With the newly redesigned unibody Mac mini, it appears that Apple is trying to bring the best of the original Mac mini and the current Apple TV together to make a more formidable machine. After all, the Mac mini is now the only Apple Mac computer that sports a built-in HDMI port, perfect for connecting it to your home theater. In this episode we compare the look and build of the new Mac mini, the original Mac mini, and the Apple TV.
You can pick up the unibody Mac mini at Apple now.
Digiarty Software has announced the release of WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, the first converter to support multi-track HD videos. WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe builds in 160 video and 50 audio codecs. This means that, no matter the codec (a piece of software that allows for digital compression/decompression) that you prefer based on your own personal needs/choices regarding video quality vs. file size. Without any third-party codecs, WinX can also easily support Multi-track HD video, such as BDAV, M2TS, MKV, AVCHD, HDTV and MPEG-TS video movies. It also supports converting all the HD and HD-Camcorder videos, to both portable and console players, such as iPad, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, PS3, PSP, Xbox, Zune, PDA, Blackberry, Nokia, Android, Zen, and many others. On top of all of this, WinX is also able to convert your HD videos at 5x-15x speed, making converting your videos not only easy but much, much faster.
So while you yourself may not be HD ready, what with your unsightly blemishes, pores big enough to serve guacamole out of, and makeup that looks like it was applied using a snow-blower, your videos are; that’s on you for buying a product that so greatly highlights all of your many shortcomings. I’ll be over here with my beta-max shoulder-camcorder and boom-mike, making videos that blur to the point of resembling impressionistic art, thank you very much. But, if you’ve already taken the leap to HD, the WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe is available for a free download at the link below.
Read More | WinX HD
Yesterday, Apple released Apple TV 3.0, the first “major” release for the device in about two years. The company has often referred to the Apple TV as a hobby, as opposed to a real business. That said, there are a few nice additions that can be found in the Apple TV 3.0 update, so we give you a full walkthrough of the device, giving you a sampling of some of the new hotness.
Some of the standout features are the obviously redesigned home screen. Instead of the centered grid, you get a full screen menu that makes it easier to navigate right to the content that you want. I mean, it’s nice, but it seems to be the biggest visual upgrade to the device, which we think is in need of a hardware refresh. You also score Genius DJ playlist abilities, nice for parties and such, but I rock a Sonos system, so it doesn’t really appeal to me personally. Same goes for Internet radio, but it is there as a feature, and it’s nice. The one we like is the addition of iTunes Extras and iTunes LP content. We are fans of the iTunes LP, so being able to see it on an HDTV, which is where we think it shines, is also “nice.”
If you are picking up on a trend, you win. This whole 3.0 business is, in a word, “nice.” It isn’t anything more than that. It brings the Apple TV in line with other Apple products, allowing it to do things that other devices can do, and it gets a UI refresh, and the Helvetica font. All well and good, but let’s hope that next time around we get some decent new hardware. In any event, hit the play button for the full tour.
Apple has just released an updated Apple Remote, the first time the remote has been redesigned since its initial release. As you can see, the remote gains an iPod-like click wheel, and the play/pause button is now on its own. The remote supports iPod and iPhone when docked in the iPod Universal Dock, and also supports any Mac that has a built-in IR receiver. Apple says nothing about the Apple TV, but since it has an IR, this should naturally work there as well. You can order one now for $19, and it’ll ship in 2-4 weeks.
Read More | Apple Remote
Apple continues to support their Apple TV hobby, if by “support” you mean “do nothing for two years except drop the price on the high end model, and kill the low end model.” That’s right, the 40GB Apple TV is no longer available for purchase from Apple, and the 160GB model has received a $100 price cut, from $329 to $229. A nice change, sure…but really, we’d like to see a little more than this as it pertains to the Apple TV. C’mon Apple, what’s up?
In the meantime, you can grab the new lower price 160GB Apple TV at the Apple Store online.
Read More | Apple TV
For those of you who use the Apple Remote app to control your iTunes and Apple TV experiences, hit up iTunes to grab the latest update to the app. Remote version 1.3 states that it can “control your Apple TV with simple finger gestures,” which is good enough for us. If you have an Apple TV and have yet to try the Remote app, we highly recommend it. It’s free, and it’s much faster to navigate to content with than using the actual Apple remote control.
Read More | Apple Remote App
iTunes 8 was announced this morning as part of the whole Let’s Rock Apple announcement festivities, and there were a few nice pieces of news. First, NBC is back on iTunes with shows like The Office, 30 Rock, and Ballestar Galactics. What’s more, though, is that iTunes will now be selling TV shows in high definition. Aside from the feeling that I know my wallet is about to be drained, this is a very welcome addition. My only hope is that they allow those of us who have purchased shows in SD to “upgrade” to the HD versions at a discount. It’s only fair, right?
In other news, Apple has added “Genius” to iTunes - that being a recommendation engine that looks at the track you are listening to, and recommends other tracks in the iTunes store that it believes you would like. In addition, Genius can also create truly customized playlists on the fly, again, just by sampling what you are listening to. It will pull other songs from your iTunes library that it believes would complement your selection, without any work to be done on your part. We must admit, it looks slick. Speaking of which, they’ve also included a new visualizer, which is just off the hook. You’ve gotta see it to believe it.
iTunes 8 is available now.
Read More | iTunes
If you have an Apple TV, you are gonna wanna go ahead and update it. Just head into the General Settings menu, and go to Software Update. Apple TV will find the latest version, and offer to download it. This update provides a couple of new functionalities for the device, namely MobileMe support, as well as support for the new Remote app. This is the newly released iPhone and iPod touch application that allows you to take control of iTunes or Apple TV right from your handheld device itself. We were playing with it a bit earlier today, and we think it’s fantastic.
With the HD DVD/Blu-ray format war being over, the new “war” if you will is the one between digital delivery of movies, versus good ol’ optical media. We want to know how you feel about this. Do you prefer buying movies using Apple TV, thus avoiding a trip to the local Target? Or are the type of person who prefers all the bells and whistles that something like a Blu-ray disc has to offer (7.1 lossless audio, pure 1080p video)? I think it is safe to say that we are moving towards a digital download lifestyle, but with current broadband speeds in the USA, we think that it might be a while before it can compete with optical. Your thoughts?
Apple has quietly made a subtle change to the Apple TV movie experience. Previously, you were able to rent standard definition and high definition movies through Apple TV, and obviously, those rentals would expire if left unwatched for 30 days, or within 24 hours of you starting the movie. However, people have been asking for movie downloads since Apple TV Take 2 launched. Well, all that has changed, as Apple has come to an agreement with movie studios that will see new movies available for purchase and download on the same day that they are released on DVD.
The downside to all this? Well, for starters, you can’t buy the HD versions of these movies, despite the fact that you can rent them in HD. If you have an HDTV, we are guessing that you prefer your movies in HD. Also, for a similar price, you could just buy the movie on disc, and get all the extra special feature videos that are lacking on the iTunes download. Oh well, I guess we should just be happy that we are seeing progress.
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