Stuck in the Back Row?

October 18, 2005 10:21 PM

Dear Apple,

Last week, you introduced some pretty cool new features for the iMac. Moderate speed increases, thinner form-factor, built-in camera, all good. But what the show was really all about was the software: the mildly cute Photo Booth camera software, and the pretty damn neat media centre software, Front Row.

The thing is, I just bought a new iMac in June, I already own an iSight, and I'm not ready to upgrade yet. So I'd like to go on record as saying that I'm going to be particularly pissed off if you're not going to make Front Row available for older Macs.

The signs are mixed so far. There's been no official, or even unofficial word either way. We can buy the remote-control, but the Apple Store only promises you can use it to control the iPod (with an I/R enabled dock) or the new revision iMac, nothing in between.

There's no technical reason I can think of to hold Front Row back. My iMac is still faster than the current entry-level unit, and it's not as if the hardware has changed much beyond the camera and infra-red receiver.

I can't even think of a good economic reason. You may decide you don't want to have the Mac Mini steal the new iMac's thunder as a media centre (although that's also a silly idea, the Mini seems made for Front Row). But why punish people who have already committed to the iMac line?

I hope this is all just something that's being saved for Wednesday's press conference, and you just didn't want to pollute last week's message with too many details.

(There's already the obligatory online petition on the subject, but you probably know my opinion of online petitions already.)


There's nothing on the remote page in the Apple store that says Front Row is included. It specifically says there are two uses for the remote: one is to control an iPod through the universal dock, and the other to control Front Row on only the new-revision iMacs.

Older iMacs do not have IR built in. However, there's no logical reason you shouldn't be able to use an external IR receiver (like the universal dock) for this purpose. It all just seems like an artificial distinction that's being used to force people to upgrade.

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