App Update – TechCrunch 50 2009
15 September 2009 by Rob Spectre

The 1.1 release of the TechCrunch 50 app published yesterday is now live and includes one huge feature:

Watch the live show.


New Release – TechCrunch 50
14 September 2009 by Rob Spectre

As day one of the blog-powered startup bonanza known as TechCrunch50 draws to a close, a fair amount of video content is getting produced not only by the conference’s eponymous hosts, but by other media outlets covering the event. As folks are starting to turn off their laptops and head out for a taste of the local nightlife, Boxee has just published the Gonzee.tv app for TechCrunch 50.

Held in the gonzee.tv homebase of San Francisco each year, TechCrunch 50 has become the hotspot for startups to launch to products and projects, for deals to get done and for value to be realized.  This app uses the YouTube search API to find all the new videos folks are posting related to the conference.  So far TechCrunch themselves have put up some great interviews with the likes of Marissa Mayer from Google, famed investor Ron Conaway and (my personal favorite) Penn from Penn and Tiller.


There’s also some great content being posted from other journalists on the scene and I can’t wait to see even more in the next few hours.  The folks at Boxee put in some afterhours sprinting tonight to get this puppy published in time for Day Two of the conference – much kudos should go their way for the extra effort.

If you want the story on what’s happening in 2009’s premier startup event, there is no better place to see it than on Boxee.





New Release – Barats and Bereta
12 September 2009 by Rob Spectre

The indie sketch comedy duo Barats and Bereta have become Internet sensations, catapulting their brand of subversive sketch comedy to millions of views on YouTube.  Getting their start at Gonzaga University and hailing from the misty northern reaches of Spokane, Washington, Luke and Joe update with new videos ~once a week with high quality, high production value and high hilarity.  From the sketch “Cubicle Wars” that first launched the pair to online celebrity to pieces from the show they developed for NBC called “This is Culdesac,” Barats and Bereta can always be relied on for a quick laugh.


Recommended Episode:

“Douche Off”



RSS Elements -> ListItem Attributes
6 September 2009 by Rob Spectre

One feature that all my favorite Boxee apps have in common is rich metadata.  From the new 2.0 version of Revision 3 to Fora.tv to the recently released Gonzee.tv eGuiders app, the best Boxee apps always have great nuggets of info waiting in “Read More.”  Like video content in local media libraries, apps should feature as much information as possible to keep user engagement high.

This is practically accomplished by loading your RSS feeds with metadata elements that are surfaced in the app with ListItem attributes.  Though most of the elements you can use are outlined in the Boxee RSS specification, some are not.  Further, elements do not map as intuitively to ListItem attributes as one would expect.  For example, a useful interface element for users browsing a collection of videos is the number of views.  View counts are listed in an RSS feed with the following element: <media:category scheme=”urn:boxee:view-count”></media:category>.  However, to surface this data in your app, you must use the following element: ListItem.property(viewCount).

Unfortunately, a comprehensive mapping reconciling the elements to the attributes is only available through trial and error.  Here is the list I’ve compiled over the development on the Gonzee.tv portfolio.

-&gt; ListItem.property(description)]
-&gt; ListItem.property(releaseDate)
-&gt; ListItem.Duration
-&gt; ListItem.Genre
-&gt; ListItem.Studio
-&gt; ListItem.Actor
-&gt; ListItem.Director
-&gt; ListItem.Writer
-&gt; ListItem.Artist
-&gt; ListItem.property(Author)
-&gt; ListItem.property(viewCount)
-&gt; ListItem.TVShowTitle

You can also set your own custom elements that can be surfaced using a custom ListItem attribute;

340 -&gt; ListItem.property(custom:custommetadata)

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