Today brought the Apple TV faithful a big win with the release of Apple TV Take 2, or more appropriately the Apple TV 2.0 Software. Being the proud owner of three Apple TV's I was eager to get this update applied.
I was a bit surprised at how quickly it installed. I guess I was expecting a good 30 to 45 minute install but it only took about 10 minutes even with all the reboots. The install was painless and simple with no issues.
On reboot you are greeted to a new introduction movie that has a Leopard feel to it and immediately you are dropped on a screen with a bunch of movies in the background. My reaction is that the new Apple TV does a dramatically better job at highlighting the nature of the unit -- watching and listening to media.
The basic result of the upgrade is that Apple TV is now a 1st class citizen on your network. It no longer is just an appendage to your iTunes library, but can now purchase music and other content directly. I'm very happy with the upgrade and expect it will increase Apple TV usage significantly in our household.
I'll leave an in-depth review to a professional reviewer. Let me just say that I'm particularly happy with the Flickr integration. I'm all of a sudden wishing that more of my friends really used Flickr so I could see their photos in my living room. It's really great and just makes me wish even more that Flickr was natively on my iPhone. Patience.
The other thing that I was completely surprised by was that the Apple TV now support AirTunes. I didn't hear anything about this prior to the release today and its pretty cool. I was able to have my computer pipe the same music to three Apple TV's in the house, totally synchronized. Great party feature or just when you want to listen to music while wandering all over the house. Really happy with this new feature! Might even get me to buy an AirTunes unit or two to extend to the last couple of places in the house.
Now if someone would just make a decent, small set of speakers to go with it!