Every so often I run across a piece of software that makes me feel like I’m getting an early birthday present. Boxee felt like a birthday present AND a Christmas present all at once! I have tested a lot of media center software, but Boxee is easily the best I’ve ever seen. If you have an Intel Mac or Linux it’s a must have. Best of all, it can all be controlled through your remote!
With the new trends of streaming movies and music it’s hard to find an all-in-one solution to meet my needs. I love Joost, but it doesn’t allow me to play my own movies or music. All media players that allow me to play my own stuff have few, if any streaming options. Enter Boxee! This slick piece of software is built on the XBMC framework so it supports virtually every video codec you will ever run across. Where Boxee really shines is in it’s streaming content. It continues to grow with each release, but this is what it currently supports for streaming video:
- Apple movie trailers (this is ALL of them, not just the few they pick in mac’s Frontrow program)
- CBS (clips and full episodes)
- Comedy Central (believe it or not it has EVERY episode of South Park available for streaming)
- MyFeeds (make your own!)
- Next New Networks
- On Network
- Public Torrents (Boxee also downloads torrents)
- the WB
- Video Podcasts
- and best of all… NetFlix!!!
That’s right! You can hook into your Netflix account and stream them though Boxee. The interface design is top notch and easy to navigate. You can also add movies to your streaming queue within Boxee.
Get your groove on
Boxee has a fantastic music section. Not only does it allow you to play your music, it also finds the cover art and other information about the band on the internet. As with all other sections of Boxee you can choose between 4 different viewing options, depending on your personal taste. Tired of your own music selection? Stream internet music from:
- MyFeeds (add your own)
With those selections you can easily get anything you want!
What about photos?
Boxee supports all major photo files and has a very clean and easy to use viewer for your photos. If you want to hook into other photo services then you can view them from Flickr, Picasa and The Big Picture. Pretty nice way to round out an already amazing program.
One of the most unique parts of Boxee is the fact that it’s a social media player, meaning that you can see what your friends have been watching and you can join in. For example, when I first logged in it said that one of my friends recently watched Pitch Black. I clicked on the icon of Pitch Black and it went into Hulu, found the movie, then started to stream it. If it can’t find it then it pulls up the description from IMDB.
There are a lot of other great things in Boxee, but I think this is a pretty good overview. If you are looking for a great media player then Boxee is it. I just hook up my MacBook Pro to my TV, grab my apple remote and relax for the evening. If you have an Apple TV then you can install Boxee on it for a total media experience.
How do I get it?
Boxee is still in a closed alpha state. It does, however, allow you to add friends. Any friend of ‘corePHP’ is a friend of mine! Just register on ‘corePHP’ and request to be added and you can enjoy Boxee as well. It is currently out for Linux and OSX, but a PC version will be out very soon. It’s not too often that I find something this exciting that’s free!