Boxee is an open source, cross-platform freeware media center software that integrates personal media with Internet media along with social networking. Boxee’s unique social networking component allows users to share information about what they’re listening to or watching with other Boxee users or friends on social networks like twitter, facebook, etc.
Boxee supports a wide range of multimedia formats and includes features such as playlists, audio visualizations, slideshows, weather forecasts reporting, and can be expanded with an array of third-party plugins. Boxee can play most audio and video file formats, as well as display images from many sources, including CD/DVD-ROM drives, USB flash drives, the Internet, and local area network shares.
Most of Boxee’s powerful features come from addons which includes things such as Apple movie trailer support and subtitle downloading, access to online internet services like BBC iPlayer, Jamendo, Joost, Last.fm, NPR, SHOUTcast, and movie trailers from apple.com, ABC, Blip.TV, CNET, CNN, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV Music, MySpaceTV, Netflix, Revision3, YouTube, and others. Also it enables users to view Flickr and PicasaWeb picture.
Boxee also includes a built-in BitTorrent client. By default, it includes a couple of Torrent links to legal BitTorrent trackers, but through plugins it’s possible for users to enable Torrent downloads from sites such as The Piratebay.
One drawback of Boxee is that it does not support hardware video decoding, which means the entire load of the video decoding process has to be handled by the CPU. This requires the system a very powerful CPU to decode native 1080p videos encoded with a modern video codec like H.264.
Boxee is still under development and is currently available as Alpha releases for Mac OS X, Apple TV, Linux and recently Windows.
[via Shell Extension City]