Kodi is an open source multi media player that has been around for quite a long time. It made its debut under the name XBMC which is also the name of the not for profit Foundation behind this technology.
But what exactly is it and how will it help you consume rich media more easily?
Those are all things we will look at in this article. We’ll also look at how you can get it installed on your Mac along with other available devices.
The simplest way to explain what Kodi is, is to say that it is very similar to a home cinema entertainment system. The main difference obviously is that you only get the software that can be installed on many different hardware platforms (more on this further down).
The application is completely free to download and use. And the great thing is that there is a version for loads of different platforms. The very first version that came out was specifically made for the Xbox. The name was Xbox Media Center, and that where the XBMC Foundation name came from.
Since then, there have been lots of different versions and enhancements. The great thing with open source software is that there is no shortage of developers that want to bring it different platforms. So, unlike other popular apps this one is not just available on iOS and Android.
So, let’s take a closer look at what you need to get this running on your Mac.
Kodi For Mac Installation Instructions
On most of the pages on this site we recommend the use of emulators like Bluestacks to get mobile apps running on your PC or Mac. This is usually necessary when an app is not available for desktop computer. A very annoying trend for many of the most popular apps.
But Kodi has been developed on mobile and desktop platforms and there is a very nice looking version available for The Mac. It’s also a much more integrated solution than what you get by default on your Mac. QuickTime and the media player are just a bit too simple for many people.
So, here’s what you need to do:
- Click on this link to get to the official Kodi download page
- Select Mac as your platform and wait for the installer to download
- Double click the installer file to launch it
- Follow the simple onscreen installation instruction
- Once the installation is complete you’re ready to launch the app
- Test it out by playing some local media files on your hard disk or CD/DVD
That’s all it takes really and the best thing you can do is just mess around with the user interface. It’s very intuitive, with the main difference being that it’s actually a lot easier to get used to than any other entertainment system.
We’ll take a closer look further down at how to actually use it. First though, we do want to take a look at a mobile app solution.
Kodi Mobile App On Mac OS
If you’ve used Kodi for a while and have it running on your iPhone or Android device, then you probably love the simple layout of the app. It’s sleek and if you’ve used it a lot then you might not want to learn how to use a completely different layout.
The good news is that there is a simple solution to get the Kodi app running on your Mac with the help of an emulator.
Kodi App On Bluestacks:
- Head over to the Bluestacks website and download the latest version
- Once the installer has downloaded just double click it
- Follow the simple onscreen instructions and pick a location to install it
- Once installation is complete, launch the app and head to the search feature
- Search for Kodi and download the apk to be installed
You now have the mobile app version of Kodi available on your Mac. You interact with it the same way you do on your phone with the exception that you won’t have touch screen control.
Kodi App On Nox App Player:
- Go to the Nox App Player download site and get the latest version
- When the download is complete you can launch it
- The onscreen installation instructions are very simple to complete
- You can even enter your Google Account info to use in the Google Play Store
- When installation has finished, launch it and open up Google Play
- Search for Kodi and install it
Both of these emulator options work exceptionally well and you can get all your other favorite apps running in the same way. You’ll end up with a very familiar looking interface and the only big difference is that you use your mouse or trackpad to interact with it rather than your finger.
On the Mac, the system requirements are a lot simpler than on a PC. Essentially, if your computer can run Mac OS X 10.8 or later then you are good to go. It is a much tighter link to the system than the hardware itself. And because Macs come with pretty good and advanced graphic cards out of the box you can be pretty sure you get a great viewing experience.
However, if you want to play or stream Ultra HD 4K video, then you can run into some slowness with some older machine. For such data, intensive video to play with no stuttering or buffering it might be safer to go for hardware that can run at least 10.9.
Why Is It So Popular?
If you’ve only just heard of the software then you’re probably wondering What is Kodi all about? And what makes it such a better option than all the other media centers you can work with?
The first thing you can do to understand the hype is to get it installed for yourself. It’s completely free and within just a few minutes you can explore the simplicity of it. Compare that to you Blu-Ray player interface or any other media player you might have. It’s just so much easier to use.
