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Boxee Opens Beta To All

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the convergence-in-a-box dept.

Television 163

DeviceGuru writes "Boxee has quietly moved its long-awaited Beta release onto its public download site, reports OpenBoxeeBox.com. The new version of this free Internet- and local- A/V streaming player currently supports PCs running Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Ubuntu OSes, with an Apple TV version coming soon. Key enhancements include a vastly redesigned homescreen and new global menu, which collectively make it much quicker to locate content, an improved search function that now treats online and local media equivalently, so you can locate and play movie or TV show titles much faster, plus — at long last — a fully functional Netflix instant-downloads player appears in the Windows version (but not in the Linux version). Also of significance is that Boxee's graphical engine has migrated from from OpenGL to DirectX, allowing it to take advantage of Direct X video acceleration. The free public Boxee Beta A/V player software is available on Boxee's website."

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163 comments

The article forgot to mention (2, Informative)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742214)

It supports not only Windows XP, but Vista and 7, but only 32-bit versions.

In contrast it supports Ubuntu 64-bit.

Re:The article forgot to mention (5, Informative)

jwietelmann (1220240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742412)

It supports not only Windows XP, but Vista and 7, but only 32-bit versions.

In contrast it supports Ubuntu 64-bit.

To clarify, you can absolutely run 32-bit Boxee on a 64-bit version of Windows, so it technically supports 64-bit Windows Vista and 7. They just don't provide a native 64-bit version of Boxee.

Re:The article forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743540)

This doesn't exactly seem like the type of app that needs more then 4 Gig of ram

Re:The article forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742446)

Have source: will 64'it

Re:The article forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742480)

it's only 64bit native support is for Ubuntu, as 64bit ubuntu does not play nice with native 32bit apps like windows and mac.

Re:The article forgot to mention (1)

Simon80 (874052) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742616)

I'm probably feeding a troll, but suffice it to say that that's blatantly false.

Re:The article forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742906)

I'm probably feeding a troll, but suffice it to say that that's blatantly false.

i use 32 bit apps in 64bit OS every day. in fact, i'm doing it right now

Re:The article forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742958)

the key word was nice. you can't just slap in the deb for 32bit boxee in 64bit ubuntu. I did manage to get it in by building a 32bit sandbox and I'm sure there are other ways. but it was not "nice" and easy.

and if I come off as a troll, I did not mean to.

Re:The article forgot to mention (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743034)

I'll chime in and say that I have run into library hell trying to get a 32-bit app to run on 64-bit Ubuntu. It's always due to poor programming looking into hard-coded paths like /usr/lib for the 32-bit libraries, but it happens more than you think.

Re:The article forgot to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743430)

It's always due to poor programming looking into hard-coded paths like /usr/lib for the 32-bit libraries, but it happens more than you think.

What is the proper way to do it?

Re:The article forgot to mention (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742650)

What I don't get is how Ubuntu 64-bit and OS X are supported if it's using DirectX?

I also don't like the sound of "online and local media being treated equally". That just sounds like it's going to make sorting and locating my local network media much harder, which is the main reason I use Boxee.

Currently I'm using it on an Apple TV so this isn't quite available to me yet anyways, but depending on how they handle this I may just opt go install XBMC and use that. I've used that on my Xbox with great success.

Re:The article forgot to mention (1)

cl0s (1322587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743094)

The 'treated equally' is only in the search... if I understand the article correctly. Browsing should still be similar.

Damn it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742270)

When the fuck will either Netflix move away from Silverlight or Moonlight support the Netflix player? This is currently my single biggest gripe on Linux by far.

Re:Damn it. (2, Informative)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742466)

So you're pissed at linux about Moonlight not doing Netflix well? Shouldn't you be pissed that Netflix doesn't ensure their player works on Moonlight, and therefore linux?

Re:Damn it. (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742656)

or at least pissed with the Moonlight developers for not ensuring it can handle the the Netflix player, and therefore Linux.

Re:Damn it. (3, Interesting)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742686)

oh... just saw the comment below about DRM specifically whacking unsupported clients. didn't realize it wasn't just a compatibility issue. What would it take to get the Moonlight developers to contact/work with the Netflix developers on that point? (i'm guessing a miracle)

Re:Damn it. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742802)

What would it take to get the Moonlight developers to contact/work with the Netflix developers on that point?

