Skip to main content

Jellyfin in 2019

· 4 min read
Joshua Boniface
Project Leader

It feels hard to believe, but the Jellyfin project is now over a year old. With our official founding somewhere around December 8th 2018, Andrew and I weren't sure exactly what was going to happen. Did we have the resources to make a fork of Emby really happen? Were the doubters right in saying that we wouldn't last a year? It seems that we've proven them, and ourselves, wrong.

What started with just a few people, some forked code, and an idea a little over a year ago has now grown to a thriving community of contributors and users, always ready to help make something better: a truly FLOSS media server, one which refuses to bow to the pressures of commercialization, and that seeks to keep this space free. Without all of you, we wouldn't have gone anywhere at all, and for that you have our eternal thanks!

2019 has been a busy year for the Core Server project. Starting with our first "real" release of 10.0.0 in early January 2019, we've been through 5 "major" releases and over a dozen hotfix revisions. There have been some significant changes to both the backend and frontend to help make Jellyfin more stable, more performant, and easier to use, with plenty more on the horizon. We've removed tons of cruft, embedded 3rd-party libraries, and dead code, while adding numerous useful features. And we've built in support for numerous platforms, including Debian/Ubuntu, Fedora/CentOS, Windows with both portable and installer versions, MacOS with officially signed DMG images, and most popular of all with over 52 million pulls, Docker. Plugins are growing as well, with over 20 now available - some ports of Emby plugins, some brand-new - and more coming all the time.

For the core server, 2020 looks to be just as exciting: our long-term plans continue to include a full database rewrite, permitting far better performance, backup/restore flexibility, and support for additional database engines, as well as continual overhaul of the WebUI to address usability concerns. Our Fider feature request center continues to grow with many well-requested features, and our hope is that the major overhaul work will be finished early this year so we can get on to new features without relying on spaghetti and duct tape to achieve them. If you're interested in helping, please check out our How To Contribute page for details.

The client side has been equally exciting. We started 2019 without a single client, Emby having just cut us off from their clients out of spite. Through the dedicated work of a small subteam, 2019 brought us four well-supported clients all on the way to full release: Android and Android TV are both in the major App stores (Google Play and Amazon) as well as available as direct .apk downloads, including Chromecast support, while Kodi was consolidated into a single client and remains well-maintained with constant improvement, including support for Kodi 16-18 with 19 on the way, improved IPv6 support, and support for Unicode. Late last year we also released an iOS Expo App, which is currently in TestFlight Beta, which will hopefully bring us more support for Apple devices. Roku, one of our most requested clients, had to be started from scratch, due to issues with the forked code, and continues to improve, though it is still under active development, with video playback mostly working. We also have preliminary support for WebOS, which still must be side-loaded but generally works. Finally the Mopidy plugin has been ported and improved extensively, offering proper population of the Mopidy library, multi-library support, and audio-book playback.

Though we admittedly still lack some of the more well-requested but "niche" clients, some of which we may never see, 2020 still looks exciting on the client front. Improvements continue to come in across the entire App ecosystem, and though work on our new React client has been slow, we have high hopes for this to replace most of the disparate clients we have now. Now as always we can use contributors across the board, so if development on any of the platforms is familiar to you, please check out our How To Contribute page for details.

I would be remiss to not discuss the Jellyfin community, both over on Reddit, our own forums, as well as our Matrix chats. Jellyfin wouldn't have gone anywhere without both users to test us out and recommend us, as well as those willing to help their fellow user leaving us free to progress the project. We sincerely appreciate everything you do to help no matter how small.

I wish all of you a happy new year, a happy decade, and many many hours of watching enjoyment on your Jellyfin instances!

Cheers, Joshua, Project Co-Leader