Surrendering to Apple

Posted 2009.08.21 5.57 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Music/Movies/TV by Stephanie

I’ve conceeded defeat. Apple beat me. I knuckled under and ordered an Apple TV. In spite of my best efforts, Apple is becoming the digital hub of my digital life. Music, photos, movies, tv… all that’s left really is an Apple-branded coffee maker withwifi and bluetooth, so I can summon up a coffee from my iPhone before I get out of bed.

Anyhow, this all goes back to a rant last week about not being able to watch a downloaded movie on my television. The cheapest solution would have been to simply go out and buy the damn movie on DVD, but I resented that since I’d already bought it on iTunes. Mind you, I also resented that my iPhone wasn’t compatible with my Apple dock + Apple AV cable combination. And I resented that getting new compatible cables would cost a wad more money. Then I resented that the cables were so expensive that it almost made more sense just to get an Apple TV.

Apple TV

Naturally, of all those resentments, buying the DVD was the one that burned me most. I mean, DVDs are so 1999. That’s 10-year old technology. Why invest in that? (Yes I’m being facetious.)

Actually what’s happened is the whole Apple TV thing has been rolling around the back of my mind, till suddenly I realized what else could be done with it, other ways to use it. They all sounded awesome in my mind yesterday when I ordered it, but now that I’m writing about it, I realize that maybe nobody else will see the importance like I do…

Forging ahead nonetheless, here’s the deal. I have a 5-disc DVD player. I “needed” the 5-disc changer because I can’t fall alseep without the TV going. I don’t watch it, but the flickering lights and quiet chatter helps me ignore the noises in the basement and the chatter in my head. It helps if it’s something I’ve ‘seen’ a dozen times before so I don’t get too wrapped up in the story. So I tend to ‘watch’ the same thing over and over. However, if it takes me more than 2 hours to fall asleep, then I need to switch to another disc; the same one twice in a row gets annoying. So without getting up and rooting around to swap discs, the only option is the 5-disc changer.

If I could have a half dozen or a dozen ‘faves’ on the Apple TV’s hard drive, that would free up the DVD player’s slots for other movies. See, it’s had the same 5 disks in it for ever. #1 is “Sink the Bismark”, #s 2 and 3 are a 4-hour documentary about the Titanic that A&E aired many years ago (so long ago that when I bought the series it was on VHS; I burned the tapes to DVD) and discs 4 and 5 are a three-part BBC documentary on the Spanish Armada (aired in 1988, the 400th anniversary of the Armada.) For the past several months, I’ve been using Armada as my fall-asleep show. And at least a half dozen times I’ve had to switch to the 2nd disc for part 3, having failed to fall asleep during the first two parts.

For one thing, it irks me that the Titanic documentary is on two DVDs. If I can join all four parts together into one big movie file, that would be awesome. 4 hours of uninterupted background noise to help me sleep. Ditto for the Armada – my dad burned that for me but he couldn’t fit it all on one disk, so parts 1 and 2 are separate from part 3. I’d love to combine that into one file so I can get all three parts together. Sink the Bismark is a commercial DVD so I wouldn’t rip that, it could stay in the DVD player though.

Anyhow, so there’s quite a few interesting things I can do with the Apple TV. I ordered a refurb which saved some money – more than enough to afford an HDMI cable to go with it. I don’t know if the Apple TV will come tomorrow (I doubt it will) but just in case, I’m encoding “Armada” right this moment, parts 1 and 2 are done and part 3 will be done by morning. Then I can start on the Titanic documentary. Tee hee.

I know my dad will be happy too, when he finds out I’ve got an Apple TV. He’s planning to get one, so he’ll know he can come ask me for help when he runs into trouble with it.

And – I’ll have something new to take apart!

Apple TV Insides

One Comment

  1. Stephanie says:

    P.S. I can see by the tracking info that they’ve elected to ship it via Ground from California (despite my paying an extra $17 for rush shipping) so it definately won’t get here till next week. Grrr.

    I am also fairly certain that now that I have bought an Apple TV, there’s a 100% chance of Apple announcing a new, upgraded model early in September.

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