Kodi’s second Alpha version of its upcoming v18 release has been revealed, showing that the software’s developers still intend to bring DRM support to the popular streaming software.

The development might seem strange for anyone who’s become acquainted with Kodi since it gained its reputation as a piece of “piracy-enabling” software.

But in truth, the aim of Kodi developers is to provide a completely neutral piece of software. While some developers have chosen to build addons that allow access to pirated content, Kodi wants to make it just as likely that developers will be able to build addons to legally access DRM-enabled content, such as what can be purchased from iTunes, or streamed from Netflix.

The Kodi team first mentioned looking into building in DRM support back in 2017, but it seems the idea is still alive and well in the blog that’s come out to accompany v18 Alpha 2. Several addons already support the functionality, and the team’s hope is that support will continue to flourish into the future.

This functionality has the chance to be very useful. Rather than having to hop between different streaming apps to watch different content, in future Kodi wants you to be able to access it all through its own software, meaning you’ll get a nicely unified user experience.

Music, Live TV and other updates

Of course, DRM isn’t the only feature that’s seen development as part of the Alpha 2 release. The software’s Windows, Xbox One, Android and Linux versions have all seen updates, and other improvements have also been made to the way the software handles music playback.

Live TV is also an increasing focus for the software, with the development team focusing on making using USB tuners a much more plug and play experience.

The final development that has us excited is improvements to the core video playback, with the team working to support 4K, 8K and HDR content.