If you’ve got a personal digital media library then I’m guessing you’ve heard of Kodi (formerly XBMC) Media Centre. Without a doubt it’s one of the top multi-platform, multi-format, multimedia platforms, oh and it’s free and open source. Kodi made the jump onto Android TV early on and has continued to iterate on it.
The team behind Kodi have announced the next version of their media center, version 18, will be named after the immortal Carrie Fisher, or at least one of her favorite portrayals the beloved Princess Leia. However, there’s more to Leia then just the name, this update – still in Alpha build- brings 2 important Android TV features Suggested Recommendations and Voice search.
With Recommendations now being enabled when you start Android TV, you’ll now see content recommendations from your personal library on the top row alongside content from other services like YouTube, Google Play Movies and Netflix. Kodi Recommendations will surface both “random movies” as well as the next episodes of shows you’ve been bingeing.
Voice Search is where the real joy is. Now I have to admit I’m a local Media fan. Between my large legacy collection, my painfully slow internet and my current level of distrust of any of the video services, I just prefer local media. Thanks to this update my local media just got a little smarter.
Using the voice search on Android TV when you search for a Movie, TV Show or Music content from your Kodi library will be surfaced in the main Android TV search interface. Search for The Last Jedi, and it will be surfaced right along offerings from other services, one click and you’re ready to play.
With this update, the Kodi team have brought locally-stored content into the smart era, and I can’t wait until it hits the stable lunch. In the meantime, if you want to try out the latest build you can download the latest nightly and sideload it onto your Android TV device.