Roots in the Xbox game console
Kodi (formerly known as XBMC) was originally designed as a media center interface for the XBOX game console. Today, it has evolved as powerful media center for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X that is capable of playing most available media file types. XBMC has been the foundation for many alternative media centers including the Boxee.
Did you know that you can install XBMC and a whole Linux operating system in just 15 minutes? Here is a complete guide to install and configure Kodi.
Elegant user interface
The user interface looks very elegant even without any customization. However, you can customize the interface with the skins that you can download online. The menu structure is simple and browsing feels very responsive.
However, browsing the files feels similar to the Windows explorer, so the media center looks a bit too much like a computer interface. Nowadays, I would expect the 10-foot user interface to be a bit more intuitive and visually stunning than 10 years ago.
Excellent media codecs support
One of the strengths is definitely the built-in media codec support. So far all the available media files have been played without any problems. However, the video playback is quite resource and CPU intensive, so you need to have enough performance if you intend to play HD videos.
Customize, customize, customize
There are several add-ons or widgets available, including shortcuts, small games, radio channels, TV-guides and so on. The media library functionality allows you to stream video files over the home network. Indeed, there are so many ways to configure and customize the media center that it is excellent for even more demanding user.
- Excellent audio, video and photo streaming
- Support for advanced scripts and plugins
- Good file format support
- Nice and very customizable user interface
- Stylish visualizers for the music playback
- Well established with a loyal user base
- Not for beginners as can be difficult to configure
- Mac OSX (Intel)
All in all, it is an excellent media center for both beginners and more advanced users.
If you think that this is the right media center for you, here are the top guides to get you started: