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Boxee released a ton of new media management software this week, including the long-awaited Boxee iPad application, a streaming media server for Windows and Mac OS X, and a firmware update for the Boxee Box. The software rollout fills some of the gaps in the Boxee product stack. The Boxee iPad application has been a long time coming. An early prototype was unveiled at CES in January, with a late Q1 release estimate. At the tail of end of March, Boxee said it was aiming for a May release, but that slipped again. The app was finally released this week as a free download from Apple’s App Store. We decided to do some hands-on testing to see if Boxee’s new iPad application was worth the wait.
The Boxee iPad application pursues two separate purposes: it’s a social aggregation and discovery tool for Web video and it’s a client for streaming the user’s own media library. The app home screen displays video thumbnails in three columns. The first column shows videos that your friends have posted on social networks (you can connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts). The middle column shows Web videos from the user’s “Watch Later” list, and the third column shows “featured” videos promoted by Boxee. When you tap one of the thumbnails, the app will play the associated video or open an internal browser that displays the Web page containing the video.
Boxee is great for home use and I would definitely try it out!