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Apple Enters Media Center Domain

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the another-front-in-the-battle dept.

Apple 241

An anonymous reader writes "CNN has a story up describing Apple's new media center concept. The software takes on a classic Apple approach: simplicity. 'The program, called Front Row, lets you listen to music, watch videos, play DVDs and display photos from a distance with a few clicks of a lighter-sized, six-button remote control.'" More details available from ThinkSecret.

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241 comments

Or.... (4, Insightful)

daeley (126313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169302)

This isn't precisely a secret, however, and hasn't been for the months since it was introduced. :)

http://www.apple.com/imac/frontrow.html [apple.com]

Re:Or.... (5, Informative)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169334)

The news is in the second link... the article on thinksecrets.com

Basically the news is that Apple will be letting users stream purchased content from .mac iDisk drives - including full length movies.

I still can't decide if this is a good idea or not... this model has its advantages, but it most certainly has its disadvantages as well.

Re:Or.... (5, Informative)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169423)

The hype is in the second link... the rumor on thinksecrets.com

Basically the speculation is that Apple might be letting users stream purchased content from .mac iDisk drives - including full length movies.


Fixed. :)

Re:Or.... (2, Interesting)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169366)

I've been proclaiming for weeks that the big announcement the day the iPod with video came out was not the iPod but was that Apple is going to start doing media center stuff. Nobody listened to me. It surprises me how long it has taken people figure this out. Watch a new mac mini come out with Front Row on it that can keep up on the frame rates for HDTV output. People would love something like that in their media centers.

Re:Or.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169534)

Watch a new mac mini come out with Front Row on it that can keep up on the frame rates for HDTV output.

You really mean it. Poor soul. Apple-marketing has hit you pretty hard. Had some traumatic experiences with Steve "The Rim" Jobs' erect genital, too, I presume.

Re:Or.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169871)

You really mean it. Poor soul. Apple-hating has hit you pretty hard. Had some traumatic experiences with your uncle's erect genital, too, I presume.

Re:Or.... (3, Interesting)

TinyManCan (580322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169633)

You speak the truth here. As long as the Mini can drive an HD set @ 1080i through a DVI _AND_ component out, I will be happy. Unfortunately I got bit by the HD bug a bit early and bought a mitsubishi HD set before DVI was commonplace. I only have component inputs for HD. Well, and FireWire, but I am not too sure how well that would work for this use.

If Apple gets a mini out with those specs, I'll be first in line. I've bought several of today's minis, and would not bother buying one to use as a HTPC if it has the right horsepower and connectivity.

Re:Or.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169788)

Well, the reason nobody listened to you was that we'd all figured it out already within five seconds of the announcement. Your enthusiasm is noted, however.

Re:Or.... (3, Funny)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169809)

Thats because everybody else got sick of saying it 6 months before that. Sorry to be rude, but look at the archvives of thinksecret. Every 5th story is something about how Apple is going to kill MCE, or merge with some other media company (TiVo, XM, Sirus, ect...)

Re:Or.... (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169492)

Frontrow might be a nice program, but a software package alone is clearly not enough. If these applications (music, pictures, movies) make it into the livingroom, it won't be on an iMac, but integrated with the TV and stereo. The question is, what content distribution network, and what end-user hardware, will make an application like frontrow successful?

Re:Or.... (3, Informative)

he-sk (103163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169734)

Let's see, my iBook is my stereo (hooked to the receiver and i don't have a cd deck or anything else) and i don't own a tv.

So front row is all i need for my living room media center thing. And a bigger screen. Those apple cinema screens look nice. :)

Re:Or.... (2, Interesting)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169866)

My standard DVD player already does Music, Pictures & Movies.

OTOH A mac Mini with a decent sized fast hard drive, HDMI, and the right shape for a living room ('lunchbox' doesn't really fit in) sounds cool... provided it has Tivo functionality of course.

Parent isn't insightful! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169521)

mod down parent - the didn't read the article. This is NEW information ... especially the Think Secret link.

Re:Or.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169615)

This isn't precisely a secret, however, and hasn't been for the months since it was introduced.

Woz launched a start up with a similar idea decades ago.

What a yawn-fest (0, Troll)

scuba_steve_1 (849912) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169693)

Man, the media has a love affair with Apple. First, Apple doesn't even represent this product as a convergence device. They make the UI large and legible from a distance and give you a toy 6 button remote, but don't even come close to saying that it is a media PC alternative...which it is not. It cannot display, record, or timeshift a TV signal. Wow...pics on my TV. My consumer DVD player plays DVDs, WMAs, MP3s, and displays a range of images for slideshows. My TiVo is a timeshifting PVR that networks wirelessly to my PC for MP3 audio, image slideshows, and other TiVo-enabled applications, which I can develop myself in Java.

An Apple low-end pseudo-media PC! Woot! Forgive me for feigning enthusiasm. Bash MS, but they have stepped to the plate with a media PC solution...or I can just build my own...or use the range of other consumer devices that I have mentioned above. Please, let's tone down the love fest until Apple actually starts to innovate in an area other than cute packaging. Until then...yawn.

Old News? (0)

EduardoFonseca (703176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169311)

Huh? Isn't this old news?

FP!

Re:Old News? (4, Funny)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169390)

In other news, Apple is rumored to be working on an operating system that is based on BSD Unix and will have a user-friendly UI attached to it.

They are also thinking of getting into the music arena, possibly with portable MP3 players, but analysts say this is just crazy.

Two different things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169391)

The CNN article is a review of Front Row 1.0 on the new iMac. The Think Secret article is about the NEXT version of Front Row and Apple's new content distribution system.

Re:Old News? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169512)

Yes, but they forgot to mention that it will cost twice (perhaps thrice) as much as any alternative, sacrifice functionality for a pretty GUI and SVG scaling effects, and claim to have innovated things that were created a decade ago.

Stupid Publicity (0, Flamebait)

HaMMeReD3 (891549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169312)

Didn't RTFA but what the hell does it matter, front row is not new? For something to be news it should be new, this is just olds.

Re:Stupid Publicity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169343)

If you did RTFA, it's not talking about Frontrow as much as the content delivery system they're creating for it.

Re:Stupid Publicity (2, Interesting)

remove office (871398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169400)

actually... what TFA is talking about is a new version of frontrow (2.0) which will be introduced in january along with a new media center edition mac mini (complete with ipod dock built in, possible tivo functionality etc).

it also looks like they're prepping lots of new content from several new cable networks and other sources. i wouldn't be surprised if pixar started making exclusive shorts for the itms (itunes music, er, media store)...

About time (1)

XiticiX (712612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169317)

This thing will be SLICK! Can't wait to make a few scripts for customization on this one. One thing that bugs me is the fact that you're stuck with their display. Apple is way too "monopoly"-like when it comes to their hardware. Maybe that will change once they go the x86 route, but I doubt it.

Re:About time (4, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169339)

>One thing that bugs me is the fact that you're stuck with their display

I think the Mac Mini demonstrates a willingness to abandon single source on displays. Good thing too, IMHO

Re:About time (1)

ThaFooz (900535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169583)

Absolutley, I refuse to purchase any machine with the display married to the computer. I kind of think the iMac is fugly, but that's beside the point.

I love their PowerBooks, and if Apple made a decent mid-level desktop without a display (say, a G5 with a Geforce6600 for about $1,000), I would have already purchased it. The Mini is nice and all, but a G4 & 32 meg vid card doesn't cut it for even occasional gaming, and starting at $2,500, the dual G5 PowerMac is total overkill for my needs.

Re:About time (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169691)

Front Row only works on the latest-generation iMacs, the ones with cameras, and not on PowerMacs or Mac Minis. Somewhat depressing, but they can still change their mind on that. And, of course, the iMacs have video out.

