“Yesterday Apple released an update to the Apple TV software, toying with owners as if they actually cared about the product,” Mike Schuster writes for Minyanville. “The underwhelming 3.0 upgrade rearranges the menu screen interface and adds features like iTunes Extras, iTunes LP, and Genius Mixes.”
“It’s still a mystery as to why Steve Jobs and company continually ignore Apple TV, referring to it as ‘a hobby.’ Being one of the biggest names in tech and unstoppable in the field of portable media players, Apple is in the position to become the leading name in the future of media centers,” Schuster writes. “If it could do half of what the iPhone did for the cell phone market, we’d all be ditching our DVD players in favor of terabytes of video files on a heavy-duty Apple TV. Instead, dozens of cheaper and more capable devices trounce Apple’s abomination in benchmarks and performance. Even Microsoft’s Xbox 360 loaded with XBMC — formerly known as Xbox Media Center — allows for better video management.”
Schuster writes, “However, since none of these devices carry the coveted Apple brand, they’re unable to sway the public from relying on physical media to watch their shows and movies. Jobs’ hesitance to include Blu-ray drives on Apple laptops seems like he’s open to ditching physical media, but there’s yet to be a follow-through. The company only needs to put their spin on existing technology — as well as actually advertise the thing — and they’ve found a brand new billion-dollar seller.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs doesn’t strike us as much of a TV watcher, so don’t underestimate the fact that he just might not know exactly what to do with Apple TV.
“You watch television to turn your brain off and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.” – Steve Jobs
Jobs might have to suck it up and give up some control to someone who consumes and therefore understands television the way Jobs seems to consume and understand music. Or, maybe, Jobs has some grand plan for which all the pieces are not yet ready. If so, it’s taking quite a long time. Really long.
That said, we’ve had Apple TV units since they debuted, of course. We use our Apple TVs for various functions, not the least of which are renting movies and purchasing TV shows that our horrible TimeWarner-provided DVRs miss or cannot record (most especially during NFL football season in the U.S. when schedules get pushed back, but TimeWarner’s stupid DVR’s can’t handle such, or any, changes. Half-recorded “Amazing Race” episodes — don’t judge us — just have to be the leading cause of iTunes Store sales of “Amazing Race” season pass sales. And, yup, we’re tired of seeing Andy Rooney pissing and moaning about the loss of typewriters, mimeographs, and bottled milk delivery instead of teams frantically screaming at taxi cab drivers and each other while racing around the world when we click “play” on our shiteous DVRs). Yes, we need to get TiVos, we know, we know, we know!
So, we do heartily recommend Apple TVs with the caveat that Hollywood seems intent on restricting its usefulness by limiting the feature film catalog and, especially, what can be rented, when, and for how long. For all other functions: music streaming, photo viewing, etc. the Apple TV is a wonderful device and, bottom line, well worth the price Apple is charging.
An aside: Most people don’t have TiVos because of the price (upfront cost and subscription fees) and/or they don’t understand the benefits that TiVo offers over the absolute junk DVRs that their cable providers offer. We have the money to cover TiVo’s costs and the understanding of the product’s benefits and we still haven’t gotten up off our asses to get our TiVOs. Beyond suggesting that we’re lazy (or very busy, we add hopefully), this also suggests that TiVo’s business model is broken or at least not working as well as it should be. Perhaps TiVO would be better utilized by more people if Apple bought the company or licensed the technology and integrated TiVo into Apple TVs. Imagine being able to push the stuff you’ve recorded via your Apple TV’s TiVo out to your Apple iPods and iPhones (even if only via WiFi to start; AT&T’s network might not be up to it, you know)? Maybe Apple getting TiVo or offering their take on the DVR is what we’ve been waiting for, subconsciously? TiVo Inc.’s market cap is $1.19 billion. While a nice chunk of change, that’s nothing that debt-free Apple, with over $34B in the bank and a market value over $170B, couldn’t swing with total ease, if they’d even notice that they spent it. The TiVo brand name alone has to be worth something significant and its inclusion could refocus people’s attention on Apple’s poor little red-headed stepchild, Apple TV.
What do you think, should Apple buy or license TiVo? And, if they did, would the content producers, of TV shows especially, have conniption fits (the threat of which is maybe why it hasn’t happened already)?