Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hey Apple, Down in Front!

Last Wednesday, Apple held a "One More Thing" event for media in which Steve Jobs unveiled a handful of new Apple goodies. Most of the buzz centered around the fifth generation of the iPod, which now sports video playback. On the other hand came the announcement of a brand new iMac G5 that ships with a remote control and a new application called Front Row. Those of you familiar with Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition, Apple Front Row is a step in the direction of using a computer in a living room setting. Basically, Front Row is a streamlined interface for iTunes, iPhoto, DVD Player, and video files you may have on your hard drive. For more info on Front Row, check out Apple's Front Page demo page. That's all good and everything, except in order to use this new software, you must have the new iMac, which means if you want to try out Front Row right now, you'll be spending at least $1299. I believe Apple is making a mistake by not making this available to all Mac users. You can already buy the Apple Remote separate, so in theory all they need to bundle with it is a simple USB-infrared adapter along with the Front Row software. As I said above, Front Row is just a small step in order to compete with the highly successful Windows MCE. Next, Apple needs to sell a Mac, preferably a Mac mini, with a built-in TV tuner and add television support to Front Row. Naturally, users will want TiVo-like abilities to record, pause, and rewind live TV, which makes perfect sense. The only problem is Apple's latest foray with iTunes and distributing TV shows from Disney Channel and ABC. As more studios jump on board (which is inevitable), it doesn't make sense for Apple to charge users two dollars a show when they would easily be able to record it themselves for free. I could also see Apple charging users a monthly subscription fee for the ability to record satellite or cable TV to combat the loss of potential iTunes revenues. The bottom line is this: Please Apple, give us a chance to use Front Row on Macs by giving us an IR adapter!


At 10/28/2005 08:46:00 PM , Blogger Garry_S said...

Everyone says that Apple should have a mac mini with a built in tuner... What should apple take OUT of the mini so a tuner fits in it?


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