Re:About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169709)

That's funny, I thought the Mac II (1987) through the PowerMac G5 tower represented a willingness to abandon single-source displays. But that's just me...

Re:About time (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169454)

One thing that bugs me is the fact that you're stuck with their display.

So hacksaw it off already. It supports a second display (mirrored). Or you could just wait till they release the new towers and minis and buy one of them and a display of your choice.

CNN wastes our time yet again (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169319)

How can you even compare the two? They aren't similar at ALL, but CNN gives Apple a long slow asskiss anyway. "Sometimes, less is more" for this DVR-killer which isn't a DVR.

Re:CNN wastes our time yet again (0)

Deviate_X (578495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169495)

"Give them Less Is certainly More profit" For Apple Computer, and its a stragegy that has worked well for them before.

CNN is right about this being "tiptoes into Media Center" domain.

Installing Frontrow on any system (5, Informative)

Digital Pizza (855175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169332)

There's a utility called "Frontrow Enabler" that will allow you to install FrontRow on any Mac, not just the iMac G5. The utility and instructions are here. [macupdate.com] You need Pacifist and the latest FrontRow Update from Apple.

Re:Installing Frontrow on any system (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169551)

FrontRow Enabler modifies your BezelServices.framework and BezelService.loginPlugin files to trick FrontRow into thinking your machine is a iMac G5? What are the side-effects?

Not a Media Center (2, Insightful)

bookemdano63 (261600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169338)

"Front Row doesn't display live TV"
That is pretty limited functionality. So, why would you hook this up to your TV?

Re:Not a Media Center (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169434)

"Front Row doesn't display live TV" That is pretty limited functionality. So, why would you hook this up to your TV?

TVs already display live TV. The idea is that this can be a replacement for your DVD player and CD player. It lets you easily play music, movies, and TV shows and other video you buy online. I think they are hoping to basically do an end run around the cable and satellite companies. Instead of subscribing to cable, you just buy the shows you want rather than a subscription to a bunch of shows you don't want and a few you do. The main drawback is the cost per show (which seems high). The main advantage is it lets you have a permanent copy and see it whenever you want, instead of on a fixed schedule.

Re:Not a Media Center (2, Insightful)

lakin (702310) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169446)

Most TV's can already handle live TV ;)

Re:Not a Media Center (1)

bookemdano63 (261600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169666)

And CD players play CDs and DVD players play DVDs. I thought the point of a media center was to have one interface for all media.

Re:Not a Media Center (3, Interesting)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169518)

I found a far more more elegant solution. My "media" Mac is a G4 dual 867 MDD (wind tunnel) with 3 200gb drives and 2 more external 200gb firewire drives. It lives in the library (with my main work Mac: a Dual 1.8 G5. In the living room near the television, sharing space with the VCR, DVD, Laserdisc, and (since I am old old school) Betamax machines is a little silver box called an EyeHome [elgato.com]

This magic thing is connected to a router (though it also works on a Airport Extreme or other wireless solution) and via Ethernet pumps avi mp4 and other formatted files to my television. It also handles digital optical sound and mp3s. My stereo system can rock to Weird Al or my collection of Dr Demento shows... Pictures can also be displayed and if you are all thumbs, Web surfing is available. It works with 10.3.9 and above (10.2.8 if you are creative) and oh yes, it works from a remote.

Re:Not a Media Center (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169644)

Eyehome, bah. Nothing so special. I can do every single thing you said with a $100 used Xbox, and the Xbox even plays games!

Six-button remote control (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169344)

Five of buttons change the color of media center unit and one is for the mouse click.

Re:Six-button remote control (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169758)

actually, it's MS who decided one of the most important buttons to have on their Media Player was a "change skin colour" button. unfortunately the only colours it supports are vomit-inducing, apart from the silver option.

