Apple TV missing feature: iTunes Output Device

Laura and I recently upgraded the Airport Express in our living room, replacing it with an Apple TV.

Sad to say, this was a side-grade as much as an upgrade, as we’ve lost the ability to play music in our living room without turning on our television. The Airport Express can be selected as an output device directly from iTunes on the computer, without requiring any messing around device-side.

For most people, having to turn on the TV to play music is no big deal — it is, after all, called the Apple TV. However, we have a projector in our living room, and the screen pulls down in front of a big glass door to our balcony, so it’s normally retracted. Furthermore, in daylight it’s tough to see the screen unless we close all of the other blinds in the living room, too. Therefore, to use the Apple TV to play music, we have to close three blinds, pull down the screen, turn on the projector, and wait thirty seconds or so for the projector to be ready. Which means that, right now, it’s easier for me to shamble to the other side of the room and dig through seven-hundred-plus CDs to find what I’m looking for.

I hope that a near-term software upgrade for the Apple TV enables the Apple TV as an alternate output device, as one can do with the Airport Express.

[ 2008-04-05: This feature is no longer missing! ]

3 thoughts on “Apple TV missing feature: iTunes Output Device

  1. I just came across this while searching for a airport express-type dongle for my mac. Currently, the stereo is directly next to the mac, but I don’t want to have system sounds come out the speakers any more than I want to unplug my desktop speakers when I want to have friends over with music on the stereo. I should be able to leave the wires alone, and if I tell iTunes to play on the stereo, it sends it to that output port, probably over USB.

    I guess we’ll never see this, but who knows.


  2. Try using the remote application that you can install on a iPhone or Ipod touch. it allows you to control the Apple TV from another room even.


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