But ease of use is not the only thing.
Because the entire design is open source, it allows you to source media streams from lots of different sources. With other media players like iTunes, Netflix and Amazon Video you are fully restricted to one source. Instead, Kodi allows you to install add-ons to connect to servers anywhere in the world.
The application also combines two important roles. First, you can play local media on your HD or on DVDs and Blu-Rays. You can then either watch movies on your computer screen or hook your computer up to you TV. Secondly, you can stream video from thousands of online sources.
The only real restriction is the speed of your Internet. As long you have a decent download speed, you’ll be able to get endless amounts of video played and will never run out of stuff.
One thing to keep in mind is that while there are lots of available streams, not all of them are exactly legal. There is also no definite way to tell which ones are. But if you see streams with the latest TV shows and movies then you could be looking at an illegal stream. More on this below.
Essentially, the big attraction is a media interface that allows you to connect to local and remote media at the click of a button. All in one application without needing to switch between apps.
How To Use Kodi On Your Mac
With the above installation steps completed you’re ready to dive deeper into the app and see how it actually works out.
Once you launch the app you’ll first see a carousel like interface. This is a really neat way to have all the available options listed out for easy access. You can simple cycle through all the options for the different features.
The first thing you should try out is to launch some local media. If you have a DVD handy then just put it in the drive and let it mount on your Mac desktop. You can then use the file browser to locate the disk and start playing. Just mess around with the controls a bit, they’re really simple to get used to.
The more powerful feature of Kodi is the streaming ability. If you head over to the video add-ons feature and then click on the “Get More” button you will see a very long list of media sources. Essentially, it’s like a long list of TV channels and you just need to find something that interests you.
Other than that it’s just down to getting used to the controls which couldn’t be simpler. If you find the desktop application a bit clunky, then why not try the mobile app instructions above?
Is It Really Legal?
There is absolutely nothing illegal about the application itself. You can install and use it to play DVDs you own, or use legal streaming services. But as with many things in life, Kodi can be used in a way that goes against copyright laws.
Many of the streaming add-ons that are available provide their own content. This is often similar to podcasts, but in video format. It’s a great way to create a TV channel from scratch. You can try this for yourself if you like.
But there are many streaming providers out there that are less than legal. You might find some with the latest movies and TV shows being shown for free. With some common sense, you can be certain that these will probably not be paying for a license to share them.
Kodi won’t stop you from showing this content, so it’s up to you to make a decision. Just be aware that some people have been caught and fined for downloading and streaming copyright protected content. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a risk you need to be aware of.
Other than that, you can safely use it to play all sorts of content that you find or have at home. It’s a great and secure open source platform.
What Other System Are Supported?
One huge advantage of open source projects that become very popular is that there is no shortage of developers willing to help out. And even smaller or less popular operating systems will have a native version released.
This is very different to the trend currently underway with most other apps. Developers will usually create a mobile app on iOS and see if it’s successful on iPhones and iPads. If that is the case then they will bring it to Android and in most cases, that’s it.
You’ll often struggle to even get it on Windows mobile. One of the reasons for this is that the number of desktop users is continuously shrinking. Over 50% of online traffic now comes from mobile devices. And that’s just growing.
Open Source software like Kodi is very different though. Currently the following platforms are available:
- Mac OS
- Raspberry Pi
We challenge you to find any other application that comes even near to this amount of compatibility. Certainly not as a native software with separate installer and not running on a slow Java engine. It’s great to see and means that you have huge flexibility to get this installed across all your devices.
If you want a fully featured and hugely flexible home entertainment media center then Kodi is your go to solution. It is completely free and excellently designed. You can play local media as well as tons of streamed video and audio online.
With a wide range of platform compatibility, you have no lack of choice. And with the above simple installation instructions you can get the native app on your Mac or choose to work with an emulator to use the mobile app instead.
Either way, you’ll have a great system set up in no time. And once you start using it, nothing else will do the job.