What’s better than a non-working USB patch?

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on July 26, 2007

A working one, of course.  Our very own Tom Anthony managed to fix the USB patch.  He is still testing it and is working on an “undo” script.

He promised to have it wrapped up by tomorrow night after doing some aggressive testing.  So look for the patch Friday night.

I’m as excited as a little girl on a sugar high!

  • Die Mystic Boer

    Cool bananas, make that a little girl at a Barney festival… Well done, I am looking forward to it.

  • So, sorry for sounding stupid, but will this patch mean plug and play xvid support at all? I have a PC and about 200 xvid/divx movies i’m dying to watch without burning them to cds to play on the dvd/divx player.

    Thanks, Ridge

  • luck

    Ridge, the patch has nothing to do with the xvid support. It allows an external USB drive to act as a primary storage instead of the internal one; this way, you’re not limited to just 160gb.

    As far as playing your divx files, there are many converters out there that can batch convert your divx files to Apple TV-compatible format.

  • Richard Fish

    @ luck
    Well, but the USB patch could be misused for that, couldn’t it?

    As far as I understood the USB patch works as followed: “Here’s how the patch currently works. When you first attach the external drive to the Apple TV, the patch copies all the files from the internal drive to the external one. From that point on, Apple TV utilizes the external drive instead of the internal one. You can now play the media right from the external drive. The problem is in the syncing. It doesn’t seem to copy the new media to the usb drive.”

    So once all the data is on the external, and ATV “utilizes the external drive instead of the internal one” there would then be no problem to add certain codecs (i.e. perian) to the atv’s files on the external, right?

    Sorry if I got the patch wrong, I’m not trying to confuse anyone. I’m just trying to be logical here.

  • Maraklov

    Ridge, you can use your ATV to store or stream your xvid/divx movies by using some of the plugins over at wiki.AwkwardTV.org. Perian codecs for AppleTV will play them, and now nitoTV will mount your windows shares for you as well. That way you can avoid converting all of your files.

  • Tom @ AppleTVHacks.net

    The patch won’t allow new codecs etc. – it simply stores the media in it’s native format, but on an external USB drive, allowing you to upgrade your storage capacity without having to mangle your Apple TV’s internals.

    I’m working away at gettting the installer script working now. If you want to get prepared, you need to have SSH enabled on your Apple TV for the installer to run.

  • norwscaper

    Tom, if SSH has to be enabled does this mean you need a mac for this patch? are us PC users are out of luck?

  • Moduz

    “It allows an external USB drive to act as a primary storage instead of the internal one; this way, you’re not limited to just 160gb.”

    God bless you, every one!

  • Moduz

    PS. UGH! People we have been waiting patiently (sort of) for this USB HD patch for about a month now. Can we PLEASE not distract the issue until the good people at appletvhacks release the patch? Thank you.

  • Henrik

    Everyone say the USB disc will be primary? What happends to the buildin disc in Atv. If i connect a 500gb external drive, will i then have 540gb total? or just 500? Will the buildin 40gb be useless? What happends with the stuff on the buildin disc when connecting the new one?

  • Scothoser

    @ norwscaper

    You can get an SSH client for the PC for free off the internet. That will allow you to access an Apple TV with enabled SSH without a problem.

    This patch, from what I understand, doesn’t require SSH, that is just for the codec installer that is being developed.

    Also, if you want to have more than just the SSH client, you may want to try installing cygwin on your Windows machine. That will give you a whole host of Unix utilities, and even let you use Unix commands in your command line. ^_^

  • luck

    Henrik, only the external drive will be used when it is connected. The storage capacity of the two drives will not be combined.

    As for the content of your internal drive, it will be copied over to the external drive when you first connect it to the Apple TV. From then on, the internal drive will not be used, only the external one.

    If you disconnect the external drive, the Apple TV will revert back to using the internal hard drive.

  • luck

    norwscaper and Scothoser,

    In order for the patch to work, an install script must be run. This means that you need more than just an ssh client; you need a posix-compatible environment. I am not familiar with what is available on Windows for this eventhough I, myself, am a Windows programmer.

    OK, might as well tell you guys a little bit more about the procedure. There is an install script that needs to be run under a posix-compatible environment. It then uses ssh to connect to the Apple TV and patches the kernel on the Apple TV remotely. We have only tried this on Intel Macs. I tried running it on my MacBook Pro and my iMac. Most importantly, the patch was written BEFORE the Apple TV 1.1 upgrade. I do not know if it will work with the current version of the software or not.

    Later down the road, maybe somebody from the community will make the process less geekish and more user-friendly. As for now, this was how the patch was sent to us. We only just modified what we were given to make it work. It would be nice if we could have a nice Windows/Mac GUI application to automate all this.

  • Die Mystic Boer

    A nice Windows/Mac GUI. Unfortunately no GUI is gonna crack open a AppleTV and enable ssh…


  • Thanks for the reply guys. When it comes to computers I’m not completely useless, but anything to do with programming/coding is somehting I’ve never done before. Can you guys please give me a quick ‘idiot’s guide’ to simply incorporating xvid/divx into the apple tv menu for me to play. Some people have said I cn just covert all of my movies/episodes, the problem is this would take so long, and require a huge amoung of hard drive space (every ep of seinfeld, simpsons, movies, etc).

    I really do appreciate any help people can give me. My girlfriend has a mac if I need that, and I have 2 pcs (desktop and laptop).

    Thanks again, Rihard

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