The Third Alpha Release of Kodi 19.x “Matrix” Is Out

  • Kodi 19.x “Matrix” has released Alpha 3, bringing a host of additions and all-around improvements.
  • This is another important step towards releasing Kodis next major version, but it’s still an unstable version.
  • The users who want to test “Matrix,” find and report bugs should pass from Alpha 2 to Alpha 3 now.

The XMBC team is on a spree, as only a week after the release of the last stable Kodi “Leia” and a month after the Alpha 2 of the upcoming Kodi “Matrix” version, we now get the Alpha 3. This is still a beta, so we’re not promoting it as a stable version that you should all grab and have fun with. Considering how many users are willing to test the upcoming Kodi release, this is a good point in the development process.

Here’s a list of the new stuff that has landed with the Kodi 19.x “Matrix” Alpha 3:

Music Library

  • Small fixes to album duration for music in unusual folder layouts and triggering re-scraping of a single artist or album.

Music Videos

  • Fetch related album and artist info (including art, bio, review, etc.) from the music library where appropriate.
  • Display all music videos for an artist, not just the ones related to an album, when navigating by artist.
  • Searching from the info dialog for an artist now includes all of the related library albums, as well as any videos.
  • Possibility to use .nfo files so that the artist list can now show all performers from music videos, not just the main artist.
  • Info dialogs will display data from the music library where there’s a corresponding artist and/or album.
  • Fix the same director search for music videos.

Playback

  • Correct the color mapping of HLG HDR playback in SDR mode on Windows 10.
  • Add HLG HDR playback as HDR10 on Windows 10 (as Windows does not support passthrough of HLG).
  • Added support for more OpenGL bicubic scalers.

Skin/Look-and-Feel

  • [Estuary] Add chapter info from music videos to OSD.
  • [Estuary] Improve the next item in playlist info for music videos by adding artist/album details if available.
  • [Estuary] Improve the Now Playing info for music videos when not in a full-screen video by adding artist/album details if available.
  • [Estuary] Optional poster for music videos.
  • Behavior changes to DialogAddonInfo buttons (e.g., contextual focus defaults to install, update, configure, etc.).
  • Add PVR.TimeShiftSeekbar infolabel to expose seekbar outside of the SeekBar dialog.

Games

  • Implement integer scaling support to improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games.

Information Providers/Scrapers

  • New default Python metadata scrapers for movies and TV shows (replacing old XML scrapers).

API/JSON-RPC

  • Add the ability to apply a new subtitle URI to the player, – e.g., URL, local file, etc.
  • Updates to allow VideoLibrary.Clean by directory.
  • Improvements and fixes around PVR handling via the API.

PVR

  • Remember last opened (vs. current last played) TV/Radio group across restarts.

As it becomes apparent from the above, the additions are covering a wide spectrum of Kodi’s functionality, user interface, and technical capacity. Thus, there are bound to be quite a lot of bugs here and there, which are to render the software unstable or even unusable.

Those of you willing to accept this and take the Alpha 3 for a spin, you should report any issues you discover or face back to the developers, as this is the best way to ensure that you’ll get a bug-free release when stable 19.0 is out.

Remember, Kodi is a free and open-source media player. Its development is based on voluntary contributions, community bug reports, and whatever can be covered through donations to the XBMC Foundation.

If you are using Alpha 2 for the purpose of helping with the development, go ahead and grab the Alpha 3 now. If you need to enjoy a stable Kodi experience, skip this news and keep “Leia” until “Matrix” is ready for the prime-time.

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