Practical Technology

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Apple TV 2.01: The Bug-fix Edition Bugged?


Apple sneaked out a new update for the Apple TV on Friday night. While, it’s mostly a bug-fix update, it does bring a handy new feature to the Apple TV as well. Well, it would be handy if it didn’t work so slowly anyway.

First, as for the bug-fixes, while Apple isn’t saying what 2.01 does, here’s what I’ve seen so far. First, the Apple TV’s hang problems seems to have been reduced. While I’ve not run into them, several people I’ve known have had the Apple TV hang when it was rendering numerous (100+) thumbnails for their Apple TV libraries. 2.01 seems to have erased this problem.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that some people are reporting that they’re losing their video connections during playback. The network connection is remaining solid, but the media playback simply drops only to be start again later without any rhyme or reason.

This is another problem I have yet to see with my Apple TVs. I have both a 40GB Apple TV and a 160GB Apple TV. The former uses a wired Fast Ethernet connection, while the latter uses an 802.11g connection. Both run off an iTunes library kept on a SimpleTech SP-U35/500 SimpleDrive 500 Hard Drive. This, in turn, sits off a Windows XP SP3 system running the latest version of iTunes.

The one new feature is that you can now view movies sorted by genre. Unfortunately, there have also been reports that switching from one movie genre view to another can take up to 15-seconds. Since, I never bothered to sort my own 50-movie collection by genre I haven’t encountered this issue.

The one completely bright spot is that, on my Apple TVs anyway, the interface seems to be working a bit more quickly.

All-in-all, this new release seems to be quite a mixed bag. Were I you, I’d hold up on upgrading for now. It seems all too likely that you’re going to run into some trouble for minimal gains. Hopefully, Apple will follow 2.01 with a 2.02 that keeps the advantages while getting rid of the disadvantages.

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