I'm happy that Apple sticks to the principle of "design it properly in the first place and there's no need for stupid fucking skins".

read the link! (5, Informative)

Chowser (888973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169354)

Read the link to the article at Thinksecret. It's more than about Frontrow. The short paragraph linking to the article doesn't really describe it well. Really quite interesting about storage on iDisk and such.

Re:read the link! (4, Informative)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169405)

In other words, they linked to a story about Front Row to make it seem like news, then linked to a RUMOR about Apple's streaming video plans to make it seem like the media streaming is the news.

Hence, "Apple Enters Media Center Doman" is a story about a product which has been out for months, with a link to wild speculation about What It All Means.

Without the redundant link to a useless Front Row review to make the headline kinda-sorta factual, you would be left with the far-less interesting story, "Another Rumor Going Around About Mac Media Centers."

Lame.

Re:read the link! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169481)

I have a question, they say that you are charged each time you download from iTunes, is this true? If your HDD dies you have to repurchase all the songs?!?!?

Re:read the link! (1)

scd (541350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169559)

Only if you were silly enough to not back them up to separate media.

Re:read the link! (1)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169654)

Even then, word on the street is, if you call Apple and speak to a representative, they'll let you redownload all your past purchases, with an admonishment never to do it again.

Re:read the link! (0)

afidel (530433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169680)

Yes, because it would be so silly for the average user to not backup large media files, not! I know I don't have backups of all my mp3's, it would take stacks of cd's/dvd's to do that, and lots of time. I personally have the origional cd's, but I wouldn't assume that I have to backup my iTunes files, Apple has all the originals, and my account info. It sure as hell doesn't cost them 99c in bandwidth so they should be able to resend me the files, or charge me a much smaller fee to regrab them, most of the cost is in licensing the content from the copyright holder.

If you will forgive a little whining... (3, Funny)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169357)

"Apple Releases Front Row Media Software" is a news story. (Or, at the very least, a slashvertizement worth reading.)

"Somebody From CNN Write About Apple's Front Row Media Software, Which Was Released About A Month Ago" is the sort of submission that MacSlash and other "what Steve Jobs had for breakfast today is thrilling news to us" sites would probably reject.

I'd rather read a badly-written review of Front Row by some random slashbot (or a link to some techie-site review, like Ars) than another "OMG! Apple Matters So Much That CNN Is Writing About Their Software" submission. Come on, editors. You can do better.

Trade Mark (3, Informative)

Bloater (12932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169364)

> The program, called Front Row, lets you listen to

I think NTL might have something to say about this name in the UK. Their pseudo-VoD system over cable is called Front Row.

A Good Idea (3, Insightful)

et764 (837202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169367)

So apparently this is a dupe, but it's the first I've seen of it, so I found it interesting. I looked at the picture of the remote here [apple.com] and I think I like it. Just the other day I was looking at one of those remotes that come with digital cable boxes these days, and there were way too many buttons there. To make matters worse, almost every remote these days has just about as many buttons, but they are generally organized differently, making it harder to switch TV's. How often do people visiting a friend's house have to ask their friend to do something like change the volume, because the remote is overly complicated? I like the idea of a remote with just a couple of buttons.

Re:A Good Idea (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169402)

Forget the remote... sometimes it's the buttons on the front of the set that I have problems with. Especially the sets that are useless without the remote.

Re:A Good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169487)

Thats because most cable remotes have channel number buttons. Apple does not need channel buttons on its remote, but if it did then this remote would be retarded.

Oh, no! (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169383)

I hope this isn't supposed to be the surprise announcement for the MacWorld Expo in January. A friend of mine said the leading rumor is that Steve Jobs will introduce the Intel-based laptops six months before they were supposed to come out. I'm delaying my Mac laptop purchase to see if that rumor is true.

