Front Row, of course

Front RowPretty clever if you ask me, Apple introduced a media center without actually having built one. The new iMac’s come bundled with Apple’s Front Row, media center software. In all honesty Front Row doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking in media center applications, aside from the all important distinction that Apple wrote it. Obviously this indicates Apple’s interest in your living room, as well as your desktop and I’d assume that this is only the beginning.

The clever part to all this in my opinion is that Apple has found a way to test the media center waters without having to devote an inordinate amount of resources or worrying about it being a flop, hey it was just a freebie application right? On the other hand if it explodes in popularity, they’ll say yeah that was all us, we knew that would be huge.

Apparently Front Row is only available with new iMac’s (for the time being) but if it catches on, I could see box’s with the remote and software on Apple store shelves in the not to distant future. The biggest question is will Apple support third party devices like the Elgato Eye or similar products with Front Row, because without this kind of integration, Front Row is nothing more than a remote interface with some fancy trimmings.

As the post and quote in the post below will indicate, Steve Job’s never met a contradiction he didn’t like.

B.Greenway




7 Responses to “Front Row, of course”

  1. sandifop Says:

    Other authors have wondered if Front Row would be introduced on other systems, too. I suspect it needs Core Video support and won’t play on … say … the mini Mac. This is a gorgous Apple application that reminds me of 3-D GUI models I’ve played with. Most 3-D GUIs don’t work will with the average monkey brain but this is a cleaner display hybred of 3-D effects and 2-D menus.

    Lovely, really. I can see a future finder in this approach.

  2. Wouter Says:

    I want it on my Power Mac G5 !!!

  3. Peter Says:

    Front Row plays iMovies that are on your drive, iTunes that are on your drive, displays iPhotos that are on your drive….
    …but DVDs have to be inserted?
    I would like to take my son’s entire collection of Sesame Street, Thomas The Tank Engine, etc DVDs and save them to disk for convenient viewing via Front Row.
    Does front row only play disks that are inserted? Or can it play from disk images?

  4. mcfarren Says:

    I’m pretty sure the discs must be inserted. And since the iMacs contain the proprietary hardware IR for the remote, its easy for them to lock the software to only run on the iMacs–which they did.

  5. Michael Says:

    Peter,
    I’m sure that if you rip the DVDs to the hard drive, you could access it via the “iMovie” option, instead of “DVD Player”. I’m not sure, but I think you could use software like “Mac The Ripper” to do this.

  6. Bob C. Says:

    I just downloaded this (I found the link somewhere online) and have it running on my 17″ powerbook. WOW!!!!!!

    It was a simple matter of dragging the application to my Applications folder. Aside from the fact that I’m unable to get DVDs to play it works beautifully.

    Here’s a video of it in action:
    http://www.tuaw.com/files/2005/10/FrontRowOnMacMini.m4v

    link removed – no warez links

  7. Joppe Says:

    It does not need Core Video, it runs nicely on my year old iBook G4, and reportedly also on Mac minis. However some lagging exists, probably because i only have 256mb ram. A bluetooth phone as SE W800 works nicely as remote.
    http://www.tuaw.com/2005/10/24/reader-video-front-row-on-a-mac-mini/

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