Get to Know Kodi
Do you have a vast library of TV shows, movies, and music saved locally? If so then you probably need an efficient way to manage all your content.
Alternatively, you might be looking for legal ways to access on-demand video and live television. Perhaps you even want to cast the media to different screens around your home.
If these scenarios describe your situation, you have two choices from a software perspective: Plex or Kodi. We have previously explained how to set up and use Plex, but this guide will focus on how to use its great rival, Kodi.
By reading on, you’ll learn how to install the Kodi software, how to navigate through the initial setup, and how to load repos and add-ons.
What Is Kodi?
Kodi is best described as a home theatre app. It began life back in 2002 as Xbox Media Player, and quickly evolved into the Xbox Media Center (XBMC). It finally transformed into Kodi in 2014. We have a complete guide to setting up and using the final version of XBMC, should you require it.
Arguably, Kodi’s most significant selling point is that it is open-source. Because it’s opensource, a vast community of programmers and developers has built up around the app. If you’re a skilled coder, you can even make changes to the source code yourself.
The community is responsible for all the good stuff the app offers. Kodi by itself is an entirely underwhelming shell and provides nothing beyond the interface.
Let’s stress that again because Kodi newbies often overlook it: if you don’t have any locally saved media, and you don’t have any interest in learning how to use repos and add-ons, you don’t need Kodi. No media is included in the app.
Lastly, be aware that Kodi’s customizability comes at a cost. It requires a lot of user input to make the app run the way you want it to, and it necessitates more effort to keep everything working as time goes by. If you want a plug-and-play app, Plex might be a better choice.
How to Install Kodi
Kodi is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (mobile and TV), iOS, and Raspberry Pi.
If you’re running the app on a desktop machine or Android, you just need to grab the app from either the website or the associated app store. Windows users can also use the Windows Store version, while Android can download the APK file and sideload the app. Sideloading will make it more difficult to update the app, however, so we recommend using the Play Store method.
If you want to install Kodi on iOS, the situation is a lot more complicated.
Kodi is not available in the Apple App Store. Instead, you need to compile an app using XCode. To get started, you need iOS 10.9 or higher, a copy of Kodi’s DEB file, XCode 7 or higher, an iOS app signer, and an Apple ID.
The process is quite complex and not suitable for beginners. Given its complexity, it is beyond the scope of this guide. But don’t worry, we’ve covered everything in detail in another article on the site.
It’s also possible to install Kodi on iOS by using Cydia on a jailbroken device, but many users don’t want to risk voiding their warranty. However, if you have an older iOS gadget that you’re willing to take a few risks with, it’s certainly the easier approach.
For the other platforms, just get the installation file and follow the on-screen instructions. You will have Kodi running on your device in minutes.