It's also worth noting that the iTunes Music Store lets you download music and video only for purchase - not on an all-you-can-see-or-hear monthly-subscription basis or in a 24-hour viewing window, as its competitors offer along with the purchase option. Since those other services mainly use Microsoft's DRM, Apple TV owners are pretty much left out and locked into the iTunes download-to-buy model. That's a serious restriction compared with Windows-based media receivers, such as the NetGear HD-EVA8000.
On another note, at one point I had set up a second computer running iTunes to automatically download several weekly podcasts, including the 40-minute commercial-free CBS Radio News Weekend Roundup. When I started listening on the computer and then stopped midway to switch to my TV, Apple TV recognized where I had paused the program on the PC and gave me the option of playing it from that point on - very convenient!
PHOTO PERFORMANCE Apple TV is the first media receiver I've encountered in which you can't stream photos from the computer. As mentioned, you have to sync them first, which I found inconvenient and yet another reason to spend more time at the PC instead of in front of the TV. Also, the photos disappear if you then decide to sync Apple TV to a different computer. But once images were copied over, they were easy to access - and the Ken Burns-type effects (slow pans and close-ups of still images) plus the choice of dazzling transitions made the slideshows really fun to watch. You can listen to music during the show, but there's no way to zoom into a portion of the picture.
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