Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Apple TV 6.0: Worth Upgrading?

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Apple TV 6.0 update

The recent Apple TV 6.0 update created many problems. Apple had to pull the plug and abort the first update. Numerous users experienced device failures and other issues. It was clear that the release was not ready for prime time. Apple fixed these issues within a few days, and Apple TV 6.0 is now worth upgrading. After using the release, I find it to be stable. The 6.0 update adds iTunes Radio, the iTunes Music Store, AirPlay from iCloud, and other features.

How Long Does It Take?

With a 3 Mbps Internet connection, the upgrade process takes approximately one hour. It takes less than 30 minutes to download the software. Processing and installing the update takes another half hour.

Does It “Just Work”?

The 6.0 update that is now available is safe and stable. If you upgraded during the first release and your device was “bricked”, there’s a few things you can do. First, try restoring the device with iTunes. Simply plug your Apple TV into your computer with a micro-USB cable, then launch iTunes. Next, select Apple TV from Devices list and click “restore”. If this doesn’t work, your device is likely “bricked”. Take it back to the Apple store or call Apple’s customer support. They are offering replacements for units affected by this upgrade.

One minor annoyance is that you will be asked to re-authenticate with Netflix or Hulu Plus after restarting post-upgrade. Immediately after the upgrade, Netflix and Hulu Plus will work fine. It’s after the first restart that you’ll experience the issue. Keep your login information on hand if you upgrade.

iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio is the most notable feature of this update. The new radio service is a Pandora killer and will drive sales for the iTunes Music Store. Having used iTunes Radio on my iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, I feel the Apple TV version is the best. The simple workflow of iTunes Radio is perfect for Apple TV. The user doesn’t fiddle with assembling playlists. Instead, the user makes a few choices and starts listening to music. From there, one can skip tracks six times per hour. Users can also purchase a song or album with a few clicks. If you don’t have an iTunes Match subscription, you will see an advertisement after a few songs. On Apple TV, these are video ads, and sometimes take a long time to download. If you notice a long pause, it’s not a crash, but merely an advertisement buffering. (continue…)

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