Boxee, a very attractive service + application for videophiles, is on track to emerge as official public Beta next month, the people in charge with development say. Available as a free download for Mac OS X users, Boxee provides an unmatched entertainment experience. The Beta will deliver not only tons of bug fixes, but also performance improvements, all-new features and official support for Snow Leopard and Ubuntu Karmic.
“We are very excited to unveil the Boxee Beta,” Avner Ronen writes on the Boxee blog – the most reliable source for all things Boxee. “It is a big step in the evolution of Boxee, but rather than bore you with sentimental prose about how the path we took to get here, I wanted to dive right into what’s new with the Beta release,” Ronen says.
“We’ve completely re-designed the home screen to make it easier to navigate to your favorite content,” Ronen begins. “This is one of our favorite additions to the Beta – the global menu,” the author of the post adds, as he continues to enumerate the new additions. “This menu makes it easy to access helpful resources (TOP – Logout, Settings, Queue, Feed, History), the main menu (MIDDLE – Photos, Music, Movies, Home, TV Shows, Apps, Files) and shortcuts (BOTTOM) to your favorite Apps, TV Shows, Movies, or folders,” Ronen explains.
Movies and TV shows have been overhauled as well. These will include both Internet and local content, according to the blog post. The Beta version will also allow users to better organize their favorite TV shows by season and episode. Customers will be able to filter their searches as well. It will reportedly be easier to find new apps too, as well as to test them, in the new Boxee version. Twitter and Facebook integration are also greatly improved. Taking advantage of DXVA, Boxee will be able to play in 1080p without overloading one's CPU.
“We plan to open up the Beta to the public on Jan 7th (at CES),” Ronen reveals. “Over the next 4 weeks we will gradually release invitations to our early access users [...] and then to existing alpha users,” the Boxee rep tells fans of the service. The folks at Boxee also have a free remote application for using the Boxee entertainment solution on the Apple TV or Mac via iPhone or iPod touch.
In related news, D-Link and Boxee announced the Boxee Box on Monday. It is a set-top device borrowing functionality from the Apple TV to offer local and streaming video content. The device will also be showcased at the Brooklyn event hosting the launch of Boxee Beta for Mac, Windows and Linux.