Regarding today’s announcements from Apple: What really knocked my socks off today wasn’t the iPod Video announcement. What I thought was much more significant was the iMac’s Front Row software and the iMac’s accompanying remote control.
The only question is, where’s the receiver that I can stick on top of my TV, and how can I make this work with a Mac Mini? (Or more likely, when will Apple make this available.) Update: Apparently the answer to that question is 2-3 weeks. Hat tip to John Gruber.
Here’s a real viable media center solution. Plug a Mac Mini into your TV array. Have instant access to your music, photos, home movies, and play DVDs all right there from the console. It’s got WiFi access, so in addition to that, you quickly pop over to the web browser to look up something. Heck, you’ve got your bluetooth keyboard with a built-in trackpad, so maybe check some email. Maybe some video games too – hello? Did you say video iChat with the folks on the big screen? Well, you’ll need to add an accessory for that. Want to store more video on there? Get a snap-on hard drive kit. Ka-ching, ka-ching goes the sound of the accessory market. Oh and by the way, you can buy your favorite TV shows now and just download ’em, or use your box to record shows like a Tivo. And you can have it all to go on the iPod, too.
Yeah, you could do all that probably just fine without the remote. But then you’d be operating a Mac – a computer – and probably most people will just go cross-eyed and the prospect of setting all that up and dealing with it on a day-to-day basis as part of their entertainment center. But stick it in a remote that seriously looks more easy to operate than those old 4-button clickers that Zenith had in the 70s, integrate the stuff with Front Row, and it makes a very compelling demo in the Magnolia Hi-Fi store. Or Best Buy. Or Sears. Or Target. The remote transforms your Mac Mini from a cool geek accessory to “Why do I need anything else but this plugged in to my TV?”