodi.tv/ticket/15506 will be taken care of in light of these music library changes?

    • Kib Nov 26, 2015 

      We have had a recent influx of programmers interested in working on the music sections. They have been invited to join the team and there is now (for the first time in years) a good chance these music related issues will be looked at.

      It is however very unlikely this will happen before 16 is released, since we are already in beta stage.

  • Amer Nov 22, 2015 

    Is google chromecast ever planed to be added natively. Thanks.

  • abrasion Nov 23, 2015 

    Is the skin ‘engine’ ever going to be made stable or robust enough to handle transitions from one version to the next?

    With the excessively high frequency of releases now, it makes things a little painful to update versions due to things breaking. It’d be really great if the skins could be robust enough to go from one version to the next? (and or other plugins too I guess)


    • Hawk Nov 23, 2015 

      Kodi is going through big changes and will continue to, because it still has a lot of old code that needs to be removed. So my advice is to stay pacient. The Devs are working hard to give us the best experience with this great piece of software that keeps getting better and better.

      • abrasion Nov 24, 2015 

        Sure it’s being worked on and improved and changed – but that doesn’t change my question – is this a goal of the program? To stop ‘breaking’ things on upgrade? It seems like a good idea to me.

        They are shoveling out releases a lot quicker than the old days. In my opinion I’d much rather less frequent updates with more changes and BETTER TESTED considering the past 2 releases (especially 14)

        • fritsch Nov 24, 2015 

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Release_early,_release_often <- sadly users just feel to test after we mark it stable … and if they test … most of the time we get no proper logs.

        • Martijn Nov 24, 2015 

          No one forces you to upgrade

          • abrasion Nov 25, 2015 

            That’s completely true, I agree – however I don’t think it’s productive for the team to keep hamerring them out, especially when they are buggy and you guys need to rush to fix.

            There needs to be a compromise, taking too long, I admit isn’t good but it seems like by the time one is just finally patched up nicely (15.2) the beta of the next one is nearly done. It’s messy.

            Regardless of my issues with the development cycle, what are your thoughts on the skin engine (and any darn engine) in the package being more robust, so at least if you do continue these rapid releases, there’s less impact? Is this something being planned?

          • Martijn Nov 26, 2015 

            A long or short release has no impact on better stability. If it takes too long things will get merged which might have bugs. If you only allow fixes devs loose interest and leave.

            Skins need less and less changes for each version.

          • abrasion Nov 28, 2015 

            So would you say this is a goal / target for the developers, or a side effect of better design?

            It would be nice if it was an actual goal, complete skin ‘freedom’ from version hassles. Infact all elements of kodi, would be nice if they just handle upgrades smoothly.

            Also, we discussed this on the forum a while back, regarding an auto-upgrade / or initiate upgrader within the application? I personally don’t need this but I imagine some users might find it useful.

  • Michael Nov 23, 2015 

    Is it intentional that a stream will stop if the display gets turned off or another app gets opened on android? For videos it makes sense, for live streams not so. I hope this functionality will come back. Thanks.

  • Ben Rodriguez Nov 23, 2015 

    Please add Chromecast support. An easy access to Chromecast options such as LocalCast and AllCast would be great so I can display my media on my television

    • fritsch Nov 24, 2015 

      Not yet another broken proprietary protocol …

  • Ali Nov 23, 2015 

    Thanks guys – Looking good.

  • Kaynim Nov 23, 2015 

    MiBox2 based Android, Kodi 16.0 beta 2

    There `s something wrong when i move the the quick menu with the tv remote. for example, the language select view. It works well in Kodi 15. Please fix it ,thx!

    • Kib Nov 26, 2015 

      Please post this issue with proper explanation on the forums. Include (debug!) logs, screenshots and a real description of the issue.

      The detail in this bugreport is way too little to do anything with. Additionally, this is really the wrong place to post bugs.

  • Goran Nov 23, 2015 

    Are issues with double keypress on panasonic viera remotes (in my case, 2012 plasma g30 series + raspberry pi 2) re-solved? It was working fine up until kodi 15.

