More homebrew plugins, but where are those from Apple?

by editor @ on April 11, 2007

Erica Sadun over O’Reily had written a plugin for the Apple TV that allows you to execute any Perl scripts you have uploaded. Given that Perl can run also call shell scripts and any Unix command, this will allow a whole host of cool scripts to be written.

It also opens the doors for programmers and scripters with no knowledge of Cocoa programming to develop their own additions to BackRow.

Plugins from ‘The Mothership’

We are seeing an increasing number of homebrew plugins; is wondering when we’ll see the first plugins from Apple. We imagine there are 3 viable mechanisms for Apple to distribute plugins:

1) The software update system provides a gateway for Apple to do exactly that; update their software. Seeing as BackRows default features are just plugins themselves, it follows Apple must be able to access the plugins to update them. Thus, they can almost certainly install new plugins in this manner.

2) The Apple TV syncs media from the iTunes it is connected with, this includes music, video and photos. Could it be that plugins could also sync in this manner? Download a cool plugin from the iTunes Store, and have it sync directly to your Apple TV? Whilst not so likely, it is the only current mechanism in place for getting user-selected data to the Apple TV.

3) Apple may update the Apple TV via software update, and provide a plugin for… downloading plugins. While to begin with Apple will certainly want to keep the Apple TV simple and easy to use, as the user base grows and people become more acclimatised to using the Apple TVs, this could be a viable route for Apple.

  • Trouvetout

    3) The Way I see It would be a Badge over “Settings” Menu (like the one on “Mail” for new messages)
    And an new section in settings to allow us to enable/disable , update/download plugins.

    The Badge idea lead me to the same idea for a “Mail” plugin : Badges
    Probably same wil go for RSS

    This badge thingy would need to be customizable (show/hide, size, colors)

    The hack way would be a RSS feed with plugins an a scrit that install them (that could be a wrong idea : opening doors for malware)
    that’s why a request @ Apple to implement, host and check those plugin in the regular ATV release

  • would it be possbile to have Ruby support as well?

  • I think apple will release an update at the NAB show. Hd movies on the itunes store and an update to apple TV that allows us to use usb devices for storage with those Big HD downloads! cheers.

  • Aron T

    Is it possible to install multiple 3rd-party plugins or can you only use one at a time? I haven’t been able to find that information anywhere..

  • rexonor

    Yes a plugin to execute ruby scripts would be amazing. Any chance this can be implemented? Ruby is very versitile and great for scripting.

  • personally it’s the first batch of plugins from apple that is holding me back from upgrading the HDD in the machine. I am a bit concerned that apple could, if they wanted to, do some kind of check on it to see if it’s still the default 40gb unit, and if it’s not, disable future plugin or upgrade support. I suppose I could put the old one back in, but that kind of defeats the object.

    once people have done that it’ll make a HDD upgrade feasibvle in my mind – but the ultimate has to be the plugin community, like it is for MS MCE.

    Imagine – MS being more open that Apple!!

  • Pingback: Apple to supply free ’software features and enhancements’ | Apple TV Hacks()

  • Jeremy

    I’m thinking one of the updates is going to be that you can start watching a movie immediately after purchasing (or renting… hopefully forthcoming) it from the iTunes store. Last night I did an impulse buy of A Bug’s Life. In iTunes, you can watch the movie as soon as it caches enough of it on your computer. Unfortunately, I cannot sync a movie to my Apple TV until the movie has completed its download as far as I can tell. I tried after a few minutes at least and couldn’t and then went to sleep…
    That would be a fairly basic feature to add.
    I’m thinking that once the iPhone is out or after Leopard is out and the Fall is rolling along, updates will surface as announcements are made and marketing hype surfaces for the Apple TV, iPhone, and Leopard/Macs, as well as new iPods for the holiday season. It will be an interesting Fall.

  • kev

    is there a way to run VLC player on an AppleTV? Or at least play AVI’s?

  • good

Previous post:

Next post: