Showing posts with label appleTV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label appleTV. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Add Up to 2TB of Storage to Your Apple TV

apple-tv-hacked.jpg Apple TV can now be "user configured" with up to 2 terabytes of external storage via a hack waking up its USB 2.0 port. At last someone has developed a patch to expand the Apple TV's storage through its USB 2.0 port, using the internal hard drive to boot and one fat external 2TB drive to stockpile as many TV series, photos and porn movies as you want. Yes, Cupertino, resistance to hackers is futile, I'm afraid. The process is not difficult, as you will see after the jump.

For this recipe you will need one ssh-enabled Apple TV, one sightly battered Intel Mac or Intel-based Linux/Unix system, one installed version of Mac OS X 10.4 Intel, one clean, "original, unmodified copy of the 'mach_kernel.prelink' file from the Apple TV," one external USB drive, generous amounts of sightly peppered raw courage and a liberal quantity of chilled sherry.

For cooking, first format the external USB drive as Journaled HFS+ in Mac OS X and leave it aside. You won't need it until the end.

Run the script and back up your Apple TV using the included instructions. Now drink some sherry. After five minutes the Apple TV will reboot. Turn it on again without connecting the USB drive until the flying-TV-screens introduction sequence finishes. When you connect the USB the contents from the internal drive will be copied to the external one. That's why the chefs for this recipe, Patrick Walton of University of Chicago and Tom Anthony from Apple TV Hacks, recommend you to "erase the content of your internal hard drive first so that there is no need to copy the content." Finish the sherry or pour yourself another glass.

The Apple TV will restart automatically after the content is copied and from that point on the USB disk will be used as content storage. Unfortunately this will leave the internal drive empty save for the operating system - but, quite frankly, who cares when you are going to end up with a 2TB Apple TV, specially after all that chilled sherry?

If you think the process to enable what should have been a feature since the beginning is not for the faint-hearted, hopefully someone will release a graphic patcher soon. Otherwise, go for it carefully and enjoy. [Apple TV Hacks]


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Apple TV with YouTube: v1.1 update hands-on

As we heard earlier this morning, the Apple TV v1.1 update with YouTube finally went out, so naturally we had to kick the tires. It works exactly as advertised (and shown by Jobs at D), but there are a few things we discovered.
  • The update isn't available through iTunes, as you might expect -- it's either pushed out automatically directly to the ATV (it checks for updates weekly, and prompts if you want to install), or through manual update in the ATV's settings.
  • The update process took about 9 minutes to download and install. Not nearly as bad as a TiVo update, but we still wish it would have been a bit faster.
  • YouTube appears in the main dash, as expected. Users must log in with their YouTube account to rate videos, save to favorites, etc., but users who aren't logged in still get a video history.
  • Using a keyboard on the Apple TV's USB port sure would be nice for logging in, searching videos, etc. -- we tried, it's still disabled.
  • Video quality looks pretty decent, all things considered. YouTube regulars will be more than satiated.
  • It was clear not everything has converted for Apple TV yet -- Engadget's smattering of YouTube videos were nowhere to be found. For shame!
  • Unfortunately, you still can't fast forward further than the buffer has streamed, like you can with Google video.
  • Apple also added an iTunes Store menu in the settings. Apple claims it's to set your country of origin so the top music previews aren't just assumed to be for US users.
  • Other updates: parental controls setting for disabling YouTube, as well as slideshow option for screen saver.
All in all we're pretty stoked. How much of a friggin pain is it to watch YouTube videos with your friends on your TV? (Don't act like you've never tried.) If you're an Apple TV owner you'll no doubt be using this more than you'd probably like to admit.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Apple conceals buyer data in DRM-free iTunes tracks

May 31, 2007 (Computerworld) -- A security researcher warned iTunes customers today that Apple Inc. encodes the buyer's account name and e-mail address in the new DRM-free tracks that debuted yesterday.

The data added to noncopy protected files purchased on iTunes can be viewed after the track is played by pulling up its File Info dialog in Mac OS X, said "mordaxus," one of the regulars who writes on the security blog Emergent Chaos.

"They [Apple] aren't the only one to watermark the files," said mordaxus, who pointed out that eMusic does something similar.

All iTunes files include the name on the buyer's account and the associated e-mail address -- not just the new DRM-free tunes. But their inclusion on noncopy protected songs is significant, mordaxus said, because some people might be tempted to share bought music on a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

"If you're going to put music files up a P2P network, you cannot be paranoid. They are out to get you," said mordaxus. "It would be folly to take any music you bought from any service and serve it up."

The Unofficial Apple Weblog posted a three-step set of instructions on how Mac OS X users can use Terminal to dig into an iTunes Plus file.

Apple did not returns calls asking why iTunes tracks, whether protected by DRM or not, contain buyer data.


Monday, May 21, 2007

AppleTV hacked to run Xgrid

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It's no secret that the Apple TV is just a stripped-down Intel Mac running a lightly-tweaked version of OS X, so simply getting an app to run on the system isn't really a big deal -- we've seen full installs of OS X running on the device at this point. On the other hand, if you're just using the Apple TV as a media extender, that processor is just sitting there wasting spare cycles when you're not using the device, so this little hack to run Apple's Xgrid distributed-computing client on an Apple TV seems pretty slick. The hack is pretty simple if you've already poked around inside your AppleTV -- it mostly involves copying over the Xgrid Agent and configuring a few preference files. After that, your Apple TV's spare horsepower will be available to your network's Xgrid Controller, but you won't have disturbed the functionality of the device at all. Just the thing to speed up those VisualHub video transcoding sessions, eh? Now, if only someone would wedge the Folding@home client into this thing (hint, hint).