Apple TV 3.0 Software Update

Apple TV 3.0 Software Update

Yesterday Apple released their Apple TV 3.0 software update. With the update the Apple TV now has a fancy new user interface and support for iTunes Extras, iTunes LPs, and Genius Mixes.

Apple has moved “My Movies,” “My TV Shows,” etc. to the top of the menu lists, added Radio as a menu option under “Internet,” and has switched the system font from Lucida Grande to Helvetica.

I’ve heard some complaints about the new interface not looking as attractive as the 2.0 interface but I have to disagree. The placement of your content at the top left of the main menu looks gorgeous and the new font looks much cleaner. The interface is laid out in a very simple way and it’s quicker and easier to navigate.

When I first saw the “Internet” menu option, I went bananas. I had no idea what to expect because I hadn’t read any of the coverage before updating. I was obviously disappointed when the only two options under Internet were YouTube and Radio but it’s interesting to note that iTunes Extras and LPs are built using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS, the same standards used for building web pages. Is it possible that Apple could build either a browser or add some other web content partners and place them under the Internet section?

The first thing I attempted to do after updating to 3.0 was to view my iTunes Extras or LPs on my HDTV. After about 30 minutes of changing sync settings and trying to figure out why I couldn’t get my Extras or LP content to work I found this knowledge base article on Apple’s site. It turns out that users who had purchased iTunes Extras or iTunes LPs prior to the release of the 3.0 update will have to wait until Apple allows them to download the updated version to view it on their Apple TV.

I purchased Batman Begins on my Apple TV to try out iTunes Extras and I like it a lot. It feels a lot like watching a DVD but I appreciate the lack of trailers and ads before I get to the menu. Within the more section there are links to the Warner Bros. website and items in the iTunes Store that aren’t viewable on the Apple TV, when chosen they currently display “To view this item, use iTunes on your computer.” on the screen, I hope Apple eventually allows users to follow those links.

iLounge has posted an extensive gallery to their Flickr account showing off all of the new Apple TV features.

iTunes LP and Extras Destined for the Apple TV

Update 11/8/09: Apple has started sending out emails to Extras and LP owners informing them that newer versions are available to download that are compatible with the Apple TV. Wall-E was available for me but I still haven’t received an update to Paramore’s Brand New Eyes LP.

Apple has also sent out emails to Apple TV owners about Apple TV 3.0.1 update which fixes a bug which could cause media to disappear from your Apple TV until it is synced again.