What is Kodi? Is Kodi Legal?


What is Kodi?

Kodi (formerly XBMC) is increasing in popularity. The free, elegant, well-regarded media center platform is steadily gaining users and industry cache. But many wonder about the legal issues surrounding the software and, in particular, some popular Kodi add-ons. 


When Kodi first debuted as XBMC, which stands for Xbox Media Center, it found its audience among gamers. Xbox users were looking for a way to use their systems to not only play video games, but also to watch TV and stream other media.

Kodi filled that role. It did it so well that the platform soon expanded. Today, anyone candownload Kodi—for free—for use on a variety of operating systems and devices to better organize and enjoy one’s media collection.

Kodi also works with TVs and remote controls to play all kinds of content—movies, TV shows, pictures, music—on a TV screen. It is a popular choice over Windows Media Center for Home Theater PCs. The platform can be personalized and customized in a wide variety of ways

There are thousands of Kodi add-ons and plug-ins available to further enhance its function. That includes accessing media streaming services like YouTube, Hulu, Netflix and much, much more.

In 2014, Kodi (then still XBMC) was awarded “Best Media Player” by Lifehacker. It’s popularity has risen steadily since then.

Kodi is not only free, but also open-source. Developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit consortium, the platform is meant to be available to anyone to use and enjoy. But the fact that it’s open source has opened the door for some questionable uses.

Is Kodi legal? As users rise, so do questions

One of the most compelling features of Kodi is that it can fill the role of a media streaming device. Users can stream TV shows and movies onto a TV using Kodi—which is perfectly fine provided one has a subscription if the service is paid (like Netflix or access to cable channels).

The problem is that the open-source development platform means anyone with the know-how can create add-ons and plugins for Kodi. There are some very popular ones that run toward the gray area of legality.

Specifically, these are the extensions that enable users to watch copyrighted content without the required subscriptions. A simple YouTube or web search will reveal just how much interest there is in this, and how many add-ons are available.

But that doesn’t make Kodi illegal. As the argument goes, Kodi is no more illegal than a computer. It could be used in illegal ways. But the technology itself doesn’t violate any laws.

That’s true to an extent. One major exception could turn out to be versions of Kodi that contain—without a commercial license—certain software snippets that can unscramble the Content Scramble System with which many DVDs are encrypted. That does put Kodi at risk of violating the U.S.’S Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But so far no one has stepped up to take any legal action.

Whether the developers who create the questionable add-ons, or the people who use them, are in violation of any laws is another big question. Copyright holders would certainly say yes. But it can be difficult to pinpoint the precise offense per today’s laws. Plus, simply locating violators can be a headache, as most developers use anonymous screen names.

Kodi does take care to discourage users from installing suspect add-ons. It provides a list of blacklisted add-ons on its website.

For anyone who wants to use Kodi in the standard, sanctioned ways, there are no legal concerns to worry about. There’s just an amazingly versatile, user-friendly, free platform to enjoy.

Learn more at kodi.tv


SOURCE/s:  http://wtvpc.com/2015/04/27/is-kodi-legal-as-users-rise-so-do-questions/

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KODI on Amazon Fire Stick/Fire TV Complete setup


Amazon released its Fire TV, a tiny set-top box which brings media streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video to your living room. While Amazon offers its own app store, you’re also able to sideload any Android app APK you want. This leads to an endless amount of new apps for the Fire TV, including Kodi (formerly known as XBMC). For only  100 bucks for a Fire TV or as little as 39 USD for a Fire TV Stick, you’re able to bring a powerful media system to your living room which is capable of streaming 1080p videos using Kodi / XBMC. This guide will explain you how to setup your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to become a great media system.

Since the initial launch of this post in April 2015, we’ve adapted the content to Fire TV and Kodi updates. The latest version of this guide includes an overview of the new Kodi 15.0 Isengard features and how to update from Kodi 14.2 without losing settings.

Requirements for running Kodi (XBMC) on a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick

Getting Kodi installed on your Fire TV (Stick) is quite easy. You’ll only need the following things:

  • ADB drivers (Mac – Windows)
  • Fire TV (Stick) with developer options enabled
  • Latest Kodi APK (ARM version – currently version 15.1)

How to install Kodi (XBMC) on a Fire TV

While you can also use this simple toolkit, this guide will show you how to install Kodi manually. In these first few steps we’ll make sure that your Fire TV is prepared and you’ve downloaded and installed all necessary files.

