Apple TV Initial Impressions

March 27, 2007

Apple TVSomething bad happened yesterday — I wore out yet another keyboard. Worse, while I was at the crack store Fry’s picking up a new one, I walked past a stack of Apple TVs, and one of them followed me home.

Outside of being in the store anyway for the keyboard thing (the “colon” key failed — how the hell can a “colon” key fail? Semicolon works. Shift+anything else works. Try writing HTML or CSS without a colon key), I probably wouldn’t have been as tempted to get one right now if it hadn’t been for the high rate of very interesting hacks emerging for the Apple TV over the past few days — I’m guessing Apple has hit another one out of the park.

The unit comes boxed more or less like an iPod — fold-open box in a slip case, “Made by Apple in California”, etc.

Not a cable in sight, other than the power cord (boo).

At least the power cord doesn’t have a huge transformer brick on it (yea!).

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Ala carte programming — who pays for what?

November 30, 2005

The FCC yesterday came out endorsing “Ala carte” programming from cable and satellite providers — as a way to give parents more control over the type of programming coming into their house.

The full statement of the FCC Chairman before the Senate yesterday is here (Acrobat document), but one section that caught my eye was this:
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Apple’s Livingroom Strategy

October 14, 2005

Apple has released the first piece of their “10 foot experience” — the Apple Media Center, and Eirik Solheim is pondering what is missing

What I miss in the Apple Front Row Experience as far as I can judge from the Apple web site at this point are:
– PVR functionallity with an electronic program guide
– A system for including broadband services
(Like Microsoft Online Spotlight or Beyond Media SnapStream Spotlight)
– Extenders (I guess it’s just a question of time before Apple integrates video streaming in their Airport)
– Support for HD content

To me, this whole thing is like watching a massive storm developing… It’s moving slowly, but it’s going to be enormous.
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“You could go blind…”

October 13, 2005

Gotta love this “Quote of the Day” from the KGB Report.

“Elsewhere, Apple Computer today introduced the first Video IPod, expected to be popular among porn fans with excellent eyesight.”
-Andy Borowitz

(more on Video iPod over here)

First Look at (5G) Video iPod

October 13, 2005

Video iPodiLounge has up a pretty detailed first look at the new “Fifth Generation” Video iPod.

Here’s my take…

As per usual for newly announced Apple products, my drool factor for this thing is awfully high, but also as per usual, it’s a real mixed bag of an announcement.

On the upside, it’s an iPod, so of course it’s sleek and sexy. It’s thinner, it has a bigger screen, it’s available in black (without U2 even), it (predictably) came in at the previous generation’s price point. And hey, it has video!
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How-To save iTunes music videos

September 26, 2005

Have you ever wanted to download one of the one of the iTunes Music Store videos and save it on your local machine? Now you can!

UNEASYsilence has a little script that will turn the iTMS link into a downloadable Quicktime video file that you can save locally.

You can find the script and instructions here.

Postfiltering 4th Generation Media

July 4, 2005

Speaking of non-standard television distribution models, John Rogers (Executive Producer of Global Frequency) is waxing philosophic on what he calls “4th Generation Media” — the “insurgency” model, where you skip all of the crap of getting people’s attention on the medium-of-scarcity (traditional television), and go direct to getting people’s attention via media-of-plenty (broadband, DVD, etc.)
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Slingbox Buzz

July 2, 2005

slingboxIf buzz is enough to make you rich, then the folks at Slingbox are due quite a payday (despite having one of the more grotesque case designs I’ve seen in ages).

There’s a lot of talk about Slingbox right now, but I’m getting mighty frustrated about what’s not being said, namely a list of equipment and players that they thing is known to work correctly with.
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DIY iTunes Movies & Video

May 22, 2005

If you’re tweaked about having videos in iTunes, but getting them from iTunes Music Store just isn’t enough for you, you might want to check out this tip for creating iTunes-viewable movies from certain sources.

Mac only, tho.

Xbox 360 – Media Center Details Emerge

May 17, 2005

More details seem to be emerging at E3 regarding the Xbox 360’s integration with Windows Media Center Edition 2005, as well as sharing content from non-MCE XP systems.

Windows IT Pro has an excellent run-down.

The Xbox 360 MCX will include the full Media Center user experience and not the stripped down version seen on today’s Extenders. That means you get the full fidelity of the Media Center experience, complete with animations, transitions during photos slideshows, and so on. For many users, the Xbox 360 MCX will even look nicer than the default UI on a Media Center PC, a first for any Extender.

If you don’t have an XP-based Media Center PC, Xbox 360 will use Windows Media Connect technology to interact with the digital media content on your XP-based PCs over your home network. This experience won’t be as rich as the Extender experience, but will instead use normal Xbox 360 menus via its “Access Music or Photos” interface. Additionally, you can use this interface to interact with CD audio or photo disks, music you’ve ripped directly to the Xbox 360 hard drive, music stored on attached MP3 players, or photos stored on attached digital cameras.

One of the more surprising details seems to be native support for the PSP and iPod — you’ll be able to access music, photos and video (in the case of the PSP) by plugging the device into a USB port on the Xbox.

Interesting that it has all of this, and they’ve still been dithering over whether to offer support for last-generation Xbox games. It’s almost like more thought has been put into what drives demand for video and music users than what gamers want…


(via Digital Media Thoughts)

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