Kodi version 18 “Leia” has been released

After a long development period, the final version of Kodi 18 “Leia” has now been released across all platforms. The changes are too numerous to list, but you can skim through Kodi’s past beta and release candidate announcements to get a feel for what has changed. To install the app on a Fire TV device, use my Downloader app and enter bit.ly/kodi18apk into the URL field. If you have connection/server issues, you can try bit.ly/kodi18mirror instead. For those who need more detailed installation instructions, you can follow this guide.

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38 comments
  1. Randy says:

    What good is it any more? Without the free movies, what can it do?

    • OG Charlie says:

      Play movies off a SMB or UPNP share. Play games now that they baked in retroarch support.

      There’s also a number of legit add-ons.

    • Adam says:

      Well lets see, I currently have.. wait, let me check… 77 mkv backed up movies on my network drive, almost all of them ripped in full uncompressed blu-ray and surround sound glory. This is contrasted with the “good enough” quality of Netflix, Amazon and Prime streamed movies that are only available when Netflix, Amazon and Hulu say you can watch them.

      Then there are also the seasons of TV shows that I want to watch but aren’t available on the streaming networks I support. These are usually in the aforementioned “good enough” quality. I currently have 10 of those on my drive.

      So if you mean that Kodi has no use beyond the janky pirate plugins that delivered content that was free but was ridiculously compromised by heavy, heavy compression, I disagree. I mean, come on, you paid real money for that that TV and sound system, are you seriously watching a 500mb “HD” version of Jurassic World on your $,$$$ 4k TV…? Then there is the inevitable date that the plugin fails due to developer disinterest/arrest/buyout.

      Meh.

      Plugins are the garbage way of using Kodi, and the results you get show it. Use Kodi the way it was always meant to be used, as a local media player.

      • AAA says:

        Adam,

        I would love to have all my blu-rays in a Plex like or Kodi style Netflix type of GUI, basically sitting in a dvr type of drive that would remember the last scene played on all of them, even better if I could set multiple bookmarks on each movie.

        But I would want a setup that is energy efficient, I see that many of the Nas drives use less than 20 watts and almost nothing when idle.

        But of course I would need a blu-ray burner, an external hard drive to store them, another for a backup and the burning software for a mac.

        Anyway which Nas do you use? I wish the movie studios made it easier to make digital copies of blu-rays you own.

        • Adam says:

          AAA, I’m just using a 4TB Western Digital MyCloud drive plugged into my router, so everything is available housewide without any server having to be fired up (other than the MyCloud drive is you want to look at it that way)

          And the movie studios have a pretty compelling interest in moving everyone to streaming. Instead of buying a movie once and, heck, handing it down to your children if you want, steaming makes it so you have to rent it repeatedly over the years if you want to view it, from different companies as they come and go. And without hard media out there, a company can completely remove a movie from our culture for decades if they want. They might do this due to a rights conflict, a desire to store up demand, or simple disinterest. Whatever the reason, the consumer is left unserved.

      • Randy says:

        But I already have MrMC.

        • tech3475 says:

          MrMC is essentially just a commercialized version of Kodi without plugin support.

          So in effect you’ve answered your own question as you’re finding a variant of Kodi useful and not everyone may want MrMC.

          • Randy says:

            I guess my question should have been. What can I get from the latest version of Kodi that I cannot do with MrMC?
            I hear about all these add-ons but no one is telling what they are and which are great and which are new functionality that was not even possible until this latest release of Ver 18. OG Charlie mentioned retroarch support but what is that and with it, what can I now do? My guess is there is some cool add-on that uses retroarch for something. I guess I’m looking for a sales pitch for a free product lol.

          • Jones says:

            Randy, I’m not really qualified to answer, but Kodi and MrMC do the same thing. They playback media. I think a bunch of people moved to MrMC due to better support and some quicker updates for frame rate switching (or something like that). If you have MrMC, then I would say that you don’t need Kodi.

