I’ve recently switched from using Boxee to power my home media center. I was excited for the Boxee Box version of the software to be ported to PCs. Unfortunately, the new version of the PC software, while looking more polished, is actually a downgrade in terms of reliability and features. It’s a disappointment, and Boxee has stated their desire to abandon the PC version going forward so don’t expect a lot of polish to go into this version:
This 1.5 release will be the last version of Boxee for PC/Mac/Ubuntu. It will be available on Boxee.tv through the end of January.
I understand their desire to focus their business on the Boxee Box and I wish them success. However, I needed to find a more reliable solution that fits my setup. My brother recommended I look at Plex as a replacement. First off, this application is gorgeous. It’s well designed and easy to use. Plex integrates with iTunes and iPhoto, allowing you to stream your music, videos and photos. Also, it supports extensibility via plugins such as adding new videos sources. It’s a free download, so I thought I’d give it a try.
The software is split into two major components: 1) streaming media server; and 2) media clients. The server manages your media library, downloads meta-data and streams to the client software. There are media clients for Mac, iOS and Android devices. You can pretty much watch your media wherever you want.
I’m impressed with the software so far. It’s technically still preview release, but it’s been pretty reliable so far. It’s freely available so give it a try if you are looking for media center software.