Monday, July 27, 2009

hulu-desktop on Linux

Hulu is releasing a desktop application to watch their TV shows and movies through. They are presently only developing it for the Windows and Mac platforms. I decided to give it a spin on Ubuntu using Wine. The application is basically an Adobe Flash player that runs their flash application.

I downloaded the application from http://www.hulu.com/labs/hulu-desktop and ran the installer. Everything about the installation went well. It informed me that Adobe Flash was not installed and asked me if I wanted to install it. I selected Yes and it took care of grabbing and installing the Windows version of Flash in Wine, and that too gave me no problems.

The application runs just fine until you go to watch a TV show. I chose arrested development. The playback is not bad. It is only slightly choppy, but I found that little bit of chop to be enough to not want to use it over the browser interface at hulu.com.

Since the program is written in flash and runs inside a flash player, and Adobe provides flash support for Linux it should be rather easy for Hulu to bring their application to Linux. Maybe someone out there will pick apart the pieces of the downloaded application and be able to point a Linux-native flash player to their flash application.

The screenshot below was taken on my dual-monitor PC. The left image is my left monitor, and the right image is my right monitor, which is playing and episode of Arrested Development in the Windows version of hulu-desktop inside of Wine.