Media Center for Mac?

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The integration and ease of sharing iTunes and iPhoto libraries over a network has helped me quickly serve up my media library to my Entertainment Center via an old Powerbook I had lying around. I hid it inside my AV cabinet, and it serves up my iTunes library as well as iPhoto etc. to my TV.



With a bluetooth device (my t610 phone), I'm able to remotely control the track etc., which is great. There is, however, one thing missing. I'd like a full-screen "media center" software/control view on my TV.



Windows sucks, but the Media Center is a nicely formatted for TV interface.



Anyone know if there is a software package (software only, as I like using the Powerbook over an EyeHome since it plays protected AAC's etc.) for the Mac that will quickly integrate iTunes/iPhoto sharing into a single full-screen interface?



Thanks!



If not, someone get to developing one as it should not be difficult.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    messiahtoshmessiahtosh Posts: 1,754member
    It is probably going to be Apple's next big "solution" technology.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    npynenbergnpynenberg Posts: 44member
    Not my opinion... I want one... but here's a linkie...



    http://www.stargeek.com/item/22065.html



    Steve Jobs says no to a media center Mac 11/06/2003 11:24





    This comes as quite a surprise, but the other day Steve Jobs told a group of financial analysts that Apple has no plans to sell Macs that could record TV shows like the new Media Center PCs that have been coming out:"We're not going to go that direction," Jobs said. "There is a small audience that likes this." Jobs said there are several problems with the Media Center concept, in particular the wide divergence in the way people want to watch television as compared with how they use a computer. "Generally what they want to view on television has to do with turning their mind off," he said. Jobs said that video recording is processor intensive and is best left to a device that is not doing other things such as playing games or running spreadsheets. "When I want to record 'The West Wing,' I want to make damn sure...
  • Reply 3 of 24
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,128member
    Steve is wrong here and he will eventually eat his words.



    The average consumer watches over 5 hrs of television a day. Saying that people watch TV to turn on their mind is hyperbole and fallacious. I love documentaries and my mind is actively engaged in the story.



    Forward thinking here is that melding interactive web access with TV is a good thing. With a PVR system you can pause live TV. You have the control. Now imagine a system in which you see a product and an internet link during a commerical. You pause the live TV, instantly switch over to browsing the Internet and navigate to the products websites. Hell broadcasters could go one step further and broadcast links that allow one button access to the website.



    Apple has survived on marketing. Rather than dismiss the technology Apple needs to be fostering as much support for all forms of media. Don't give people yet another reason to forgo on that Mac to purchase a PC.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    I don't understand why people keep asking for Apple solution, where Mac-friendly solution like EyeHome (www.elgato.com) and MC-500 (www.neuston.com) are out there? Why does Apple has to involved in everything?
  • Reply 5 of 24
    whisperwhisper Posts: 735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by limtc

    I don't understand why people keep asking for Apple solution, where Mac-friendly solution like EyeHome (www.elgato.com) and MC-500 (www.neuston.com) are out there? Why does Apple has to involved in everything?



    Because they cost a lot and, at least in ElGato's case, they're buggier on their best day than windows is on its worst.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    As a happy EyeHome owner, can you explain a little more? They recently did a change in software/firmware that will play AAC in software (if you only upgrade the software w/o the firmware it wont work), but the recent build they change it back to firmware which works very well since.



    You might also check out Neuston MC-500, yes, I have that too.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by limtc

    I don't understand why people keep asking for Apple solution, where Mac-friendly solution like EyeHome (www.elgato.com)...



    Have the recent changes in iTunes 4.5 and QuickTime 6.5.1 caused any grief for the EyeHome? You can't burn CDs from protected AAC files anymore with Toast, or with any other third party software. (Well, you might think you can burn, but you get nothing but a long stretches of silence burned onto your discs, without warning that this is what's happening.)



