When last we reported on the odd relationship between the Hulu Internet TV service and Boxee media center software–part tango, part warfare–Hulu was doing everything in its power to foil Boxee fans who simply wanted to watch Hulu programming via Boxee’s TV-friendly interface. Today, the company launched a new product: Hulu Desktop. It lets you watch Hulu via a TV-friendly interface. Kind of like Boxee–very much like Boxee–except without all the content, and with terms of service that forbid you from running it on an Apple TV
When the whole spat began back in February, Hulu adopted a sad, thoughtful, open tone in its blog post on the matter. The blog post introducing Desktop, however, trumpets Desktop as something cool invented by some Hulu engineers, and makes no reference to Boxee.
I’m not a Huluhater. I think that content owners are allowed to make decisions about how their content is consumed, even if they A) make my life difficult; and B) may be self-defeating in the long run. And I haven’t given up all hope of some deal being struck that puts Hulu back on Boxee. But this is sad, just sad–and if Hulu Desktop flourishes and Boxee withers away, it’ll be sadder still.
Anyhow, I can’t get Hulu Desktop to run on my Mac–it flings error messages at me, refuses to stream video, and shuts itself down. I’ll try again on another machine. Any opinions?