Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Jan 2010 00:33 UTC
Multimedia, AV My favourite media centre software, Boxee, has just launched the highly-anticipated new beta version of its XBMC-based media centre, complete with a redesigned user interface. On top of that, Boxee launched its very first piece of hardware during CES, the Boxee Box, together with D-Link. It's an impressive little device.
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Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Oh, I agree wholeheartedly on the software side. I've got both it and "Hulu Desktop" on my media machine (a recycled A64 4000+ with a 9500 GT) and it's definately the better behaved of the two (gee, no flash involved, wonder why it's better?)

I actually ended up canceling my cable TV thanks to services like these and ponied up for a 22mbps downstream speed instead. Why pay $120/mo for 340 channels I don't want just to get the ten channels I want - when I can watch all the same programming online for free atop a Internet connection I'm already paying for anyways?

I keep going back to hulu though since I think Boxee would be a billion times better if I could sort by name and if the damned thing didn't keep saying I was region locked emptying every single list in it... or if it had aspect ratio controls WHILE playing media... or if their website worked right in anything other than firefox and appear to go off to never-never land every time you try to log in.

I love the IDEA, but compared to HULU their implementation is total rubbish - at least if you live in the US.


My media is sorted by folders and file names by default (as I prefer it) so I'm puzzled why yours isn't sorted by name also.
And the region locking (if I understand your problem correctly) can be easily disabled in the setting (on the Alpha release anyway - not installed beta yet...)

Agreed that their web site isn't the most intuitive of sites, but I do think you're overstating it's problems somewhat (or at least, I've been lucky enough not to experience as much difficulty as you've stated)

While I see you're point re: aspect ratio, I've found that Boxee's ratio were 99.9% of the time the same as what I would have manually chosen had I specifically gone into manually choose what ratio I wanted. So I've been rather lucky there too.

Not tried (or even heard of) Hulu until now - so I might give it a play this weekend.
but thus far I've been /very/ happy with Boxee - even in spite of it feeling rather 'alpha' at times.

That said: It's rare that I stumble across a piece of software that more or less suites me perfectly with it's default, "out of the box", configuration. So please forgive me if I sound slightly biased / the wearer of rose-tinted glasses hehe

Reply Parent Score: 2

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Not tried (or even heard of) Hulu until now - so I might give it a play this weekend.

Well, remember the two are not the same thing - Hulu is a free online video service that has a standalone program... Boxee is a general purpose media player that can provide free online content.

Most of my complaints are in regards to free online content and not accessing my local content - since that's all I care about for a program like this.

Playing back local/LAN content? That's what Media Player Classic HT is for... but then I HATE these slow 'libary' type interfaces (like iTunes) because I do this really retarded thing and name all my files sensibly and put them into well organized folders - so what the **** do I need Library indexing or dozens of meaningless fields nobody bothers to fill out anyways?

(Yes, I'm the BeOS fan who didn't understand what was such a big deal about the extra information in the filesystem nobody actually bothered to fill out for each file anyhow)

Edited 2010-01-08 22:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I agree with you whole heartedly about media libraries that re-catalogue your data based on it's own assumptions instead of following your strict folder set up.

I'm the same in that I prefer a strict directory layout and get annoyed when apps like iTunes think they know better.

Thankfully Boxee respects my directories - which is one of the main reasons it's now my primary media app.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

Yeah, I have yet to see a music library solution that doesn't occasionally think one of the songs in an album is a separate album because of some weirdness in the ID3 tags.

Then there are other problems, like the database getting out of sync with the files, or the media scanner not finding all files, or something else.

I've been tempted for a while to write my own, simplistic server for my Squeezebox, but haven't quite found the motivation to start on the task.

Reply Parent Score: 2