For a public company, half the market capitalization is a fairly reliable upper bound. At the current stock price of Nasdaq:NFLX, a 51% stake would cost 1.44 billion USD.

Re:Damn it. (1, Informative)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742488)

ive about given up on linux for the time being. i love some things about it, and used it for a while. but between school and entertainment...its just not worth booting into. i cant watch my blu ray movies, streaming netflix movies, play my games, or run visual studio and dreamweaver properly in WINE. office 2007 worked at one point. in addition, when i tried debian it was a bitch to get my hardware going....when i tried ubuntu, hardware worked but getting sleep or hibernate was iffy, nevermind the other issues i already mentioned.

its just not a good fit for me right now. i wish it was, i far prefer compiz to the interface of windows 7.

Re:Damn it. (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742636)

-1, really lame troll.

Why didn't you tell us about the file transfer speed of your NT4 workstation while you were at it ?

Re:Damn it. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742696)

So you're not allowed to dislike Linux on Slashdot?

Wait, what am I saying? Of course you can't.

Re:Damn it. (0, Redundant)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743158)

+...no but rattling off a whole lot of proprietary apps when whining about Linux is a bit moronic.

Linux doesn't support proprietary Windows apps. Next you will be whining that MacOS doesn't either.

Oh the horror.

Any rant that includes Visual Studio can safely be ignored.

Re:Damn it. (2, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742816)

No, people disagreeing with you is not a troll. At worst they're just wrong. In this case, though, he's absolutely right. I also gave up on linux recently, largely due to issues similar to his. I really wanted to use it as my full-time OS, and I went for about 2 months without booting into windows even once. In the long run, though, the numerous small deficiencies (combined with a X-server memory leak that nobody seemed to know how to fix) were just too much to put up with. Windows 7 works out of the box, and doesn't go out of it's way to frustrate me on a regular basis. I can't say the same for any flavor of Linux. They have their uses, but as a full time desktop OS they've still got some work to do.

Re:Damn it. (-1, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743200)

...another good (or rather lame) one.

At least the fellow with a Visual Studio fixation has a clearly defined reason.

That's more than I can say for you.

I gave up on desktop Linux back in 2006. (0, Offtopic)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743752)

And I did it because I just didn't have time to dick around with it any longer. I got a Macbook, and finally found a Unix that didn't require constant tinkering.

Re:I gave up on desktop Linux back in 2006. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743916)

Personally, I find that the Mac requires more tinkering.

Then again, I tend to want to use the data that I have accumulated over my computing life including
lots of photos, music, and home videos and commercial videos that a Mac might not tolerate very well
or handle very well.

YMMV.

MacOS 10 as a "better Unix" is grossly overrated. ...which brings up a good point:

        How does Boxee do about supporting all of those "obscure" video formats that are "only used by pirates"
when you're running on MacOS? Does it do all the heavy lifting for you or does it direct you to download a
bunch of other things by hand as other Mac apps (like Plex) do?

Re:Damn it. (3, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742718)

visual studio

All OS, text editor, and compiler zealotry aside... WTF???

If you are doing Windows development, you should be doing it in Windows. Expecting Linux to work for you if the tasks you need to preform are distinctly Windows related is just nuts. Use the right tool for the job.

Re:Damn it. (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743450)

If you are doing Windows development, you should be doing it in Windows. Expecting Linux to work for you if the tasks you need to preform are distinctly Windows related is just nuts. Use the right tool for the job.

Reminds me about a Win32/C++ project in university, around 2000. They made us use Borland tools, which back then worked (more-or-less) perfectly in Wine. Even creating and running executables. Completed the project on Linux without a problem.

Of course you are correct if you need visual studio for your day-job, but if you are still learning I'm all for trying what is possible. Linux has come a long way.

Re:Damn it. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743560)

I can't say I'm completely innocent either, I have done some cross-compiling on linux for windows with mingw. Such things will always be possible but developing on linux with windows tools is missing the point entirely I think.

