Boxee’s new app store brings along with it an API or Application Protocol Interface, which allows developers to extend the increasingly popular open source digital media center software. Some of these new apps integrate Pandora, an Internet radio site as well as RadioTime and a Mozilla-based browser. The browser is very important in this upgrade to the Boxee software as it once again provides a way of accessing Hulu.com. Hulu.com is a web site which aggregates television shows from its partners that commonly have episodes available within 24 hours after being on TV.
Boxee has made great strides since the Consumer Electronics Show of 2009, while still in its alpha phase of release. There are three movements forward in this version of the Boxee software. The first is an open app store that provides a way for adding third-party services and applications. With the open app store comes an API for the third-party developers to easily introduce popular apps like RadioTime and Pandora. Pandora is exciting for a lot of people as the streaming radio service has a huge library of music and customizes it scarily based on just a name of an artist, song title or genre. The service is free and is based on display advertising. The third, but equally major move forward for Boxee, is the Mozilla-based browser integration. The web browser makes it possible once again for people to use the Hulu.com service. Boxee also ties into social networking services such as Twitter. If this option is turned on, the Boxee software will Tweet which TV show someone is watching including a link to its details.
The media center software is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and for the Apple TV, which is a standalone media center. The Linux version is a few releases behind and the Windows option is in private testing. Boxee plays a few local media types but it shines at being able to play a large catalog of Web services and video content from networks like Comedy Central and CNN. It also supports online services Netflix and Hulu.com. This all comes together in a pleasing interface that works well on PC’s and the Apple TV. Boxee has said that the Windows and Linux versions will be upgraded to how the Mac OS X version looks and operates.
Even though Boxee is still in alpha, the company wants to reach a few more milestones, create a pay for app download system and get its software onto other manufacturer’s hardware such as Blu-ray or game consoles. Some content via ArsTechnica.