Media center software, a streaming set top box and a TV-tuning USB dongle -- Boxee already has a pretty decent amount on its plate. But don't think the company is done just yet. This isn't about products, this about an ecosystem, and the next step in building that out is Cloudee. At its heart Cloudee is a cloud-based video hosting and sharing service, not terribly dissimilar from YouTube at first glance. But, the vision here is more focused and more narrow than simply having a public space to post your viral clips and home movies. There is the ability to comment on and like videos, but sharing is focused on limited groups of contacts, borrowing some inspiration from Google+. After recording a clip it can be uploaded directly to Cloudee where you can organize your creations into collections, which can not only by shared but have multiple contributors. Boxee's Avner Ronen gave us an example of a recent company outing, where the whole staff contributed videos to a collection shared only internally. He explained that, "video is very specific, a special use case and it deserves its own treatment," something he thinks other services have fallen flat on. When asked about the future of the service he only said only that it will be a "big part of the boxee experience going forward, tightly integrated with Boxee Box." We can't help but hope this is the first step towards a cloud-based DVR service, which we felt was sorely missing from the launch of the Live TV dongle.
Cloudee press shots
For now the service is in closed beta, with only an iPhone app available. During the testing period users will be provided with unlimited storage for free, but Ronen hopes to move Cloudee out of beta quickly and begin offering it on a freemium model. All users will get a limited amount of storage for free while more demanding uploaders can purchase unlimited hosting. Just how much free storage will be provided or how much the premium level will cost is still up in the air. Boxee plans to closely watch how testers use the app and decide how the best price and storage points before officially launching and expanding and opening up to other platforms like Android. Once our beta invite arrives we'll be back with a hands-on and you can sign up yourself by heading over to Cloudee.com.