Media fans be aware: the hard-working Boxee team have issued a fresh statement on their dealings with Hulu (which led to removal of support for the video service from Boxee), and also shipped an al-new alpha version of the software, equipped with an auto-update feature and “App Box” (Boxee’s version of the App Store), AND an RSS reader optimized for video feeds (including Hulu, Google Video, YouTube, and many others).
These features are included in Boxee for Mac, Apple TV, and Windows, with a Linux version in the works.
On boxee’s meetings with Hulu and their content providers, the team remarks: ” Sadly, they weren’t ready to work with us yet. When they are, we look forward to bringing a more robust version of the Hulu application back to Boxee with their help.”
In a statement, posted on the Boxee blog, the developers explain: “We started Boxee because there was an opportunity in the media centre space for a product/company who put the user first, while respecting the rights of content owners. over the past year and a half we’ve listened to users, content owners, investors, working to create that platform.
“While we don’t come from an entertainment or cable background, we are learning quickly. it is a complex business. our meetings with Hulu and their content providers reinforced that point. the fact that it’s becoming easy to consume Internet video on a TV brings into question many of the industry’s business models that developed before the web. that’s part of the reason why Hulu asked to be removed from boxee.
“Our meetings over the past week weren’t able to change that. but the people in the industry “get it”. they are users. they read the blogs. they talk with users. they are trying to adjust to a new reality, but they need time.
users on the other hand, won’t wait. as we’ve seen over the past few weeks, users will take matters into their own hands to get the content they want.
“Witnessing this, we’ve decided to enable access to their favorite content using a new built-in RSS reader optimized for video. like IE, Firefox, or Google reader, the RSS reader supports Google Video, Yahoo!, YouTube and feeds from many other websites. while it’s not as attractive or robust as our previous Hulu application, it will additionally support Hulu’s public RSS feeds.”
The extended support for RSS is part of a new version of the Boxee alpha (no update for Ubuntu, yet). it includes two new features that are still under development:
– App Box – this is a first take at an application “store” that makes it easy for users to install new apps and plugins. there is also native support for 3rd party repositories, so you don’t have to rely on boxee as a gatekeeper for what goes into the official boxee app store. for example, you can add dir.boxeehq.com as a repository to get access to all the boxeehq.com apps.
– Auto update – long time in the making and really bad form on our part for not having it from the beginning. but better later than never. no need to check on Twitter or our blog to know that there is a new version. now you’ll be prompted to update boxee whenever there is a new release ready.
On the new release, Boxee warns: “This is a bleeding-edge release. not for the faint of heart since it did not go through much testing. we are on track to release a more stable update on March 24.”
Latest (Mac) version is available here.