Boxee Review: The Boxee Application Dissected

Boxee Review – The first “Social Media Center”

Undoubtedly you’ve heard of Boxee. The creators of the application deem it  the first “social media center”. It’s a fork of the popular open source media center application XBMC. That means the developers of Boxee took the source code of XBMC and started to develop it their way. What you get is an application that is distinctly different than from the code it’s derived from. Even though similarities between XBMC and Boxee exisit, the end product is different.  With Boxee we see much more emphasis on social media interaction. Hench the reason the Boxee team considers it the first social media center.

What exactly is a social media center? Well, social media refers to web-based and mobile technology communication between users. The dialogue involved usually pertains to information sharing and exchanging ideas. That’s how Boxee differentiates itself from the competition. It allows the users to recommend, vote, and rate content to their friends through social networks and interactive media. The idea makes sense, just how well have they executed their vision?

Boxee Review – Diggin’ Deeper

Over three years into development Boxee seems to be doing well. The first public release hit the web in June 2008, but the application is still considered to be in the early stages.  We can confidently say it’s neck and neck with the other media center application titans, Plex and XBMC. In this Boxee Review, lets learn why.

1. It supports your major video/audio formats. (See detailed list below)

           Supported formats:

  • Physical media: CDs, DVDs, Video CDs (including DVD-Video, VCD/SVCD and Audio-CD/CDDA)
  • Container formats: AVI, MPEG PS, MPEG TS, ASF, FLV, Matroska, QuickTime, MP4, M4A, AAC, NUT, Ogg, OGM, RealMedia RAM/RM/RV/RA/RMVB, 3GP, VIVO, PVA, NUV, NSV, NSA, FLI, FLC, and DVR-MS
  • Video formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (SP and ASP), MPEG-4 AVC (H.264), Huffyuv, Indeo, MJPEG, RealVideo, Sorenson, WMV, Cinepak,
  • Audio formats: AIFF, WAV/WAVE, MP2, MP3, AAC, AACplus, AC3, DTS, ALAC, AMR, FLAC, Monkey’s Audio (APE), RealAudio, SHN, WavPack, MPC/Musepack/Mpeg+, Speex, Vorbis and WMA.
  • Digital picture/image formats: BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, MNG, ICO, PCX and Targa/TGA
  • Subtitle formats: AQTitle, ASS/SSA, CC, JACOsub, MicroDVD, MPsub, OGM, PJS, RT, SMI, SRT, SUB, VOBsub, VPlayer

2. The application is available on the following operating systems

  • Linux
  • Mac OS X + Apple TV Client
  • Windows

3. It wouldn’t be a social media center without user created content. Powered by Python, plugins are available and created by third-parties.

4. The Boxee home screen is easy to navigate. Media is neatly organized into 4 categories; Photos, Music, Movies, and TV Shows. The outdoor temperature is display and a social media feed flows on part of the screen.

5. Boxee is geared more for the less technically inclined person. For example, skinning isn’t really possible.

 What’s the verdict after Boxee review?

Overall, Boxee is the type of Media Center that encourages social media. It brings some great social aspects to your htpc and makes them enjoyable. There’s no better way to promote a good movie or take a peek at what your friends are watching.  The general consensus is Boxee paved the way for media center apps. The only problem is Boxee seems to be made for a desktop environment, not a 10 foot experience. We’re visionaries here at TotalHTPC. The future is clear. Users want to be able to cut the cord and enjoy media where it was meant to be enjoyed; on the couch.  Additionally, Boxee seems to have shifted gears a bit. Since going mainsteam and teaming up with D-Link, the product had to become more consumer friendly. As a result, the focus changed to creating an easy to use application. Not exactly what hardcore tech savy HTPC enthusiasts are looking for. But, if you want a easy to use application that incorporates social meida, then Boxee is the application for you.

Enjoyed Boxee Review: The Boxee Application Dissected? Check out these similiar articles

Plex Review

Xbox Media Center – XBMC Review

Learn Anything? Share it!