  • Install the ADB drivers for your operating system linked above
  • Navigate to your Fire TV Settings.
  • Go to System —> Developer Options
  • Enable ADB Debugging and Apps from Unknown Sources
  • Go to System —> About —> Network and write down the Fire TV IP Address
  • Download the latest Kodi version (ARM Android release)

Alright. Next we’ll actually go ahead and install Kodi.

  • Open your terminal (Mac) or command prompt (Windows)
  • Navigate to the directory where you stored the Kodi APK
  • Run these commands
adb kill-server

adb start-server

adb connect Fire-TV-IP-Address-here
  • The window should return something along “connected to Fire-TV-IP-Address-here”
  • Next, run the following command
adb install Kodi-apk-file-name
  • The installation is done when the window returns success

You’ve now installed Kodi on your Fire TV – Easy right? But the story doesn’t end here. Unfortunately the Fire TV has some issues with streaming 1080p content out of the box. Your side-loaded Kodi installation also does not have a shortcut on the Fire TV home screen – but we’ll also take care of that.

How to update to Kodi 15.1 without losing Settings

Installing Kodi 15.1 Isengard on your Fire TV is quite easy and can be done in a few minutes. Since it’s a new version and not a small update, you can simply flash the APK file. After the first launch, Kodi will import all settings from your previous installation. After the successful transfer and initial launch, you can simply go ahead and delete to old version from your Fire TV. Here are the single steps you have to take to achieve this:

  • Download the latest Kodi APK (Android ARM, version 15.1 as of September 2015)
  • Open your terminal (Mac) or command prompt (Windows)
  • Navigate to the directory where you stored the Kodi APK
  • Run these commands
adb kill-server

adb start-server

adb connect Fire-TV-IP-Address-here
  • The window should return something along “connected to Fire-TV-IP-Address-here”
  • Next, run the following command
adb install -r Kodi-apk-file-name
  • The installation is done when the window returns success
  • Launch Kodi 15.1. The app will now import settings from 14.2
  • Optional: Delete Kodi 14.2 from your Fire TV

That’s it. Enjoy the latest version of Kodi!

How to make your Fire TV run 1080p MKVs without buffering issues

My Fire TV is connected via WiFi to my NAS – in theory enough speed to stream large media files. However, I usually ran into buffering issues every 5 to 10 minutes. The solution to this problem is pushing a proper advancedsettings.xml file to my Fire TV as well as switching from a wired LAN connection to a wireless one. There are three different versions out there which I will share with you here:

Advanced Settings Version 1
Advanced Settings Version 2
Advanced Settings Version 3
Advanced Settings Version 4 (recommended, best working version for me)

I would personally suggest trying them step by step and stick with the one that works best. For me it’s version 4. While usually a wired connection should work better, in my case the WiFi option resulted in a stable connection to stream local media. To push this file to your Fire TV, you have to do the following

    • Download the advancedsettings.xml to your computer
    • Remove the number (1, 2, 3 or 4) from the file name
    • Open your terminal (Mac) or command prompt (Windows)
    • Navigate to the directory where you stored the advancedsettings.xml
    • Run these commands
adb kill-server

adb start-server

adb connect Fire-TV-IP-Address
    • The window should return something along “connected to Fire-TV-IP-Address”
    • Next, run the following command
adb push advancedsettings.xml /sdcard/android/data/org.xbmc.kodi/files/.kodi/userdata
  • Once completed, the window will return something like this:
13 KB/s (201 bytes in 0.015s)
  • Restart Kodi and test if everything works fine. That’s it!

How to create a Kodi (XBMC) shortcut on your Fire TV home screen

After side-loading Kodi to your Fire TV (Stick) you won’t have a shortcut on your home screen. After installing the APK you can only access the media center using the settings menu. However, there is also a workaround for that.

    • When you’re in the US, install Classic TV from the Amazon App Store. In Europe you can install the ikono TV app.
    • Sideload Llama to your Fire TV. This can be done using as follows:
    • Open your terminal (Mac) or command prompt (Windows)
    • Navigate to the directory where you stored the Kodi APK
    • Run these commands
adb kill-server

adb start-server

adb connect Fire-TV-IP-Address
    • The window should return something along “connected to Fire-TV-IP-Address”
    • Next, run the following command
adb install llama-apk-file-name
  • The installation is done when the window returns success
  • Next, open Llama (Settings —> Applications —> Llama)
    • Go to EVENTS and click the “+” in order to add a new event
    • Click to ADD CONDITION, select Active Application and Choose App. Select the TV app installed earlier
    • Next, navigate to ADD ACTION and choose Run Application. Select Kodi.
    • You’re done. From now on, whenever you launch the TV app on your home screen Kodi will load.