        • Jason Morrison says:

          I bought MrMC, but went back to Kodi when I found out it did not support Addons.

          I use Kodi not just to play local media I have, but for free TV streams in my country that do not have official Android apps, but do have Kodi addons.
          CBC, Food Network, Cooking Chanel, etc.

        • Pip says:

          Because of the NO ADD-ONS policy of MrMC, there is the one feature that is a deal breaker for my personal use. MrMC can’t stop playing after a specified amount of time when play next file automatically is set to on. Example my wife likes to watch a TV show on our media server to go to bed to (white noise, at least for her). MrMC will continue playing the next episode all night long putting unnecessary load on the server. with KODI the “Sleep Timer” addon shuts KODI down after a set amount of time.

          Now I know that seems like a trivial thing, but believe it or not I have yet to find that function in ANY OTHER player.

          Now if MrMC built that function into their product I would probably use it as it is easy to use and very stable. I communicated with the team over and over again, and they simply just kept saying MrMC will automatically stop running when the program is over and continually skipped over the play next episode part of my question, so I gave up.

          Regarding the comment below about it being a “commercialized version,” I would disagree. MrMC exists because Amazon would NOT allow KODI to be listed in their app-store because of the piracy reputation and frankly misuse by many many people. MrMC removed those issues and was then allowed to be listed and installed easily. Everyone needs to make a living and because MrMC has a much smaller installed base charges what I consider a reasonable fee to maintain the product.

      • Dave says:

        If quality is your goal, then why are you settling for ripped copies of blu ray movies on a local storage device. Why not just purchase the UHD blu ray and watch the movie as it was meant to be seen – in 4K resolution with HDR/Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound? And, you can then redeem the digital code to your movies and have them available in whatever cloud service you prefer.

        • Adam says:

          In my case Dave, the cost of transitioning to the hardware for what you suggest isn’t currently worth the increase in quality to me.

          As to downloading a digital copy, that’s well and good, but my understanding is that its still going to be laden with DRM that can conceivably lock me out of my digital file some point in the future. Now, if I still have disc, all is fine, but its a concern I don’t have with a mkv that I rip.

  2. Chris says:

    If this is installed on a device that already has 17 on it, will it be upgraded?

    • URMyBudE says:

      MS app installer auto updated my W10 device, much to my chagrin.

      • Tech3475 says:

        You should be able to disable auto updates in the store settings.

      • Chris says:

        Yep, you and me both. Not the first time the Windows Store updater has screwed me in Kodi, and it’s clear the Kodi dev team still doesn’t know how to handle Store updates, so it’s back to regular non-Store Kodi for me.

        • URMyBudE says:

          I have multiple sticks and one W10 devices with Kodi sideloaded or downloaded from the MS Store. With the 1/29/19 release of 18, my 17.6 setup was completely wiped out on my W10 device. No backup to restore. Hopefully, disabling auto updates in the MS Store will prevent recurrence. Good luck to those trying to sideload Kodi on W10 from a non-store source in the future. I will keep my 17.6 setups on my sticks until this wipeout blows over. Martin, thank you for making our lives more difficult.

          • Pip says:

            don’t despair there is a fix! it’s 0219 here and I need to find the info again. as soon as I do I will post the URL.

  3. David Gelkin says:

    I would probably wait, still some bugs then there will be another release 18.1 then 18.3 and so on….

  4. Michael says:

    Can I simply install this over my existing Kodi Leia Beta? Would it keep my setting? Or would I need to redo them?
    Fire TV Stick 4K.

    • Dennis says:

      Go to settings, and then addons, top right is recently updated and click on, click on version and then update! Kodi 1 is a much smoother operation with V18

      • Michael says:

        That’s good news for me then, I had no idea I didn’t have to re-sideload it. Will check it out later this week or weekend. Hoping it fixes the audio sync issue I have on Leia 4 version. I also have MrMc, but it won’t do 4k on my TV, no matter what I try, so I gave up on it. Plus their support forums are not that great, considering we pay for the program. So switching back to Kodi

  5. Greg D says:

    Just my opinion, but people who watch TV/movies fall into one of three categories.

