Investobuddies.com – NBC’s online video site Hulu has launched a hulu app for mac that allows Mac users to view Hulu content without using a web browser and with full Apple Remote support. After all the boxee ugliness I was a bit surprised at the progress. That’s not to say it isn’t interesting yet.
In some backgrounds, Hulu has battled back and forth with boxee, a social media hub app that lets users access online content and enjoy widescreen viewing from a Mac or Apple TV. The last major boxee update changed the way boxee displays Hulu content, making it harder for Hulu to unplug.
Hulu’s justification for pursuing Boxee (one of many) is that the content is designed to be viewed in a web browser, not on the couch. Hulu app for mac slogan “A casual look for your PC” maintains a semantic distinction between a 24″ LCD monitor and a 25″ LCD TV, but especially when implemented with extensive remote support seems to mean something else. .
I do not know. Hulu may really believe that people won’t be using the app on a Mac or Windows Media PC connected to a TV, but the hulu app for mac definitely feels like it’s aimed at the big screen.
Aside from the double dialogue, how well does this app actually work? Well, based on my limited testing (I just wanted to end this post), it’s awesome. I really want to know if it is possible to bypass arbitrary system requirements to be able to run it on Apple TV.
The interface is good. Hulu app for mac doesn’t use the full screen of the 22″ external monitor when it first starts, but when I hit quick -F it goes full screen. Also, the app window size is larger than 1280×800 by default, so mobile users can get “full screen” in the launch experience.
The Apple Remote works perfectly with the hulu app for mac. My only problem is with my screensaver. Unlike FrontRow, Hulu does not turn off the screensaver when playing content. I was also able to crash the app, but that’s to be expected.
Overall, finding ball programming was easy and intuitive as opposed to the original Hulu implementation on boxee. It’s easy to switch from program playback to another search (menu button), and fast-forwarding through content is fun. As a long-time boxee user who hated speeding up or rewinding Hulu playback (even before changing the way it was served), this is great. By default, your internet connection plays everything in high quality (you can adjust it in settings) and the quality looks better than your browser.
Watching the pilot of “Glee,” for example, is of course not as sharp as the iTunes HD download, but it’s pretty good. Watching standard definition TV like “NewsRadio” or “Sesame Street” clips is great with no lag. Using boxee for Mac isn’t always the smoothest experience, so we’ve taken it one step further.
The great thing about having a real app for the online media center that hulu app for mac is really targeting is that you have the opportunity to discover more programs and networks added to the service from within the app than just browsing web pages. I had no idea that some of the items available on Hulu were available and I use the website a lot.
If you have a Hulu account, you can log in to watch shows in the queue, subscribe or unsubscribe, rate content, and more. You don’t need a Hulu account to use the hulu app for mac, but it’s well integrated and it’s very easy to get the latest episodes of the show.
But What About the Boxee?
Now that Hulu has at least admitted that people may want to be more comfortable watching Hulu content (again, I don’t know how my 22″ LCD monitor differs from the 20″ TV in my room), will Hulu make a comeback? ? in boxing? It won’t hold your breath, but according to the blog post, the boxee team has officially reached out to Hulu to work with them to bring the content back. Like I said, I won’t hold my breath. When Hulu appears on TV (which is definitely the next step), there’s something to be said for going through its own set of decoders and software.
It is embarrassing. For example, if you have a Mac mini, using boxee and Hulu Desktop together shouldn’t be a problem. Like I said, I’d love to see someone port this to the Apple TV. It’s sweet.
The hulu app for mac requires an Intel Mac with 2GB of RAM (not sure how to implement it) running OS X 10.4 Tiger or higher and Flash 220.127.116.11, but if you meet those specs, the rest is Snap. You can literally drag the app to the Applications folder and drag the Internet plugin to the Plugins folder (the installer includes a link to that folder, so you don’t have to search for anything). Launch hulu app for mac and you’re ready to race. Also, Hulu is currently only available in the US. They are exploring international trade, but this is only for the US at this time. sorry!
What do you think of hulu app for mac? Would you like to try this with your Mac’s media settings? Or is it just a way to waste more time at work?