Appledystopia: Independent Technology News

Apple TV Update 5.3+

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 Apple TV post 3.5 update

There’s a new update for Apple TV. The software is unchanged. Five new content channels have been added to the growing TV platform. The update adds Vevo, The Weather Channel, Smithsonian Channel, Disney, and Disney XD.


Vevo, the online music powerhouse, is now available directly on Apple TV. Fans of the service could always use AirPlay to beam content to their Apple TV. I prefer the user experience of the simple remote. Vevo’s Apple TV channel also adds continuous playback. After the selected video ends, Vevo will pick another video based on your preferences. It seems to learn what you like and does this well. I usually dislike such features, however Vevo helped me discover new music.

The new Vevo channel allows Apple TV owners to access 75,000 HD music videos and shows, without advertising. The user interface is similar to the Apple channels (Movies, TV Shows) and Hulu Plus. A menu bar is accessible at the top. Featured content scrolls along a marquee just under the top menu. The remainder of the main page features a grid of icons, grouped by categories. From the main menu, one can select playlists, search or settings.

Playlists are configured and activated on the Vevo website. Playlists feature social media integration with Facebook, amongst other cool features. While this is neat, being able to edit playlists directly would be even better.

Accessing the Artist’s page is similar to Apple TV’s Music app. An image of the artist is featured on the left. On the right, one can scroll through and select music videos, in addition to playing all and shuffling. Press play and the video will play directly. By pressing select, one can view information about the video, as well as add the artist as a favorite, which doesn’t seem to do anything. Perhaps the favorites feature helps Vevo figure out what you like, but there is no favorites section on the Apple TV channel.

The settings page allows users to activate their Apple TV (to access playlists) and enable explicit content. It is interesting to note that Miley Cyrus twerking is not considered explicit. Concerned parents may want to use Apple TV’s parental controls (Settings > General > Parental Controls).

I love Vevo. I never used the site at all until it landed on Apple TV. I was aware of Vevo, seeing their video content embedded on other websites. It’s an impressive offering, and it’s free. Vevo is better than Qello, which charges a subscription fee. I’m picky about music and don’t follow mainstream media. Nonetheless, Vevo has a lot of music that I like. Once again, Apple is allowing free content, hoping it may inspire you to buy an album on iTunes. They’re also making the Apple TV bundle more enticing for consumers. (continue…)

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