November 11, 2011

We told you about Condition One before, a first-person immersive video app that combines “the power of the still image, the narrative of films and the emotional engagement of tactile experiences”. In recognition of Veterans Day, developer Danfung Dennis has finally brought the unique, interactive video experience, which as of yet features mostly video shot in war-torn regions, to the App Store with a free app for iPad… expand full story

October 27, 2011

Apple open sources their Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC)

Apple announced on Mac OS Forge today that they have open sourced their Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). ALAC was introduced in 2004 as OS X’s core audio codec to compress audio files 40-60 percent without losing any quality. The codec is currently supported by Macs and the latest iOS devices. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec […]

September 12, 2011

Cable television channel TNT, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System division of Time Warner, has released an iPad app which gives you complete access to full-length television shows and movies aired by the network. As you’ve come to expect from similar apps, TNT for iPad lets you access behind-the-scenes videos, check out program guides and schedule reminders. It also integrates with GetGlue, Facebook and Twitter so you can pollute your friends’ social stream with the seemingly unimportant “I’m watching…” status updates.

Important caveat: Watching full episodes of television shows such as The Closer, Falling Skies and Rizzoli & Isles requires authenticating through your television provider. The TNT for iPad app is a free download from the App Store. Go past the fold for three additional screenshots of the TNT for iPad app.

NBC has also updated its iPad app with the same content found on the web site. Yes, you can finally stream The Office to your iPad! Also, their TBS for iPad program does the same for Turner’s other shows, including episodes of Conan, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, available free on your tablet.

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December 15, 2010

It would appear that NFL Sunday ticket is coming to AppleTV, Boxee and Roku players if a survey dug up by Engadget has any merit.  Not surprising as it is a natural extension of the AppleTV experience.  But will it be delivered as an app or as a built in module in the way Netflix is currently delivered.  Notice there is no mention of GoogleTV? expand full story

November 11, 2010

If you love the smell of fried conspiracy in the morning then you may enjoy this observation from Business Insider — it looks like Apple TV sales may be being kept put of the ‘top selling’ categories on Amazon.

You see, even with a quarter million sold so far, Apple TV doesn’t show up in among the top 100 list of electronics items sold via the giant retailer, but there’s evidence to show it should be in the top 20.  AppleTVs do show up here and here. expand full story

September 28, 2010

OK, this Internet TV thing is just getting kinda nuts right now.  A few months ago, the best thing you could hope for was a $600 Mac Mini with a Logitech diNovo Mini keyboard to get Hulu and Netflix and the rest of your movie collection into your living room with any sort of elegance.  What a difference a few months makes.

Now with $99 AppleTV arriving in people’s homes and $200+ Boxee Box and GoogleTV coming at some undisclosed point in the future, everyone seems to want to share everything everywhere.  And that’s great!

Roku/Hulu announced today that they’d be coming to those cheap little streaming Roku boxes.  Incidentally, so did Tivo. So for $10/month plus a $60 down, you can pretty much have basic cable over Internet. Cut the cord! (except that its probably the same coaxial cable that brings your Internet)

I’m really hoping to see Apple to announce a similar Hulu deal for AppleTV.  Hulu Plus already exists on iOS devices so there isn’t a technical issue and if it is on Roku, there is no legal issue related to TV streams.  Soooo….

Let consumers decide whether they want to pay $1-$3/episode on iTunes or $10 + commercials for on-demand TV. If Netflix can be blessed on AppleTV, then why not Hulu?  Oh, and how about some international rollouts Hulu while  we’re at it?

Full Press Roku-Hulu release below:

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September 2, 2010

Ars Technica got an Apple spokesperson to relay the bad news to those Apple hobbiests that, until last week, plucked down $229 for the former AppleTV:

We confirmed with an Apple spokesperson that the maximum HD resolution of the Apple TV is 720p, consistent with recent rumors. Additionally, there will be no software update to bring the new features to older Apple TVs. Older Apple TVs will continue to work as they have been working up to this point, and they will continue to be able to purchase movies and TV shows even though the new Apple TV is rental-only.

Good news?  The Boxee community is likely to continue to update their fantastic (but often slow) offering.  Better yet, now you don’t have to feel guilty about hacking your AppleTV now that Apple has abandoned it.  (via Giz) expand full story

March 18, 2010

The New York Times last night revealed that Google, in partnership with device manufacturer Sony and peripherals manufacturer Logitech, were working on a ‘GoogleTV’.

Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like and probably inevitable for the company that knows no bounds in their reach for the digital consumer.

