The recently introduced Apple TV 2.2 update may have made an appearance with little fanfare, but did in fact introduce a range of cool improvements to the device.

We’re all aware that the system can now generate Genius playlists based on a selected track – that feature’s been widely-reported. But it doesn’t stop there – system handling of music videos has at last been improved, in order that users can simply hit a button and the music videos will play one after another.

That’s significant because until now you had to initiate playback on each music video manually. And you can now also shuffle videos as well, and also build your own video playlists, which can include a mix of music and video.

Green-aware users have complained that the Apple TV is an always-on device. If you’ve ever touched one in operation you’ll know that it exudes a fair amount of heat, suggesting the system also uses a fair amount of power. With no way to switch the machine off, this was a waste of energy – not really in tune with the times. The new software now offers a Standby button within the device menu.

The update also includes user interface tweaks in the YouTube player and photo slideshows and introduces new features like On-The-Go and Genius playlists, HD television shows purchases and an improved standby mode. 

US users can also purchase TV shows in HD format. Browsing the store has been massively improved – you can now browse movies on the iTunes store by actor and director. Select “More” on the movie page and browse the actor and director list on the left to see other movies for that individual.

Additional new features include support for On-the-Go playlist creation and a bunch of security enhancements.

Early reports suggested that installing the software could create problems with the system engaging in an endless cycle of restarts – we experienced similar symptoms, but the system seemed to right itself after around five minutes.

 

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