Finally I got invitation to test the first “social” media center Boxee. Installation under Kubuntu 8.04 was pretty simple. I just added Boxee repository and install it using apt-get. After running the Boxee it automatically found media content in the standard Linux directories – Pictures, Videos and Music. It tried to guess the names of movies by their filenames and get information from IMDB. For those video files which weren’t be recognized cover were created using some frame from movies themselves.
The user interface looks pretty nice. It’s intuitive and allows to easily navigate by media files, control playback movies and music. It’s easy to specify new media source. Doesn’t matter where it is – on local PC or on some network share. Moreover, using Boxee it possible to listen Internet radio, which becomes very popular this time.
However the most interesting and original feature of Boxee is its social component. It allows to people find friends and share between them info about what they watch or listen (be careful with adult content ;)). Additionally they can rate or recommend movie or song. The very basic social feature is offered by Facebook add-in for Windows Media Center. But, for sure, Boxee is much better.
I heard an opinion about competition between Boxee and MythTV. Maybe in the future but currently Boxee don’t support PVR functionality at all. Taking into account that XBMC also misses LiveTV I can conjecture that Boxee won’t have it in the future. In any case, Boxee is good media center software integrated with social service. Will see its progress.
P. S. I can send the invitation somebody who’d like to play with Boxee. Just leave a comment here.