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aTV Update Gives AppleTV FTP and USB Drive Support

aTV Flash - Ver. 3.2 - Apple Core, LLC

The 3.2 version of Apple Core's patchstick for the AppleTV is out. And it's pretty amazing.

If you've never heard of the aTV, I'll point you to the product page for all the feature details that turn your AppleTV into a tricked-out media center that runs an assload of codecs without PitA transcoding. And, yes, you will need to read the detailed instructions on how to make this work -- there's a lot of them and it's not for the impatient or the faint of heart. For now, I just want to highlight why this particular release of this particular product has scratched such an itch for me.

  • New GUI installer - UNIX doofuses like me no longer have to fling their key drives against a wall in frustration; the product now ships with a relatively simple wizard for installing the aTV software on your 1GB or smaller USB drive. Much easier now. If you're even wimpier than me they also offer several options that get you the software pre-installed on an AppleTV.
  • Vanilla FTP access - I'm with stevenf in general on SFTP, but this latest release of aTV removes the requirement to force SSH1 (and, consequently use of the shell or [ugh] Fugu) in order to SFTP onto the AppleTV. With the introduction of old-school FTP I can use Trasmit for file transfer (yay!). Plus this has enabled me to create basic Automator folder actions for uploading files to the AppleTV automatically (here's what my Movie uploader looks like). Love this -- Transmit is such a nice friend.
  • USB Drive suport - Using the included NitoTV (and after a quick update with the 10.4.9 Combo Installer and a restart) your AppleTV can now see and access attached USB devices [howto]. Like, say, a Drobo. Yep. Just point Sapphire at your collection, and you suddenly have a pretty rich way to enjoy your legal backups of movies and TV shows. "Boom," as the introducer of the AppleTV might say.

The usual warnings and admonitions apply with this stuff. Apple Core says installing this product won't void your AppleTV's warranty; I have no opinion about that. I will say anything you do here is at your own risk. Don't blame me if your TV blows up. Also, don't "steal" anything; always pay retail...preferably at a really big store you have to drive to.

For a while, I was on the fence about whether to use my Mac Mini as a media center (and basically pitch the AppleTV). The power is obviously there with a Mini, but I also didn't want to deal with a keyboard and the other annoyances of using a proper computer as a TV device.

I've been very satisfied with the aTV over the past few weeks I've had it, and this new version just takes it to another level.

Even if the AppleTV ends up tanking as hard as everybody seems to claim it will, I'm grateful for the hobbyists and hackers who have made it easy for civilians like me to use this amazing device to its fuller potential.

TOPICS: Apple, AppleTV

About Merlin

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Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




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