XBMC 13.0 Gotham – Release Candidate 1

Posted By: Nathan Betzen on Apr 28, 2014 in Pre-Release

We hope you are as excited about this as we are. After a year of hard work, improvements and testing since the release of version 12.0, we are delighted to announce the first release candidate of the upcoming XBMC 13.0, codenamed “Gotham”. The past year we have kept you informed with our monthly blog posts of all the exciting new features added to this upcoming release. Now, let’s review a few of those features we’re particularly excited about.

The features

Android Hardware Decoding DL_Icons_Android-new

Since 2012 July 12, the single most requested feature has been hardware decoding in Android, and with XBMC 13 we are finally able to make that feature a reality. XBMC should run on Android 4.0 and higher and is offered now in two separate builds, namely ARM and x86, which are the hardware architectures of the device. You would need to consult your device specifications before you download XBMC for Android, though the vast majority of Android devices run on ARM hardware.

Raspberry Pi  and Android speed improvements DL_Icons_RaspberryPi-new

Since the release of Frodo a lot of effort has been put into getting XBMC to run smoother on lower powered platform like the famous Raspberry Pi and of course Android. All this effort has paid off and the experience of using these devices has become much more polished and satisfying than ever before. In particular, opening your libraries, browsing through them, loading images and starting videos have all seen dramatic speed increases.

Stereoscopic 3D Rendering

Some of the newly available 3D Options

For you lovers of 3D out there, we are also pleased to say that we now support 3D movies encoded in the following formats: SBS, TAB, anaglyph, and interlaced (on supported platforms for passive TVs). Unfortunately, XBMC cannot yet support 3D blurays and cannot provide hardware acceleration for FullSBS/TAB movies (therefore limiting those videos to relatively high powered CPUs).

Improved Touchscreen Support

XBMC on touchscreens now supports gesture controls during video playback, as well as supporting swiping controls in navigation.

Improved UPnP capabilities

gotham-upnp_play_usingInstances of XBMC throughout the house can now “speak” with each other and with other UPnP devices. Support now includes more advanced library browsing as well as “Play using…” functions, allowing XBMC to tell another device on the network to play a certain media file.

So you can browse the UPnP library on your tablet and send a video from that library straight to you main XBMC HTPC, similar to Apple’s Airplay and Google’s casting features.

Additionally when watching videos from the XBMC UPnP server, watch status will be updated so you don’t have to remember what shows you’ve already watched.

Dramatic Audio Engine Improvements

The Audio Engine introduced with XBMC 12.0 “Frodo” has been reworked to be simpler, faster, with better quality and less likelihood of breaking in XBMC 13 across all platforms. You may also notice that some users will need to reconfigure their audio settings. This is caused by the audio improvements and restructuring of the settings systems. However this should be more intuitive and user friendly than it was in XBMC 12 thanks to improvements in Settings.

On Linux there is additional good news for Desktop users who don’t use XBMC as a standalone HTPC through OpenELEC or XBMCbuntu. XBMC will now cooperate nicely with the pulseaudio server and will provide real pulseaudio support. This is a behavior change, make sure to read the PulseAudio XBMC wiki page to learn more.

Settings Improvements

From the user perspective, three major changes will be introduced that should dramatically improve usability in XBMC settings.

First, settings have been broken down into levels starting at beginner and going all the way up the scale to expert level. The typical XBMC user should never need to go very far past the Standard settings. If installing XBMC for friends or family, it is highly encouraged that you move the settings down to Beginner level. And if a setting has disappeared that you typically expect to see, definitely browse through the settings levels, as it likely has been hidden on a more advanced level.

Second, every setting now includes a description, which may be found at the bottom of the settings page on the default Confluence skin. If a setting title is odd or is otherwise confusing, this description is intended to clear up the purpose of the setting and the result of changing it.

