I apologize in advance for disjointed nature of this post. I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few weeks about how Apple intends you to use AppleTV and my time spent going over the new AppleTV strings in iTunes 7.1 has made me explore some new areas of thought.
It all comes down to this. Apple seems to think that AppleTV is an iPod:
- They display it as part of the iPod store:
- The AppleTV strings in iTunes 7.1 show functionality that’s very close to the standard iPod strings: playlists, syncing, movies, songs, photos, etc.
- It’s only got a 40 GB hard drive! For video. Even presumably high-quality video. That’s iPod-levels of space, not media center-levels of space.
More after the jump…
So what gives? Why is the AppleTV an iPod? How does Apple expect you to use it? And what will be the mix between synchronization and streaming.
Apple’s new 802.11n Airport Extreme is a good motivator for streaming. Why bother synchronizing video when you can connect wirelessly to your media Mac and control streaming playback from your AppleTV? Why even bother synchronizing?
I suppose there are some things you don’t want to stream. Your iPhoto collection, for instance. Or games–if they do actually exist. Several bloggers around the blogosphere think not. (Me, I’m leaning towards there being AppleTV games, even if AppleTV is clearly stated to be incompatible with iPod games.) Or your calendar. How about your TV season passes? You can currently sync your N most recent unwatched (or just the N most recent) episodes to your iPod. The AppleTV will let you do the same. Sure, you could stream these eps, but why not have them there, ready and waiting for you?
Once synced, these items become portable. If you move your AppleTV, you move your synced library. But I’m not sure the AppleTV is meant to be portable. iPod-esque or no.
So I’m throwing this out to you guys in reader-land. Why 40GB and not 400GB or not 4GB? What am I missing about the AppleTV?