April 14, 2007

It Just Works

I now have in my possession a shiny new AppleTV, and let me tell you, it rocks. It just works. The hardest part was getting the cables into the back of my receiver. Within about 5 minutes out of the box I was listening to music on my home theater system with the most beautiful album art graphics I've ever seen. This things does do 1080i, and it does it well.

The syncing from the iTunes on my laptop was perfectly seamless and it was underway before I knew it. Even while syncing, I had full access to my entire music catalog with a screen-saver of all the album art. It must have pulled the art down separately, which is a great user experience. I really don't know (or care) what's streaming or playing directly off the unit. It just works.

It's also a stark reminder at the difference good speakers make in revealing the differences in the codecs. Even ripped at 160Kbps, the MP3s don't hold a candle to anything ripped with AAC. I may just have to go back and re-rip most of my collection. The MP3s feel like there's this layer of haze between me and the music. Anything AAC is clear, clean, and has a much wider soundstage. It could also just be better recording techniques and coincidence.

Sure, I wish it had a bigger hard drive and was more expandable, but you know, I'm sure I'll get my $300 worth just enjoying my music now that it's much more accessible to me, and I'll glady buy another in a couple of years.

Posted by pinkerton at April 14, 2007 12:39 PM