Some New Year Community Updates 2015

Posted By: zag on Jan 15, 2015 in Community Updates

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, 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.

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.


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!


Discussion - 61 Comments

  • rd1979 Jan 15, 2015 

    Great update! The controller API is important to someone like me.

    FYI, minor typo: in the “Official Android remote” section, Get in touch, not it.

    • Roy Jan 24, 2015 


      I use YATSE not only as a remote controller but you can scroll through your complete library etc.etc. Free download from Google Play Store.

      On of the best app for KODI.

  • Luca M Jan 15, 2015 

    Retrogaming pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!!!!!

    I’ve this persistent idea since I discovered (didn’t try yet)

    • claudiomet Jan 21, 2015 

      wow! merge emulationstation with kodi would be great!

  • Simon Jan 15, 2015 

    Fantastic work! Keep it up … many thanks!

    As a Retrogamer myself, I look forward to the controller API.

  • Rocker Jan 15, 2015 

    How freaking cool is RetroPlayer? I hope it will be in Kodi 15!

    Question is if RetroPlayer will make it into mainline in time?

    Will there be more news about the new binary add-on system?

    By the way, what is the codename for Kodi 15 and any ETA?

    • Simon Jan 15, 2015 

      Most of your questions are all answered in the Forums!

      • Rocker Jan 15, 2015 

        Nope, checked and none of them looks to be.

    • Nathan Betzen Jan 16, 2015 

      1. Yes, quite cool.
      2. Definitely won’t make 15.
      3. More news will occur as there’s more to talk about.
      4. We never, ever give release ETAs.

  • dacide Jan 15, 2015 

    Hi. I quit use xbmc or kodi.. I’m really sorry. I’m using plex.. Even if i don’t like it so much.. For just one things… Chromecast support
    I hope you can found the time for implements it.
    Because i reallly enjoyed xbmc

    Good work
    And thank for your time

    • Steel Dawn Jan 20, 2015 

      @ dacide: It’s possible to use XBMC & KODI with Chromecast, IF yoiu’re using the android versions. In the chromecast android app just choose “cast screen” and the whole droid screen will showing up on your big screen TV. Got this tip from a youtube video recently. Don’t know about the windows version though.

  • Tommy Jan 15, 2015 

    Please don’t bloat or feature creep kodi, add-ons are great for extending possibilities beyond the scope of being the best media center.

    • Duckbuster Jan 15, 2015 

      These are all community addons.

    • Nathan Betzen Jan 16, 2015 

      From that list, basically the only thing that could even sort of be considered feature creep is the controller work, and ultimately even that is really just a refactor of our currently existing hardcoded work. I think we’re good for a while longer. ;)

  • Shinomen Jan 15, 2015 

    One reason I see to still use Windows is if you want to be able to watch Netflix. I know that support is really up to Netflix (I suppose). I see that they have support for Linux now so maybe that will translate later to working with Kodi. If not, it would be great if Kodi could use some back end able to run Netflix to deliver Netflix content to Kodi. Kind of like what Live TV is doing now

    • fritsch Jan 16, 2015 

      It will never ever work with kodi. It is fully drm cripled and xbmc is not able to decode anything of that while keeping their encryption working.

      To playback this content a full chain from kernel to gpu to display is needed. It only works in chrome, cause the browser implements a html drm module.

    • bham Jan 16, 2015 

      I think another reason to use Windows would be to playback 3DBD ISOs using an external player.

    • Lec Jan 27, 2015 

      Running XBMC on the FireTV lets you do Netflix as well. The only downside is the inability to have local storage.

  • M&m Jan 15, 2015 

    Looking forward to the controller API and Retroplayer!!! :And the new Milkdrop :-)

  • weirdh Jan 15, 2015 

    Yatse is the only Android remote I need for XBMC. It only does everything.

  • Bob Jan 15, 2015 

    Milkdrop 2 !! Enfin ! :-)

  • David Foster Jan 15, 2015 

    Not everyone wants their Media Center to be “just a media center”, which is why there are “still so many Windows users”. I know I’m not alone when I say that I have tried many times over the years to switch to linux, and have always ended up back in Windows. Turns out I don’t have the patience to use a command line for every little thing; or for spending half a day weeding out dependency issues; or for sifting through tens of thousands of homemade apps looking for one that barely does what I want it to. And linux’s idea of “security” is nothing, if not infuriating! Maybe Linux is the perfect OS for hackers who spend their days worrying about getting hacked, but I ain’t one of ‘em!