But are there chairs being thrown in Cupertino? Perhaps, but they’ve had it coming. AppleTV could’ve been so much more than it is. Apple could own this market, yet they’ve let all matter of competitors come in and take some space, including Boxee which rode to prominence hacked into an AppleTV.

read more

February 28, 2010

Jon Stokes at Ars has an interesting take on the iPad’s A4 processor.  He says it doesn’t have ARM’s next-generation Cortex A9 design which supports multicore processors.  Instead, he contends that it is a single-core ARM Cortex A8 design which is along the same lines as the current iPhone 3GS, iPod touch as well as the Palm Pre, Droid, etc.

As I watched the videos and read the reports of the iPad in action at the launch event, I was thoroughly convinced that the device was built on the out-of-order Cortex A9, possibly even a dual-core version. But it turns out that the the A4 is a 1GHz custom SoC with a single Cortex A8 core and a PowerVR SGX GPU. The fact that A4 uses a single A8 core hasn’t been made public, but I’ve heard from multiple sources who are certain for different reasons that this is indeed the case. (I wish I could be more specific, but I can’t.)

Stokes speculates that Apple’s performance gains are likely the results of the chopping off I/O and camera components from the design (other companies get these generic chips with everything in them).  He contends that the reason Apple hasn’t released any information on the A4 is because there is no “wow” factor to it. (10 hours of video on a bright 10-inch notwithstanding)

NVIDIA was the first to announce a high production ARM Cortex A9 based processor which should be getting put inside the Boxee Box from Dlink soon.

November 7, 2009

October 29, 2009

When Apple says AppleTV is just a hobby, they really mean it.  A lot of you were hoping for more with Apple TV 3.0.  After two years since the last update, we were too.  But Apple’s big surprises for AppleTV 3.0 are, in the words of Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services:

with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes and Internet radio.

Apple TV 3 also includes a new Interface and redesigned main menu that put recently purchased and top media content on top.  We’ll get some screenshots as soon as we do this update (we’re not sure we want to kill Boxee for this).  Press release follows:

Apple Introduces Apple TV 3.0 Software With Redesigned User Interface

Enjoy iTunes Extras, iTunes LP & Genius Mixes on Your HD TV

CUPERTINO, California—October 29, 2009—Apple® today introduced new Apple TV® 3.0 software featuring a redesigned main menu that makes navigating your favorite content simpler and faster, and makes enjoying the largest selection of on-demand HD movie rentals and purchases, HD TV shows, music and podcasts from the iTunes® Store even better on your TV. You can now enjoy iTunes Extras and iTunes LP in stunning fullscreen with your Apple TV, as well as listen to Genius Mixes and Internet radio through your home theater system. The new Apple TV software is available immediately free of charge to existing Apple TV owners, and Apple TV with 160GB capacity is available for just $229.

“The new software for Apple TV features a simpler and faster interface that gives you instant access to your favorite content,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services. “HD movies and HD TV shows from iTunes have been a huge hit with Apple TV customers, and with Apple TV 3.0 they get great new features including iTunes Extras, Genius Mixes and Internet radio.”

The redesigned main menu on Apple TV gives you instant access to your favorite content. Recently rented or purchased movies, as well as other content including TV shows, music, podcasts, photos and YouTube, are accessible directly from the new main menu. The new software also allows Apple TV users to enjoy stunning fullscreen iTunes Extras and iTunes LP, including great new movie titles such as “Star Trek” or classics like “The Wizard of Oz” and albums such as Taylor Swift’s “Fearless (Platinum Edition)” and Jack Johnson’s “En Concert.” iTunes Extras gives movie fans great additional content such as deleted scenes, interviews and interactive galleries. iTunes LP is the next evolution of the music album, delivering a rich, immersive experience for select albums on the iTunes Store by combining beautiful design with expanded visual features like live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, album credits and more.

Now Apple TV users can enjoy Genius Mixes through their home theater system and listen to up to 12 endless mixes of songs that go great together, automatically generated from their iTunes library. Customers can also enjoy Internet radio, allowing them to browse and listen to thousands of Internet radio stations, as well as tag favorite stations to listen to later. Apple TV’s support of HD photos is enhanced with iPhoto Events, which simplifies finding your favorite photos on Apple TV, as well as iPhoto® Faces, which gives access to photos organized by people identified in iPhoto.

