Boxee is a platform that is really going places. At one point it was a mainly for enthusiasts willing to spend the time on installing it and setting it up on their own hardware. Now it is moving towards mass appeal with the recent announcement of a Boxee Box, which users will just be able to plug in and go, and Boxee payments, which may make the platform more appealing to content providers. A great starting point before getting stuck into full scale Boxee application development is creating a simple RSS application that will just make a feed of a podcast available and give it presence in the world of Boxee.
In many houses the TV and broadband line can be found only inches apart and in most cases no connection is yet made. The Internet had the power to bring about a revolution in the choice of programming available, instead of scheduled streams of programming that we have no control over we will be able to pick and chose what we want to watch from thousands of producers.
The OU produces a range of podcasts covering a wide variety of subjects that can be interesting not only to current students but also to people who enjoy more informal learning, or who are maybe just curious about a subject. Up until recently, this treasure trove was sadly locked away in iTunesU and so unavailable to Linux users (as iTunes is not available for Linux). Users of other platforms also had to use iTunesU as well, regardless of how they felt about this software. Fortunately, the OU has put this situation right though the release of a website that makes these podcasts available to all, it can be found at: http://podcast.open.ac.uk. The website is so new the paint is practically drying on it, but, despite being in beta, it is still capable of delivering a first class experience. It includes a number of ways to easily subscribe to podcasts, including RSS feeds (useful for programs like Amarok), a really great feature though is the sites ability to integrate with Miro, an application which is described as an "internet tv and video player". Miro is free, open source, cross platform and provides the ability to subscribe to, watch and manage video and audio podcast feeds. You can use the OU podcasts site entirely within it, providing a nice integrated experience and leaving you to enjoy the content.