Early this week I got Apple TV device through one of my friend who came from USA. Before getting a Kinect I was using XBOX 360 in my Bedroom to access Digital Media. But once Kinect came I had to move XBOX, Kinect & LED TV to my Study room. So I got Apple TV to fill this need.
The first impression you get after you open the package with the $99 device is how small & cute it is. The device on the sides came with a Black Tape stuck all around, so for few minutes I was wondering why there are no ports or even power socket. The remote is even more smaller & unbelievably thinner. Hat’s off to Apple on the minimalist design.
Apple TV allows you to access YouTube Videos (Favourites & Most Popular), Movies & TV shows from iTunes & Digital Media (Photos, Music & Videos) that you have stored in your Home PC (or Mac) in iTunes libraries. The device has no hard-disk or any other drive, so no noise or heating. The device runs iOS (as in iPhone & iPad), so Indic Language (like Tamil) files names appear legibly. You also get an iPhone app “Remote” that allows you to manage any iTunes Library including Apple TV from your iPhone – quite convenient and thoughtful. The app (unlike Logitech Harmony app) is minimalist and easy to configure & use.
While accessing Music & Videos the experience is great thanks to iTunes. But when it comes to Pictures the experience nose-dives due to same iTunes & its poor Pictures management support. I have like 15,000 pictures in my PC, neatly organized into folders like Personal, Events, Travel, Family, Friends and so on, with each of them having sub-folders for each year in which the photos were taken. It took a long time before Apple TV could showed the first photo, then it displayed all the 15,000 photos in one go – how can you scroll through thousands of photos?. There was no way for me to sort/group/search for a particular album or year or keyword. After some time I gave up the fruitless exercise and took my son to my PC where I showed the photos he wanted to see. I am at loss at why even after 10 Versions iTunes doesn’t have proper features to add/delete/edit pictures, categorize them into folders/sub-folders and so on. If there is one thing I hate in iPhone & iTunes it is Pictures management.
Read about my experience with Google TV here.