Some repository skins stats 2014

Posted By: Martijn Kaijser on Aug 22, 2014 in Community Updates, Dev Journal

We all know the default skin which XBMC comes with in 13.x Gotham. It’s designed to be simple and lightweight to support even the least powerful media device. More importantly to be new user friendly, without all bells and whistles. Some like it, some might not. However the power of customisation in XBMC let’s you install about any skin out there which is designed for this specific 13.x release series. Be it through through our build in repository (this is where add-ons are installed from), using third-party repositories or by simply installing the .zip which skinners (as we call these developers) provide. We’re not talking about a different colour or some small layout changes. Most of them are totally unlike any other. Some of these skins are as lightweight and simple to use as our Confluence skin, while others go all the way and provide a full blown customisable interface for you to tinker with, until you get it how you like. At this moment there are a whopping twenty-one different skins available from our repository, which should be enough for the average users. Even more so are available through our forums or any other place out there.

As we are very grateful to these awesome developers who create these magnificent skins, it was time to give them some homage by letting them know how many installed skins there are. As we only log the amount of downloads and not the actual individual users we have no idea how many there are are, only the amount of individual updates/installs. Sadly due to the way these are logged we can only do this for skins and not for other add-ons, due to the vast amount of downloads every day. This may change in the future to give all the add-on developers an idea about their user base. We only log the amount of downloads, no personal information is kept.

The stats

So without further ado, here are the numbers for Gotham 13.x skins:

Skin Version Downloads Start date Note
ace 6.0.2 89.580 8-6-2014 no full data
aeon.nox.5 5.1.2 105.602 8-6-2014 no full data
aeon.nox.5 5.1.3 129.682 28-7-2014
aeonmq5 6.0.2 110.235 8-6-2014 no full data
amber 1.6.0 74.908 8-6-2014 no full data
amber 1.6.0 74.908 8-6-2014 no full data
back-row 5.0.0 65.607 8-6-2014 no full data
bello 2.0.4 65.844 26-6-2014
blackglassnova 1.2.0 33.431 8-6-2014 no full data
blackglassnova 2.0.0 67.159 4-7-2014
cirrus.extended 3.1.0 19.282 8-6-2014 no full data
cirrus.extended 3.1.1 28.795 28-7-2014
conq 1.0.0 3.914 13-8-2014
conq 1.0.1 4.029 17-8-2014
hybrid 2.3.1 40.130 8-6-2014 no full data
hybrid 2.3.7 59.313 21-7-2014
maximinimalism 1.0.3 18.799 8-6-2014 no full data
maximinimalism 1.0.4 46.066 18-7-2014
maximinimalism 1.0.5 50.321 22-7-2014
metropolis 2.8.0 49.164 8-6-2014 no full data
neon 3.0.6 36.925 11-6-2014
neon 3.0.7 36.653 16-7-2014
neon 3.0.8 32.505 8-8-2014
quartz 4.5.1 69.079 8-6-2014 no full data
rapier 6.0.2 11.347 11-8-2014
refocus 1.3.3 35.515 18-6-2014
re-touched 2.1.1 46.578 8-6-2014 no full data
sio2 2.3.7 35.858 8-6-2014 no full data
transparency 6.0.6 32.408 8-6-2014 no full data
transparency 6.0.7 97.240 30-7-2014
xperience1080 2.2.0 56.908 21-7-2014
xtv-saf 1.4.5 31.916 8-6-2014 no full data

 (time period 8 June 2014 till 21 August 2014)

Above you see the amount of downloads for each skin, the specific release version and the release date. Because the counting only started at 8 June 2014, we cannot provide full data for those. However it can give some indication of the growth for these skins.

As you can see, adding a skin to our repository gives our vast audience a change to try out these wonderful creations. Letting tens of thousands enjoy the power of our product in the way the like it most. As for some where we do have some data on multiple version, you also see growth in the amount of downloads.



We can only encourage you to try out some of these skins and see if they appeal to you. You don’t like the one you installed? No problem, just pick another one and un-install the other. When switching skins you will keep all the settings you previously made so you don’t have to worry about doing it all over again. You can always find help, share your thoughts or suggestions for a specific skin in our forum skin help and support section. You can of course also simply drop by and say thank you to the developer who has put countless hours of his time, providing you a better HTPC experience.


