Writings about Macs, music and more by Kirk McElhearn



Apple TV

Use Voice Search with the Apple TV


Amazon introduced its Fire TV yesterday, and one of the features the company touts is “voice search.” Using a tiny microphone in the device’s remote, you will be able to speak when searching for content, instead of pecking out letters by moving a cursor around on your TV screen. For example, you might want to […]

How Apple’s AirPlay Streams Audio


I got a question from a reader asking how Apple’s AirPlay streams audio. The question specifically asked about how audio files are converted, and whether AirPlay reduces their quality. Apple doesn’t provide much information about AirPlay, and I found a number of articles and forum posts where people described complex testing routines to determine the […]

The Committed Podcast Looks at the Apple TV


On this week’s episode of The Committed podcast, Ian Schray, Rob Griffiths and I discuss the state of the Apple TV. Once described by Steve Jobs as just a “hobby,” it has become a product category of its own, with 10 million units sold last year, generating $10 billion dollars in content sales and rental. […]

Apple Gives Apple TV a Promotion


The Apple TV, which Steve Jobs famously once described as “a hobby,” has been given a promotion. When you shop in Apple’s online store, the Apple TV is now a top-of-the-page category of its own. For now, all you see there is the Apple TV itself and its remote – unlike the other categories, where […]

Stream Any Video from a Mac to an Apple TV


One of the most interesting features of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is AirPlay Mirroring. You can stream what is displayed on your Mac to an Apple TV (and, presumably, other devices will support this in the future). This is very useful if you want to watch videos in formats that iTunes doesn’t support, such […]

New Apple TV Has Its Share of Bugs


I got my new Apple TV today. It’s a nice little device, smaller and especially cooler than the previous model. I have no issues with not being able to store content on the device, and streaming works fine for me. However, it seems that the Apple TV software has a fair number of bugs. While […]