For a lot of young European people, online video sites are a substitute for television. 79.5 of the total French Internet audience watched on average 90 videos in January 2008. And YouTube has become one of Holland’s top 3 most visited sites, a recent study by Dutch research agency Multiscope shows. Many people are attracted to the unique content the sites offer. It can’t be the experience, which is still crap – blurry videos, small screens, and dumb comments. But California-based start-up boxee is about to change this with their super slick media player.
Social media center
Boxee is the first “social” media center. It integrates local and Internet content with social networking and overlays it with a good-looking remote-friendly interface. You can either watch a ripped DVD, content from CNN.com or BBC, or videos from popular video sites like YouTube, Blip.tv, and Revision3. All by flipping through the screens with a remote or arrows. This is one of the few services I immediately got hooked to after reviewing, spending a few hours watching videos on the couch, just like television.
Almost though, as I can also share my favorite videos, music, Flickr photos, or slideshows with my friends via existing social services as Twitter and Facebook. You and I can also track the activity of boxee friends – I hope there’s an opt-out for porn surfers.
Xbox open source project
Boxee is based on the XBMC open source project. This is a free and open source cross-platform media-player and entertainment hub. Initially created for the first-generation Xbox game-console, the team behind XBMC development have recently ported the XBMC software to also run natively under the Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows operating systems. The guys from boxee took this one step further and created this media center to which every coder can contribute.
Receive an alpha invite
As you can tell by this article, I’m pretty excited about boxee. It’s still in alpha and therefore made my Mac crash once, but other from that, it’s great. I don’t have to use the crappy Frontrow anymore and can use my Apple as the television of the future. You can too, as co-founder Avner Ronen gave The Next Web a stack of alpha invites. Get yours here!