First off, let me start by saying that I love boxee and I am not here to argue or bad mouth boxee in any way. In my opinion I think that the beta is a huge leap backwards from the alpha in usability. The only reason that I am using the beta right now is because of its hardware acceleration for windows. I don't like the direction that boxee is moving in. My main disappointment with the beta is the UI.
My first problem with the UI is how it fells, by this I mean that when I am browsing for movies and listening to music I don't want to fell like I am playing a sega dreamcast or wii. For example what is with the weird kiddie startup sound? and the new color scheme just annoys me, bright blue and yellow?, two colors that should never be mixed. And the backgrounds, i don't even know what it is, Fish?, the earth?, the sky? basically, I feel like the new boxee was designed for use in a pre-school or kindergarden class room.
Those are my problems with how it looks, my next problems are with the way you brows your media. Lets start with some pluses of the new way to browse. I like how the genre filter and search was added but I don't like how we are restricted to two views: list and thumbnails. I cant use the list view because i hate lists in general so i always used to thumbnail view. I loved the thumbnail view in the alpha because it showed 4 columns of items with the posters and then once that item was highlighted it would show you the poster much bigger on the right side of the screen. The beta does the same thing but it does not show the poster bigger, instead it shows the description of the movie. My problem with this is that the description is almost unreadable because it is so small and blends in with background. Also there is no point in having the description there because I know what the movie or TV show is because if i didn't i wouldn't have it on my hard drive! so give us more options on how to view our media.
My last problem with the new boxee is TV Shows. I know that boxee has moved away from the TVDB to IMDB because of copyrights and what not and that fine, do what you gotta do. But this is no excuse to make the way of browsing TV shows so unusable and annoying. I like how in the alpha when you clicked on a TV show it gave the choice of which season of that show you want with the poster for that season that season. Why in the beta does it just give you the list of every episode in the show. this is a very very big hassle for TV shows with a lot of seasons and episode like Top Gear, Sopranos, King Of Queens, 24, and so on. Also i liked how in the alpha it would give you the picture of the episode as I tended to remember what episode it is not by the name but rather the picture it gave you and I know that these are still being used, but only once you have clicked on the episode does it display them.
Basically, all I am saying is give us more options on how boxee looks and how we browse our media or give the community the ability to skin boxee like xbmc.
I hope no one takes this the wrong way. This is not meant as a insult in any way, nor am I trying to bad mouth boxee as i think it is a great piece of software, these are merely just suggestions on how I think boxee can become even more amazing. Its constructive criticism. I will be staying with the alpha until the beta develops more.