Since I use my htpc ( home theater pc) everyday I thought I would try out the newest media center program called boxee. It took me a while to get the windows alpha invite, but it seems to be worth it. I have been using the application for a couple of days, so I thought it would be time to write a review for it. The windows version is currently missing netflix, but I believe it will be added soon. I normally use mediaportal for my media playback, but since boxee has internet streaming video its the only reason why I am testing it out.
One thing I thought was awesome, was when I pressed the “Print Screen” Button, boxee knew what I was doing, and asked me to setup a folder for screenshots, which made this review really easy. The screenshots were saved as .bmp which take up alot of room, so maybe an option to make them jpgs would be nice, because I had to open up all these images and save them a jpg’s.
Also I wanted to include some larger thumbnails because I use a 1650×1050 widescreen monitor, but on wordpress medium is 300×187 and Large is 1024×640, and the large ones messed up my wordpress themes.
I have include a lot of screenshots for this review if you just want to see the slideshow click here.
After you setup an account online at boxee you login, as you can see I have my account added already.
Once you are logged in, you will see a screen similar to this, Recommendations from friends, Friends Activity, Recently Added ( to your library), and Recently Used ( viewed or listened to), the menu is on the left.
Now to the menu on the left, this is where you will all your navigation.You see Now Playing, Video, Music, Pictures, Profile, Settings, and Exit. If you have a dvd inserted it will also show up.
Here you can see your video menu. If you have video files on your computer, it will try to sort them into either movies or tv shows. I will talk mostly about the Internet because that is what I am most interested in.
Here you can see the different Internet channels you can watch. BBC Iplayer doesnt work in the US, while other ones like HULU wont work outside the US, without some kind of proxy.
Below from the Apple Movies Trailer Section there is 4 different types of views you can have of when looking at movies and such on boxee.
Below is Hulu, it even gives you an option to login to bring up your hulu queue.
Here are the Hulu TV and Movie Viewing, almost identical, and very similar to the website.
Comedy Central – includes South Park!!
Joost – Looks very similar to the Joost Player ( I haven’t used the new browser plugin)
BBC -iPlayer ( doesn’t work in US as I stated above)
Again very similar to the Video Layout, on the left you got Artist, ALbums, Internet and Browse. It will look at your music folder and sort it for you, and get info and Lyrics.
The different Music Internet Channels available.
The picture tab, allows you to look at your local pictures, along with Internet ( flicker, picasa and The Big Picture) sites that host pictures.
Flickr, Google’s Picasa, and The Big Picture. I have never heard of The Big Picture, but then again that doesn’t mean much.
Here is the profile Tab, it brings up what I have previously viewed. But it also brings up your friends recent activity. You can also view their friends.
If you press “A” on your keyboard, it will bring up the Library Status, basicly boxee caching your media.
Here is the settings page, I wont go threw all, since there is alot of stuff here.
The Credits Page, which I should I would share of all the hard work these developers have done.
Finally The exiting of the program. If you go to suspend, it does a windows lock I noticed.
Whiles its virtually impossiable to cover everything, I hope this gives you a general idea of what boxee is captable of. So go on and give it a try.