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Crazy Friday and My Apple TV

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Server Glitches

The release of the iPhone / iPod touch 2.0 update snuck up on me a little bit.  I was so interested in the 3G phone release (and the share price of aapl) I’d kind of forgotten there’d be an update for my iPod touch.  Once I realized there was an update I tried to get it from iTunes.  Repeatedly.  Despite links on the Apple site the download wasn’t actually available for most of Friday.

I really wanted to try the new Remote application, especially on the Apple TV I got back in May.  But Apple tried to deliver a little too much on Friday, and the links for the new software were useless.  An Ars Technica link pointed to a copy of the iPod firmware that could be downloaded from an apple.com site.   Rumor has it that software worked fine.  It’s quite shocking that Apple would leave the file out in the open all day, even after it had been publicized.

Version 2.0

Anyway – now I have the software update.  I’m really happy with the Remote application.  It would be nice if I could control everything on my Apple TV with it, like Flickr and YouTube.  But it’s a welcome  progression from where I was.

I used to be able to control iTunes remotely using Remote Buddy, but the G5 housing my media library had to be turned on.   The new Remote app links up with my Apple TV directly so I can access the content on its hard drive.

I haven’t really messed around with the Apple TV too much.  But last night I got more interested in organizing my TV shows and music.  There are quite a few options for selecting which content syncs and what gets left behind.

Apple TV Nuances

Here’s something I’m not sure about.  You can set the Apple TV to sync with one computer and pull streaming content off other computers.  I’ve customized how my content is synced instead of letting iTunes figure it out for me.  But under that setup there doesn’t seem to be a way to stream from the computer you’re synced with.  So once the Apple TV drive is full you can’t access any other content from the primary computer.  Can anyone tell me if I have that wrong?

Here’s what I’m looking for now:  If I can control my Apple TV from my iPod I can surely control it from a Mac.  Is Apple going to allow this?  If Apple doesn’t deliver the functionality to Macs it seems kind of mean – like they’re holding it back to drive iPhone and touch sales.

If my touch isn’t sitting in the living room Mrs. Murphy will need to control the music with her Macbook Pro.  She’ll have to use Remote Buddy and we’ll have to talk about the difference between accessing the G5 and accessing the Apple TV and her eyes will drift away, glazed, and I’ll be left talking to myself, trying to explain why Apple doesn’t give her a nice remote app for her lappie.  I’m not looking forward to that.

More on 2.0

There are some nice new features in the 2.0 software.  Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

  • Multiple delete in Mail.  As much as I liked the swipe to raise a delete button in the old version I found it awkward at times.  I like the idea of invisible buttons – epsecially on a small screen where space is precious.  But having another option is a welcome improvement.  I think it’ll help with business users who hit the email hard.
  • Saving pictures from the web.  Or from an email.  Nice.
  • Screen shots.  I captured a Google map page and sent it to a friend so he’d know where to meet me for dinner tomorrow.  If you hold the home button down and hit the power button a screen shot is added to your photo library.  From there you can attach it to an email message.
  • Apps.  I hacked my iPod touch almost as soon as I got it.  I wanted to use it for ferrying files and ssh and whatever else the genius developers could dream up.  I ended up not using the hacks all that often.  In fact, I hardly used them at all.  I’m sure useful apps will show up soon, but for now the Remote app is my favorite.  I resist games and I’m not a big social networker.  Twitteriffic is about as far as I’ve gotten.

More on the Hacks

The work the hacking community did with the first release of the iPhone and the iPod touch was nothing short of incredible.  A professional interface.  Persistance when Apple tried to trip them up.  A reliable uninstaller.  I have a feeling we won’t see ssh or other command line tools any time soon in the App Store, so maybe my jailbreaking life isn’t over yet.

iPocalypse?  No. 

Most people didn’t notice the problems on Friday, Apple just racked up some more free publicity, slightly tainted.  But the true fans were frustrated, and rightfully so.  There’s no excuse for not having server capacity and adequate bandwidth for a launch event like Friday. Apple has had plenty of Christmas days to learn their lesson.  Clearly they haven’t learned.

But we often forget that most people  don’t read Engadget or Ars Technica or TUAW.  Most people heard early adopters were having a hard day and never gave it a second thought.  In fact, as Apple products become more and more mainstream the fanboys and fangirls become a smaller and smaller percentage of Apple’s customer base.  It’ll be easier and easier for Apple to slide by with poor execution like we saw yesterday.

S0 – what’s next?

iPod touchApple TV – Amazon.com

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4 comments to “Crazy Friday and My Apple TV”

  1. I’ve yet to find a way to control my AppleTV with my Mac.
    And about the syncing/sharing: if you only sync certain content to the AppleTV, it’s possible to have the rest available as if it was on the hard drive. This means if you have 700 songs on the AppleTV but 1200 in your iTunes library, 1200 songs will show up in your music list on your AppleTV if the iTunes library it syncs with is available on the network.

    There’s an easy way to make this option available, and I think it’s default:

    http://ethanfortes.com/skitch/iTunes-20081029-225103.jpg

    Hope that helps.

  2. Thanks Ethan, I had the box checked that only allows you to see the synced content. Once I cleared that I was good.

  3. Hi.. I realise this is an older post, and you may have found solutions… but, one way of controlling the ATV from your MAC (via iTunes) is to enable AIRTunes on both your iTunes and ATV – once this is done any track you play in iTunes, will also play on your ATV (complete with album art etc).
    Hope this helps :)

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