    • davux Jan 16, 2015 

      You missed the author’s point. They’re recommending OpenELEC, which is a very specific distribution, for your media center – not Linux in general for your everyday machine. Read the OpenELEC homepage and you’ll immediately understand what the author was trying to say.

      You’re also trolling about “Linux vs. Windows” in the wrong place. These are the comments on an announcement about Kodi plugins.

      • David Foster Jan 16, 2015 

        I wasn’t the one who said he couldn’t understand why people continue to use Windows.

    • Arcane Scroll Jan 16, 2015 

      Totally agreed. As much as I love Linux, it is not used on my entertainment center. Mainly due to a near total lack of games. I have over 400 games on Steam, maybe 10 of them are available on Linux.

      • MegaIMMI Jan 16, 2015 

        for steam i have a win7-box in the cellar, to stream the win-only-games to my linux-machine. I really hoped, that they integrated somthing like limelight into kodi to realize something similiar out of the box…
        i dont want a fully blown x86-steam-machine in my living-room beneath the bd-player…

  • Tom Green Jan 15, 2015 

    Milkdrop 2!

  • TV ADDONS Jan 16, 2015 

    Loving Kodi – great work as always guys!

  • Matias Jan 16, 2015 

    I really need subtitles through DLNA so i can uninstall Plex. Looking foward for gaming on Kodi. Great work !!

  • paul Jan 16, 2015 

    how do i get milkdrop to show up in visualization addons ?

  • kevindery Jan 16, 2015 

    I just want one think in the setting be able to control the pc volume and not the one of kodi. (sorry for the bad english)

  • Mike Jan 17, 2015 

    Would be REALY nice if the windows 7 64 bit crashing bug was fixed so frustrating
    Even on fresh install of windows and kodi anyways I am gratful for all your hard work but I think bugs should be fixed first

  • DZG Jan 17, 2015 

    How do I get Genesis and other shortcuts like on the picture?

    Best regards!

    • Kib Jan 26, 2015 

      The links you see in the screenshot are ‘playlists’ of gaming ROMS for different platforms. Gameboy, NES, SuperNES, Sega Genesis, and Playstation1 are partially visible.

      You would have to run the development build of retroplayer (see link in text), obtain some legal ROMS, and start playing around with retro-gaming.

  • Akshay Zade Jan 17, 2015 

    Is there any plan for official Windows Phone remote? I see the mentions of Android remote. Could we make one of the existing remotes official?

    • Kib Jan 26, 2015 

      We don’t have a Windows Phone developer.
      Yes, if the existing Windows phones has open-sourced their code, it could be considered official – they can join the team.

  • Darren Rollason Jan 17, 2015 

    Social jukebox feature needed. Allowing many users to connect via web / app on phone to select music / video and then via a voting system move tracks up the play list.

    Really great for parties !!!!!

    Like the new version, keep up the good work



  • Tiago Contente Jan 17, 2015 

    Hi, i have the old version of the Android XBMC remote official app and it is working fine with my Kodi Helix (OpenElec distro).
    And my android is Lollipop.

  • Woerd Jan 17, 2015 

    Wooooo…. retroplayer…yes please

  • JoPhi Jan 18, 2015 

    Genius!! YES YES YES!!! That kicks asses!!!! RetroPlayer … Gosh, that’s fantastic!!!

  • Billy Jan 18, 2015 

    So was this what broke my controller? I got a razer sabertooth, and after updating to Kodi it keep moving to the left with no sticks/keys touched, if only it’s plugged into the HTPC.
    I tried to put in the Controller file like with Gotham, but still not working.
    The Controller works fine in Windows, and on other computers, the phantom press is only in Xbmc.