    This should be it for the initial Kodi (XBMC) setup. You’re now able to add media content to your library using a variety of connections such as Network Filesystem (NFS), UPnP or Windows Network (SMB). I wouldn’t recommend to use UPnP as this will restrict Kodi from adding meta content.

    How to add media content to your Kodi library

    Kodi allows to add different media such as tv shows, movies or music to your library. Out of the box, Kodi supports a variety of media sources including network storage / file sharing or internet streams. The most popular network storage solutions are NFS (Network File System), SMB (also known as Windows File Sharing) and UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). It does not matter if you media files are served from a dedicated NAS or a computer in a network, I would recommend using NFS over SMB and UPnP. NFS offers a lower protocol overhead and simpler user authentication. So what does that mean? Higher transfer speeds (=less lag / stutter when streaming video) plus less work for your network, i.e. you’re not killing all network transfers. Additionally, adding media trough UPnP prevents Kodi / XBMC from adding meta data like IMDB rating, cover picture or plot.

    Add Video Source in Kodi / XBMC

    So how do you actually add media to your library? By default, every root directory should have anAdd Sources option. Additionally, opening the context media (menu button) in the root directory will offer the option to add sources from there. Just follow the menu and add your media source. Again, I can only emphasis to use NFS over SMB and avoid UPnP.

    Set media content in Kodi

    Next, Kodi will ask you which type of content source you just added. Go ahead and set the appropriate one, choose a scraper (source from which meta information like cover, plot, IMDB rating, etc. will be loaded) and hit OK – Kodi will do the rest for you. Unfortunately, Kodi / XBMC sometimes has issues with getting the correct data. This can be avoided using proper file names according to the official guidelines. More information about adding media content to Kodi can be found here.

    How to automatically rename movies and TV shows for Kodi / XBMC

    If you’re having issues with Kodi / XBMC not properly crawling meta data for movies or TV shows in your media library, the reason for this might be your file name structure. For movies, it is suggested to only use the full movie title including the year of release in brackets (e.g. The Interview (2014)). In case of TV shows you should have them all in separate folders, using the following structure: Name – SeasonxEpisode – Title (e.g. Family Guy – 4×03 – Blind Ambition). However, doing this one by one can get quite annoying with an extensive movie and TV show database. The solution for this is a small app called FileBot which offers native apps for the most popular platforms, including Mac OS, Windows or Linux.

    Automatically rename files for Kodi & XBMC with FileBot

    Simply add your media directory using the load button, hit match and select a scraper from the list and confirm with rename once FileBot is done. It’s simple like that. All files will be renamed properly and after refreshing your Kodi media library all meta data should be downloaded properly.

    How to automatically update your media library

    Now that we’ve properly added media to your library, there is one little thing that we need to take care of: Automatically updating Kodi’s media library when you add new content to your hard drive or network storage. Luckily, there are two add-ons which take care of this. Watchdog will constantly check your media source for new files and automatically update the Kodi / XBMC library when new content is available. If you want to scan your media source for new content on a specific day or time, XBMC Library Auto Update has you covered.

How to install skins or themes

Installing skins / themes on your Fire TV is pretty easy. Kodi offers the possibility to download and install skins from within the settings menu, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the System —> Settings menu
  2. Navigate to the Appearance tab
  3. Select the name of the skin and press the enter button
  4. You’ll now see a list of all installed skins, to download additional ones click the Get More… button
  5. Kodi will now show a list of available skins. Just select the one that you want to install, press the install button and Kodi will take care of the rest.

