I like the new UI. It's a step in the right direction, but it's still
rough around the edges. More below.
My single biggest problem by far: I was watching a DVD ISO of The
Book of Eli over USB yesterday and had to pause/unpause/rewind it a
few times because my daughter kept grabbing at the receiver. After a
few pause/unpause/rewind events the audio consistently glitches. It
becomes a very *loud* *obnoxious* and *totally unacceptable* static
feedback sound that does not go away until I stop playing the movie
and exit to the main menu. This is bad. Very bad. It's loud, it's
shocking, and it could potentially damage my stereo system and/or my
hearing if the volume is up loud enough. Not acceptable at all. My
Roku does not do this. My Popcorn Hour does not do this. My laptop
running Plex/Front Row/anything else I throw at it does not do this.
In terms of the UI, my biggest complaint is that the menu button is
completely schizophrenic. Sometimes it acts as a menu button and
brings up the main menu, sometimes it acts as a back button, sometimes
it brings up some context sensitive menu. It's really hard to know
when it's going to do what. I'd prefer it to just act like the drop
down menu button and always bring up the main menu.
I find navigation hard in general (the menu button being a big part of
the problem). Pandora is particularly weird. How do I switch the
right side menu (which by the way doesn't really work right) on and
off? The Pandora buttons aren't accessible half of the time. The
like/dislike buttons do not appear to work at all. I tried to use one
of the other audio apps, but when I kept clicking their channel
buttons, the UI would dump me back over to Pandora?? The apps just
don't feel that well integrated into the platform yet. Every single
one I've tried has been screwy.
Why isn't the Pandora linkage associated with my Boxee account? I
linked Pandora to my Boxee, created a second login for my wife, linked
Pandora to her Boxee. I then switched back to my Boxee account and
Pandora still was using her link. I had to relink it a 3rd time.
The play/pause button does not always work. Sometimes it just doesn't
do anything and I have to use the menu button (it's 3rd overloaded
behavior) to control movie/music playback. What's the point of the
play/pause button if it doesn't work half the time?
The up/down buttons do not always change the volume setting.
Sometimes the volume seems to be locked. Why?
The home screen and main menu are overly focused on internet content.
I have 100's of movies and videos on my network. I'd like a way to
change the default filtering to favor local vs remote content. My
wireless connection in the den sucks, so internet content is
practically unwatchable at the moment.
The progress bar shown when playing internet video content doesn't
give a clear indication how much of the content has been buffered so
it's a complete crap shoot for me. If I press play, will it buffer in
the middle of the video? I have no idea, and it usually does.
A similar thing seems to happen with local media playback (which I
really don't understand). If I play a DVD video, the progress bar
seems to indicate that it is "buffering" and fast forwarding doesn't
appear to work too well. Sometimes it seems like I can only fast
forward 5 to 10 mins into a video without it need to play for a bit to
build up the buffer. This is very strange behavior for local video.
In fact, fast forward/rewind on my local content has not been a very
smooth experience compared to other programs I've used.
Other minor complaints:
I'd like to set which screen Boxee goes to when I power it on by
default (my preference would be local movies).
I'd like to be able to turn off the popular stuff on the home screen.
I'd like to be able to change the background.
Overall, I can live with all the UI weirdness as long as I know it's
being worked on and is going to be improved, but the audio glitching
needs to be fixed.
I really do like the device and think it has a lot of potential. It's better than both my Roku and Popcorn Hour, and it's better than the Google TV device I've been able to play with. Keep up the good work and I hope to see some of these issues addressed soon!