    I've noticed Amadeus II (the audio editing softare) doesn't get anything but long streches of silence when opening up protected AAC files. I'm figuring this means that most likely everything but iTunes and QuickTime are locked out of decoding protected ACC files, and subsequently that this might also spell trouble for devices like the EyeHome.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    Hi,



    I am running EyeHome now with iTunes 4.5 and QuickTime 6.5.1 now, except for non-support for the new Apple Loseless format, everything works perfectly.



    For protected AAC support, I know the reason why it is pulled, but I don't want to offend the Elgato people here. Just don't quote me on that. Just that this is not a technical issue, but something related to some fruits company.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by shetline

    Have the recent changes in iTunes 4.5 and QuickTime 6.5.1 caused any grief for the EyeHome? You can't burn CDs from protected AAC files anymore with Toast, or with any other third party software. (Well, you might think you can burn, but you get nothing but a long stretches of silence burned onto your discs, without warning that this is what's happening.)



    I've noticed Amadeus II (the audio editing softare) doesn't get anything but long streches of silence when opening up protected AAC files. I'm figuring this means that most likely everything but iTunes and QuickTime are locked out of decoding protected ACC files, and subsequently that this might also spell trouble for devices like the EyeHome.




  • Reply 9 of 24
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by limtc

    For protected AAC support, I know the reason why it is pulled, but I don't want to offend the Elgato people here. Just don't quote me on that. Just that this is not a technical issue, but something related to some fruits company.



    I'm not following you. First you said everything except Apple Lossless works fine, then you say protected AAC "is pulled" -- which to me sounds like "taken away", "no longer functional", etc.



    Does protected AAC work now?

    If it doesn't work now, did it before?

    If it does work fine now, what did you mean by "pulled"?
  • Reply 10 of 24
    whisperwhisper Posts: 735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by limtc

    As a happy EyeHome owner, can you explain a little more? They recently did a change in software/firmware that will play AAC in software (if you only upgrade the software w/o the firmware it wont work), but the recent build they change it back to firmware which works very well since.



    You might also check out Neuston MC-500, yes, I have that too.




    Oh, I thought we were talking about the EyeTV.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    If you read the FAQ, protected AAC is not listed as supported. It is later add on (after a lot of hardwork!) and intended to be done as a surprise - but something happened (not technical), and it is again pulled.



    You really cannot blame Elgato for this. They never promise support, they add this in some releases thinking that it should not have any (non-technical) issues, and remove it again (like FAQ said) when it is not appropriate.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by shetline

    I'm not following you. First you said everything except Apple Lossless works fine, then you say protected AAC "is pulled" -- which to me sounds like "taken away", "no longer functional", etc.



    Does protected AAC work now?

    If it doesn't work now, did it before?

    If it does work fine now, what did you mean by "pulled"?




  • Reply 12 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Whisper

    Oh, I thought we were talking about the EyeTV.



    I am sorry, I also have an EyeTV 200, I am using it everyday, the 1.3.5 version is pretty good, what issue are you encountering? I did encounter some issues with coming 1.3.6 beta though, but you can't blame a beta.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    Actually, I am referring to EyeHome and MC-500 (www.neuston.com) since the original author mentioned this:



    --

    I'm able to remotely control the track etc., which is great. There is, however, one thing missing. I'd like a full-screen "media center" software/control view on my TV.

    --



    This is exactly what EyeHome and MC-500 is doing.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Whisper

    Oh, I thought we were talking about the EyeTV.



  • Reply 14 of 24
    whisperwhisper Posts: 735member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by limtc

    I am sorry, I also have an EyeTV 200, I am using it everyday, the 1.3.5 version is pretty good, what issue are you encountering? I did encounter some issues with coming 1.3.6 beta though, but you can't blame a beta.



    I'm not having any issues -- I don't have one. I am, however, reading about a zillion and one bugs and glitches that ppl are having with the EyeTV.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    Hi,



    I have both the USB EyeTV and the EyeTV 200, and using them everyday. I also heard a zillion people complains about different Mac OS upgrade, which I also have none. (Yes, I am one of those who will upgrade every 0.0.1 OS X release and still be very happy)



    Just remember that people complains when they are having issues, but many happy customers are not making much noise.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Whisper

    I'm not having any issues -- I don't have one. I am, however, reading about a zillion and one bugs and glitches that ppl are having with the EyeTV.



