Open source media centre Boxee goes into public beta
Previously only available as a closed beta, the Boxee developers have announced the public availability of a new beta of their cross-platform open media centre with social networking and community features. Boxee is a fork of the XBMC Media Center that includes several customised additions, including Web 2.0 services integration with Twitter, Tumblr and Digg, as well as major audio, video and photo portal integration (such as YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, CBS, Comedy Central, Last.fm, Shoutcast, Flickr and Picasa). Boxee also includes a BitTorrent client so users can easily download media over the web from within the application. Users can add extra functionality through App Box, an add-on App Store that lets users select and install a variety of new applications and plug-ins.
Compared to the previous alpha release, the Boxee public beta features an updated user interface and a number of behind-the-scenes changes to the XMBC Media Center software. Other notable changes include the updates to the media library, a new Boxee Bookmarklet that allows users to flag videos to watch later via Boxee and new agreements with TV.com, Blip.tv and IGN. Instead of OpenGL, the Windows version now uses Microsoft's DirectX with DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration), which reduces CPU load by outsourcing video decoding to the graphics chip. The Boxee developers welcome user feedback and encourage users to report any bugs that they may find.
In order to download and use the software, users must first create a Boxee account. Boxee Beta is available for Windows, Mac OS X (Intel Only) and Linux (Ubuntu 9.04 & 9.10 – 32 & 64-bit). Parts of Boxee are released under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) and other parts, including the libboxee networking layer library, are closed source.
- Boxee Beta Goes Public, a Boxee Blog post.
- Social media center Boxee comes to Windows, a report from The H.