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Boxee gets Clicker app, but not all Clicker data

Clicker really was made for a living-room app like Boxee. But Boxee itself is feeling a bit crowded.

Just a few days ahead of the scheduled public beta launch of media app Boxee on Monday, the excellent Clicker Internet video directory has been ported to the platform.

To review: Boxee is a media viewing app designed for living room use--that is, at a distance, with a remote control. It's a good interface for sources like YouTube, Netflix, CNN, and CBS (our publisher), as well as music, home movies, and photos. We've covered it a lot and quite like it.

Clicker, which we also like, is an extremely well-curated directory of streaming television shows. Clicker on Boxee is that directory on the Boxee platform, and also designed for control from a remote. It works very well. The Clicker service and Boxee appear made for each other.

Clicker on Boxee gives users a nice big interface for browsing shows. Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET

Unfortunately, Clicker on Boxee doesn't have access to the entire Clicker database, which is a big disappointment. In particular, Hulu was removed as an official Boxee content partner earlier this year, so Clicker, which indexes Hulu just fine on its Web interface, won't display Hulu episodes when run on Boxee. Boxee itself has a workaround that shows Hulu content despite the licensing issues, but it's not the full, authorized interface that Boxee used to have, and Clicker doesn't have access to those shows. So if you're on Boxee and want to see a show that's on Hulu, you have to leave Clicker, fire up the Hulu Feeds module, and search for it there.

One of Boxee's other issues at the moment is that there are nearly 40 different content sources that it can view, and several have unique interfaces and search functions. Clicker may be able to find a lot of video content, but it can't find all of it, and if you use Boxee you might have to know which network or service a show is on to find it if it's not on Clicker. Hopefully the upcoming open beta of Boxee, which is said to feature a new interface, will address this issue. We'll have a report on the new version of the app, and how Clicker works inside it, when it launches.

The search function is also designed to be used with a remote control. Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET