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Alternatives to Kodi: The 9 best players

Written by Hassan Abbas

For most of us, our PCs are not only used to store important files but also huge collections of music files, movies, TV shows and the like. When it comes to enjoying and managing these files on different devices, there is nothing better than the popular Kodi media player, specifically designed for all this. Maybe you’re interested: What is Kodi: everything you need to know.

Free and free, Kodi is full of extraordinary features, such as a very customizable interface, strong community support and numerous add-ons. But; What if you are looking for something different?

No problem, since there are excellent alternatives to replace Kodi. Do you want to know the details? Let’s see them

1. Plex

PlexThis is without a doubt one of the best alternatives to Kodi you can get. Plex has a lot of features. It is perfect for streaming files stored locally to various devices through a network, thanks to its client-server architecture. For example, you can send or receive content on your smartphone. However, Plex also has a home cinema application that allows you to view and manage your multimedia file library through a fairly good user interface. Like the add-ons that make Kodi so famous, Plex has an important collection of channels that allow you to watch streaming content from a lot of topics, such as news, technology or sports.


In addition, since Plex’s file server module deals with the transcoding of media for streaming to different devices, it can work on low-end PCs and optimize the use of your broadband. Other important features are the compatibility with a wide range of platforms and the existence of a  premium subscription,  which gives you even more features, such as the possibility of watching trailers or the wireless synchronization of photos with the multimedia server. The biggest advantage is having different synchronized devices, with access to a central server. If the sicronización is not a Propiedad, decántate by Kodi. Here you have a detailed comparison between Kodi and Plex.

  • Availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (desktop), Android, IOS, Android TV, Windows Phone, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, PlayStation and more.
  • Price:  It is free, with an optional paid subscription from € 4.99 per month with additional features.
  • Download: You can download Plex from here.

2. Emby

If you like the Plex streaming concept, but not the fact that it has proprietary software components, here’s Emby, which is Open Source. Emby could be another ideal alternative to Kodi. It is also based on the client-server approach and makes streaming locally stored media to networked devices very simple. Emby also includes live TV features and allows you to manage DVR recordings.

EmbyThe most important thing is that Emby includes features such as parental control and online tools to edit metadata, search for subtitles and much more. Emby can also transcode multimedia files for different streaming devices and be streaming to devices compatible with DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance).


Emby also has an extension for Kodi that makes Kodi have the management features of the Emby library. Also, the premium subscription unlocks features such as cinema mode and the ability to back up and restore the server.  However, Emby is still very young and not as polished as Plex. In addition, you can also install Emby for Kodi, thus unifying the power of both applications. You can check our Emby installation tutorial for Kodi.

  • Availability: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux (desktop); IOS, Android, Windows Phone, Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Xbox, Samsung Smart TV and more.
  • Price:  It is free, with an optional paid subscription from € 4.99 per month with additional features.
  • Download: You can download Emby from here.


Despite being quite new, OSMC (the abbreviation of  Open Source Media Center ) has a great set of features, offering a convenient way to play multimedia content collected both on a storage device in your local network and on the Internet. This application is based on Kodi and can be considered as a specific Kodi distribution for Linux. This means that OMC can also use all Kodi add-ons.


OSMCOSMC supports a wide variety of Wi-Fi adapters and TV tuners. It also has a desktop environment and a version with a web interface whose development is already underway. However, for now, it can only be installed on a limited number of media players.

  • Availability: Apple TV (1st generation), Raspberry Pi and Vero.
  • Price:  It’s completely free.
  • Download: You can download OSMC from here

4. MediaPortal

This application is not as popular as some of the other alternatives in this list, but MediaPortal also has some very good features. In fact, its strong point is the digital video recording (DVR) functionality, which allows you to watch, program and record live television with ease. Not only that, MediaPortal includes excellent support for a wide range of TV tuner cards. Of course, you can also play videos, music and DVD or Blu-Ray discs. It also has the ability to tune Internet radio stations.It is also very extensible, including a large selection of plugins, which can be used to do a lot of things; from viewing the latest sports results to viewing YouTube videos or other alternative video platforms to YouTube.


MediaPortalIt is an open source application, and it is a fork of the XBMC, name with which Kodi was known before. It must be said that MediaPortal is only available for Windows. In addition, although there are remote control applications available for iOS or Android, they are hardly used.

5. Universal Media Server

If what you want is to be able to transmit in streaming to compatible devices with DLNA, perhaps this is all you need, since Universal Media Server serves precisely for this. It has a very simple user interface that can be configured quite easily. Universal Media Server supports streaming to a wide variety of devices and is capable of converting most audio, video and image formats without any additional configuration. Among its many features is the adjustment of the bit-rate according to the speed of the network and a web interface to operate even with devices that do not have support for DLNA.

Universal Media Server

Universal Media Server is created with Java and includes a large number of plugins to do a lot of things; from obtaining data from IMDB movies to allowing Universal media Player to integrate with the MediaMonkey database.

6. Elmedia Player

It is an exclusive player for Mac OS X that is capable of playing almost any existing format. Thanks to its hardware decoding, the videos will play in a very fluid way, removing part of the load to the processor. Your card is more prepared for these tasks than the processor, so it will reduce energy consumption. This will prevent slowdowns and, in addition, in case the audio playback of the video is not synchronized, you can synchronize it thanks to the option included in it.

This reproducer is compatible with a wide variety of formats, such as FLV, SWF, MOV, MKV, MP4, MKV, FLAC, DivX, AVI, M4V, MPG and more. You can also adjust the aspect ratio of the screen to adapt it to your monitor or your TV in case you use the video output.


Elmedia PlayerElmedia Player also integrates a browser with which it is possible to watch any online video without leaving the application. You can also download videos with subtitles, synchronize them and configure the look of the texts to suit you.

It has a Pro version that will allow you to download videos from YouTube, Vimeo and many other online players. The second most interesting aspect of this version is that you can save the videos in SWF format. Finally, you can take several screenshots in a row and save them in various formats, such as GIF, to share them elsewhere; all while playing the video. This player also works very well as an Airplay receiver in its latest versions.

7. JRiver

JRiver is another application similar to Kodi. This application has been designed to satisfy all your requirements regarding the reproduction of multimedia files. If you use your desktop PC as the main system for multimedia playback, then you could try this application. The interface of the latest versions has two modes, one for PC and another for televisions. The application has versions for Windows, Linux and Mac. Unlike other similar applications, there is no version for Android.



Many of Kodi’s alternatives are designed to be used exclusively on your TV, so they do not have a good integration with mouse control. JRiver is an exception since the main interface of JRiver is a graphical interface similar to those typical of Windows applications that facilitate the modification of individual multimedia files, as well as the configuration of the application itself. This also facilitates the selection of several multimedia files at the same time to be modified. You can also use JRiver on your TV, although in this case, it is more advisable to use Kodi due to the greater number of available options.

  • Availability:  Windows, Linux, Mac OS X.
  • Price:  € 49.99 per platform, multiplatform version for € 69.98.
  • Download:  You can  download JRiver from here

8. Stremio

Stremio is a local multimedia centre for Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and Mac that supports the playback of local and TV files. Features include support for add-ons, automatic caption detection and playback of HD files.



In terms of content streaming, Stremio also supports the transmission of multimedia files via DLNA to devices such as Chromecast, Apple TV and other devices. Surely you prefer multimedia centers like Kodi, but you need a solid alternative, you can try this application.

  • Availability:  Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and Mac OS X.
  • Price: It’s completely free.
  • Download:  You can  download Stremio from here

9. Usher

If you are looking for a good multimedia file management system for macOS, you can try Usher. This software, like Kodi,  facilitates file management on the Mac, since with it, you can manage the iTunes library, as well as your images and other libraries on your system. It will also allow you to view the videos stored in iTunes and iFotos, as well as those of Aperture. This application was abandoned, but developers have recently released a new version.



Usher is based on the famous Quick Time player, native application of Apple systems. You can use categories and tags to find files more easily, as well as organize them into folders. Many of the solutions in this list are full of features. Things like add-ons, DLNA streaming or mobile support are very interesting features of applications like Kodi, but unfortunately, they are not available in this application. Usher is for those users who are looking exclusively for an easy way to manage and play files on Mac.

#. There is something more than Kodi

Kodi is one of the best multimedia players available, with many features, great support from the community, multiple add-ons and great compatibility with a wide range of devices and platforms. However, as we have explained, there are quite a few alternatives that you can use. While some alternatives offer local and network streaming playback options with multiple streaming features, others focus on specific areas such as Live TV, or DLNA streaming). Nothing will happen because you keep an eye on them.

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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