Re:Oh, no! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169524)

Are you smart [atspace.com] ? Are you creative [atspace.com] ? Are you sensitive to the sort of beauty [atspace.com] , taste [atspace.com] , and elegance [atspace.com] that defines the Apple aesthetic? If not, please don't buy a Mac--God knows, we're already saddled with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, and we certainly don't appreciate you Johnnies-come-lately barging into our world. Time was, you could tell a fellow architect [atspace.com] or dilettante [atspace.com] by his or her choice of operating system. It's been getting harder lately, as Mac sales have increased 27% in the past year [macrumors.com] , many of these to refugees from Windows [atspace.com] and Linux [atspace.com] .

But if you are, indeed, a true-blue [atspace.com] Mac [atspace.com] user [atspace.com] at heart, then allow me to be the first to say: Welcome to Macintosh! [atspace.com]

Re:Oh, no! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169768)

Let see... I used a Mac in college before I ever touched a PC, my first QA job had me testing the client software on various Macs and my second QA job had me testing computer games in the Apple Hardware Lab in Cupertino at one point. While it's true I been a hard core PC guy since '95 and have certifications to prove that, I always wanted a Mac. Since I can now actually afford one, I'm getting to get one next year. :P

six buttons? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169388)

"a few clicks of a lighter-sized, six-button remote control."

shouldn't it just have 1 button?

Re:six buttons? (1)

e2ka (708498) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169729)

shouldn't it just have 1 button?

Actually, if it was designed similar to this [1up.com] that might be possible.

Interesting idea, but... (1)

Gadren (891416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169389)

I played around with this at CompUSA once, and while it's an interesting idea, there's one big flaw: that tiny remote is not only easy to lose (I dropped it behind the display area!), but it magnetically sticks to only ONE part of the monitor, and not in the most intuitive section (it was on the right side, which is bad for a sinistral fellow like myself, and it was too far down on the monitor when one expects to stick it higher up).

Personally I would not buy it.... (4, Interesting)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169407)

For a media centre it does not seem to have very many features, even if it is meant to be simple.

Here is what I use on my MythTV box that are not available for this:
- Watching live TV
- Scheduling recording of live TV
- Web interface to access information
- Weather
- Games
- News feeds
- Advert detection

These are all things I use on a daily basis and I think that they should be included in any media centre, and Apple's offering barely meets any of those.

Re:Personally I would not buy it.... (3, Insightful)

NotoriousQ (457789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169458)

Add to that:
- Ripping CDs from the menu interface, and adding it to your collection
- Doing the same with DVDs

I am willing to bet that Apple will never accomplish the second one.

My summary of Front Row vs. Mythtv:
Front Row looks good, but has ass functionality. Mythtv has good functionality, but looks like ass.

Re:Personally I would not buy it.... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169794)

The Ripping DVDs might be allowed If Apple DRMs the DVD rips. The only real issue would be people renting a DVD and ripping them. For that Apple could just have an age limit. The DVD rip can only stay playable for say a week.
Not Ripping DVDs isn't a show stopper. Apple will be very happy to sell you the movie from iTunes.

Re:Personally I would not buy it.... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169740)

So what? You're not the target audience. You probably built this yourself and you knew what you were doing. Apple is trying to make a consumer product that's easy for people to figure out and use. This is like a machinist saying a cordless drill from home depot is useless because his drill press is so much more accurate and robust.

That's Cool, But (1)

Azarael (896715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169417)

I don't know if I would buy a mac mini just to use it for as a pvr etc. Sure it would probably be cheaper than a comercial pvr, but why buy a whole bunch of new hardware when you can use old hardware that's lying around?

Re:That's Cool, But (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169814)

why does everyone assume that the a mac mini as PVR would only be a PVR and not also a fully-featured Mac with OS X? surely this is implied by developing Front Row ON Macs with OS X rather than INSTEAD of Macs with OS X? then the question becomes, do you want a Mac Mini that's also a PVR or not? it's like the new iPod with video - it's not a new iPod, it's an updated iPod with video thrown in for free. is there some reason I've missed why the new Mini won't be a Mini with PVR thrown in for free?

Re:That's Cool, But (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169864)

Uh, maybe because you don't have old hardware lying around? Or because you want a Mac?

You might be shocked to note that not everybody has the same predilections as you do. Get used to this idea...you will see it again.

Huh? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169424)

The only new thing I see here is a stylish remote control.

Media center simplicity?

There are more than one media center out there today that's configurable to be very bare bones and accessible. Just check MythTV and Meedio?

CNN. Old news for Nerds. Nothing that matters. (1)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169451)

The bigger problem here is that /. is accepting CNN (CNN?!?) reviews of existing and well-reported technology products as news.

Guess it's time to start rearranging the deck chairs.... (Or link to a BYTE review of DECchairs!)

not what I'd hoped (4, Insightful)

GKevK (519962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169452)

I RTFA... and I'm disappointed. If this is going to depend on programs being cached on iDisk, then why do I need a new Mac Mini at all? Lots of the speculation was that the new mini might get a tv tuner card and lots more storage, to give it DVR functionality etc. How is this different from a website that just streams you video? Media center... yeah right. I'll keep my TiVos.

Re:not what I'd hoped (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169743)

How is this different from a website that just streams you video? Media center... yeah right. I'll keep my TiVos.

Um... you watch it in the living room, select it with a remote that also lets you get all all of your music and photos?

I am certainly not getting rid of *my* TiVo any time soon ( they'll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands *after* giving me something better and cheaper ), but I do see some value in *easily* being able to view photos and listen to music from my computer using a remote in my living room.

Really, not a lot about what's covered here is new, it's just packaged in a more-convenient-than-ever form... typical Apple style.

Of course, it's all the typical speculation. January is soon enough, anyone with anything to do should wait and worry about it then.

for all you dumbasses who didn't read TFA... (2, Interesting)

remove office (871398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169463)

actually... what TFA is talking about is a new version of frontrow (2.0) which will be introduced in january along with a new media center edition mac mini (complete with ipod dock built in, possible tivo functionality etc). it also looks like they're prepping lots of new content from several new cable networks and other sources. i wouldn't be surprised if pixar started making exclusive shorts for the itms (itunes music, er, media store)...

Lighter sized remote? (2, Insightful)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169473)

Hell, I can't find a standard sized remote 1/5 of the time I want it. Does the idea of a tiny remote scare anyone else? A couch has 10^5 times the number of places for one of these bad boys to hide.

Perhaps Apple will plan ahead and assume the user will lose the remote and put a god damned set of directional arrows on the unit itself. It seems like once a month I encounter a remoteless DVD player with no means of navigation on the main unit. When the first option on the DVD menu is not play it turns into a hell of a time.

Clarity (3, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169490)

Just to clarify this submission for people... it contains two, unrelated links. The first is a CNN article about FrontRow and is old news. The second is speculation on a rumor site about the new version of the mac mini and how Apple will tie in a new video service that is largely inferior to what they are offering now, via iTunes, and that will not work with the new iPods video capabilities. The whole thing sounds rather suspect to me.

no DVR... (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169493)

So sad. It might auctually sell if...you know....it did more than the iPod video. True, its a computer too, but why spend so much when you can buy a MiniMac and an iPod video for less.

Xbox (2, Insightful)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169506)

For a "media center", my modded xbox with xbox media center (the open source software, not the MS one) does all this and more, and cost significantly less than a mac mini.

Re:Xbox (1)

fireplacetv (912493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169554)

$300 + time and effort is significantly less than $500 + plug and play?

if $200 is that much to you then perhaps you shouldn't be blowing your money on video games.

Re:Xbox (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169588)

Perhaps you missed the part of my comment where I mentioned that it can do MORE than frontrow.