Apple TV users have direct access to a catalog of over 8,000 Hollywood films on iTunes including over 2,000 in stunning HD video available for rent or purchase. Users can also choose from a selection of 11 million songs, 10,000 music videos and over 50,000 TV episodes to purchase directly from their Apple TV or browse and enjoy the iTunes Store podcast directory of over 175,000 free video and audio podcasts. Purchases downloaded to Apple TV are automatically synced back to iTunes on the user’s computer for enjoyment on their Mac® or PC or all current generation iPods or iPhones.* iPod touch® or iPhone® users can download the free Remote app from the App Store to control their Apple TV with a simple tap or flick of the finger.

Pricing & Availability
The new Apple TV software is available as a free automatic download to all Apple TV customers. The 160GB Apple TV is available from the Apple Store® (, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $229 (US). Apple TV requires an 802.11b/g/n wireless network or 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking, a broadband Internet connection and a high definition widescreen TV. Video availability varies by country.

Apple TV easily connects to a broad range of widescreen TVs and home theater systems and comes standard with HDMI, component video, analog and optical audio ports. Using high-speed Wi-Fi, Apple TV automatically plays your iTunes content without setup or management.

*Movie rentals work on iPod classic®, iPod nano® with video, iPod touch, iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.



  • BULLET 1
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Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

Press Contacts:
Randi Wolfson
(408) 862-1225

Jason Roth



(408) 862-2633

Today’s new EULA for iTunes throws up a pretty obvious clue that an AppleTV 3.0 update is coming up – perhaps in a matter of days.  The neglected hobby of Apple’s isn’t dead yet folks.  Besides iTunesLP, is there any possibility of something useful like Hulu or Netflix showing up on there?  Will it be enough to convince people to update and remove Boxee?  We’ll find out soon enough.


September 15, 2009

Seagate sent us their new $150 FreeAgent Theater+ HD to review yesterday and we haven’t really put the remote down since.  The device picks up a bit from where AppleTV leaves off in terms of format compatibility.  Is the interface as polished as AppleTV? Of course not.  But it plays just about every media type (movies, photos and music) from your network shares, not just Apple’s preferred file types.   It will even play 1080P videos with Dolby sound over Gigabit Ethernet without skipping.

Seagate tells us they are working on additional content from premium content vendors such as Netflix and the hardware/software solution here is an in-house development, not pulled from 3rd party technology.  We asked about Hulu, they said we have no announcements at this time.  Updates to the platform come via software update from the Internet.  It is definitely wandering into the Plex or Boxee space.

This is an interesting product because Seagate is a hard drive company first and foremost but they don’t require you to buy another drive for this thing beyond what you already have (but it is tempting).  Seagate’s own drives do fit neatly inside the dock bay but it also has USB ports on the front and back to play from USB sticks or plug-in hard drives.  Obviously, network shares and NAS drives might be the best way to share video, however.

The device is an upgrade from the previous FreeAgent Theater which lacked Ethernet, HDMI, or the ability to read Mac HFS formatted volumes. (which we got a review unit for and could do nothing with it, it was essentially useless).  This version is quite th opposite.  You don’t even need to buy a hard drive with this one, it will stream what you already have. 

We’ll put up some videos soon.  You can pre-order the device now from Amazon.

 Press Release Below:

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+™ (Plus), the next generation of the company’s home theater solution, offers customer a rich user experience and simple way to enjoy digital media on their TV Seagate (NASDAQ: STX), the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, today unveiled its new FreeAgent Theater+™ [Plus] HD media player, the next generation home theater solution designed to instantly and easily connect your digital media library to your home entertainment system.

The FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player leverages a docking system unique to Seagate FreeAgent Go™ portable drives and accessories, providing a quick and easy way to connect your external hard drive to your television or home entertainment center. After loading the drive with your favorite movies, videos, music and pictures from the home PC, simply slide it into the FreeAgent Theater+ dock to get instant access to your digital media library. With the FreeAgent Theater+ player, you can just sit back, relax, point, click and enjoy as digitally captured memories and your favorite movies come to life in 1080p HD video, DTS™ 2.0 + Digital Out, or Dolby Digital technology. The interface is easily navigated with the included remote control, and you can choose from video, photos or music with the up/down arrows on the remote to make your selection.

The Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player includes two additional USB ports for connecting other USB attached storage devices. Also incorporated into FreeAgent Theater+ is an Ethernet port for network connectivity, which allows access to digital media through your home network. Seagate intends to launch a USB Wireless Adapter in October to enable this same access with 802.11n wireless connectivity to a home network. Enjoy it all, with the included new and improved remote control, from the comfort of your couch.