  • Dojo Jan 18, 2015 

    the horizontal scrolling annoys me. would love a simple choice to vertical. the naming of categories on the home menu: videos, programs, movies, tv live tv, etc. i wish all of these were more customizable, especially the uk spelling of the word “favorites”. ;)

    • Koen Jan 24, 2015 

      Hi Dojo,

      I think you need to take a look at different skin addons.
      Transparency! for example is vertical. Or another example Aeon Nox where you can work with tiles at your custom purpose. It takes just a few seconds to switch… (settings menu) but a lot of time to customize as the possibilities are almost endless!

  • ashlar Jan 18, 2015 

    RetroPlayer will be awesome.

    Milkdrop2 IS awesome.

    Thanks so much devs!

  • Skylarking Jan 19, 2015 

    Retroplayer looks like an interesting developement but Kodi should first and formost be the best media player out there…

    So, i’d prefere if Kodi focused on getting video playback to be rock solid and a lot more tolerant of file/encoding glitches… I’ve had too many kodi lockups when playing my local mkv rips of my bd’s :(

    I’d also like to see support for off line local files where Kodi asks me to plug in my usb drive instead of asking if it should clean my database (because i’ve unplugged my usb drive)…

    Aren’t we

    • Thomas Jones May 13, 2015 

      yeh i think u have touched on a valuble polnt why cant kodi find a plugging that would able to down or upload straight onto a usb stick it would certain hit and really usefull to allkodi users. tom

  • Chris Jan 19, 2015 

    I agree that retroplayer integration definitely needs to be a priority so it’s exciting to hear about this.
    The other priority I’d like to see asap is Skype/Google Chat integration. I can understand not wanting to bloat the application with all the webcam driver support, but I think it’s a critical thing for a full media centre. The other advantage of these drivers is that it would be easier to add voice control and with PIP support, we could end up coming home and asking for 6 applications/channels on the TV just like in Back to the Future!

  • Portal Jan 20, 2015 

    Excellent. Please consider Amazon FireTV compatable upload to the app store. I havce sideloaded your app and it works well. However, when you sideload onto Amazon FireTV, there is no icon at the home screen.

  • Mark Jan 20, 2015 

    I want open office ppt ,
    does we have this plugin?

  • TaGi Jan 21, 2015 

    It is indeed very interesting

    It actually means starting a new OS, why not?
    somthing like “MEDIA STATION” which will …
    wothwhile thing about it

  • George Varghese Jan 21, 2015 

    Of all the things listed, I find the “Hello World” Add-on tutorial to be the most exciting. I had tried to create an add-on for earlier versions of Kodi. But just getting the basic setup running took a few days.

  • Isaac Jan 23, 2015 

    Any updates in the on screen keyboard layout? I use fire TV and I’m not able to search anything because the on screen keyboard is still blank.

    • Kib Jan 26, 2015 

      You are using an outdated or unsupported skin for Kodi 14. Update your skin or revert to Confluence.

  • whufclee Jan 24, 2015 

    All fantastic features, really looking forward to seeing these in action. I love my retro gaming and currently boot into Hyperspin from the Kodi menu but to be able to have a native option integrated into Kodi would be excellent. Sports metadata is just as exciting as is the noob tutorial guides and long awaited update on visualisations. Great announcement thank you :-)

  • uche Jan 24, 2015 

    My kodi 14.0 sometimes takes time to start and sometimes doesn’t start at all. Task manager shows process is on though. I use windows, is there anything i can do. Also freezes sometimes when scrolling. Still in love with kodi.

  • J876 Jan 25, 2015 

    This is a great idea! I hope we get some retro gaming on Kodi!

  • Batica Jan 26, 2015 

    Why in my version 14.0 have the option Television ? Some help with that please?

  • Vitaly Gurevich Jan 27, 2015 

    Hey are you guys planning making 3rd party xbox 360 controllers work in Kodi? They work fine in XBMC 13.2 and seems that its a no go in Kodi 14.0

    I am using afterglow xbox 360 controller that works fine in xbmc 13.2, steam and many emulator but not with kodi 14.0

    Afterglow AX.1 for Xbox 360 PL-3602

  • Bryan Feb 05, 2015 

    I would like to see Google Play within Kodi. That way I could log on like I would do on Pandora and listen to music that is in my library.


  • Radius Feb 09, 2015 

    It would be nice to mention libretro don’t you think?

  • jakes Apr 17, 2015 

    Does anyone know what skin is being used in the screenshot showing Extended info Add-on ?

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.