Feeds

Hacking the Apple TV

Adding new file formats

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

How to Access ‘Non-standard’ Files

Restart the Apple TV using the Software menu option we installed last time, and the codecs will now be available to the system and to any applications running on it. The snag is, the Apple TV’s GUI — an application in its own right — won’t show any ‘unofficial’ files you copy across.

Apple TV ATVFiles

ATVFiles on the main menu

To locate and play them, you’ll need ATVFiles, an Apple TV application that can be easily downloaded and installed using the ‘Manage 3rd Party Plug-ins’ section of the Software menu.

ATVFiles allows you to browse the your Apple TV’s folder structure using the regular remote control, a feature (understandably) absent from the standard GUI. When you find a file you want to view, pressing the OK button presents an Apple TV UI-style preview, and a second click plays the movie or song.

If you fancy installing ATVFiles manually, here’s how you go about it. Download the software from Awkward TV, here. You’ll end up with a file called ATVFiles-1.2.0.run which you need to copy over to the Apple TV then run it with the terminal command:

sudo sh ATVFiles-1.2.0.run

This will download and install the ATVFiles.frappliance plug-in with the correct ownership settings then automatically restart the Apple TV UI. When it’s running again, the main menu will now contain an entry called Files.

This allows you to navigate around the Apple TV’s file structure and play media files through QuickTime, which we’ve already augmented with Perian.

Of course, most of them won’t sync across in iTunes, but with your file-transfer app, it’s easy enough to copy a bunch of them over. If you do, you may get an odd warning:

Apple TV ATVFiles

We saw this message when we tried a couple of AVI files. The videos played just fine, even though we had to use the Apple TV remote’s Menu button to get away from the warning screen. It’s an odd glitch, and with so many factors — codec, file, ATVFiles etc — it’s hard to pin down the cause. Please let us know if you’ve found a way to avoid this.

Mac DMGs on Windows

How do you open a Mac-oriented DMG disk image file on your Windows PC? We tried EZB Systems’ Ultra ISO. Version 9 can open a DMG downloaded on a Windows machine and cope with the Mac disk format sufficiently to show you the image’s contents. You can than navigate through the folder structure to the files you want and extract them to your desktop.

Ultra ISO

For example, we used it to open Perian_1.1.3.dmg downloaded from the Perian website. We were than able to find the key perian.zip file, extract it, then used Windows Vista’s own Zip tools to access the .component folders within.

Ultra ISO costs $30, but it’s available as a free, trial release.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: More Codecs to Add

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.