Kodi is the talk of the Web and with good reason. It’s easily the most robust, most flexible media center out there, allowing you to do everything from managing your in-home media library to using add-ons to stream content from all over the world. There’s nothing quite like it, yet sometimes it’s good to have an alternative.

After all, the Kodi interface isn’t great, and sometimes you have to do quite a bit of tweaking to get the best out of it. In this article we go over the best Kodi alternatives across the three major platforms: Mac OS, Windows and Linux.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

best-kodi-alternatives-universal-media-server

best-kodi-alternatives-universal-media-server

This app has a simple presentation, letting you stream media between different devices, and even software within those devices, such as web browsers. Universal Media Server has DLNA support as well as alternative streaming options for non-DLNA devices, and is capable of streaming (and quickly transcoding) content between computers, games consoles, and smart TVs.

It’s not the easiest software to set up, but once you get there, the whole process of consolidating your media is nice and smooth. It has a small but solid selection of plugins, and more tech-savvy users can even configure it for web streaming.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

kodi-alternative-replacement-osmc

kodi-alternative-replacement-osmc

If you don’t want to stray too far from the Kodi you’ve familiarized yourself with over the years but just want something a little more open and versatile, then the Open Source Media Center (OSMC) is a no-brainer. It’s actually an entire Linux distro based on Kodi, bringing a modified version of the Kodi front end to a number of platforms that wouldn’t be able to have it by default, such as Raspberry Pi and Apple TV.

It has a slightly different interface to the default one that ships with Kodi with a nice radial menu home screen that points you to all the features of OSMC, which include live TV, local library streaming, TV tuner support and, of course, support for all the wonderful Kodi addons you could dream of.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

kodi-alternatives-plex

kodi-alternatives-plex

It is impossible to talk about alternatives to Kodi without mentioning Plex. This software makes it easy to have a centralized solution that can manage your media, just like Kodi. The benefit to Plex is that it runs from a server instead of from a dedicated PC or appliance. Media can be accessed and streamed from the web and several different operating systems via apps.

Plex is the perfect alternative, as it can run on all sorts of servers, not just Linux. Officially, it supports Linux, macOS, Windows and even FreeBSD server operating systems.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux

kodi-alternatives-emby

kodi-alternatives-emby

Emby has long been considered the open-source alternative to Plex Media Server. Like Plex, Emby runs on a server and has official support for Mac, Windows, Linux and BSD server operating systems. Media can be accessed via the web interface or by many of the Emby apps available for mobile and even game consoles.

If you’ve tried Plex as an alternative to Kodi but want to try something else, consider giving Emby a try.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS

kodi-alternatives-stremio

kodi-alternatives-stremio

Stremio is a local media center program for Mac, Linux and Windows that supports playback of live TV and local media. Features include support for add-ons, auto-detect subtitles, and “instant HD playback,” as well as the ability to broadcast media via DLNA to the Apple TV, Chromecast and other devices. If you prefer a centralized media center like Kodi but need a solid alternative, give this software a try. You won’t regret it!

Platforms: Windows

kodi-alternatives-mediaportal

kodi-alternatives-mediaportal

Media Portal is a Windows-only media center that operates very similarly to Kodi. Like Kodi, users can tune into live TV, record live TV, and install plugins. Additionally, the software can be customized with different skins as well as handle multiple types of media (music, photos, etc.). If you’re a Windows user and are in need of a good media center alternative, this software should be your first stop.

Platforms: Mac

kodi-alternatives-usher

kodi-alternatives-usher

Looking for a good media management system for macOS? Try out Usher. This software makes media management easy on the Mac, as it can handle your iTunes library as well as your photos and other media libraries on the system. A lot of the media solutions on this list are packed full of features. Things like add-ons, DLNA, and mobile support are nice but not essential. Usher is for those just looking for an easy way to manage and watch media on the Mac and little else.

Kodi is on a lot of PCs, tablets, and even hobby boards like the Raspberry Pi. Still, this software isn’t for everyone. Some might find that it is a bit lacking in terms of looks or features. That’s why it’s so important to shed light on some quality Kodi alternatives. From Plex to Media Portal, for those looking to get off of Kodi and onto something else, this list has you covered.

What’s your favorite Kodi alternative? Tell us below!

This article was first published in March 2017 and was updated in March 2018.

Image credit: gsloan

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