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Boxee releases new alpha, adds Netflix support



It's a pretty awesome day to be a Netflix fan. Not only is the Watch Instantly service officially available for OS X, it's also now working via boxee, my favorite media center application!

Boxee pushed out an impromptu update last week for Apple TV owners, specifically to address issues with the 2.3 firmware update. Today's update is targeted at all boxee versions and adds a host of new features, including the big dog: Netflix support for US customers. Note: Netflix support is currently only in the Mac version of boxee. The boxee team is working hard to bring it to the Apple TV, but they need to work around some of the hardware limitations. They'll be posting updates on the boxee blog on their progress.

Here's the rundown:
  • Netflix support for Mac users
  • Improved Hulu performance and a new Hulu interface, including access to your personal Hulu queues
  • Access to TheWB.com (US only unless you use a proxy)
  • The Boston Globe's Big Picture blog - amazing photos from around the world
  • MTVMusic - songs/artists in your collection are now linked with music videos
  • New YouTube interface, improved performance and .h264 support
  • Custom interfaces and improved playback for CNN, Flickr and Picasa
All in all, this is a pretty stellar update. When I talked to the team from boxee last week, they made it clear that Neflix was the #1 priority. That they got Netflx running in boxee in under two weeks is nothing short of amazing. Yes, I do wish that support would be extended to Apple TV users, but I can be patient.

If you haven't tried boxee, you can go to http://boxee.tv/tuaw and get an invite. You'll need an Intel Mac running OS X 10.4 or OS X 10.5 or an Apple TV. Boxee is also available for Ubuntu 7.10 and 8.04, though I'm unsure if the team was able to implement Netflix support for Ubuntu yet.

Give it a shot and tell us what you think in the comments!

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