Tech

What’s The Big Deal About Kodi?

Let’s have a quick talk about Kodi.

What is Kodi?

Well if you haven’t been under a rock for the past year or so, Kodi has been labeled as a pirate’s paradise and app of choice for those seeking to watch movies and television shows for free. Does it work? Yes…Is it legal?…Simply…Yes?…Does the app cost anything? NO…The purpose of this article is to give you a quick overview of what Kodi is and what it. My main purpose is to prevent you from paying for something that is free.

I have been a Kodi or XBMC (XBMP) user for almost 12-15 years. Kodi was originally called Xbox Media Player and was developed by a group for use on the original Xbox back in 2002. At that time, the app was run on an Xbox through a mod chip and allowed users to play media files (movies, music, etc.) on their Xbox. This was new at that time because most people played DVD’s or burned DVD’s on a DVD player or on a computer.

As time went on, XBMP evolved into XBMC (Xbox Media Center) and around 2003-2004 there was a way to mod an Xbox strictly through software. By this time, they had broken the xbox wide open. Not only were you able to run XBMC, but you could even run image files (ISO’s) for games and even stream media files from other computers on your network. I started using XBMC around 2003-2004 and it opened a new world, a world without physical media. Over the next 5 to 6 years they continued work on the app on the Xbox and it just got better and better for Xbox owners. Around 2010, with the advance of video codecs and technical specs, XBMC was abandoned on the Xbox and development was moved to Windows, Linux and Mac.

Over the years, XBMC turned into a full-fledged media center app that can literally play ANYTHING you throw at it. With customized themes and file info scrapers (movie and TV show information) along with artwork grabbers for the said movies and TV shows, it made XBMC beautiful. It has a native PVR if you have a TV Tuner card in your computer, meaning you can watch TV on your computer without a set top box and you can even record shows through it. So overall, XBMC was made for local content stored on your computer or on a networked computer or server. This is what I use it for and continue to use it for. For local media, there isn’t a better app to use.

As XBMC evolved, they have changed their name to Kodi , mainly because it’s no longer used on Xbox and Microsoft had a slight issue with the naming.

Within Kodi, they have created the ability to basically run apps within the XBMC. These apps are known as “add-ons”. There are A LOT of add-ons that basically run the spectrum of things to do inside of Kodi.

Feeling nostalgic? Install an emulator add-on.

Want to watch a movie? Those are there too.

As well as plenty of others and the list is too long to go over with right now. Now these add-ons do NOT come pre-installed on Kodi. Their legitimacy can be questionable in terms of piracy. The Kodi creators do not promote these add-ons, but if you want to use them, they are there. The most popular add-ons are the video add-ons which have also evolved from what they previously were. There are add-ons for sports as well as adult videos. There are even paid add-ons for watching cable TV at a fraction of the price of what a normal cable bill is. This brings me back to the main focus of this article.

When Kodi was brought over to the Android platform, the flood gates opened. Android TV boxes were manufactured by American and overseas manufacturers and pre-loaded with Kodi and add-ons and priced high. Right now, you can go on eBay and people are selling Kodi-loaded Android boxes for $50 dollars and up. The most popular device is the $39.99 Amazon Firestick which sells “Fully loaded” or “Jailbroken” on eBay, Craigslist and other places for 60-70 bucks and up!

Let me say this and make this clear…KODI IS FREE….It always has been and always WILL be. There is no such a thing as a Jailbroken Amazon Firestick. These are firestick’s or Android devices that have “builds” on them, which is just another name for a pre-loaded version of Kodi.

All builds are not created equal and not all builds work well on these Android devices. The best way is to install it on your device YOURSELF. It will literally take you 5-10 minutes to get up and running. Because I’m a tell you, 85% of the add-on’s that are installed on these devices either don’t work at all or are spotty as hell. These add-ons change on the regular and what may work today, might not work next week. And all they are doing is taking up space on your device and slowing it down.

The best Kodi experience will always be on a computer. If you are an owner of an Android device (phone,tablet, etc), you can easily install Kodi from the play store. Install it and play around with it. If you like it, there are plenty of tutorials on how to install Kodi on a Firestick or any other android device. Don’t pay money for something that is free. Take a few minutes and educate yourself and decide if you want to go down the Kodi rabbit hole.

I’ll never slander Kodi because Kodi has been very good to me. But the direction that Kodi has gone in is a little disappointing, because people are selling a product that’s imperfect. If things go south for a user, what are they to do? This is one more reason why I say to do things yourself instead of paying someone for something that you don’t understand how to use. I’d be happy to answer any questions regarding Kodi.

Happy streaming, ladies and gentlemen!

***Added Bonus***

Here is a tutorial that shows how to install Kodi on a Firestick!

And here is a tutorial on how to get started using add-ons!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96lSf4Z1cTA

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