Re:Damn it. (1)

Seq (653613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742930)

I know the feeling, but in reverse. I acquired a copy of Windows 7 recently, and decided to try it out. I couldn't find a mail client I like, and am far to used to having a CLI there. I tried a somewhat buggy evolution port, cygwin, and a coLinux system before giving up for the same reasons you are, I'm just used to what I'm used to, and changing platforms is difficult.

It worked out the same with hardware too. Everything works in Ubuntu (and I'm looking forward to it working better when nouveau starts shipping and I can get xrandr). Windows wouldn't even shut down, let alone suspend or hibernate. It seemed to shut down, but would stay on, while suspend would resume the machine immediately. Turns out I had to manually play with some setting on a firewire card or something (kind of weird since it was a microsoft-provided IEE-1394 driver, afaict).

There are some things I wish were easier on Linux systems, too. Having to rip HD-DVD and BluRays before watching them takes time and a lot of disk space. Being a second-class citizen when it comes to graphics and wireless drivers is somewhat of a pain. I also wish I could play some games (especially ones that I paid for expecting a Linux client "soon". I'm looking at you, UT3/Epic), but I've been getting around this by buying older ones from GOG.com and the steam sale which do work in dosbox and wine.

I'm hoping that projects such as Boxee bring a legitimacy to linux-based home media centres that Mythtv never managed to convey beyond the userbase, so at least one person, somewhere in the chain of decision-making might say "Hey, maybe silverlight isn't such a good idea". Ah, but I dream, I suppose.

I can't comment on Netflix. Unsupported Linux user is an upgrade from unsupported Canadian.

Re:Damn it. (4, Insightful)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743022)

There are lots of really awesome things about Linux. Running proprietary software and supporting DRM infested platforms are not among them.

Re:Damn it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742546)

When sufficient bribes are paid?

Moonlight probably could support the Netflix player, except for the DRM code wedged in that specifically blocks non-supported clients.

Re:Damn it. (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743998)

"When the fuck will either Netflix move away from Silverlight or Moonlight support the Netflix player? This is currently my single biggest gripe on Linux by far."

Not gunna happen. Microsoft and Netflix have a VERY cozy relationship. I believe one of the Microsoft board members is also on the Netflix board. Not sure who and the Wiki entry doesn't state who.

Until these two companies part ways, Microsoft is going to be making things difficult for SOMEONE.
 

DirectX on Linux? (1)

crow (16139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742300)

So they're moving to DirectX, but they're also running on Mac and Linux? I don't get it.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742336)

VLC has long supported various output APIs, mostly because on different platforms, different APIs have varying levels of driver support and varying performance. I imagine this is similar.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (4, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742606)

Neither do I, how is going from OpenGL to DirectX an "upgrade" either?

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742614)

Windows video drivers often have much better support for DirectX.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742664)

Not in my experience. My completely anecdotal evidence suggests that OpenGL implementations of the same program have had higher detail at higher framerates for the same application. The summary implies that DirectX is hardwire accelerated while OpenGL is not.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742742)

You must not have an ATI video card. Their OpenGL drivers have never been very good.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742788)

Now that you mention it, I did actually have an Nvidia card the last time I played games that used any significant hardware graphics acceleration. Dwarf fortress does not count, even though it is OpenGL accelerated.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742852)

On my laptop with Intel graphics, using VLC, fullscreen DirectX output uses ~10% of CPU, OpenGL uses something like 40 or 50% (most of a core).

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743808)

If Intel's OpenGL driver were a food, it would probably be boiled spam, or perhaps a potato soaked in malt vinegar and unceremoniously smashed underfoot before being thrown into a deep fryer and finally coated in chocolate syrup. That explains the performance disparity, and is one reason why Windows leans further toward DirectX every year.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

mmmbeer (9963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743358)

It is an upgrade because in the Win32 world the API for GPU video decompression acceleration is called DXVA. Note the DX at the beginning. It doesn't stand for OpenGL.

(Other than adding an additional HD decoder board)

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743934)

So does that mean that Microsoft is forcing the issue?

Why shouldn't the boxee team be able to use OpenGL and DXVA at the same time?