SOURCE: http://trendblog.net/setup-kodi-xbmc-fire-tv-run-1080p-content/

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Best Skins/Themes for Kodi


Best Kodi Skins

Perception is reality and great XBMC Kodi skins give you and your friends the perception that your media center is awesome. Apart from the looks, skins let you customize your media center to your liking. For example, adding shortcuts, rearranging menu items, etc. that can help you navigate through your media center faster. Without further ado, let us look at 5 6 best Kodi skins that can enhance the looks as well as your experience. [Read: 15 XBMC keyboard shortcuts you should know]

1. Confluence

Confluence, the default Kodi skin is still the king of the hill. In our survey, more than 40% of the Kodi users still preferred the Confluence skin. This is not surprising considering this is one of the highly optimized skins that runs well on almost any hardware, including the first generation Raspberry Pi. [Read: Raspberry Pi vs Amazon Fire TV for Kodi media center]

Best Kodi Skins 2015

Confluence skin has the right amount of features and looks that make it amazing in an uncomplicated way. Therefore, it is still the best Kodi skin and preferred by 43% of the surveyed readers.

2. Aeon Nox

The next best skin preferred by Kodi users is Aeon Nox. Aeon Nox looks amazing yet it is quite lightweight. The biggest strengths of Aeon Nox skin are menu customization, library views, and stunning looks. While quite lightweight, it still requires a decent hardware and would run much better on the new Raspberry Pi 2.0 than 1.0.

Aeon Nox - Top Kodi Skins

Aeon Nox is available through the Kodi default repository and is easy to install through Settings ->AppearanceSkin -> Get More. About 18% of our readers prefer this skin, making it second to Confluence skin.

3. Amber

Amber is my favorite XBMC Kodi skins for low power hardware such as Raspberry Pi 1.0. It hits an amazing balance of aesthetics and performance. It is very lightweight yet featureful. One of the best features of Amber skin is the Home Shelf that offers several customization options. My favorite feature is the ability to create shortcut to my frequently accessed Kodi addons. [Read: 20 Best Kodi addons in 2015 to help you cut the cord]

Amber Skin for Kodi

Amber is not as customizable as Aeon Nox or Aeon MQ but it also does not work the hardware to the level of those 2 skins. Nearly 15% of the readers preferred this skin, making it third on the list ofbest Kodi skins.

4. Mimic

Originally this list had only 5 Skins. But commenter Scott Wallace suggested Mimic Skin. I tried it and was blown away. Both my Fire TVs and my HTPC are now running Mimic Skin. Mimic combines the features of Aeon Nox and reFocus skins. In my tests, I found it to be very responsive and fluid. I did not hesitate to move it up to fourth on my list. Definitely worth a try even on low power devicessuch as Raspberry Pi.

Mimic Kodi Skin

Mimic skin is available to install through the Official Kodi skin downloads repository and can be installed easily from within Kodi settings.

5. Eminence

Eminence is a Kodi skin that seeks simplicity, functionality, and elegance with a modern look. In my opinion, it hits that sweet spot very well. Like Amber, Aeon Nox, and Aeon MQ, Eminence also allows playlists and favorites to be added to the homescreen. On overclocked Raspberry Pi 1.0 I did not notice any major performance issues. [Read: 10 Tweaks to improve XBMC performance on Raspberry Pi]

Eminence - possibly the next best Kodi skin?

Eminence has been receiving a lot of attention recently as one of the best Kodi skins. It is available to install through the Official XBMC skin downloads repository and can be installed easily from within Kodi settings. If you have skinning abilities, headover to its Git repository and help make it better.

6. Aeon MQ

Aeon MQ skins are among the best Kodi skins and are known for their looks and customizability. The level of customization can be set based on hardware capabilities. While initial releases were quite hardware intensive, recent releases have been lightened a little bit without feature loss to fit compact and low power Kodi boxes. I would still not recommend running Aeon MQ on an Android TV Box or Raspberry Pi 1. But it can be a great skin for Kodi on a HTPC (especially in a living room / entertainment room).

Aeon MQ5 Kodi Theme

Aeon MQ 5 is available in the official Kodi repository which is included by default in Kodi. If you have a decently powerful HTPC then install and try Aeon MQ5. Its advanced customization options are probably unmatched


Source: http://www.htpcbeginner.com/5-best-kodi-skins-2015/

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M3U Playlists & IPTV Links

Below are m3u playlist and iptv links submitted by users. Click the links to download playlists.





































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About Kodi Newbies

This blog is for persons that are new to Kodi like all the experts at some point. Here I explore various topics about Kodi media Player including IPTV, VOD, Themes, streaming settings, wizards, etc

Feel free to comment and share posts. Thanks for checking out my blog!

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