Kodi What It Is and How It Works

Today I'm going to explain what Kodi is and how it works, formerly known as XBMC. It is one of the most veteran applications that allow you to turn your computer into a multimedia center where you can play your videos, music files or photographs.

We will do it first by telling you what Kodi is and telling you what are the main characteristics that have earned the loyalty of hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.

Then I will explain to you in a simple way what are the first steps you must take to download it and perform its initial basic configuration.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is an application with which you can turn your computer into a multimedia center that has a clean and clear interface for all types of content. It is the successor of the mythical application XBMC (XBox Media Center), that in the year 2014 announced that they were going to change of name and happened to be called simply Kodi. Its origins go back to 2002, when XBMC appeared to take advantage of the first XBox consoles that had managed to unlock.

With this application in the console you could reproduce the multimedia files that will be loaded in your storage, something that could also be done in PC computers.

One of the great strengths of Kodi is that its code is free (under the GNU / GPL license), so that all Internet users can access its source code and manipulate it to adapt it to any operating system or device.

Thanks to that Kodi has versions for both Windows and GNU / Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Raspberry Pi and virtually any other you need. Another of its main characteristics is that it is a totally modular application that you can adapt to your measure. Not only because it has themes to change its interface, but also because it has a system of add-ons with which to add different types of functionality.

These add-ons allow you, for example, to watch Kodi on different TV channels over the Internet, show weather forecasts, or connect to services such as Plex, SoundCloud or YouTube.

You also have them to listen to radio, access some of your cloud storage services. ## Getting Started and How It Works

Next I will show you step by step what you have to do to install Kodi on your device and make a first basic configuration of the application by adding the folders from which you can import the content to play on it. ### How to install Kodi

To start you have to go to downloads page and click on the icon of the operating system for which you want. There are many operating systems, so we are going to focus on showing you the step by step in Windows.

Once you have chosen your operating system you will have to choose between the Release and Nightly versions.

The release version is the official versions that have already been released, and the Nighly are the beta versions.

These betas are much more unstable than the final versions, but they allow you to test the news that is working for Kodi.

Once your version is decided, to proceed to the download you have to choose to click on the method that you want to use.

Each operating system has several. For example, in Windows 10 you have a 32-bit Installer which is the installer .exe, but the most convenient is to click on Windows Store so that the download is done through the Windows 10 application store.

When you click the download button in the Windows Store, the browser will ask if you want to open the application there, and when you tell it if the Kodi tab will open directly. Once here, click on the Get or Install icon and proceed to download and install the application. When finished open it from the start menu or the application store itself. ## Initial setup

When you run the application the first time Windows will ask you for permissions that you have to accept, but then you will encounter the problem that everything is in English. That is, first of all, on the main interface, click on the gear icon on the top left to enter the configuration.

Here you will find many configuration features in which you will have to lose patiently to have everything to your liking. Enter Interface Settings to be where you can change settings as the Interface language. Once inside, simply click on LANGUAGE and search the Spanish language to install and change it. From here, the captures will be in Spanish. But it is very easy to follow them in English.

In these Kodi options you can also change the Player Settings to choose the default languages for audio and subtitles, System Settings to control the resolution or installed drivers or directly access the File Explorer. However, now click on Content Settings to choose which folders your files are to play in.

In the content settings, first press the sprocket down to the left (1). By default you will see the basic configuration, but you need to visualize from the standard. Now, in the menus in the left column choose Collection, and if you are in standard or higher mode you will see the option Source Management. Click on a content type, for example Music (3), to choose where to search Kodi files.

In the first screen that appears then you only have to press the Add music option. It will open the Add music source window, which if you have not played until now you will have nothing. Click the Search button to find a folder from which to import your music files or the ones of your choice.

You will see a browser where you have to find the folder where you have the multimedia files that you want Kodi to add. When you find the folder click on it to enter it and then give OK.

Final step

You will return to the previous screen, only this time you will see the address of the folder you want to use as the music source or the type of content you have chosen. It is important that you click on the Add button to confirm the selection, and then you can and press OK to confirm you have properly configured your sources.

You have to perform this procedure with your music, videos or photos to configure where you want Kodi to choose each of the file types. You can add external sources such as USB devices, external hard disks that you have configured on your device. Once you have it all, when you restart Kodi you will get all the files you have in your folder on the main screen. And this is the basic and essential configuration of Kodi, but it is only a first step to get started.

Carlos Dagorret
CTO Facultad de Ciencias Económicas

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.

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