“There is so much media that is now being captured and created through various methods and stored on the PC, yet the computer is not the ideal way to enjoy these photos and videos,” said Terry Cunningham, senior vice president, Seagate Branded Solutions. “The FreeAgent Theater provides the easiest way to view and enjoy video and photos on your HDTV. Simply load up a Seagate FreeAgent Go™ hard drive and drop it into the FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player dock. It’s a behavior we’ve all been familiar with for years with VHS and DVDs, but now with digital HD enjoyment.”

The new FreeAgent Theater+™ HD media player solution includes:

HDMI with 1080p HD video playback for high-definition content viewing
Dolby® Digital and DTS™ 2.0 + Digital Out audio support surround sound where available.
Unique docking system eliminates fumbling with cables and connections
Ethernet connection for accessing shared content on your network or streaming of content from the Internet
The optional wireless connectivity feature, expected to be available in October, will allow you to access stored content on any networked computer in the home at your fingertips
Two additional USB ports and one front-mounted port for digital cameras and additional storage devices
Simple sync software for PC and Mac® computers
Intuitive user interface with DVD-style navigation
Support for Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7, and Mac OS® X operating systems, as well as NTFS, FAT, FAT32, HFS+ file support
Component video and Composite video support
Optical S/PDIF audio and Stereo RCA sound options
The software included with FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player is a rich media-specific synchronization application that enables the automatic transfer and organization of all photo, music, video and movie files stored on your computer.

Technical Specifications
The Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player now supports even more Audio/Video and sound formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2 (VOB/ISO), MPEG-4 (DivX® /Xvid formats), DivX HD, Xvid HD, AVI, MOV, MKV, RMVB, AVC HD, H.264, WMV9, VC-1, M2TS, TS/TP/M2T, JPEG files up to 20 megapixels, BMP, GIF, PNG and TIFF. Audio formats supported include 5.1 channel surround sound, where available, and popular digital audio formats including: AAC, MP3, Dolby Digital, DTS, ASF, FLAC, WMA, LPCM, ADPCM, WAV and OGG. The FreeAgent Theater+ player also offers support for SAMI (smi), SRT and SUB subtitles. To download and transfer content to a Seagate FreeAgent Go portable drive using a Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 operated PC, a 256MB RAM and an available USB port is required. Mac computer users must be running Mac OS X 10.4.11 or 10.5.6 or later and have an available USB port. FreeAgent Theater connects to any TV with composite, component video or HDMI connection and stereo, optical S/PDIF or HDMI audio connection

Pricing and Availability
The Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ HD media player is available immediately via and other online retailers. It comes as a stand-alone unit for use with any USB storage device for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $149.99, or bundled with a 500GB FreeAgent Go drive for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $289.99. The FreeAgent Theater+ Wireless Adapter is expected to be available in October as a separate accessory through for $69.99.

June 24, 2009

AppleTV just got a somewhat significant update (2.4) allowing for new gesture support.  Flick gestures can now be used to manipulate Apple TV’s menu options. Also, Video and Audio have new flick gestures that can be used to advance, rewind and replay.  No word yet if it breaks your precious Boxee…but you’d be smart to hold off until some sucker finds out for you.  Check the comments.  MacRumors also got a screenshot below


We’ll be following along as more information becomes avaialble.  Feel free to add your experiences in the comments.  In the words of a certain someone…cool, but not cool enough.

February 10, 2009

November 25, 2008 hits .71 release this week and continues its ascent to the top of the Apple media center world.  Sure, Frontrow is blessed by Apple.  Boxee has lifted the same XBMC code and gone a different direction.  But, as far as fully funtioning Media Centers go, is easily the best, and getting better fast.

This latest update adds support for Aperture library browsing (iPhoto and iTunes has been supported for months).  Not just your Aperture either…but any Aperture out there on the Internet so long as everyone is using Plex.  Support for Adobe’s Lightroom is also on the way.

Recent features include the ability to open any application from Plex’s interface (including FrontRow), iTunes visualizers and playback of DRM tracks from the iTunes store and Sparkle software updates.


Plex Media server, another recent update,  is a standalone program that runs alongside Plex (or alone on any machine, it’s a Universal Binary). It serves up media from your iLife applications and Aperature/Lightroom. Plex communicates with the Plex Media Server on the local machine, on your local network, or even across the world over the Internet. This means that you can play your friends’ iTunes playlists or browse their podcasts or photo albums.

The list really goes on and on.  Plex is everything you’d want in a media center including the ability to browse folders on any system and play just about any type of audio or video file.  Plex isn’t bound by any of the studio deals or format wars Apple software is limited to.

The release can be downloaded via Sparkle (updates), HTTP, or torrent, or built from source.



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