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Kodi v17 "Krypton" Beta 1

We are excited to announce the first beta of Kodi 17, codenamed Krypton. Kodi 17 features a huge amount of work in areas like video playback, live TV and PVR/DVR, the music library, skinning and more. It features a new default skin, as well as a new default touchscreen skinned, named Estuary and Estouchy, respectively.

The changes between Alpha 3 and Beta 1 are mainly limited to minor fixes and under the hood improvements, so for this first beta, we’ll instead take some time to review a few of the really visible changes in Kodi 17.

Estuary and Estouchy

Without question, the biggest visual change from Kodi 16 to 17 is the new default skin Estuary. This skin pulls a dramatic amount of content to the homescreen, including much from your music and video libraries, commonly used add-ons, and links to adding new video/music sources and installing new add-ons. It also enables color and theme changes within the skin, and overall pulls Kodi into the present day of UI design. For a full review of Estuary (and its touchscreen counterpart Estouchy), see the Estuary blogpost. Or for just a quick look, check out the Estuary trailer.

It should be noted that this is only the default skin. You are, of course, welcome to continue using whatever skin you might prefer, including the previous default skin Confluence.

A Cleaner, Clearer Settings Section

The Kodi settings area has always  seemed to require some sort of advanced degree (or a similar amount of related experience) to navigate effectively. With that in mind, we have spent the better part of a year cleaning up and reorganizing Settings with the ultimate goal of making the section, if not friendly, then at least clearer for new and journeymen Kodi users. We’ve also made it possible to point Kodi to new media sources from the settings menu, a requested feature for many years.

v17-settings-1

An Improved Music Library

Many would argue that the Kodi music library has not seen the same degree of development and support as the video library over the past few years. With Kodi 17, that has changed. The improved music library now supports better tag reading and scraping, better handling of albums and artists with the addition of adding artist role (such as composer, conductor, DJ, etc.). Additionally, certain files and websites support musical “mood,” which means you can now select your music based on mood, rather than artist or genre.

Live TV and PVR/DVR Improvements

For a full list, see the Kodi Alpha 3 write-up, but the Live TV and PVR/DVR component of Kodi has seen just as much improvement with Krypton as the music library. Channels can now be organized by last played, so if you really only watch 5 or 6 of your 300 channels, those can always be at the top of the list. Timers and Timer Rules are now clearer and better organized and timers are much smarter now. For example, if you set a Timer to record one episode of a show, you can transform it so that it records an entire series. And that’s really only the cream on top. Check the alpha 3 blogpost for more.

Finally, only the channels you actually watch need be listed at the top

Finally, only the channels you actually watch need be listed at the top

 VideoPlayer

While the average user might not notice this massive under-the-hood improvement, we feel remiss in not mentioning it. The switch from Kodi’s old DVDPlayer to the new, modern VideoPlayer may be one of the most massive re-writes in Kodi’s long history. A longer, and more detailed discussion of the changes in VideoPlayer may be found in the Alpha 2 write-up, but the important take-away is that this rewrite likely won’t affect users much right now, but should vastly improve the Kodi experience over the next few years.

With that said, there are some improvements you may see right away. In particular, DVD playback finally has hardware acceleration. A/V syncing has improved. Video streams can now be selected, just like different language audio streams or subtitles, useful for things like concert DVDs, where you can now select the various different camera angles, but perhaps more importantly useful for switching between different bitrates in Youtube and other online streaming sources using the DASH protocol. At present, the Youtube add-on in the Kodi repo has not yet been updated to handle this new support, but we hope to see that update in the near future.

Conclusion

As previously noted, this is only a small summary of all the improvements in Kodi 17. For more, see the Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 posts.

Should you want to download and install this build please visit our download page. You can install these build just on top of your current Kodi installation.

Please report any problems on our forum http://forum.kodi.tv and not on the release announcement.

Don’t forget we also have some official tablet/phone remote controls for both Android and iOS. You can find the links to them on the download page.

Donations or getting involved

Getting involved is quite easy. Simply take the plunge and start using these 17.0 Krypton builds. If you use these builds, we encourage you to report problems with these builds on our forum first and after that, if asked, submit bugs on Trac (following this guide: How to submit a bug report). Do note that we need detailed information so we can investigate the issue. We also appreciate providing support in our Forums where you can. You can of course also follow or help promote Kodi on all available social networks. Read more on the get involved page.

We are always happy to receive a donation by which you show your support and appreciation, and t-shirts and Raspberry Pi cases may still be found on the sidebar for purchase. All donations and other income goes towards the XBMC foundation and are typically used for travel to attend conferences, any necessary paperwork and legal fees, purchasing necessary hardware and licenses for developers and hopefully the yearly XBMC Foundation Developers Conference.