Important notice

Creating a skins for XBMC takes many months of designing, coding, testing, tweaking and a lot of patience to get it just right. However with every major XBMC release there is the problem of skins becoming incompatible due to various code changes. So for every release people who put a lot of effort creating these skins, need to adapt it for the next XBMC version. This could mean that your favourite skin doesn’t work in the next XBMC version. We hope you understand that although you like a perticular skin quite a lot, it’s possible it won’t work in the next version. So let’s all thank the developers again for their hard work they do for the community.


Discussion - 56 Comments

  • Costas Aug 22, 2014 

    Just bear in mind that the number of downloads does not really say much as to which skins are actually *in use*… I downloaded and tried all available skins, but in the end only the of the I used for more than three months. Most are getting a bit ‘old’ in my opinion. I wouldn’t mind even paying a few bucks for a good skin, but with the free competition, it better be very good.

    • Costas Aug 22, 2014 

      … only three of them… (damn auto correct and small screens)

  • Pat Aug 22, 2014 

    I wonder why Aeon Nox 5 is so high on the downloads. I think it’s a pretty bland skin compared to Nox 4 or MQ 5. I personally like Bello more than any of them.

    • Martijn Aug 22, 2014 

      Well seems like most don’t like bloated skins. I found the last Nox 4 way to crowded

      • Pat Aug 22, 2014 

        That is true, Nox 4 is really heavy for sure. Maybe you’re right people do prefer lighter skins.

    • BigNoid Aug 23, 2014 

      Could mean 2 things; folk dig the new style of v5 or they installed v5 with the premise of v4 and hated it. Reality is a bit of both if the forums are any indication.

  • Claudius345 Aug 22, 2014 

    As an Aeon Nox 4 user, you most certainly downloaded Aeon Nox 5, which explains why Aeon 5 has a high number of downloads. When you like a product you simply look forward to its next version whether you are going to use it or not, and that decision can only happen after trying the new version. The statistics above do not give any number regarding Aeon Nox 4 but obviously the number were/are high by observing the tendency of the other skins’s predecessor.

    Considering that:
    1. Aeon MQ5 is just below the number of downloads Aeon Nox 5 registers.
    2. Aeon MQ5 has not change from being a heavy skin to a lighter one, which means it doesn’t have the degree of abandonment Aeon Nox 5 has from those who, after comparing Aeon Nox 4 and 5, preferred to stick to Aeon Nox 4.
    3. A great part of the active heavy skin installations are done via zip files, specially Aeon MQ5, Aeon Nox 4, Aeon Nox 4.1.9.x and others.
    4. These skins present a high traffic and index of participation on their respective forums then,

    It can be safely said that a considerable part of Aeon Nox 5 downloads are not being used really which suggest the number of downloads that are actually used should be considerably lower. Therefore people preference for heavy skins actually should be above the lighter ones.

    It is important to assess things in an objective way and not in a convenient way depending on personal and individual preferences.

    In any case since there is no Gotham repo for Aeon Nox 4 and several other skins that are install not via XBMC repo, it can’t be said that people like more lighter skins.

    Further to this, while there is no precise tool implemented to register what skins are really being used, the facts I have given must count.

    • Pat Aug 24, 2014 

      You raise some good points and you’re absolutely right that I downloaded Nox but don’t use it. I don’t necessarily need an overly heavy skin but I like a variety of options most notably blu ray cases. That is why I am drawn to Nox and MQ 5. I also like Hybrid which seems light but offers nice options. Bello is probably the most beautiful skin and only lacks a few view options like cases. I use it full time on my ION box in my bedroom.

  • RustyTongueRing Aug 23, 2014 

    I was just thinking today, while browsing new skins at work, how badass it is that every time I think I’m done with my setup I find something else to modify/try (right now it’s skins). I don’t think it will ever stop by the looks of some of the concept/WIP skins. Hopefully the great developers/skinners/contributors here won’t either. I have no idea what a .py file does, or what that extension means, but I have definitely modified one.

    Keep up the good work folks!

  • JUSTINB Aug 23, 2014 

    i just wish Confluence had better media views

    • Pat Aug 24, 2014 

      Try Hybrid Justin. It might be right up your alley.

  • Levi Jay Aug 23, 2014 

    I can’t wait until a few WIP skins hit the repo :)

  • OddyOh Aug 23, 2014 

    I stick with the default.

  • Silky Aug 23, 2014 

    Nox 5 is easy to use, looks good and has just enough customizing for the average user, most people just don’t need any more than that.

  • WillCroPoint Aug 23, 2014 

    I just can’t live without Amber, its vertical main screen menu and the recent and on-going items.

