Wednesday, June 20, 2007

YouTube on AppleTV; first look

The download completed. (had to keep checking, because AppleTV went into screensaver mode). Then another click to install and restart. Bonus: you get another view of the startup movie.

Neat translation of the YouTube U-I into AppleTV. (Could it be anything less?) Video quality? Better than I expected, but it varies per video.

There's an onscreen keyboard for search (you can navigate by arrow keys on the remote), and another keyboard with a different design and many more, much smaller characters for logging in to rate videos and save to your favorites.

The announcement said that they'd start with 10,000 videos available in the ecoding format that AppleTV requires (H.264), and it's already up to 11,500. The plan is to have the entire library available by year's end.

I'll offer a considered opinion of the experience after I've used it at leisure. But at first glance, it's a solid and well-designed translation of YouTube to the living room.

Mickeleh's Take: I wonder how many AppleTV users will a) know that the update is available, b) know how to pull it down, c) take the trouble to do it? Compare this to, say, TiVo, Moxi, or any cable DVR: when a software update is ready, it's pushed to the box willy-nilly. Apple is following PC rules—don't mess with the user's software without knowledge or permission. But now that they're in the CE space, maybe it's time to be a little more paternalistic.

Either way, the triumph is this: Finally, something even more mind-numbing than TV. Technology Marches On.

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