Web TV service Boxee is taking its first steps into the cloud, launching the Cloudee cloud offering aimed at allowing Boxee users to store and share personal videos with family and close friends.
“We believe the cloud is going to play a major role in the future of TV and today we are taking the first step towards a Boxee cloud offering,” said Avner Ronen, Boxee’s CEO and founder, writing in a blog post. “So say hello to Cloudee. We are starting with an invite-only, beta iPhone app for Cloudee that lets you share personal videos with family and close friends.”
Ronen suggested it had previously been painful to get personal videos to the TV screen – Road Trips, Boxee Meetups, family videos with our kids, concerts and the occasional weirdness on NYC streets. “Some of these videos were on our phones, others on our laptop or network storage, and the ones we really wanted to see were always taken by our friends. Yes, we could copy videos into a thumb drive, upload to YouTube and set it to private, set-up a cloud storage account and give permissions to friends … but it was all too much work, so videos just sat there… never being watched, never being shared,” he suggested.
Boxee’s new iPhone app lets users upload videos to Cloudee, organise them into collections and share them with their family and close friends. “During the beta period the service is free, but we will later release a paid version with unlimited video storage in the cloud, which you will be able to access from your Boxee Box and any browser,” said Ronen.
“If you’re like us, as you go through your videos to share them you’ll experience a serendipitous feeling of re-discovery – bringing forgotten memories back to life. We found concerts long passed, videos of our kids that they had filmed without us knowing, videos of loved ones no longer with us. It became a very powerful connection to our past, and to each other. We think it can do the same thing for millions of other people,” he said.
He described the cloud as “the natural place for personal videos”. “We are now capturing videos on connected devices, which makes it easy to upload them directly to the cloud, watch them from anywhere and share them with whomever we like. It doesn’t make sense to continue storing these videos on a hard drive that isn’t universally accessible and runs the risk of crashing or being lost,” he noted.
“This is only the first step into the cloud for Boxee. We believe more of our video watching will shift towards on demand and secondary screens, which will mean more video coming from the cloud. Cloudee will become an integral part of the Boxee offering and we are very excited about its future,” he admitted.
During the beta trial, Cloudee requires a Facebook account and an invite.