why we launched boxee for Mac before Windows

general — avner ronen on October 30, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

the picture above summarizes the market research we used in order to decide whether to start with Mac or Windows..

on a personal note. this is a bit scary… i feel less special now. i think i need to go watch an Apple ad to make me feel better about myself….

ok. i feel better now.

Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central and what’s next

general — avner ronen on October 22, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

with the latest release of boxee we’ve enhanced the experience, offering our alpha testers the ability to stream TV Shows, Movies and clips from sites like CBS, Comedy Central and Hulu. we think it is a big step towards making boxee a true alternative to expensive Cable/Sat subscriptions, as well as to those who revert to downloading pirated content. by making shows like CSI, Southpark or Heroes available for instant streaming, in good quality and with limited commercial interruptions we believe CBS and Hulu are helping make paying for Cable or pirating content both irrelevant.

while we don’t currently have a formal relationship with either content provider, we know that partnerships like these are what people want (x# of requests and counting). we hope to work closely with them in order to improve the experience and bring more content with even better quality to our users.

if you’re an alpha tester please tell us what other shows, services, content you’d like to see as part of boxee.

if you’re a content owner/aggregator and would like to have your content on boxee please contact us. boxee is an open-platform and we’ll work with you to bring your shows, movies, music, and business model to it.

winning i-stage, users love

general — avner ronen on October 21, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

yesterday was a day to remember for boxee. we released a version that we worked really hard on. it was the first version that was strongly impacted by alpha testers feedback, both in terms of feature requests as well as UI changes.

we gave it all we got. worked insane hours. sacrificed all our free time. put boxee first and family and friends second. it was a huge effort.

winning the i-stage competition was an amazing recognition for team-boxee and team-xbmc. we have the greatest respect for the judges, so getting their vote means a lot to us. the team in tel-aviv was in the office at 2am celebrating the new release, and waiting to hear who won. i had goose bumps when i sent the SMSs and made the call to tell them we had won.

if you’re following this blog then you’ll know that we intend to split the cash prize with team-xbmc. this should be a big boost for the team who is putting lots of time and passion into xbmc, not for any financial award, but out of pure altruism and fun. with $25K in the bank xbmc can invest in stuff like computers, hosting, beer and budget for the next XBMC DEV CON.

as important as winning i-stage is the initial feedback we got from users who installed the new version. here are a few quotes:

  • “Boxee + Hulu=Heaven.”
  • “Words cannot describe how amazing Boxee is. Seriously I just had a braingasm”
  • “boxee.tv is frigging awesome!”
  • “I can not recommend http://www.boxee.tv/ enough, seriously”
  • “boxee was always nice, but now it’s amazing! The addition of hulu content on my AppleTV means I will probably cancel Comcast for good!”
  • “CARAMBA!!!! O novo Boxee tá muito foda!!!!” (don’t know what it means, but sounds positive.. :))

and there are many more.. we are SUPER excited. like never before. we want to get your feedback. we want to make boxee even better. there are plenty of things we want to do, but we need your help to identify the real important stuff.

thank you all for your support, love, enthusiasm. we will keep working hard to deserve it.

we won!!

general — avner ronen on October 20, 2008 @ 8:06 pm

what a day!! we just won the i-stage competition!
$50,000 and exhibit space at CES.

more details later (if i am sober enough to type.. may have to wait till tomorrow..)

Hola Hulu!

general — avner ronen on October 20, 2008 @ 10:00 am

our forums, twitter and inbox are filled with messages such as “now if I could only play Hulu on boxee..”, “give me Hulu!”, or my personal favorite “if you somehow figured out how to make Hulu work… I will kiss you on the mouth. ;)” (hey @beiting we figured it out! hope you’re a good kisser)

we just released a new alpha version of boxee that includes:

  • streaming TV shows, movies and clips from Hulu, CBS, Comedy Central and MySpaceTV (we integrated their players into boxee)
  • major changes to the UI
  • web interface to adding RSS feeds
  • improved performance

… and yes the new version is also available for Apple TV (click upgrade and its there).

we are very excited and anxious to hear your feedback. boxee is now faster, stronger. there is more work for us to get done before we feel we could call it “beta”, but we are getting closer. message us on Twitter, comment on this blog, post in our forum. tell us what you think. we’ll listen and go work on the next version based on what you tell us.

