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January 18, 2009

So I’ve heard about Boxee for a while now after they raised their first round funding through Union Square Venture and Spark Capital.

But I hadn’t spent time to download and tinker around until today, after my friend forwarded this NY Times article. So I decided to give it a try and downloaded the alpha version currently available.

All I can say is “wow”. These guys got it right. The interface is very intuitive and the convenience and ease in which Boxee pulls together all media (not only locally but also through the Internet) is quite impressive. This blog entry isn’t meant to be a full review, as I’ve literally only played with the app for about half an hour. But it certainly hints at what we can expect in the near future, e.g., single interface for all media, stream from Internet to your TV, etc.

One thing that was disappointing is that the YouTube channel didn’t work in playing back video (the playback was distorted). However, the ability to access your favorites and search all of YouTube via the app was flawless. I’m looking forward to the next round of features. One thing that I didn’t find but imagine should be a feature in the near future is one aggregator search engine. For example, if I want to search for a specific music video of a certain artist, I have to select the channel (website) that I want to search through. So if I’m a big Evanescence fan, I have to search through the channel first, and then through the Joost channel, and then finally YouTube. It would be great to have one search engine crawl all available video sites and aggregate for me.

And yes, there’s a web 2.0 component where you can see what your friends are watching and recommend videos and all that jazz.

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