Nothing to do with OpenGL (2, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743362)

The reporting on this has been extremely bad. This all has to doing video decoding in hardware. DirectX has APIs for that [wikipedia.org], and they are now being used in the Windows version. The Linux version continues to use the relevant Xorg extensions (XvMC?) for video decoding.

Re:DirectX on Linux? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742676)

Probably only for Windows. The problem on Windows (at least XP) that OpenGL is not natively supported by the drivers provided from Microsoft and before that (Windows 95 -> ME) OpenGL was not supported and later supported but boggled/expanded with proprietary calls by Microsoft.

Great! Now I can watch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742326)

Boxxy on my Boxee

Re:Great! Now I can watch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742448)

While I'm ramming your mother's boxy.

Re:Great! Now I can watch (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742472)

Sup dawg, I heard you like 4chan so we put a Boxxy on your Boxee so you can troll while you troll.

Re:Great! Now I can watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742946)

God I hate 4chan kids. Get off my lawn.

hai. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742422)

OK. My name is Boxee.
I'M NOT TROLLIN'!

What's so special about Ubuntu “Karmic&rdquo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742444)

This wouldn't work on fedora 12?

I mean, the kernels are Linux - period. So, I'm not getting why the specification of Ubuntu here.

Re:What's so special about Ubuntu “Karmic&am (3, Interesting)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742720)

This wouldn't work on fedora 12?

Apparently not.

I mean, the kernels are Linux - period. So, I'm not getting why the specification of Ubuntu here.

It takes a lot more than a kernel to install and run a program, which list grows only longer and more complex the more complicated the program is, and they're all different from distro to distro. For one thing, they're only offering a .deb file--there's no RPM. I wouldn't be surprised if dependency hell made it a major hackery job just to get it up and running in Debian, let alone a distro as different as Fedora.

Re:What's so special about Ubuntu “Karmic&am (1)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742772)

There's actually a RPM in the Linux forums(which I moderate) for Fedora 12, and compiling it yourself isn't too complex. You need a lot of the -devel packages, but if you take a look at the RPM's spec, that should give you a good idea of what you need.

Re:What's so special about Ubuntu “Karmic&am (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742878)

Where did you get the sources? It's not on their download site. Wikipedia said Boxee included propriety code, so I thought you couldn't get it. However, if you can get the source, that's a different story, of course.

Re:What's so special about Ubuntu “Karmic&am (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743248)

You're running Fedora. Take charge of the situation.

Crack the DEB open and take a look at the boxee binary and see what it links to.

There's a good chance that everything it needs is already installed on your system.

Linux 64 Bit Support (3, Interesting)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742486)

I'm glad to see they've finally started offering a native 64 bit version for Linux. Previously, I had been providing patches/scripts to allow folks to compile it themselves on their forums (I'm a moderator on their Linux forum). There's currently a RPM on the Linux forum for Fedora 12, but as I don't run Fedora any more, I can't vouch for it. I have personally compiled the latest Beta on Gentoo ~amd64 and it works fine with some minor tweaks (I plan to submit an ebuild to Gentoo Bug 258082). One thing to note if you do compile from source is that their XULRunner included in the flashplayer portion of their source is missing 64 bit shared objects (this causes flash to break). I've submitted a bug to get the XULRunner updated, but haven't heard anything.

I've ran the closed Beta for the last month and so far it's very promising. I just wish Boxee's development process was more open.

Re:Linux 64 Bit Support (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743092)

Maybe this is a stupid question, so just tell me if so. Is there any chance of getting this running on my PS3 Linux partition? That would radically change things for me (I'm not quite willing to set up a dedicated a/v server). You'd think it would be a perfect target for it. Already in the media cabinet, already hooked up to internet and TV. I would probably cancel my cable TV if it worked well enough.

Re:Linux 64 Bit Support (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743976)

Maybe this is a stupid question, so just tell me if so. Is there any chance of getting this running on my PS3 Linux partition? That would radically change things for me (I'm not quite willing to set up a dedicated a/v server). You'd think it would be a perfect target for it. Already in the media cabinet, already hooked up to internet and TV. I would probably cancel my cable TV if it worked well enough.