    1) The videophile and/or audiophile. This person enjoys watching TV and movies on the best of the best equipment. They spare no expense on their TV or projector, AVR, speakers, blu ray player, etc. and they have the ultimate experience. They might dabble in streaming when they are away from home. However, when it’s movie night, they bust out the good stuff. Oftentimes, this experience is just as good, if not better, than the theater.

    2) The average person who is just looking for relaxation time at home. This person probably has cable/satellite or might even be a cord cutter. They have a streaming box or stick and it gets regular use. They probably don’t have a 4K TV, or if they do, they’ve never experienced what it can really do because “it costs too much”.

    3) The cheapskate. This person refuses to spend money on good quality home entertainment. They are hardcore Kodi/underground apk media content provider users and are essentially stealing. This person is typically an advocate for rooting their device and/or using a VPN so that they can continue their malicious practice of watching content without paying for it and not getting caught. They know that what they are doing is wrong, but they feel the need to stick it to the man.

    • Jon TCL Vizio says:

      You’re missing, 1.5) The enthusiast. They spend a bit more than the average person on their equipment, and they value the newer features. They own the upper model budget displays and subscribe to 4k streaming.

  6. Mark_Venture says:

    So… Should I go to Kodi 18 or MrMC? and why should I select one over the other?

    One major thing I see against MrMC is Amazon Store in the way so updates are slower, unless you can sign up for MrMC beta and provide feed back…

    Does either handle view and audio better? (especially passthrough of DTS/DD, etc)

    • Michael says:

      I selected speakers as 5.1 and disable passthru for DTS and DTS goes to receiver as multi-channel in, and DD passes through, works great. You just don’t get the pretty little icon on your receiver panel. No big deal to me. Yes MrMc updates come very slow on Amazon. Plus the interesting thing I noticed is Kodi is 50MB smaller app, which helps a lot as the Fire Stick 4K can’t offload to the USB Drive.

      • Adam says:

        Michael, you’re running afoul of a change the Kodi team made when Android changed how it does sound. The change makes Kodi not support DTS and DD on the FireTV. Go here for a more thorough explanation:

        https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=289735

        (Assuming the forum software allows the link)

        After a lot of controvery. the team began begrudgingly releasing versions that support the old way of doing DTS and DD. You can find the latest in the link at the bottom of the post. You want the “shi***” version (they’re really bitter about this apparently…) The latest “shi***” version as I write this is still the 18.1 beta, but I’ve been using it for a month and it seems rock solid. I imagine a release version will arrive in a week or so.

        Once installed, choose Enable Passthrough and … I forget the exact wording, but it mentions supporting DTS on capable receivers. Enable that. And then set the speakers to 2.0. I know it doesn’t make sense, but 2.0 gives my 5.1 setup surround sound and gives me that pretty little DD or DTS icon on my receiver.

        Like anything else, play with the options and see what works best for you.

  7. Jingpak says:

    Looks like it broke audio in AFTV1.

    • clark says:

      looks like there’s a solution here: https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=333479

      “In my Case I changed form “Dolby Digital Plus” to “Dolby Digital Plus OFF” and I have Sound

      Solution:

      Start Kodi

      Go into settings /system / audio

      Here choose “Number oft Channlels” and select 2.1 or higher

      SteroUpmix: On

      If this don’t fix your Problem so choose “Keep audio device alive” Always,too

      have you tried it? I’m curious too — before I upgrade my aftv1.

  8. TechyChris says:

    Supposedly they integrated support for game emulators with this release but from what I’ve read KODI still does not support OPENGL which is required for N64 and PS1 emulators so I’ll wait until development is a little further along.

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