Apple TV, iTunes Updated; World Remains Unchanged

By  |  Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Apple has dusted the cobwebs off of Apple TV with a new software upgrade that introduces a redesigned user interface, which is intended to make it easier to play favorites. iTunes 9.0.2 was released in conjunction with the update.

Apple TV 3.0 has a redesigned main menu that adds shortcuts to recently rented or purchased movies. TV shows, music, podcasts, photos and YouTube are also front and center.

In addition, iTunes extras and iTunes LP content can now be played on the Apple TV in full screen. Genius mixes and Internet radio can now be played through home theater systems. The iTunes upgrade adds HE-AAC playback and encoding.

I still wonder when Apple will start a subscription service. For the moment, my colleague Harry McCracken has largely forsaken his Apple TV for a Roku, because his Roku gives him unlimited content through Netflix.

Apple TV is a nice device, but it is not, as Harry has stated, “an iPod-like transcendent hit.” I’m sure it would work well paired with one of those snazzy new 27″ iMacs, but very little (other than iTunes synchronization) differentiates Apple TV from its competitors. How about it, Steve?

There has been rumors abound about Apple getting into the TV business, and selling an all-in-one unit. I would be happy to forsake a box for a TV that has Apple software built in. My tiny Manhattan living room doesn’t have much space for more stuff.

Apple TV 3.0 is a free download for existing customers; new 160GB units cost $229. Last month, Apple slashed the Apple TV’s price, and increased capacity.


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. sfmitch Says:

    There is NO way that Apple is getting into the TV business. None.

    To be clear, the TV business would be selling flat screen TVs (like Sony, Samsung, Panasonic sell). The 27″ iMac is NOT an example of Apple getting into the TV business.

    The TV business stinks and I think Apple is smart enough to realize they don’t want any part of that low margin business.

    No chance.

  2. David Worthington Says:

    How about partnering with TV makers to embedded its software?

  3. David Worthington Says:


  4. sfmitch Says:

    As Netflix has showed, partnering can be a win-win.

    Is it Apple’s style? I don’t think so, but I think it would be great for consumers, Apple and for TV makers.

  5. Mark Sigal Says:

    The scenario that I see playing out with Apple TV is that when the Tablet comes out, it will support iPhone Applications (or perhaps an optimized version of same).

    Coincident with that time is the logical time for Apple to upgrade Apple TV to play iPhone Apps. Apple is all about leverage and synchronicity at this point, and that would give them a larger runtime domain, something that I blogged about in:

    Apple, the ‘Boomer’ Tablet and the Matrix

    Check it out, if interested.


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