$300 + a small amount of time and effort > $500 for a 1/2 assed media center

Re:Xbox (1)

DrSbaitso (93553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169820)

I paid some kid 50 bucks to install an extra 80 gig HD i had laying around in my Xbox and install a new front end (including media center, a dongle-free DVD player, etc) for me. The Xbox itself was 200 bucks. Plus, I don't have a mac, so setting up a mac mini to play the same role my xbox plays would have been nontrivial in terms of time and effort.

Plus, the Xbox has this other neat feature: it plays Xbox games.

Re:Xbox (3, Insightful)

jeffy210 (214759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169850)

There is a *big* problem with having an Xbox for a media center... it's puny processor can't handle WMV-HD (or Divx-HD for that matter). yes it has component out and can output a 720p or 1080i stream but it chokes hard on a 700Mhz processor. That's the biggest reason I never considered it. Now the 360 on the other hand... (Also, I want a DVI out instead of just component)

six buttons? (4, Funny)

cancerward (103910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169510)

Six buttons is too many for an Apple object! I suggest just one button, and the remote can
have a motion detector in it; the user can hold the remote parallel to the appropriate
face of a cube, and click the button. Simplicity itself!

Re:six buttons? (1)

javaxman (705658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169813)

Six buttons is too many for an Apple object!

I'm sure the designers prefer to think of it as "two buttons and a circle" [apple.com] ... I recently had a chance to play with one, and although you're right about the number of buttons it has, after reading your post I first thought "it didn't really have that many buttons, did it ?", I just remembered a menu button and a play/pause control group.

See, the problem is this thing has too many features. Volume up, volume down, change selection left, change selection right, play/pause, menu... that's just too many functions!!

My mother-in-law still won't be able to figure it out.

HUGE announcement from Think Secret (2, Funny)

yardbird (165009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169516)

WIth the roll-out of the new Mac mini, which sources continue to maintain will be bigger than anyone can imagine...
So what are we talking about? The Mac Maxi?

Re:HUGE announcement from Think Secret (2, Funny)

ta ma de (851887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169747)

I will buy a mac maxi ASAP, so that my house can evolve into the Mac Maxi Pad it was always intended to be.

At Microsoft Headquarters ... (3, Funny)

ta ma de (851887) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169556)

The employees create beowolf clusters with mac mini media centers. The Soviets do it too, but no one cares.

Re:At Microsoft Headquarters ... (1)

chillmost (648301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169667)

The employees create beowolf clusters with mac mini media centers. The Soviets do it too, but no one cares.

Wrong! I hear the old people in Korea care.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14169574)

It's Windows Media Center then. Right.

The Real Deal Apple's iVision. (0, Troll)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169592)

Apple is going to buy Sega.
The new iVision from Apple will include a TV tuner to provide TiVo like functions and an iPod Dock.
Why is Apple going to by Sega?
Games baby. The new iVision is going to support all of the old Sega games through emulations for the casual gamer plus get a bunch of new games from the Sega team.

Re:The Real Deal Apple's iVision. (0, Flamebait)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169744)

This is not going to happen. Apple knows a lot, but they no squat about games. Every time they have boasted about new support for game devs they have fallen far, far short of their promised mark. Apple is to game as Microsoft is to security.

Re:The Real Deal Apple's iVision. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169845)

That is why they are going to buy Sega.

Of course I making it all up out of thin air but what the heck.

MicroSoft? (2, Funny)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14169621)

I bet MS is kinda scared about this. At this stage in the game, I think there are a lot of satisfied Apple customers who'd love to bring an 'iPod' quality media device into their living room.

I don't think MicroSoft has built up this sort of goodwill.

In fact, I saw on TV -- "The Apprentice", where they has MicroSoft on the show. Trump said to them, "I use a lot of MicroSoft, and it works." As if that was news.

Not "it works fanTASTIcally!" -- but just a limp-sounding "it works."

Given how much Trump exaggerates, it automatically downgraded his statement to, "on good days it kinda works," -- basically, if something is half-assed, Trump says it is the best thing ever. So I think MicroSoft has a customer-perception problem.
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