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AppleTV, day 2

Thursday, April 12, 2007 by Dave Winer.

I think I understand AppleTV, after setting it up, playing a few video podcasts, copying some pictures into its screen saver, and reading about its limits on various weblogs. Permalink to this paragraph

I'll give you the punchline before the details.  Permalink to this paragraph

If you're technically proficient enough to read this blog, AppleTV is not for you.  Permalink to this paragraph

I'm not sure who it is for, but you don't need it. You're much better served buying a Mac Mini, or the equivalent Windows box (maybe a cheap laptop). Permalink to this paragraph

AppleTV seems designed with the same philosophy as the PCjr of the 1980s. The PC was super popular, a juggernaut, and IBM felt that the "home user" (i.e. idiot) couldn't handle all its power so they created a scaled down machine, with a crippled keyboard. Problem is people wanted a PC, not IBM's dumbed-down vision of a PC. (They secretly wanted to kill the PC because it was destroying their mainframe computer business.) Permalink to this paragraph

AppleTV is an exercise, for me, in discovering what it won't do. Most important to me is that it won't play the AVI files I create when I scan DVDs using Handbrake. On the other hand, my Mac Mini, with VLC installed, does. Yes yes, I know I can hack up my AppleTV to get it to be a Mac Mini, but I'm lazy, and I've already paid Apple for the Mac Mini.  Permalink to this paragraph

And why do I need synchronization with iTunes, when file sharing works so well on the Mac? It's pretty easy, I don't think AppleTV's syching is any easier. Permalink to this paragraph

True, the Mac Mini costs at least $599, and AppleTV is $299.  Permalink to this paragraph

Anyway, I don't like AppleTV, but I have a TV in the kitchen that didn't have a computer, and I spend a lot of time working there, so I will keep trying to find something useful that it does that the Mac Mini doesn't already do much better.  Permalink to this paragraph

Etienne Deleflie: "Why doesn't someone come up with a Linux box that just hosts VLAN?" Permalink to this paragraph

Earl Moore says I miss the point of AppleTV. "I could turn a 5-6 year old loose with the Apple TV and they could watch cartoons or movies galore without assistance." Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 4/26/2007; 12:45:00 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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