already have an alpha account? click here to download the new version.
still waiting for an alpha invite? you may get one today (we’re sending 10,000 new invites), if you didn’t get one ping us on Twitter or and we’ll make sure you get an invite.

in case you’re one of the few billion people who have not signed up for an alpha account click here to do so.

a quick intro video to the new version:


more notable news:

  • we launched a new version of our homepage. now a person visiting boxee.tv will actually know what boxee is doing… (we need to get better at this marketing thing)
  • there is a new version of app.boxee.tv. you can now use it to manually enter RSS feeds that will appear on your boxee client

*** update i: we have just uploaded a version refresh resolving stutter issues on Apple TV. please update boxee if you encounter these issues.

*** update ii: not seeing the new sources under boxee? head to our forum thread on the subject.

*** update iii: issue with some Hulu streams blanking out has been fixed! head to our forum thread on the subject.

boxee + dropbox = media sharing at its best

general — avner ronen on October 12, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

dropbox enables users to share files between computers in a super-easy way.
once you install dropbox it adds a folder to your PC/Mac that you can share across your own computers or with friends (watch the video on getdropbox.com it’s pretty straight forward).

it becomes really cool when you add your Dropbox folder as a source on boxee.
go to Settings->Media Sources choose to add a Local Source and select the Dropbox folder.

now whenever a friend is uploading new pictures/music/videos you can see it immediately on your boxee. in case of Music or Video, boxee will automatically scan it, and you’ll see the artwork appear in Recently Added in the home screen of boxee.

i set it up on my Mac Mini at home, so if i download stuff at work, my wife can immediately see it on our TV at home.

there are lots of great scenarios of boxee + dropbox. i highly recommend playing with it.

October 20th, 2008

general — avner ronen on October 9, 2008 @ 3:04 pm

the date is set. on October 20th we are going to release a new version of our alpha for Mac and Ubuntu (and Apple TV..). it is going to be our final alpha release. after that, it’s beta time…

we took your feedback from the forum, emails and Twitter to heart.
fixed lots of bugs. made changes to the user interface. added new plug-ins.
made boxee simpler, faster, stronger.

we are really excited about this upcoming version.
we can’t wait to get it into your hands and hear what you think.

in honor of the new version we will also try and clean up some of the backlog in our alpha waiting list. there are people who have been waiting for months now. we are going to send out 10,000 new invites on that day.

so October 20th is a big day for us.
it is also the day of the CES i-stage competition.
would be really cool to win it (at this stage it is the most concrete part of our business plan).

not sure what to expect.
going to be a crazy day.

i am getting better at this!

general — avner ronen on October 8, 2008 @ 11:08 am

fulfilling tom’s fantasy

general — avner ronen on October 8, 2008 @ 11:02 am

when we started boxee Tom said that he has one real fantasy. to is go into a house of someone he doesn’t know and to see that that person is using boxee on his TV screen.

in all honesty i never quite understood the part of the fantasy where he is in the house of someone he doesn’t know.. but i always related to the part of meeting someone for the first time and finding out he is using boxee (i still get a little tingle when i meet someone who used to be a user of odigo - my previous company).

yesterday we were up in Boston for a couple of meetings, and as we were having our morning coffee (Seattle’s Best.. no quite) some guy approached us and asked whether we are from boxee (he saw my boxeed laptop). he just became an alpha tester a week ago, and was excited to meet us in person. actually i think we were more excited!

apple tv remote woes

general — Tags: , — tom sella on October 6, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

we’ve been having some complaints from boxee on atv users losing the remote after upgrading to atv firmware 2.2, and others just complaining their remote stopped working for no apparent reason, regardless of firmware version.

so if you are one of these, couple of pointers to get you back on your boxee:

first, make sure you’re up to date with the great atv launcher from the atvusb-creator team, by selecting boxee, and then clicking “update”, selecting the launcher (depending on your launcher version, it may say “update launcher”).

second, your remote may have become improperly paired, so unpair and pair again.

pictures cc-by-sa gidon coussin

and of course, its a monday, bunchainvites were just sent :)

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