new version. lots of good stuff.

general — tom sella on August 25, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

we just released a new version of the alpha.

it is available for Mac OS X 10.5 and Ubuntu. we tried to squeeze support for 64bit, but it didn’t make the cut :(. we will try to release updates at shorter intervals..

a lot of work went into this one. we tried to solve many of the bugs that have been reported in the forums and were sent by email, as well as add some new stuff.

new stuff:

  • manual editing of (un)identified movies/tv shows/albums - boxee sometimes identifies a movie/tv show/album incorrectly (or not at all). now you can fix these mistakes (some of them are quite funny) by manually telling boxee what it is. you’ll see a new “wrong movie?” option in the info screen. click it and get a list of potential matches.
  • manual adding of a source - you can now manually add new media sources to boxee. use rss:// to add video or audio RSS feeds (make sure the feed you’re trying to access has a link to the original media enclosure), or upnp:// to add a upnp source, mms:// to stream audio or video (you can get creative with this one. i just pointed boxee at my rss feed. pretty cool stuff)
  • mms:// support - streaming of audio and video using mms. we can now listen to israeli radio stations! that was a big one for our girlfriends, wifes and gidon. to add a new mms stream go to the ‘Add Source’ option and choose ‘manual’.
  • upnp support - if you have a upnp server you can now access it using boxee. the shares list retrieved whenever the you browse to “network” is a union of smb and upnp. for some of you upnp may work better than smb. let us know.
  • OSD for pictures - when you’re viewing a photo click ‘Return’ and you’ll get an OSD that will allow you to do stuff like rotate, zoom in/out and across the picture (my personal favorite), control slideshow settings and get some EXIF data.
  • http proxy support - you always wanted to connect via an http proxy in india, right? so now you can. no support for user/pass, yet. so you’ll have to connect to them friendly and open proxy servers.
  • UI navigation change - internet-applications now part of the main browse screen, so clicking on Video takes you directly to the main video screen (also applies for music and pictures).
  • updated source management - we updated the Media Sources screen, so to enable you to get to all the places where you may have content you’d like to access with boxee. result is too complicated. we’ll simplify it in the future.
  • new visualizations - Goom and Waveform. there were some fixes to the visualizations framework (which caused crashes). i still think most of them are a bit too much. we need create a more ambient boxee visualization as the default.
  • (Mac only) integrated crash reporter - so you can send them directly to us, as well as spam apple

bug fixes:

  • remake of our download system (solved many .torrent issues)
  • python stability and performance improvements (affects youtube, flickr, etc.)
  • improved resolution support (secondary display)
  • fixed image bugs. raw images are now supported
  • improved picture information and picture loading indication
  • fixes to subtitle viewing (mainly on ff/rwd and large subtitle files) - thanks elan
  • visualization - not to be affected by volume - thanks elan
  • (Mac only) navigating via menu->sources now will not show mounted “img”-s. only /, home folder and usb connected devices. this is true for adding a local media source too.
  • default screen saver - now boxee branded (boxee slide show)
  • new versions of all our plugins (youtube, flickr, etc.)
  • keyboard consistent “back” navigation
  • “dim” screen saver to go into action on main screen (profile selection) - this screen was not starting the screen saver before
  • faster file scanning since ~/Pictures is not getting scanned
  • navigating in folder mode would display an image if one exists under the folder (folder.jpg, preview.jpg and cover.jpg). the detection and caching is done during file scan time, so may take a few minutes till shown
  • app logs now go to ~/Library/Logs/xbmc.log under Mac, /tmp/boxee-xbmc.log under Linux
  • edit controls instead of osd keyboard on login screen (user/password) (stupid, stupid bug that frustrated many users. me included..)
  • hidden password on plugin settings (1999 vintage bug)
  • dvd playback should be fine now on all dvd’s (my Road Trip dvd is mia. last seen in vulcan’s drowning MBP. oh, the sacrifice..)
  • better treatment of thumb “loading”. should result in a lot less “loading” indications (less spinning circles on the screen == bliss)
  • playback of “video_ts” folders should work fine now (i wish this format will go away.. takes too much space on the disk)
  • smb upgraded to 3.2.1 and went through a fix session (hope this solves more bugs than it creates… let us know)
  • new setting under network->smb called “use one connection per server” - it will control the amount of outgoing connections from the client. playing with it requires restarting the client.
  • improvements to the thumb loading mechanism
  • fixed sorting of items in internet apps (newest items should appear first in RSS feeds, etc.)
  • add/remove internet apps from settings->media sources
  • fixed deadlock in dvdplayer

phewww….. now in reverse:

reyapdvd ni kcold… get ‘em while they’re hot, enjoy, and head to the forum to say wassup.