Third, every setting page now includes a Reset to Default option so that if you find yourself completely unable to return to a useable state in XBMC, you can always start fresh without having to perform a complete reinstall. Importantly, resetting one group of settings to default does not affect any others. So if you have video settings just right, but audio is screwed up, you can reset audio without affecting video.

Making Subtitle Search Better

Gotham 13.0 Improved subtitle search

This change should give subtitle addon developers a great deal more latitude for implementing changes and fixes without needing to wait for other addon devs to submit similar fixes, all to the benefit of the user experience. From the user perspective, the only significant change will be in the way a subtitle search service is downloaded. The user will need to select and download their preferred subtitle addon before starting a movie and searching for subtitles. At present there are 19 to choose from.

An Extended Python and JSON-RPC API for developers

While this feature may not be as immediately noticeable upon install, it could ultimately be one of the most important changes of XBMC 13. With the extension of the API, users should soon be able to control virtually every aspect of XBMC without once touching the XBMC UI. Developers will now have unprecedented opportunity to make even more powerful remote control apps, web GUIs, and XBMC add-ons. For example, with the Official XBMC Remote for iOS users can now configure every single setting in XBMC without once opening the settings window in XBMC itself.

We look forward to the community taking advantage of this extended API and creating some extraordinary features in the future.

Yet More Features

  • - Update to FFMPEG v1.2 which we use for audio/video playback
  • - Stereo audio can now be upmixed to 5.1 and sent through optical/SPDIF devices
  • - Various visual changes throughout the skin which should improve usability and logic.
  • - Improve the handling of subtitle downloading and selection
  • - Extend and improve the User-interface Engine which developers use to create a variety of skins to be used.
  • - Drop of support for Windows XP. Due to upgrades in the way we build XBMC, it is no longer possible to install XBMC onto Windows XP. For current XP users we can suggest installing OpenELEC or XBMCbuntu as a free way to use XBMC 13 as a pure media centre.
  • - When initiating a library cleaning, XBMC will send a wake-on-lan request to any sleeping servers first, before cleaning the library, to ensure that content isn’t unnecessarily cleaned
  • - Numerous PVR fixes and updates with additional new features updated on a per-platform basis. For more info, check out our PVR wiki page
  • - Copy/paste support on Windows, OSX, and iOS to match copy/paste support elsewhere
  • - Movie sets are now user editable
  • - Episodic bookmarks – If episodes are not broken into individual parts (e.g. Friends episode 1 and 2 are in the same video file), a bookmark can be set that will cause launching episode 2 from the UI to go directly to the bookmark in the video file

For a brief change log visit our wiki page: Gotham Changelog


Not all skins from Frodo are guaranteed to work on Gotham. The following is a list of skins that have been checked for 13.0 compatibility and are currently in the XBMC skin repo.

AceAeon MQ 5AmberBlack Glass Nova, Cirrus Extended, ConfluenceHybridMetropolisQuartzRe-Touched,Transparency!

Official XBMC Remote for iOS

iOS Simulator Screen shot 28 Apr, 2014 20.04.53

We are also pleased to announce v1.5 of the Official XBMC Remote app for iOS. In addition to all past features, v1.5 now supports controlling LiveTV, along with access to the EPG, PVR recordings, and PVR timers. Users can now also change and update all XBMC settings from directly within the remote app by hitting the gears button on the Remote Control tab and selecting “…more.” For a complete changelog, visit the the Official Remote page in the Appstore.

The fixes

The list of  fixes is too vast to even being listing here. Some improvements and fixes came in with the features mentioned above and some came in separately. For all this we want to thank our passionate group of Team XBMC developers and the hundreds of third-party developers who contributed to XBMC with patches and improvements. For the curious people who do want to know every change, you can find the full list on our github development repo, although it’s quite technical to read through.

After upgrade

After you have updated from Frodo or any earlier alpha or beta it may be beneficial to force refresh the XBMC.org repository. This will ensure the most recent repository list is loaded and needed updates become available. Here’s a quick how-to from our wiki: Force refresh

Important notice

Linux users Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.10 have been deprecated by canonical/ubuntu. This means there will be no more XBMC builds available for those version. You will have to upgrade you Ubuntu to a newer version to receive XBMC updates again.

