Boxee on the iPad

Today Aug 9, 2011 Boxee released Boxee for the iPad. This allows you to play videos from the home screen of Boxee on your iPad and also local video which are on the same wireless network. After you install Boxee on the iPad and sign in, you will see your Boxee home screen, which shows the videos your friends are sharing with you, videos you have saved for later and the Boxee feature videos. At this time you can not play Boxee Apps on the iPad. If you want to play local video files you need to down load the Boxee Media Server to your computer. This is where I ran into my first glitch, according to the system requirement it should run on any Intel Mac running 10.5 and above. However when I tried to install it on my Mac Mini core duo, running Snow Leopard, I received an error message stating it couldn’t run on the machine. It did install fine on my MacBook running Intel Core 2 running Lion. I did send a support ticket to Boxee, but haven’t heard back yet. I did look at the Boxee forum and it appears I am not the only one with the problem. Once the Boxee Media Server is installed to your computer, you can add your media files by clicking on preferences. By default it will add your My Movies folder if you are running it on a Mac.  To add additional folders click on the plus button. I had no problem adding my video folders that are stored on external hard drive attached to my Airport Extreme.

Videos directly from Boxee played and sounded great. However, when I went to play local videos there was no sound. In fact the volume rocker was not working at all. The first thing I did was a full shut down of the iPad and then a restart. That didn’t fix the problem. Then I went into Settings and then General and for some reason decided to switch my side rocker from where it locks the  iPad rotation to where it works as the mute button. Surprisingly that fixed the problem, although I have no idea why. So far it has played all video formats I have sent to it without any problems. You can send your videos to your TV using Air Play if you have an Apple TV or Boxee Box attached. If you use a Mac Mini as a media server you can use Banana TV to send videos from Boxee on the iPad to the monitor.

The Boxee Media server also works with Window XP, Vista and Windows 7, at this time it is not available for Linux. I haven’t been using Boxee on the iPad long since it just came out, but so far I like it. It will be interesting to see if they add the ability to view video apps on the iPad, I suspect the hold is due to licensing issues rather than technical ones.

Update: Aug 11-  Received answer back from Boxee on the Mac Mini  issue, and unfortunately the Boxee Media Server only works on 64 bit machines, so it will not work on that machine which is 32 bit.

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