ahh, one more thing.. while on the subject of forum and features, major props to agentlame for some kickass howtos getting mythtv to work, using snapstream firefly remote, keeping your mouse & keyboard available in dual screen and to chatterbox & clarkee wanting some extra content for their telly and making iPlayer content available under boxee (UK only, alright?).

version names

general — avner ronen on August 18, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

internally we name each (worthy) internal version after an israeli model. when vulkan is in the mood he even puts a link to a picture in the official release notes. some of the latest girls that were honored with having a boxee version named after them include: zofit ben-hamu, karin magrizo, rana raslan.

comparing the boxee version naming system to that used for naming hurricanes draws several parallels.

  • religious phase - unlike the weather service we never went through a religious phase. naming versions after saints was never an option. sorry Mother Teresa.
  • sexist phase - while exclusive use of female names for hurricanes was dropped by the late seventies, we are still very much at that stage. i don’t predict us outgrowing this politically incorrect, chauvinistic behavior until we get some more female talent on the team (and even then i believe extreme measures will be required to achieve change)
  • easy to pronounce names - while i guess it is important for hurricane names to be easily pronounced by meteorologists speaking English, Spanish, French and Dutch, we don’t take pronounceability into account. for all we care you can break your teeth saying the name. the one and only criteria is hotness.
  • letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z are not included - no such thing in the boxee naming system. we don’t shy away from a challenge. while the World Meteorological Organization may find it too hard to come up with names beginning with Z or Q, we will stop at nothing to find a qualified candidate (even if it means going over all the copies of last year’s Maxim magazine)
  • retiring & recycling names - we don’t have a policy of retiring names, not even if the version is really buggy, and we don’t intend to recycle names either. there is plenty of inspiration out there, it will be a waste to go over the same names again and again. however, if new “evidence” surface it may warrant a repeat appearance.

the next step for us is globalization. israel was a natural place for us to being with, but we’re very close to the end of the hebrew alphabet, and it’s time for us to look into new countries/girls to honor.

we don’t keep lawyers on a retainer, thus this post has not been reviewed by a legal counsel (or by anyone else for that matter). the views expressed in this post are my own (though i believe they are shared by the rest of the team). if this post offended your religious/gender/political/etc. feelings/beliefs/convictions i sincerely apologize.

first ever! exclusive! video of team xbmc

general — Tags: , , , — avner ronen on August 8, 2008 @ 11:56 am

we shot the video in Amsterdam during the XBMC DEV CON. it was the first time that team-xbmc came together and met in person to discuss past, present and future. and party.

our camera man, dave, got a bit too much of Amsterdam in him… so some of the video is a bit choppy, but it is still the first ever, never-before-seen, excluisve, on-camera interviews with the people behind xbmc.


more good coffee in NYC

general — avner ronen on August 4, 2008 @ 10:23 am

since our office is in the SoHo we’ll stick with gimme coffee, but there is another place that made it to our short list. joe coffee. got a taste of it yesterday in their Waverly St. location, and bought some beans to test at home.

coffee is very good. great frothing :) and the atmosphere also seems great. with places to sit and plug your MacBook (didn’t see even one PC around…) too bad the barista did not really know where they get their coffee from, or whether it is organic, shade grown, fair trade, etc.

my top places to get espresso in NYC:

boxee reviewed by tekzilla

general — avner ronen on August 4, 2008 @ 9:56 am

we have been long time fans of Tekzilla, so it was great to see boxee being reviewed by Patrick and Veronica over the weekend.

for the full episode click here

the boxee piece

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