Kodi 19.x "Matrix" - Alpha 1

So, here we go. Hot on the heels of what is intended to be the final release in the 18.x "Leia" series, it's time to give you good people a taste of things to come. So, with no further ado, we'd like to present the first Alpha releases of Kodi 19.x "Matrix".


This is a major release, so, as you'd expect, it comes with many new features. However, it will inevitably cause problems for some people, which is why we'll go through a more traditional Alpha/Beta/Release Candidate model. As such, then, please be aware that installing this will inevitably break things, and we'd really like your help at that point to identify the problems and get them fixed.


So, all that aside... what's actually changed?


Audio/Music


Improved handling of multi-disc CD sets and box sets
Additional metadata tags
Improved handling of album release dates
New setting to open music fullscreen/visualisation window automatically when playback is started
A new, Matrix-inspired music visualisation is now available to install - great care has been put into making this perform well on lower-end systems
Video


Software decoding of the AV1 CODEC
Subtitles


Subtitle opacity can now be changed
New dark grey colour for subtitles
Estuary Skin


Redesign of the music fullscreen/visualisation window to match other fullscreen windows - allows fanart and visualisations to be shown without coloured overlays
Additional media info flags added to music fullscreen/visualisation window info display
The default Playlist view now uses the Widelist view format with options on the sideblade menu as in other areas of the skin
A new "Now Playing" view added for music playback, showing media details for both any selected song in the playlist and those for any currently playing song
Games


iOS now supports game controllers (Xbox/PlayStation/other supported Bluetooth controllers)
Platform Specifics


Darwin (Apple) platforms:
Objective-C code migrated from manual memory management to ARC
iOS:
Added showing total/free space
Kodi log can now be shared using native sharing sheet
Kodi GUI is no longer obscured on devices with notch
macOS:
Blank Other Displays setting no longer requires app restart
"Toggle fullscreen" now uses default macOS shortcut
Android:
Static HDR10 support for all source types (if supported by the device)
Dynamic Dolby Vision HDR support for streaming services (if supported by the device)
Windows:
Static HDR10 support for all source types (if supported by the GPU)
Information Providers (scrapers)


New python scrapers for music - available in repo as Generic Album Scraper and Generic Artist Scraper
New python scrapers for TV & movies - available in repo as The Movie Database Python and The TVDB (new)

PVR

PVR reminders
TV and radio channel groups and Estuary home screen widgets
Group manager usability enhancements
Channel manager usability enhancements
Guide window navigation controls
Estuary PVR information dialog enhancements
Setting 'Switch to full screen' now supports channel types
Playlist context menu items for recordings
Dynamic PVR categories for Estuary home screen
Ability to sort channels and EPG by the backend order of channels
Support group specific channel numbering and option to start group number locally from 1
Support for starting EPG entries as live
Support displaying recording sizes and being able to sort by them
New, Live, Finale and Premiere for EPG, recordings and timers
Guide window performance improvements
Search window performance improvements
EPG performance and memory usage optimisations
C++ API for PVR Addon development
Network


Improved information around the security implications of enabling external interfaces
Added default-on switch to require a password for the web interface
Addons


Probably the biggest change: with this release, we move to Python 3 for addons (see note below).
Kodi will now enforce the origin of installed addons and their dependencies. This has been implemented to prevent third party repositories from overwriting code of unrelated add-ons, which was the cause of numerous error reports in the past.
Due to the discontinuation of Python 2, Kodi now utilises Python 3 for addons. Because of this change, this update might disable addons where a compatible version isn't available, although these will be reactivated as soon as their authors provide new versions. The list of Kodi Matrix compatible addons available from the official repository is growing by the week, but not everything has been ported over yet.

/Shooty, ...FYI