Backup your data Before upgrading we would recommend you create a backup of your current userdata folder which contains all your current settings and database files. In the unlikely case that something went wrong during your upgrade, a backup will ensure that you are still able to go back to the previous state. Where the userdata folder is located on your system can be found on our userdata wiki page. Do note that when first upgrading from Frodo 12.x it may take some time until you see the familiar homescreen as several internal upgrades need to be performed.

Add-ons As mentioned in previous blog posts, due to changes related to our add-on system and skin improvement, certain plugins, scripts and skins may become incompatible when upgrading from Frodo to Gotham. Sadly this is part of the continuing process of development and improvement. We hope the impact of these changes will be limited but we feel a warning would be beneficial. If there are any addons you particularly depend on, we advise that you visit the forum thread of that addon to see if the author has ensured support in XBMC 13.

Installing on OSX As XBMC is an unsigned application on OSX, you may need to go through a slightly different process to start it the first time. After you have copied XBMC to the Applications folder, you will need to “right click” or “two finger click” XBMC from within the Applications folder and select “Open” and then accept the warning. You should only need to do this the first time you run XBMC.

Code base Since we have branched the XBMC core code for Gotham off from our main development master branch on Github it is important that you also build from the correct Github branch: http://github.com/xbmc/xbmc/tree/Gotham


Should want to download and install XBMC, please visit our download page.

* Official XBMC downloads


How to Contribute

If you use these builds, we encourage you to submit bugs in Trac (following this guide: How to submit a bug report), provide support in our Forums where you can, or donate to the Foundation if you like. For a current FAQ on XBMC 13, visit our Gotham FAQ.

Discussion - 65 Comments

  • leoh Apr 28, 2014 


  • nooryani84 Apr 28, 2014 

    Thanks! :)

  • valireality Apr 28, 2014 

    updating on my XBMCbuntu :)

  • SK Apr 28, 2014 

    Beware, Google Chrome is detecting malware in the RC for Windows and is blocking the download. I really hope this is a false positive so I would will wait until someone can confirm if it’s OK.

    • Martijn Apr 28, 2014 

      It’s OK. Chrome is being stupid

    • teomor Apr 29, 2014 

      Yeah, me too. Having the same issue. Can’t even open the download..

      • Nigel Apr 30, 2014 

        Hi… did you check 5.1 analog audio issues on Intel 1037u, over Linux/OPenelec? if you use ALC662 Realtek codec, it doesn’t work… it’s a big issue for me…

  • Ultratails42 Apr 28, 2014 

    Can’t wait for that final build! Great work!

  • Mike Apr 28, 2014 

    Anyone else having nasty problems with audio-video playback speed and sync when using the tvheadend (hts) pvr? Audio and video both slow down and speed up at random (Gotham beta 3, 4, and rc1) and audio and video are out of sync by 4-5 seconds (Gotham rc1). Checked with the forums, but not much there. This is with tvheadend 3.5 on Linux Mint 13. Could just be my system, but either way, it’s maddening and makes it unwatchable.

    • pr0x Apr 29, 2014 

      This is something better taken up @ the forum. Unlikely to get much help in the blog comments.

      XBMC Team: Very. Very well done. Keep up the great work! :)

  • Eric Johansson Apr 28, 2014 

    I have a MySQL-database on a server that my XBMC instances connects to. What do I have to think about before upgrading to Gotham?
    Considering the new features, can I scrap MySQL as a central database, and still have a synchronized library between my devices? (I’d like to be able to run the scraper on only one XBMC instance but still update the library for all instances, as with my current setup.)

    • wurzl Apr 29, 2014 

      same here! please let us know if we can still use our old synced databases. but I’m assuming that the version number will be different so one must start from scratch… either way thanks for your hard work, guys! XBMC rocks!!!