  • Reply 16 of 24
    sport73sport73 Posts: 438member
    A couple of quick follow-up thoughts.



    While I certainly see the EyeHome etc. as a possible solution for my situation, the lack of Protected AAC support renders my hundreds of dollars in iTunes purchases virtually wasted. Also, it's clear that the integration, performance, and stability aren't nearly as good as my simple PowerBook to iMac solution.



    As for Steve Jobs' comments on not producing a Mac that records TV, I agree whole-heartedly with his position. BUT, if you read carefully, he doesn't say that he/they won't make a DIFFERENT device (like Tivo) that is Mac connected but geared specifically for bridging computer-based media (music/photo/home movie) and traditional media (television/radio/DVD).



    I expect we may see an announcement at the WWDC for the iPod of the home video market. I think Tivo does it right, but if Apple had something it would be hard not to give in...



    In the end, I'd be happy with some simple software to achieve my goal. Something that runs on OS X and puts iTunes/iPhoto/iMovie content in a full-screen remote-control friendly interface.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    This is definitely unfortunate. It is already there implemented and working, and it works really well.



    How can your simple PowerBook to iMac solution be better than streaming high resolution MPEG2/MPEG4 videos to a large Plasma display, or listen to your song collections on the 5.1 surrond sound speakers? Have you ever tried watching your iPhoto collections (I have my whole life digitized) on the large TV? Everybody coming to my house asked me where can I get the device when I show them my daughter's pictures.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Sport73

    A couple of quick follow-up thoughts.



    While I certainly see the EyeHome etc. as a possible solution for my situation, the lack of Protected AAC support renders my hundreds of dollars in iTunes purchases virtually wasted. Also, it's clear that the integration, performance, and stability aren't nearly as good as my simple PowerBook to iMac solution.





  • Reply 18 of 24
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    MICROSOFT WILL WIN



    ... the media center battle



    why? three little letters



    D R M



    Im in satellite business and hear the buzz from content providers all the time. The hate MS, but, they are THE ONLY COMPANY that provides a rock solid DRM, flexible, solution.



    An Apple Media Center will not be compatible with MS DRM. Apple's "Fair Play" DRM is a joke (cracked and re-craked) and no one will use it.



    That means, if you buy an Apple Media Center, you will be able to view: Free To View, and the few things that Apple does get encoded with whatever (if any) DRM that will work on it.



    The fact that Apple DOES NOT APPEAR TO WANT TO SHARE THEIR OWN DRM is NOT going to help it in the MEDIA CREATION BUSINESS that they so care about and SURVIVE UPON.



    If Apple (and Sony/Philips) dont act up, MS will dominate media creation and distribution VERY VERY VERY soon.



    Trust me on that... I'm seeing it more and more since a few years that I have been working here.



    Apple is at a VERY precarious stage



    Apple.... if you do read these damn forums, get your ass in motion. Heck, even contact me.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    limtclimtc Posts: 82member
    Perhaps, perhaps even Sony Connect too. And Apple might be a little stupid again not letting others do it (even technically possible).



    But you also seems to forget that a media centre can also be used for a lot of non-DRM stuff - I am using it everyday, like listening to all the CD-ripped songs, watching VCD or even downloaded illegal movies , playing iPhoto slideshow, or in the case of EyeHome, watch recorded videos. iTMS song is important to some, but it is not the only reason to purchase a media centre.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by ZO

    MICROSOFT WILL WIN



    ... the media center battle





  • Reply 20 of 24
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Apple isn't that concerned with having their DRM cracked. They do what they have to to protect the integrity of their license with it, but in the end, they don't think anyone can make a make a foolproof DRM. The more important part of a DRis the spin, the illusion that is might be foolroof. Anyone who thinks it's really possible is either naive or foolish. But the RIAA and MS fit the bill nicely.
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