  • shan Nov 23, 2015 

    Andriod version: 14.2 version of the SMB shared performance is best, in my home environment(mibox 2+buffalo ls-QVL297+GE network), you can smooth playback of 3D Blu-ray ISO file (Transformers 3) . From the 15.X version of the above(Including 16.0beta1), were unable to smooth playback, and even some of the 1080P rip film will appear to buffer phenomenon, it seems a serious decline in the performance of SMB, please pay attention to this problem of the development team.
    ——English is not my native language, please forgive my grammar mistakes.

    • Kib Nov 26, 2015 

      Please post this issue with proper explanation on the forums. Include (debug!) logs, screenshots and a real description of the issue.

      The detail in this bugreport is way too little to do anything with. Additionally, this is really the wrong place to post bugs.

  • Newbee Nov 23, 2015 

    While we are looking at Music playback is this possible ?

    “Is it possible to search the music library using information from the Music Information screen”

    So I guess what this guy means is if you listening to an artist you could quickly flick to all their tracks via the Artist Node using the track info you are looking at or jump to other versions of the track you may have from the track title.


    • Kib Nov 27, 2015 

      This is not the spot for feature requests really. Please just use the forum or trac for feature requests and bugs.

  • Terrandroid Nov 23, 2015 

    I installed jarvis on my android phone, running good but i cant add any repository manually in file manager the keyboard doesn’t come up.

    • Martijn Nov 23, 2015 

      And what is mentioned in the “known issues”?

  • greengeek Nov 24, 2015 

    Thank you TONS for working on the music side of kodi!!! I have always loved using kodi for movies and tv shows, but was always disappointed that I had to switch to another program to get the same quality experience. Will be sweet to be able to have everything natively controlled in kodi!

  • bossanova808 Nov 25, 2015 

    I have been testing B2 and it’s going very well, much smoother then the Isengrad upgrade experience so far, which is great.

    A few notes:

    * I’d move this to daily usage if the profile bug was fixed – do you have an ETA on that at all?

    * To get video levels right I had to change my (windows, AMD) catalyst setting to RGB (from YCbCr). Probably should have been this all along. Driver Range set to full, XBMC set to limited works properly (BTB,WTW, no banding etc) – but never had to do this previously.

    * Whenever I start a video the info window is open for about 5 seconds – is this the default behavior now? Can that be turned off?

    Thanks for all your efforts, looking like another great release.

  • Fred Nov 25, 2015 

    I am experiencing a lot of memory leaks when switching profiles (it probably does not help that they are using different skins). What is the best way to report it (and to the right devs)? Note that this is not new to this version but has been going on for a few versions.

  • toshmike Nov 25, 2015 

    video is blinking ,,first video plays well ,2nd blinks ,,n then blanks ,,no video at all

  • Sparhawk Nov 25, 2015 

    jarvis is almost out, yet http://trac.kodi.tv/ticket/16279 is still present :( thats rly sad..

  • RememberMe Nov 25, 2015 

    Fine – but anyway – years of PVR development and simple things like remembering the selected audio line per channel still missing … still unable to remove audio track from playlist while playing … hm … maybe with 17 then ….

    • Kib Nov 27, 2015 

      I guess you are referring to specific trac tickets and forum bug descriptions ?

    • abrasion Dec 08, 2015 

      Are you say, referring to watching a series of anime in a row and it defaults to the wrong audio channel on the next file? (cause that stings me too)

  • AceMT Nov 26, 2015 

    Jarvis not quite ready for prime time for me at least. Tried to Install the beta2 and got a black screen on startup. Tried a fresh install as well and had the same problem. Went back to 15.2 and everything is good.

    Wondered what has changed video wise that my Win7 computer doesn’t like?

    • Kib Nov 27, 2015 

      We did not experience this issue during testing so far. It works great on all my Windows machines at home and work. Could you do some proper testing (debug log / crashlog / description) and write a post in the report thread for the beta ? We might be able to catch this bug before release but we need more info or being able to reporduce it.

      • AceMT Nov 29, 2015 

        “We did not experience this issue during testing so far. It works great on all my Windows machines at home and work. Could you do some proper testing (debug log / crashlog / description) and write a post in the report thread for the beta ? We might be able to catch this bug before release but we need more info or being able to reporduce it.”

