Kodi version 18 ‘Leia’ update is now agonisingly close to its release date

Kodi has dropped the Alpa 1 release for its next major update, codenamed Leia.

In a lengthy blog post on Monday, the developers announced version 18 of the media streaming software now includes digital rights management (DRM) support.

If that news caused a raised eyebrow, you’re unlikely to be alone, given the platform’s reputation for facilitating add-ons pushing pirated content.

Related: Best Kodi add-ons 2018

Kodi says it hopes the feature will encourage legitimate content providers to offer access via the Kodi ecosystem.

“With v18 we added the ability to also play [protected] content as it was actually intended by the DRM system,” the firm writes in a blog post

“Depending on the used hardware and included license you can now playback this content which usually also comes with a subscription service. Instead of the sometimes clunky apps a possibility would be to just use the trusted Kodi environment to watch what they have to offer.”

The developers say stability and usability are the key tenets of Leia, which will get an official release later this year.

“The times you still get glitches or occasional crashes haven been reduced due to just ripping out not so well coded parts and replaced with a more structured design and standard,” the post says.

The firm is also setting itself up as a means of watching Live TV via the platform.

“It’s one of the less well known features as it requires certain knowledge and thinkering to set this up however once it works you’ll love it,” Kodi says.


Music and video

Kodi is also overhauling the music player as part of v18, making it easier for folks to use embedded tags to organise their libraries more effectively.

The video player has also been improved. It’s gaining a redesign and will get CPU/GPU priority over other parts of the software.

Last month we learned Kodi on Android will gain Google Assistant functionality, while there’ll also be a trio games emulator called Retro Player.

You can see the full changelog here. You can grab the Alpha version from the official download page here.

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