    • Klojum Apr 29, 2014 

      Gotham uses a newer version for most of the databases. Upgrading will copy the current databases into the newer versions, leaving the old ones available. If you use a centralized MySQL setup, you must upgrade all your XBMC clients to Gotham to ensure data compatibility and data synchronization. XBMC does not synchronize between different database versions.

    • zag Apr 29, 2014 

      I don’t think you can scrap MYSQL yet but there is certainly development going on in the uPnp area for library synchronization that should get into the next version. No promises though.

      • Kib Apr 30, 2014 

        Zag, I am pretty sure he meant scrape :)

        • Eric Johansson Apr 30, 2014 

          No, I actually meant “scrap it”; as in, it won’t be needed with the new features. But I guess I’ll have to wait for a later version before that’s possible.

          • Kibje May 01, 2014 

            Ah OK.
            We are planning to extend the functionality of inter-XBMC database sharing (via UPNP and other methods) in such a way that it will not be necessary to set up MySQL to have similar benefits.
            Many improvements have already been done, and quite a few more are in the pipeline but this has not been 100% finished and this is the main reason why MySQL still exists.
            Eventually MySQL will be removed in a future version, but not before a full replacement is in place and rigorously tested for some time.

            With this version (v13) it is possible to connect to another running instance of XBMC to view and play library items there, This includes the watched state. However the other instance needs to be running for this to work, unlike MySQL where one would connect to a central server.

        • zebraitis May 01, 2014 

          @ Kibje

          “We are planning to extend the functionality of inter-XBMC database sharing (via UPNP and other methods) in such a way that it will not be necessary to set up MySQL to have similar benefits… Eventually MySQL will be removed in a future version… ”

          Is there somewhere I can read further about this development? (forum link, please)

          WHY: From your description, I am not sure if I like the idea, and I would like to voice an opinion.

          Moving from a client / server type solution to a peer-to-peer solution for shared database… not sure if I like that.

          My XBMC installs run either a small (60gb) SSD in Win7 or in small limited capacity devices (Pivos Xios / iPad)

          My server running MySQL has 20TB, and it is down in a utility room.

          What benefit would there be for me to replace MySQL with a copy of XBMC? I don’t wish to hang local storage off an XBMC instance, or have to ensure that both my server AND another instance of XBMC need to wake to replicate a shared DB.


          • Martijn May 01, 2014 

            Try searching the forum. Also mysql will be removed without any question.

            Hold your complaining for yourself please before you have even tried or read what we are planning to do.

            So far there’s an internal testing version in early stage that looks darn promising. And no you ddon’t have to ditch your server.

    • zebraits Apr 30, 2014 

      As a MySQL user with 6 instances ( 2 windows, 3 android, 1 iPad ), I can tell you it’s all good.

      I have been upgrading nightlies, then beta, now RC1.

      The DB Schema has been updated, but all devices on same Gotham release are still in sync. Updates are still from one machine and reflected on all others.

      (If you are a neat freak, you may want to use HeidiSQLto get rid of previous DB versions in MySQL)

      My favorite part of Gotham: built-in wake-on-lan functionality. No more “hang time’ stuck at the XBMC logo during boot.

      And, for that, a sincere thanks to the Devs.

      • Eric Johansson Apr 30, 2014 

        Ok, that’s great news.

        And if I want to tidy up, I’ll probably start over with an empty database and re-scrape my library. But thanks for the tip.

        Also, big thanks to the devs. They’re doing an awesome job.

  • Niko Apr 28, 2014 

    Great ! Thx guys

  • ioannishatzi Apr 28, 2014 

    you are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chris Apr 29, 2014 

    Thankx people for your great work.
    Just one thing: Please think about WebP image support :-)

  • Ritesh Raj Sarraf Apr 29, 2014 

    Thank YOU

  • César Apr 29, 2014 

    Thanks for your job.

