Saturday, May 26, 2007

Apple TV and Windows Vista?

As one of the final components of my media room, I excitedly bought an Apple TV yesterday. Really, I just want to be able to watch my favorite video podcasts on it, but I may also buy some movies or TV shows on iTunes eventually.

The problem is, I can't get it to sync with my Windows Vista Business Edition PC.

The setup couldn't have been easier. Plug in the HDMI cable to the TV. Plug in the power. Walk through the network setup wizard. It connected to my 802.11g wireless network with WPA encryption - no problems.

Then, I fired up iTunes on my PC. Apple TV requires iTunes 7.1 or higher. No problem. I've got the latest iTunes. The Apple TV was instantly detected in iTunes, and it walked me through the authorization process with the iTunes Music Store. All went well.

It appeared to begin the "sync" process of copying my selected iTunes info to the Apple TV hard drive over the wireless network. However, there would be a sliver of progress, and then it would hang. I let it sit overnight, thinking maybe the initial sync was just slow due to the huge amount of content it had to transfer.

No such luck. I woke up this morning and there was no additional progress.

The Apple TV is connecting to my network and to the internet fine. I can view all of the movie trailers and content directly from the iTunes Music Store. I just can't view anything from my iTunes on my Vista PC.

I've gone through all of the troubleshooting documentation. I have:
- Disabled Windows Firewall
- Opened up suggested ports on my Linksys router
- Disabled ALL non-Microsoft startup services, except for iTunes related services
- Connected the Apple TV directly to my router with a wired connection
- Restored the Apple TV to factory settings and started over
- Rebooted all equipment (cable modem, router, computer, Apple TV)

I don't think the problem is related to my wireless network in any way. I think it's just Vista.

Many people are reporting syncing problems with Vista, but those who have gotten it working don't have any special advice.

Any ideas out there?

Please don't bother with the "Get a Mac!" advice. I already have a Mac. Unfortunately for me, it's provided by the company I work for, and I cannot move my iTunes library to it. While I may buy my own personal Mac in the future, that time is not now, so that advice is useless to me.

I also won't ditch Vista for XP (the officially supported Windows OS for Apple TV). I've had no problems with Vista thus far, and honestly I think the responsibility lies with Apple this time around to make their products (Apple TV and iTunes) work with Vista, or don't advertise Windows compatibility at all. Vista was already available when the Apple TV was released. If Apple couldn't make the thing work with the current version of Windows, they shouldn't have claimed Windows compatibility.

I've been working on this for almost 24 hours. If I can't get it working tonight, the Apple TV will go back to Best Buy where I got it, with a big dose of tarnish on Apple's reputation in my mind.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Client side web notebook

Very cool. I'm using this TiddlyWiki thing to save notes from the conference I'm at. It's dynamic and easy to use. Create "personal, self-contained hypertext documents" without the need for server side logic. Good stuff. Check it out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Machine is Us

Web 2.0: The Machine is Us