Unless things have changed lately, it'll probably be fine if you're happy with 480p output.

Last time I tried to play a DVD (ISO image) on the PS3, frames were being dropped something fierce because the PS3 wasn't fast enough to decode/scale/display on my 1080p HDTV. The framebuffer had nearly zilch for video accelleration. Plus the loadaverage was much above 1.

PS3 Linux was a joke and nothing more than a curiousity, really. Plus, at 256MB of RAM (maybe more if you could use the graphics RAM as swap)...

GNU/Ubuntu (2, Insightful)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742490)

"Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Ubuntu OSes"

Not Linux? :)

So now Ubuntu is to Linux what Kleenex is to tissue?

GNU/Ubuntu sounds weird though.

Re:GNU/Ubuntu (3, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742626)

"Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Ubuntu OSes"

Not Linux? :)

Nope, not Linux.

So now Ubuntu is to Linux what Kleenex is to tissue?

Nope, it's just not available to Linux at large. It's not open source. You can download an Ubuntu .deb of the binaries, but if you want to run it another distribution? Sorry, Charlie.

Totally awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742532)

This is amazing, fantastic news! I'm overjoyed! Boxee is our queen! :-)

What exactly is boxee good for??? (4, Insightful)

BurkeTheEldar (161775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742560)

I have zilch experience with boxee but did spend some time on it's site a couple of weeks ago to see if it might be of utility when viewing tv shows or movies online. For the life of me I could not figure out what its supposed to do 'for me'. The boxee website is a great example of what happens when they people involved are so deeply entrenched in whatever realm boxee is that they have no clue how to communicate to 'regular' people.

A site like hulu is easy to figure out. But it's got too many commercials and they seem to be adding more all the time. Boxee...someone tell me what it's good for? Like you were explaining to someone who didn't know already???

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742584)

I have lots of experience with 'boxee', as you call it, deeply entrenched.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743242)

Mod parent troll.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742680)

Boxee gives you a 10 foot interface. It provides a nice interface to websites like Hulu, TV.com, and things like cnet TV.
It also supports audio and video podcasts and on Windows NetFlix.
If you want to build a media PC that works more like a set top box than a PC then Boxee is a great program to try.
They are also pushing a new BoxeeBox which looks really nice. The lack of mass storage and a bit torrent client is a slight downer but for a set top box it looks just about perfect. Well except that case is too cool IMHO. I would like something a bit plainer.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (2, Interesting)

BurkeTheEldar (161775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742798)

I guess I don't see what the thrill is, exactly. If it's main function is to provide a single interface to 'channels', and I would still have to suffer through endless credit card commercials, then...sigh. Thanks for the input though.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743130)

Well life is full of choices. Boxee also gives you a 10 foot interface for any digital media you happen to have on your network, Pandora, CNet TV, NPR, and GeekBrief.tv
It may not be anything you want to hook up but as I said if you want a MediaPC I think Boxee is worth a look. If you lean to the FOSS side then try XBMC.
But if you have no desire to have a media PC then you have no interest in Boxee.
Oh and it also has a twitter client.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743038)

XBMC gives you a 10 foot interface as well. Boxee on the other hand frustrated my wife something fierce, so I stopped using it. the latest XBMC release absolutely clobbers boxee though if you dont care about any of the social crap or trying to watch youtube and other low grade online media. There is a podcast catcher you can install that grabs the high def podcasts automatically though. She likes that.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743090)

I would suggest also trying XBMC.
I am sorry to say that my media PC if it is not a BoxeeBox will probably run Windows. I want to put a Bluray player in it and because of the nasty DRM BluRay disks don't work on Linux.
I too am a big fan of Podcasts but YouTube isn't bad sometimes. I will have to give XBMC a try.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743422)

Will Boxee be a good media PC application if you don't plan on streaming everything?

eg: if most of my content is on harddrives accessible over the LAN?

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743702)

Yes but so would XBMC. The thing is that I really like some podcasts. The ones from Cnet are actually very entertaining as well as EnGadget and Geekbrief.tv and yes XBMC will do those for you as well. They are both free so I would suggest trying them both.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (4, Informative)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742726)

Previously the web site had a great intro video that actually explained it fairly well. I'm not quite sure when that was changed, but since I've been running the alpha for roughly a year now, I can try taking a stab at it.

