Archive for June, 2009

Boxee Unlocks Your Inner Streaming Couch Potato

June 28, 2009

First off, some corrections and retractions. Initial setup of a new Boxee account, existing social network accounts can be linked. They are:

  • Twitter
  • FriendFeed (omitted from earlier post)
  • Tumblr
  • Netflix

Except for the fourth in that list, the supported services allow you to share what your consuming, ratings, and make recommendations to whomever is following you. There is also the option to link your Netflix account to take advantage of their streaming services. Now that is in the Boxee line-up, this may too join the list on the account page.

After setting up an account, there does appear an option to Import Contacts from the “find friends” link. Boxee links to your contact list and address books on the following services:

  • Gmail
  • Windows Live
  • Yahoo!

You may also email friends directly and ask them to open an account.

Displaying this feature as part of the initial sign up process may be more beneficial, but perhaps it is not prominent for other reasons. It found friends already using Boxee, just fine. For some reason, the invitation page restricted the contact list to the first four entries. That will have to be a battle for another day.

Installation on Windows Vista Ultimate was a breeze. Make sure you are logged in with administrator rights and there should be no problems. For efficiency and simplicity, keep all the default paths and names for directories/folders. Type in your credentials, using the virtual keyboard, if you please, and you are all ready to go!

It seems like there is support for every internet video service imaginable. Broadcast services consist of:

  • CBS
  • Hulu (providing shows from NBC and Fox)
  • The WB (now CW)

Alas, no means no LOST. Perhaps the Move plug-in still needs to be ported to XBMC. But maybe, you record re-runs using Vista Media Center.

If you believe the internet, there is beta support for DVR-MS, but none of the previously recorded episodes of LOST were detected when using the Browse feature. This note came the closest to shedding some light:

boxee’s media player is based on ffmpeg, as such it does not support drm’d files

However, according to Windows Explorer, the files are not protected. With roots in open source, proprietary obstacles should not be surprising. This release is labelled “alpha”, so let’s give the good folks at Boxee some time to flush this out.

But wait, no video is playing at all on Scorecard! The audio from iTunes, DRM-free naturally, plays just fine. Could it be time to crack open the user guide or look for an on-line tutorial?

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