    • Pat Aug 24, 2014 

      Amber is one skin I’ve never tried and I’ve looked for a good vertical menus skin.

  • Ed L Aug 23, 2014 

    Every time I try a new skin I eventually go back to Confluence. It’s simple and it runs just fine.

  • odoll Aug 23, 2014 

    I like the Confluence Customizable Mod skin

    • pete Aug 27, 2014 

      I’m with you CCM is awesome :)

  • Dan Aug 24, 2014 

    Quartz for the win.

  • Lion Aug 24, 2014 

    I’m a big fan of the layouts offered by Amber. I run my own colours from a custom XML, but the style really works for me

  • ToneEQ Aug 24, 2014 

    I use the default skin on RaspBMC / OpenELEC, but I prefer Aeon MQ5 for my Intel and AMD computers, looks great on full HD screens and easy for everyone to navigate.

    • Pat Aug 24, 2014 

      If you like the default skin, you might try Hybrid for more customization options. I use it on my bedroom ION system.

  • ArtVandalay7 Aug 25, 2014 

    My favorite skin is still Aeon Nox 4.0.9 by far. Being a music junkie, I haven’t found another skin (including newest iteration of aeon nox) that lists the codec for files while browsing (e.g. Flac vs. mp3) and also lists codec + bit rate on playback. Essential as far as I’m concerned, always want to see quality of the music file I am playing!!!

  • Snorre Laugir Aug 25, 2014 

    I love the XeeBo skin and hope that it will make a comeback soon. XeeBo is/was super efficient in terms of the number of clicks to get around.

    • da-anda Aug 26, 2014 

      I have to agree – I also loved it. I hope Hitcher is picking it up again. I switched to Eminence (see WIP skins section in forum) now and love it because it’s almost as easy to use + customizable

  • justinb Aug 25, 2014 

    Why does live TV only work with confluence skin?

    • Hedda Aug 25, 2014 

      Because skinners for the other skins haven’t updated or even skinned those GUI-windows needed to display the PVR (EPG and Live TV) parts.

      I think problem is when a skinner does not even use PVR or Live TV functions themselves and might not even own a compatible TV tuner for computer, as then they will need to use the PVR Demo addon with PVR dummy content to fake the backend just to skin those PVR parts which might not be be that much fun.

      Good read! How about another post about non-skin addons?

      • DeadlyOne Aug 26, 2014 

        I would love a way to filter features against skins, or look at a table/matrix that shows what each supports.

        I’ve downloaded lots of skins only to be frustrated they don’t spport Live TV.

      • justinb Aug 26, 2014 

        All the link that says live TV in the other skins lead to a blank screen,

  • Hedda Aug 25, 2014 

    Good read! How about another post about non-skin addons?

  • MrSpidey Aug 25, 2014 

    This is technically a mod for Aeon Nox 5, but in my opinion it is by far the nicest skin on XBMC atm.

    I give you Aeon Nox 5: Minimalistic

    Unfortunately it is no longer being updated, but still works on XBMC 13.2 so ok to use for now.

  • BigJRM Aug 26, 2014 

    I gotta put in my 2 cents worth. I love TRANSPARENCY! I find it the easiest to navigate and find the areas and items I want to change. I just LOVE the artwork displays! TRANSPARENCY! gets my vote as best skin.

    • Steve Aug 28, 2014 

      Agreed! TRANSPARENCY is my favorite, I use it on both my HTPCs

  • RichStang Aug 26, 2014 

    I found “Transparency” to be my favorite. It provides a broad range of customization along with a great look. Everyone that has been exposed to my Home Theatre system is always in awe of the pics/details provided.

  • Maafeu Aug 27, 2014 

    I can’t get enough of the “Experience1080″ Skin, love the feature with ongoing shows and new shows that have been recently added. Really makes it easier when it updates my server.

    Another skin that I’ve been getting used which has finally come to light is “Bello”. The Video Wall view looks nice, a couple of things I’d love to see different, but it’s nice that it made it to the repo.

  • meikelmoeller Aug 27, 2014 

    Black Glass Nova has awesome Live TV support.

  • DJHallo Aug 28, 2014 

    Please add Aeon Nox (GOTHAM) Source: I think this is a better skin then Aeon Nox 5 it’s look so much nicer. I think Aeon Nox 5 has to much Metro in it don’t like the Metro Style. So please add this one too.
    Greetings DJHallo.

