f4mTester What, Where and Why ?

The What : 

F4mTester was created by the developer Shani, (you may remember the now dead Zen Add-on) where it was placed in their Repo as a dependency. In a nutshell, f4mTester decodes various types streaming video files. That includes HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) and Real-Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP) streams that are displayed in media players, including Kodi. When you open a streaming video in your media player, it needs to be decoded to view. The F4M manifest file helps your media player understand and decode the video stream. Since this file contains info about the stream, f4mTester helps Kodi read those F4M files and decode them in a way that makes sense. So simply put, f4mTester locates the F4M files and helps Kodi display the live streams that you want to watch. Without it, many live streaming Kodi addons would not work or would have serious issues displaying a large amount of content.   f4mtester  

The Where: 

Normally, we would have shown you the url for the Shani repo to install f4mTester. However, due to it's popularity, many of the most used Repositories have added it to their list. Therefore, it's a simple step of just selecting the add-on in Video Add-ons and selecting Install.   f4mtester   In the example above, the MaverickTV Repo was used. Once opened, go to Video Add-ons, scroll down to f4mTester and click to proceed.       f4mtester   Click on Install and that's it ! all done. The number of Repositories that have this Add-on included are to numerous to mention. Rather than name them all, here's a brief list of some of the popular repos :   f4mtester The following is a short list of popular Add-ons using f4mTester :
  • Rising Tides
  • PureSports
  • Boom! Gold
  • Elysium
  • Death Streams
  • Placenta
  • Neptune Rising
  • UK Turk Playlist

Why use f4mTester ?

An excellent question ! First of all, F4M is a video addon, but you won't be using it to play any videos or streams. Consequently, if you are using a popular video streaming add-on, such as some of the mentioned above, you’ll be using it just not directly. Not all Addons need the f4mTester addon. However, there are many streams that Kodi will not be able to process correctly or at all without it. Most noteworthy, this Add-on may be needed as a dependency for a stream. If not installed or broken, you will simply see a Dependence failure notification (I hate those). This error message has nothing to do with actual streaming source, but more with Kodi’s inability to decode the content without it. What is a Dependency ? : Kodi dependency addons are those that help other addons perform their programmed operations. Leia, the latest version of Kodi slated to be released (still in alpha mode at time of publishing, wait till beta is released) has a feature that now allows you to see what Dependencies are needed when installing an add-on.  

In Conclusion

While this Add-on is considered safe to use, it's recommended to only use/install from well known trusted 3rd party Add-ons/Repos. F4mTester is omnipresent so installing it from an unknown repo really isn't necessary. If you wish to not install f4m add-on, you will have to search for other Video add-ons that provide the same content using methods and are not dependent on f4mTester.