Boxee's goal is to be a "social media player" where you can watch media from various sources, see what your friends are watching, and let your friends know what you're watching. By "media" it's referring to TV, movies, music, and pictures. The source of most of the content comes from the Internet (although it definitely supports offline and local network content). Boxee provides a framework to create native applications that allow aggregating and viewing of the online media (basically XBMC plugins if you're familiar with that app), for example there's apps for Hulu, Pandora, Flickr, etc. Boxee automatically monitors what you and your friends watch, and allows you to browse the history of it as well. Boxee also offers other cool features like grabbing metadata for local content. E.g. if it detects a ripped copy of Season 1 of The Office, it will grab screen shots and descriptions of each episode from IMDB.

Personally I've found Boxee's primary benefit is for aggregating media. With the new version, I can search a TV show title and it comes up with all the episodes I can stream regardless of the source (e.g. episodes from Hulu, nbc.com, etc.). I'm not a big fan of the social aspect, but it's not a deal breaker (I just ignore it). So far I've been very impressed with both the alpha and beta releases and would definitely recommend giving the software a go.

Re:What exactly is boxee good for??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742824)

I echo this... is it supposed to be similar to Plex or Miro? Or is it designed more to stream this amalgamated data to your TV?

After trying out all three in the past, I've always found Firefox to be a superior method of providing utility without degrading other computer functionality.

What I really want is a system-wide utility that enqueues anything I feel I want to watch in one or more custom playlists and cleanly starts/pauses/resumes that playlist when requested. So far I do this with VLC and some watch scripts; I keep on coming back to this solution after trying out the other options every time they announce they're improved.

I've gone back to XBMC. (4, Insightful)

Jason Pollock (45537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742610)

I've been a faithful user of Boxee for the past year, but the Beta convinced me to go back to XBMC.

Problems I had with Boxee:
1) Didn't expose all features of XBMC, such as Synch Display Refresh Rate to Media. I've got a TV that can do 24hz, 50hz,60hz, etc, why should I see pull down artifacts? I also wanted the Skip Direct to Menu option for DVD playback.
2) Boxee hasn't fixed problems from the Alpha - I've got some ISO rips which still fail to playback in Boxee. XBMC and VLC have no problems with them. This was a _huge_ WAF issue. She had gone back to pulling the DVDs out of storage to watch them!
3) The Social Media aspect was pointless. None of my friends were using Boxee, and aren't likely to. It was pure clutter between me and my media. Note: You can't unsubscribe from Avner's feed!
4) Not being able to watch videos, or listen to music until it had finished scanning my collection. I have 4TB of media, don't make me wait.
5) When I upgraded to the Beta, my remote control stopped working. :) The packages overwrote files that I had changed to get everything working.
6) Their releases are a long time apart.
7) Even when I submitted a patch for a bug, it didn't make it into the Beta.

The only thing I seem to be giving up is Hulu support, which if it really annoys me, I can port back into XBMC.

I wish them luck, the Boxee box announced at CES looks pretty cool, and the $200 price point is pretty compelling. It's just not for me.

Re:I've gone back to XBMC. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743114)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103228&Tpk=acer%20aspire%20revo [newegg.com]

plus a MCE remote kit and XBMC live CD.

you have a XBMC standalone box that will play 1080p HD AND HDMI out.

Same pricepoint (well close, $30.00 over when you buy the MCE remote and receiver.

Re:I've gone back to XBMC. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743472)

you have a XBMC standalone box that will play 1080p HD AND HDMI out.

Does anyone do a standalone box that will also play from a local Blu-Ray drive?

Or is it never gonna happen b/c of all of the DRM crap.

Re:I've gone back to XBMC. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743310)

> 4) Not being able to watch videos, or listen to music until it had finished scanning my collection. I have 4TB of media, don't make me wait.

I ran the first Linux version I could get my hands on and I never had any trouble like this.

Admittedly, it had to have scanned something before I could watch it but I don't see that as a terribly unreasonable limitation.

