Apple’s Front Row
Obviously I’ve been playing with my MacBook a lot this week. One thing that it came with that was kind of odd was a kind of iPod-like “remote control.” It has volume control, fast forward, rewind, play, and menu. What would a laptop need a remote for? Well just for fun, I tried it. My normal computing environment fades into the background and I am presented with this “media center” like menu that Apple calls Front Row.
From this menu, I can select DVD, Photos, Movies, and Music. The latter two selections will pull content from iTunes or stuff located in the appropriate folder on your account (e.g. Movies, Pictures). I can scroll through all of the various content I have by category and select what I want to watch and it starts playing. Full screen. No “interface” to speak of on-screen, you simply control it with your remote.
I tried this out and I have to say I appreciate the simplicity of this. I liked that I could go to my video podcasts that I watch (was originally using Democracy Player, but why run that when iTunes will do it?) as well as anything else I had in my iTunes library. It’s one of those things that “just works.” It’s making me want to explore getting a Mini-DVI to Composite converter so I can hook up my MacBook to my TV and watch various videos I download. (I have a very old-school TV, so composite is the only way in)
If Apple comes out with an actual dedicated Media Center PC, I’ll be very interested in looking at acquiring it.