        I don’t know how to go into Debug mode if I can’t see what’s on the screen. Could you please give me more info on how to do that. Like I said, I did a fresh install to verify that it wasn’t an MQ6 skin problem or a library issue. I have been using XBMC/KODI since the very beginning and have NEVER had a black screen on startup…
        Would love to help if you could steer me in the right direction.

        • AceMT Nov 29, 2015 

          Will try to update to Crimson AMD drivers tonight or tomorrow and report back

          • AceMT Nov 30, 2015 

            Tried again with latest AMD drivers. Fresh install. Still black screen on startup

    • bossanova808 Nov 28, 2015 

      One thing that should be perhaps be noted somwehere with these betas, is if you’re using windows with old AMD drivers you can experience issues like that – you probably need at least the Omega release if not later. I had issues with the new directx stull until then (using 15.11 beta now IIRC)

  • gazza221 Nov 27, 2015 

    why make beta comments public domain, surely it is more important your beta testers ?

    • Kib Nov 27, 2015 

      I am not sure what you mean. Please elaborate.

  • TTT Nov 27, 2015 

    Tried to upgrade my mysql based Kodi with smb sources from 15.2 to beta 2 on windows 7, android 5.1 and linux mint. each upgrade failed: the first run/start after the update both in windows and linux was taking too long, so i killed the process after 10 minutes (yeah i know, but after 10 minutes without any change and almost no cpu usage – that doesnt feel right either). every time on each platform no library items in tv nor in movies were shown, just for music. Furthermore, if I opened the source in Kodi, the content type for anime, tv and movies was not set (was before) – after setting it to a type and refreshing there was no scanning etc. checking the sql db there was a new db _video99 – so something has happened, but no real upgrade.
    going back to 15.2 for now …

    • Kib Nov 27, 2015 

      Most likely you were killing the database upgrade.
      Try putting it into debug mode beforehand and keep a look at the log (tail -f on linux works wonders) to see what happens.

      Then report the error properly on the forum / trac.

  • Tony Grippando Nov 27, 2015 

    Can’t wait for this new version to roll out !!! You guys are amazing KEEP UP the GREAT work you all are doing !!!!

    Thanks for all you guys do !!!!

  • kalebe Nov 27, 2015 

    Eu gosto do Kodi.

  • Edwin Nov 28, 2015 

    Just upgraded to 16 beta 2 on my minix.
    Unfortunatly it exits right after a boot.
    I will try and reinstall my plugins and hope for the best :D

  • Jan Thorsson Nov 29, 2015 

    Just a question, will the updated Music Library honor the “AlbumArtistSortName” tag? Look up an artist with Musicbrainz and you will know what I mean. There is a column called Sort Name. For convenience, I would like Kodi to be able to sort Artists the way they are sorted in a Record Store (if you remember those :-) ). The way you will find The Beatles and David Bowie both sorted under ‘B’. For the moment I solve this problem with seting the Album Artist to “Bowie, David” etc., but then the scrapers doesn’t work except for group names and Artists with a single “name” like Enya.

    • Jan Thorsson Nov 29, 2015 

      I actually did some work on this a few months ago. Added a new “SortName” column to the Music DB and changed the sorting code to reflect this. Then I realised that some Albums has multiple Artists, so I added a new separator and used the standard AlbumArtist tag to make sure the mapping was correct.


      Example: AlbumArtist=”Johann Sebastian Bach % Bach, Johann Sebastian / Max Reger % Reger, Max”

      In case there was no sortseparator in the tag, I just copied the AlbumArtist into the SortName field. That made it backwards compatible.

      I only tested it in some parts of Kodi, and it worked as expected. But, there were a lot more places to change the code and I didn’t finnished the job :-)

    • DaveBlake Nov 30, 2015 

      Sorry no ARTISTSORT tags are not supported in Jarvis, but it is on my long todo of music improvements so maybe K***

      • Jan Thorsson Nov 30, 2015 

        Thank you!

  • Giovani Nov 29, 2015 

    Hello “Kodiers”

    My 2-cents opinion (or suggestions)

    1st) We still need a simple volume control in the ‘Music’ session !