    • WarLion Aug 29, 2014 

      The problem there is Aeon Nox 4.9.9 is not official and there is no way to know the downloads from different clouds services
      Also is not on the official repository

  • Chris Aug 28, 2014 

    I’ve tried almost all of them and in my opinion Experience1080 is by far the best. If you haven’t already tried Experience1080 give it a go! I swapped from Aeon many moons ago.

  • HolyM Aug 28, 2014 

    for me ReFocus is the best Skin hands down by a long mile
    after the new horisontal meny its near perfect :D

  • stib Aug 30, 2014 

    There’s quite a few skind where the UI is really good, but the pictures they use are just softcore fap material. I use xbmc as a home media center, my daughters use it. I would really, really like it if the devs of these skins could give us an option to get the skins without the demeaning objectifying pictures of women. Please guys, can you give it a rest?

    • Martijn Aug 30, 2014 

      most skins let you change the images yourself

  • Steve Atwal Aug 30, 2014 

    Costas, well put. Downloads don’t mean much. People get attracted by screenshots and download, install, realize they don’t like the skin (due to some things not working as expected), and uninstall. I’ve settled on the sio2 skin, which is clean and looks more like the Apple interface, easy to navigate, etc. Cheers

  • Big Papa Aug 31, 2014 

    I know this isn’t probably the best place for this post, but all this talk about skins, I’m sure there is a wealth of “skin” info here.

    I have a vast TV show library, and LOVE XBMC… I have though — found XBMC lacking for the ability to customize lists of shows for example. I think I have like 150 shows loaded into XBMC — some are current, some are “off season” some are old archives. etc…

    I’ve renamed all of my show names to start with “xxxx” a numeric grouping number… like “1000″ is my current shows. 2000 are my off seasons, 3000 are my older archives, A300 are my “offline archives”, etc…

    I’ve started color coding them to make things pop a bit… like the 1000′s are green (prefixed with [COLOR=GREEN] , etc).

    WOndering if there are any skins that have the ability to program color coding RULES — like “if exist in tv title ’1000′ label color = green” , etc…

    Ideally, my suggestion would be for xbmc to intergrate more TV show information like next air date, and “continuing or ended” show status — and have the ability to order shows air date, or whether it’s continuing or ended etc…

    it’s becoming way to hard to manage with this many TV shows.

    • Martijn Aug 31, 2014 

      indeed not the place. use the forum

  • Benzima Sep 01, 2014 

    I’m very new to XBMC / Kodi. I installed every skin recommended here. So far my favorite is Amber with a twist. I took the media-overlay.jpg from Confluence background and set that as my default for all categories (Movies,Setting, Live TV, Programs Music etc.) It is clean and simple. I love it.

    Just switched to Kodi alpha 3 or 4. I hope everything still works.

  • lonewolf Sep 01, 2014 

    Can team kodi bring back the old confluence? the horizontal one with the beautiful pictures? that bubble thing is really monotonous. And this comes form someone that likes blue color.

    • Sue Bohr Oct 03, 2014 

      Yes please I second that no more bubbles…

  • kenneth Sep 02, 2014 

    Refocus Big still the best

  • TheIcon Sep 05, 2014 

    I love the ACE skin, so classy!

  • Joker Sep 05, 2014 

    You forgot the download stats for Paperstreet Soap Company

  • stainedroof Oct 02, 2014 

    Bello with Blue Theme mod is the best!

  • Nabil El-Khodari Oct 03, 2014 

    For sure downloads does not reflect the skin usage. Usage may be less as in the case of people downloading and trying different skin, also it can be more as in my case. I sell android TV boxes with all having the Hybrid skin installed, but I only downloaded it once.

    It seems that many users are using XBMC on computers, but I am interested in knowing what skins does android TV box users found useful/customizable.

  • Wipmonkey Oct 09, 2014 

    I would be cool with an opt-in, anonymous, add-on data collection. Might get some good data on how many people actually use a particular add-on. Might help the dev see what the masses are interested in, self reported surveys don’t always give good data. I realize it might be a lot of work to add that to a future version of kodi but it would be beneficial.. I’d also be willing to take more surveys about usage.

  • I don’t comment, however after looking at a few of the comments on Some repository skins stats 2014 |
    XBMC. I do have a couple of questions for you if
    it’s allright. Could it be just me or do some of these comments come across as if they are left by
    brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are writing on other places, I’d
    like to keep up with you. Would you make a list of the complete
    urls of your public sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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.