Boxee does very well with the metadata. I wish MythTV did as well. Although I personally prefer the UI in MythTV.

However, having easy access to all of the web based content is cool (in boxee).

Proxies? (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742728)

I'm hoping for better proxy / VPN support. I pay for a web proxy and a VPN to England so I can watch BBC, channel 4, etc from the USA. The previous Boxee didn't handle the connection (with password authentication) well. Frankly it was full of fail. I am on the cusp of dumping cable and little things like a better boxee will get me there.

Sheldon

Boxee Box (1)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742754)

The most intriguing part about boxee is the box by d-link... Such an awesome case. I've never used Boxee, but have used XBMC(What Boxee is based on)... I wonder how easy it would be to install XBMC-Live on it :)

Re:Boxee Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743048)

The new Boxee Box is ARM-based. I don't believe XBMC have released an ARM version. So it should be as easy as compiling any other similar program for an ARM system. Easy for some, daunting for others.

Boxee with Revo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30742764)

I've been thinking about trying one of the $200 Acer Revo boxes (Atom+ION) with either Boxee or XBMC. Anyone have any opinion on that combo? It would be kinda like the Boxee box, except available now & if you want to repurpose it down the road you have a nice little machine...

Re:Boxee with Revo? (1)

sanjosanjo (804469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742954)

I'm also looking for a nice little box to run Boxee. I would appreciate any comments on good, pre-built, hardware.

Re:Boxee with Revo? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743414)

Revo boxes are cool. The nv9400 means they can decode BD rips in hardware without a sweat.

Depending on your configuration you might want a beefier box due to how much memory will
end up allocated to the onboard GPU. What OS you run also might be a factor in terms of
memory.

Revos already come with Windows preloaded on them. Something like an Asrock 330 comes bare.

Impressive (1)

beauman (1680800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30742898)

I just installed it on my Karmic netbook, and I have to say it really rocks!

Re:Impressive (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743042)

Isn't Boxee just a 10 foot interface thingy? Why would you install it on a netbook?

I guess I'm missing something here, never actually tried it myself.

Re:Impressive (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743370)

Think of an iPod with a GigE and HDMI ports.

By day it's your mobile media player. By night it's your media center extender.

Hardware requirements? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743004)

Assuming I don't need any HD content, what sort of hardware would I need to run Boxee? I have an old P3 I'm currently using to view videos, play music, etc. It works great, but I'd like a more task appropriate UI than XFCE. Is Boxee likely to run OK? I can imagine the database back end might take a bit of power to run smoothly.

Re:Hardware requirements? (1)

SwordsmanLuke (1083699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743274)

Check out this site: http://wiki.boxee.tv/System_Requirements [boxee.tv] Also, as an anecdotal data point, I'm running it under Ubuntu 9.10 on a dual core 2.4Ghz P4 with 1GB RAM and an old GeForce 5200. I can play content up to 720p without any issues.

Re:Hardware requirements? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744004)

The GPU is probably going to be the deciding factor. On my myth boxes, Nvidias have always done very well and Intels have been decent. ATI just sucks.

So something like an AppleTV with a 1.6Ghz GPU and an nv7100 is more than adequate.

Nvidia seems to get good marks in terms of Windows drivers too.

Obligatory (2, Informative)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30743100)

No Linux Netflix Streaming. Binary Deb Package. Lame.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743552)

There's a link to the source code. Just go through the registration, it's on step 3.

why the fark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743166)

do you have to register to use this if you don't care about or don't want the "social networking" crap?

DirectX on MacOSX and Ubuntu! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30743564)

So they mean that DirectX is now available for MacOSX and Ubuntu? I didn't know that.

Good move since OpenGL didn't provide any acceleration.

morons...

Downgrade for me (2, Interesting)

shagrat (82945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30744044)

I'm finding I liked the alpha better. One of my biggest gripes is that I can no longer tell boxee that the IMDB movie info its associated one of my files with isn't correct. In the alpha, there was a choice in the info screen of the file to say "Thats not the right info" whereupon I could choose again what movie it really was. Now I can't do that. In fact, I'm not sure what I need to do in that situation, and boxee has mislabled dozens of my files.

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