    2nd) It is possible to exclude (or put more distant) the option “Power off system”…. from “Exit Kodi” ?. If you -by mistake- click on this option, your computer is immediately turned off!. If you are working with docs… (Word, excel, powerpoint… etc..) you will lose all your work. No chance to save it. ! For the computer’s versions of Kodi, I suggest to exclude these buttons (or at least to have a choice to hide them).

    I have used/tested Kodi 15.2 and 16.2 builds, Confluence skin, standard configuration.


    • Pepe Dec 03, 2015 

      Just add


      to advancedsettings.xml

  • Will Nov 30, 2015 

    1st Gen Fire TV user here. There’s a few problems in Jarvis i’m having.

    1. Views (list, fanart etc) keep switching by itself

    2. The hold button feature shouldn’t apply to the go back button. Previously, if you made a mistake typing two sentences (for example), you could hold the go back button and delete letters fast. Now, you have to keep pressing the go back button. Maybe there’s a way to disable the feature, but i can’t find it.

    3. There is a lag when a key is pressed (really noticeable with the arrow keys when typing letters).

  • kurosh Nov 30, 2015 


    Can someone please answer the headless question that keeps getting posted on every Kodi update but yet to be answered…

    When will headless functionality be available? In particular, on Windows.

    Thank you

    • tkgafs Nov 30, 2015 

      what is headless functionality ?

  • Jat Nov 30, 2015 

    Just wondering if you guys are working on getting DTS-HD/True HD passthrough on the Nvidia Shield TV?

  • KodiLoverCoolJ Nov 30, 2015 

    i would like to hang on to Jat question. Will be a support for Nvidia Shield TV DTS-HD/True HD passthrough?


  • jacobus Ockhuizen Dec 01, 2015 

    could you add a “locked” movie section in Kodi. where you could add movies thats inappropriate for younger viewers. I know about the profiles you can create but I’d like certain materials to be “locked” and not show up in the library. Please

  • EricV Dec 01, 2015 

    Still no working UPnP photos browsing. Has been broken on 15.x, bug opened there and still not fixed in Jarvis.

  • Chris brannan Dec 02, 2015 

    16.2 Alpha not experienced any problems. When first opened I got a black screen until I updated my skin Rapier and now all running fine. I’m a big fan of Kodi and recommend it to everyone. I live on a small island where tv is limited. We don’t even have a cinema so I’m sure you’ll understand that Kodi has been a life saver for many of us that live here. Thank you all at Kodi and all the developers for all your hard work. Long may you reign :-)

    • Chris brannan Dec 02, 2015 

      Sorry I meant 16.2 beta whoops!

  • ErniP; Dec 03, 2015 

    Still crashing on my MacBook when trying to browse video files.
    Still showing just a green screen when watching some of the videos
    This started with Kodi 15. Any chance, these things will be fixed at all?
    Going back to Kodi 14, again.

  • thewarm Dec 03, 2015 

    Both 16B1 and 16 beta2 give me greenish, washed out images on my Windows 7 system running a Q6600 CPU with onboard Intel G33/G31 Express Chipset Family video. I dumped 16 and went back to 15.2 where all is well!

  • VonMagnum Dec 04, 2015 

    Is anyone looking at ID tagging support for M4V and MKV files? I believe it was noticed years ago that the music tag reader also can read the video tags if the videos are renamed to look like music, so there must be a lot of reusable code there.

    I’ve got my library pretty much set up already to work with the current system, but it’d still be nice to not be dependent on 3rd party scrapers in the long run (e.g. Music Video DB and/or scraper seemed to recently die and wasn’t particularly accurate to begin with, IMO whereas all my music videos are tagged for iTunes compatibility, etc. The best I could do for Kodi was make certain they were all named “Artist – Video_Name” so I could at least tell what was what inside Kodi.

About Kodi

Kodi is a free and open source media player application developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium. Kodi is available for multiple operating-systems and hardware platforms, featuring a 10-foot user interface for use with televisions and remote controls. It allows users to play and view most videos, music, podcasts, and other digital media files from local and network storage media and the internet.