As more and more media becomes digitally available more and more people become interested in Media Centers. Both Apple and Microsoft have their own media center strategies that include AppleTV, Xbox360, and the software that lets you connect your digital content to these devices to make them easily available.
In addition to the major players, new start ups are continually attempting to provide new and unique digital media center offerings for users. Boxee, is a new Media Center application that includes Social networking features. While currently still in alpha development, Boxee utilizes the Xbox Media Center (XBMC) open source project behind much its code and is currently available for Mac OS X and Linux.
Media Center Made Social
One thing that sets Boxee apart from other XBMC projects is its Social integration. Boxee lets you see what your friends are watching, listening to, and viewing.
With the success of Social Networking websites, Boxee’s Social connection may set the media center apart from competitors.
Boxee explains that they made their Media Center software social because:
a truly connected experience means not just connecting people with content, but also connecting people with people. so by making boxee social we believe our users will discover new content, rediscover forgotten favorites, and share experiences with friends, family and the world.
Internet Video Content
In addition to allowing users to connect with friends and find old and new favorites, Boxee has Internet Video content accessibility built in. Watch favorites from Youtube and view weekly updates to your favorite Revision 3 shows.
While you may be more interested in music than video, Boxee is connected to Internet Radio options like Last.fm. In addition to linking your Last.fm account to Boxee, you can select Last.FM stations by finding music on your computer, and playing Last.FM music that is similar. This is a great feature to quickly find new and different music that is similar to the music you already love.
Like AppleTV and Xbox 360 Media Center features, you can also play all of your local content in Boxee. The interface for navigating through your music, video, and photo collection is clean and enjoyable and provides an interesting way to experience your Media Library.
Overall, the initial Alpha version of Boxee is impressive. It has taken the strong qualities of other Media Center applications and applied new Social features that should expand its use and improve user experience. Combing Boxee features with the AppleTV Take 3 Recipe and you’ll be enjoying media like no one else.
Boxee Alpha version is still in “Invite Only” mode, but be sure to register for an invitation at their website.