There's a lot to love about Kodi (formerly known as Xbox Media Center). It's a completely free, open-source media player that can be installed on everything from PCs to smart TVs, providing countless ways to customize your viewing experience. For casual watchers, however, it can be quite confusing. Kodi doesn't have its own content, so you have to dig through a daunting array of add-ons and plug-ins to see what's so great about this media player. For that reason, we dove headfirst into the world of Kodi to determine the best add-ons available for download. Enjoy!
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Do you like the satisfaction of owning your favorite movies and TV shows, but still want the convenience of streaming? The official Plex add-on for Kodi is for you. Plex lets you upload digital movies, shows and music to a personal media server (via Amazon, Google Docs, Dropbox or OneDrive), then share them across all your devices. There's even a mobile sync option, which lets you enjoy content offline. As a bonus, you can share entire libraries with friends, so you can finally watch that movie they won't stop talking about.
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Did you know there are streaming services out there other than Netflix? It's true! And PlayOn will manage them all for you. Instead of visiting several websites, you can use PlayOn, a one-stop add-on for watching Netflix, Hulu, HBO and about 100 other streaming accounts. Even better, PlayOn can record everything to your hard drive in MP4 format so you can watch it later. It's a binge-watcher's dream come true!
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Are you watching so much TV that you can't follow it all? Trakt can help with that. It's a nifty little tool, which links to your streaming accounts and takes note of everything you're following — which movies, which shows and how long you've been in front of the screen each week. There are also calendar features to let you know when new releases are coming, so you can set aside time for them. Don't worry — Trakt won't judge you.
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Once upon a time, people had to set up slide projectors when they wanted to show off photographs taken on holiday. Even with the advent of Facebook, people still do this sometimes — they'd just rather put them on the TV. One tool making this easier is Dbm, an unofficial Dropbox add-on that can access all the files and photos in your account. If one of your Kodi devices is hooked up to your television, putting photos on the big screen becomes no trouble at all.
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Perhaps you' enjoy listening to online radio stations instead of watching TV in the background. The good news is the SHOUTcast2 add-on fully supports thousands of stations through Kodi's interface. The bad news: We're not kidding about those thousands of stations. The sheer number can be overwhelming. Thankfully, the Browse feature arranges everything by genre, so you'll at least be sure to find something in the general neighborhood of what you were looking for.
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If you're craving the brilliance that is the BBC, the iPlayer WWW add-on is worth a look. This unofficial program creates a browser window to BBC's iPlayer website, where you can watch the live feed, catch up on recent episodes or listen to the radio stations. Sadly, the TV services are available only to U.K. residents (unless you use a proxy server), but it's a good way to keep up with the BBC from your Kodi device.
Photo credit: iPlayer
Having trouble managing those ROMs and emulators for your legally purchased games? (You did purchase and rip them directly, and aren't promoting piracy, right?) If so, the ROM Collection Browser is a dream add-on that imports your classic games to a local database. That means you can conveniently browse your gaming library like a digital collection without flipping between aging consoles. But, seriously, there's no need to be a pirate about it.
Photo credit: ROM Collection Browser