As with all Apple products, the heart of iTV was the software. Here, Apple played to its strengths; the Apple TV's interface was meant to look and act like an iPod. The top-level menus were all about content. The user would select from the following list:. From there, they could drill down to what they wanted to watch with the remote. The UI showed metadata about content and allowed for scrubbing back and forth during playback.
It was all pretty simple, by design. Beyond the hardware and UI, Apple didn't go into details about how content got onto the box, but did so at Macworld That keynote should be familiar; the Apple TV's birth was overshadowed by something far more successful: the iPhone. Here, Jobs shared more details about how the Apple TV actually worked.
The player was capable of playing p video and included a 40 GB hard drive. That hard drive was key.
The Apple TV could sync content from one computer, or stream content from up to five. A user could set the device up to auto-sync content. For example, the most recent 10 unwatched movies or the latest season of a set TV show could be automatically sent to the hard drive on the Apple TV.
Syncing this content meant that a user could simply pick up the remote, navigate to the desired content and hit play.
Movie and TV shows could be streamed to the Apple TV as well, as Chris Breen mentioned in his review, but syncing led to a smoother user experience in the living room:. Setting up streaming works similarly to syncing. A new PIN number will appear. And most importantly, many people watch quite a bit of media straight from their Macs with no television involved. Apple offers some very impressive Cinema Displays that would run Front Row pretty perfectly without the Apple TV ever needing to be involved.
All those people watching media on their Macs have no media center to call their own. They have to navigate the increasingly clunky iTunes and use the terrible DVD player. Front Row makes sense because the Mac is made for media. Would I love to see Front Row come back? Of course I would. Not in the least. There will most likely never be a media center built for the Mac ever again. That ship seems to have sailed with the newest iteration of the Apple TV software, never to return again.
Any modern replacement for Front Row? | MacRumors Forums
Maybe software nostalgia is best left in the past, where your memory of it is far better than the reality, but I miss Front Row and would gladly welcome it back to play all my media once again. Brian is a technology nut who loves all things Apple. Along with tech blogging he owns and operates a website dedicated to Craft Beer knowledge and information: Craft Beer Academy. With a love of sharing information and finding the newest tech out there, he is a great source for interesting news and instruction.
There have been several attempts at a mac media center and frontrow was a very good built-in application. Via iTunes you could add your own media movies, music, photos and have it played from a central piece of software. Overall, good stuff.
Sync or Stream
Not perfect but good. No need to reinvent the wheel. Which is the problem with any third party media center for the Mac. The mac mini rules the media room hands down. Teddy, creating a reference movie for every movie in my collection is hardly a good solution! If it did I might be interested.
As it stands a mac mini is a far better solution, and what the OP fails to mention is that AppleTV needs a mac in the first place to get content from.
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Thats what they are good at. Apple is has always been good at abstracting: abstracting technology into something that is understandable for normal human beings. They are going after the basic couch potato in one sense as well as those who simply couldn care less which branch of bsd they have built it on. Even the mini is a far cry from the mac clasic in this sense. Good comparison. The The Apple TV can play anything you load onto iTunes.
Though iTunes does not accept AVI files, you can take quick and easy steps without encoding to import such files onto iTunes.
So to put it simply, if you have videos that can be played in Quicktime, they can be played in iTunes using the method above. This means you should be able to play the same files on Apple TV. Also it lets me use plugins for xvid, divx and other piracy formats :P. You can check your email and websurf on a MacMini. Hopefully version 2. Was questionning myself since second one I saw the aTV.
The Future of Apple TV and Front Row
So thanks for the comparaison. Like the blog, but without a left hand margin, the text is hard to read! Needs white space on the left hand side! Get a life and make a positive comment-. One more thing going for the Mac Mini is that it is a backup machine in case anything happens to your primary one. We back up our machines daily to a bootable external drive. If we had a Mac Mini, she could boot from the external drive, and use it just like her macbook without skipping a beat.
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