  • Michael Apr 29, 2014 

    I am very new to the wonderful world of XBMC so have not upgraded before. Will upgrading to 13 overwrite all my settings for 12 i.e. will I have to install and rerun hub wizard, will my theme settings be changed etc.?

    • Martijn Apr 29, 2014 

      Remove everything from HUB and never use it again.!

  • Davidé Apr 29, 2014 

    XBMC Gotham and the official App are just gorgeous the development that I’ve seen in the last three years is fantastic! In functionality and looks it has surpassed Plex by a mile! The only thing missing is streaming to mobile devices and the it would be perfect!
    thanks Devs.

  • Stefano Apr 29, 2014 

    Many thanks!!
    Can’t wait for testing it on my new intel nuc!

  • Matrixfan Apr 29, 2014 

    I always wanted to ask how are refresh rates handled on Android and other non PC devices? Do we have proper 23.976 Hz on these devices?

  • Hussein Apr 29, 2014 

    Its great. Only feature I miss and want to request is the ability to stream to Chromecast. Would love to see it on next release

  • Deano Apr 29, 2014 

    Wiki is down

  • aleksarus Apr 29, 2014 

    Great work! Waiting for for final release and immediately upgrade! :)

  • Marcel Apr 29, 2014 

    Thanks a mill. Gonna try it soon. Hope it hasn’t got the 7.1 bug (showing 5.1 dts-HD while putting 7.1 dts-HD out with 7.1 dts-HD audio streams) from the last two beta’s. But i’ve got confidence ;-) I will post my experiences later this week. Thnx!

  • George Varghese Apr 29, 2014 

    Now that Android Hardware Decoding is fully supported, will the final version of Gotham be released on Google Play?

    • Martijn Apr 29, 2014 

      No. Not this release.

  • Elusien Apr 29, 2014 

    Brilliant. Thanks guys, been using Gotham RC1 on the Nexus 7 for 3 or 4 days with no problems whatsoever.

    Keep up the good work, it is much appreciated.


  • CHECKMATE Apr 29, 2014 


  • Znuff Apr 30, 2014 

    The whole subtitle system idea is awesome – having them implemented as a separate addon is great!

    But… a feature seems to have slipped away.

    On the previous system, we were able to select multiple languages for subtitle searching. Now it seems to be fixed to one.

    Whenever I watch movies or shows alone, I’m always using English, but whenever I have guests over I always download Romanian subtitles.

    How can we get this feature back?

    • Memphiz Apr 30, 2014 

      You should be able to specify the wanted languages in system->video->subtitles or something in that area (ensure to increase settings level in case you don’t find it).

    • bibi Apr 30, 2014 

      Go in the video settings, subtitles section. There, you will be able to select several langages.
      It has been moved from the addon settings to a xbmc setting (look at the screenshot in the article).

      Thank you XBMC Team for this great release !

  • doug Apr 30, 2014 

    Gotham has been very stable for me since the alphas. RC1 is just icing on the cake.


  • pdjstorm Apr 30, 2014 

    Awesome, great work dev’s!

  • ddlbruton Apr 30, 2014 

    Where can I find the settings to change between beginner/advanced/expert etc?

    • Kibje May 01, 2014 

      In any skin that supports Gotham (v13) this should be shown as a button on the setting screens. If you use a Frodo (v12) skin you might need to upgrade your skin to the latest version – check the forum if a Gotham version exists – or switch to the default skin Confluence.

  • Roy Apr 30, 2014 

    Still audio problem on mavericks…with 3D movies no audio problem.
    The one who’s talking comes out of left back speaker, should be centre speaker.

  • Erich Apr 30, 2014 

    Is final release days, weeks or months away?

  • Surffool May 01, 2014 

    Google chrome for some people must have an ad block of some sort on…click to right on download warning and choose option to ignore …also find plug in ad blocker causing issue in settings /extensions….good luck though…cant be a major issue….i have Gotham rc1 from xbmcubuntu Frodo 12.3 to 13.0 no problem…32 bit as well…..same as Ubuntu….no problems….windows 7 with my google chrome…no problem….android …no problems……good luck folks…nothing wrong with these builds people…just take your time…

  • Danny May 01, 2014 

    Swisscom TV 2.0 addon please!!! Its now IPTV and the box is android Basel so should be possible…great work guys.

  • Slavio May 01, 2014 

    After the upgrade there is a problem: Windows 7 x64 XBMC automatically became switch to another monitor when you turn off the TV with HDMI. In Beta 4 and earlier was no such problem, how to fix?

  • Rob May 02, 2014 

    Stupid question probably, but when I used Media Portal with Trakt. It would track shows I watched. I could then go to another computer running Mediaportal with Trakt and it would sync and know the shows I had already watched. Heck I could install MP with Trakt and bam! It knew the shows I had watched. I see Trakt in XBMC but it doesnt seem to do the same thing. Am I missing something here?

  • loom star May 02, 2014 

    I try the late XBMC RC-1, over-all it preform very nice but the movie screen play doesn’t syn as long as I have a movie fast forward jump on some other scene, then problem shown.

    The sound track does maintain as the movie jump ahead on-going scene but the picture screen freeze and jugging continuously the very last scene after when I tap the time bar to move ahead.

    Have you spot this problem in RC1 version, will it resolve in final release?

  • Haris1977 May 03, 2014 

    Still no *srt files are being transcoded through UPNP server of xbmc. Any news about that?

    • Martijn May 03, 2014 


  • Bukaka May 03, 2014 


  • SophT May 04, 2014 

    when the final is released is it recommended for xbmcbuntu users to manually upgrade ppa + do-release-upgrade or to clean install v13 from iso?

    If I do a clean install from iso, can I drop back in a backup of my v12 userdata folder and fire off the db upgrade on first run or will it crash?

    • kib May 04, 2014 

      Both would work. Updating the old library when starting up the new XBMC for the first time will automatically happen. If you want to be extra careful feel free to make a backup of the userdata folder.

  • ivo May 04, 2014 

    one feature i like to see added is that xbmc-videos-addfiles-upnp
    plays my recorderings from my
    telenet digibox dlna
    as of now this dont play without a login to yelotv website
    or the yelotv app on windows8
    still the dlna is ther and the titles show but they dont play :/

  • reza May 05, 2014 

    apparently the movie database (tmdb) is not compatible with the stable version 13 and has moved to disabled add-on ! any way to get it to work?

  • SpadaSpud May 06, 2014 

    Just been testing it on Android. Directional arrows on the keyboard or my remote do not work when the onscreen keyboard is being displayed. But it does work at other areas.

    It does not always pickup SMB when browsing. This is a common on android though.

  • RobL May 08, 2014 

    Firstly, I love this version of XBMC .. (even more than the others!!); just installed it on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and it works fine with SD content being read from my Humax HDR Fox T2 (HD plays, but ‘laggy’ – tablet ‘restriction’ not Gotham). Thank you all for the hard work – really appreciated.
    My question – would (will?) it be possible to stream ‘via’ the tablet, which is playing from the Humax, to a Smart TV or Smart Dongle – clearly, can now stream any film stored directly on the tablet, but would be super to use the tablet as the vehicle rather host per se. Just a thought!
    Once again, many thanks.

  • Joost May 11, 2014 

    Awesome guys! Have looked forward to this one for a long time (stereoscopic support, yeah!)

  • Adrian Ward Jun 19, 2014 

    A fantastic media centre ,working flawlessly on Galaxy Note 3 with 4.3,although the note has its own set of problems when using kit Kat 4.4.2 Gotham is smooth .
    Had problems using note n7000 but this was resolved by taking time on Gotham install and not installing a dons I don’t require .This is the first time I’ve used xx and can’t thank the developers enough.brilliant

  • R Jul 05, 2014 

    Audio sucks!!! It is always too fast and has made xbmc unusable!!! too bad you screwed the settings for a select few

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.