Kodi 19.x “Matrix” – Beta 2 For Windows 10 & Android

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For Kodi 19.x “Matrix”, it’s Beta time, so let’s take another step towards the Great Unveiling.

This release is much more about fixes than features as we move into Beta now: while there will be the odd new feature, we are concentrating much more on getting everything from this point on to work properly.

To recap, then, one of the main goals of 19.x “Matrix” is to release as early as possible a production version of Kodi with Python 3 addons in 2021. That can only happen with enthusiastic support from the community, a lot of good humor and willingness to see the best in others – well of course, that and coffee/beer (delete as applicable!

Why about Python 3? Just because in January 2020, Python 2 went end-of-life, the entire IT industry is lurching over to the new platform. It usually takes a long time, but if you want active support, bugfixes, the latest third-party libraries, security patches, and the like, you need to do that. In past blog posts, you can see some of Kodi’s announcements about this change.

Beyond that though, here’s a quick overview of the main new features in 19.x “Matrix” – also of course, as many fixes and code changes that won’t be as apparent:

Music/Audio

Improvements covering multi-disc CD sets and box sets; improvements in metadata such as improved handling of album release dates, album durations, etc.; new fullscreen/visualization settings; new visualization inspired by Matrix; support for http file tags (s).

Videos for Music

Improved music library links to e.g. retrieve related album/artist information, display both videos and albums when searching, display more related information in info dialogs, etc.; enhanced artist grouping of all music videos (vs album only); enhanced multi-performer .nfo handling.

Look-and-Feel

Multiple Estuary enhancements, especially for music and music videos, including a redesign of the full screen/visualization music window; additional display of metadata; new “Now Playing” view; chapter information for music videos; enhanced views of now playing” and next item”;  generally enhanced “out of the box” behavior for music and video library artwork.

The Games

Improved support for the game controller on iOS; improvements in image quality for Pixel Art games.

Playbacks

AV1 software decoding; new dark grey color and selectable opacity subtitle enhancements; ability to provide a subtitle URI (URL, local file, etc.); static HDR10 and dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support (platform- and client-dependent).

PVR-PVR

A host of enhancements, including PVR reminders; TV/Radio channel groups, home screen widgets and dynamic Estuary PVR categories; Group and Channel Manager enhancements; enhancements to navigation/usability such as context menus, persistence of selection, and EPG controls; enhancements to the info dialog; improvements to API PVR handling.

Security

Various user information improvements, e.g. the security implications of allowing external interfaces or a prompt when a broken/deprecated addon is enabled; a default web interface password requirement; new origin enforcement for addons and dependencies, so that third-party addons can not overwrite other, unrelated addons’ code.

BETA 2

There should be no show-stopping bugs at this stage, and this release should be quite reliable – just make sure you know how, just in case, to roll back. Please: install, test, and provide us with clear feedback on any problems you discover, either with the new features or with a regression in the current code. Before we go to full release, we can then work to address these.

From here you can get Beta 2,   You can enroll in our Beta program if you’re on Android, and get updates directly from Google Play.

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