This month Boxee announced the availability of its public beta release, a major new version of the popular media center software. The update brings significant improvements to the user experience and delivers an impressive degree of aesthetic refinement, but the program lacks stability and will need more work before it is ready to conquer the living room.
Boxee is a multimedia player application that is designed primarily to be used on home theater PC (HTPC) systems. It has a television-friendly user interface that can be seen easily from a couch and operated with either a remote control or conventional input devices. It is based on the open source XBMC media center application. One of the distinguishing features of Boxee is that it has an integrated social networking service that allows users to share what they are watching and see recommendations based on what their friends are watching. The program also has extensive support for playing audio and video content from popular streaming media Web services, including Hulu.