One of my dear friends gave me a Boxee Box from D-Link for Christmas, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit. The hardware is good, and Boxee did an amazing job of using the existing tags on my MP3 library stored on my NAS. While I’m still waiting for the promised support for Hulu Plus and Netflix, I have been very impressed with the breadth and depth of available content, as well as how well the device connects to shared media sources (think: servers, network attached storage, etc.).
One of the major hurdles to me using the device on a daily basis is the ability to play my local NPR station in the background. Between the location of the office (bottom floor, partially below grade) and the vast array of sources of electrical interference, I have a hard time using traditional radio/TV signals in my office. While I could use the Boxee remote to type in the feed address every time I want to listen (http://mp3streamer.wuot.org:8000/wuotwide.m3u), this became very annoying in a short period of time. I realized that I had to find a better way if I wanted to have my blessed background music over my Boxee Box.
The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to add the URL of the stream (like the one above) as links in Delicious, and then use the RSS reader in Boxee to select the feed from the RSS application. Here’s how….
1. Add the stream you want to a Delicious bookmark. I added the MP3 feed for my local NPR station, WUOT, which is at http://mp3streamer.wuot.org:8000/wuotwide.m3u). For reference, my Del.icio.us user ID is bftcpa.
2. When I saved the link, I tagged it with numerous tags, including “Streaming”.
3. Del.icio.us creates an RSS feed for me at the following address:
For example, an RSS feed of all of the links I’ve saved with the tag Streaming would be at http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/bftcpa/Streaming. An RSS feed of just the items tagged with both Streaming and NPR would be at http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/bftcpa/Streaming+NPR , and a feed with the items tagged Streaming and tech would be at http://feeds.delicious.com/v2/rss/bftcpa/Streaming+tech
4. To access these feeds, use the RSS feed application, and when you click on a link inside the feed, it will launch the stream in a browser window.
The inability to easily add an audio stream to more prominent locations in Boxee is an issue, but this workaround makes it work very nicely, and now I can work around my horrible radio reception in my office!