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boxee announces widened availability, iPlayer / Joost support

Darren Murph

boxee has come a long way from its humble beginnings, and you knew it wouldn't just show up in Vegas without a little something new to share. In fact, a lot to share. Unless our memories are far worse than we imagine, this is the most substantial update on the media software since its inception. After receiving 200,000 sign-ups for its private beta, boxee has announced that it's opening its alpha to all Mac, Ubuntu and Apple TV users. Better still, the Windows flavor is sliding into private beta, and for UK users, they'll certainly appreciate the addition of proper BBC iPlayer support. Additionally, Joost support was added along with MTV Music, and a few new keyboard shortcuts were thrown in for good measure. Finally, a whole slew of bug fixes are included in the public alpha, so we're really wondering why you're still here and not downloading. Hmm? Full release is after the break.

"boxee's private alpha went well beyond our expectations. over 200,000 people signed up.. today we're opening our alpha to all Mac, Ubuntu and Apple TV users. Windows is also moving into private-alpha (which means you still need to get invited, but we're going to release thousands of invites every week). bear with us as we scale...)

new applications in this release:

* BBC iPlayer (UK users only) - we could not ignore the calls from our London-based users for proper iPlayer support. it is a huge success in the UK (bigger than Hulu in the US), and it provides access to a huge selection of tv shows and radio in great quality. too bad it is only accessible from the UK.. BBC-if you want worldwide viewers, we're here with open arms!
* Joost - in the survey of video applications you wanted to see on boxee, Joost was #1 (iPlayer was #2..). Joost has a great content library with TV shows, web videos, music videos and movies. now you can play all of Joost's media, browse different channels and search through the entire Joost library.
* MTV Music - when MTV Music launched a couple months ago it got great reviews from users. it is a prefect service for the TV. we started by letting users play music videos from artists they come across on boxee. now you can go into the MTV app and conduct searches by Artist/Song or just browse.

for keyboard users we included support for some basic stuff:

*  + TAB - lets you switch to other Mac apps (even when boxee is in full screen)
*  + F - toggles between Window mode and Full screen.
* shift + letter - jump to the place in the list that starts with that letter (e.g. shift+h will save you a bunch of clicks to get to Heroes on Hulu)

bug fixes & enhancements:

* dual screen support
* Netflix streaming improvements
* Search in Hulu
* ffwd, rewind, pause in Comedy Central
* improved mouse support
* 3 digits episode numbers recognized
* giving folder.jpg its proper priority
* updates to SMB library
* updates to video and audio playback libraries
* updates to Flash player

we also created, which provides basic guidelines for developers who want to build apps to run on boxee. this will continue to grow over the next few months based on your requests. an early example of using the boxee API is work done by Orange Labs (from the France Telecom group) who created a boxee application for their photo sharing service Pikeo.

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