We are pleased to announce the release aTV Flash (black) Beta7 for the 2nd generation AppleTV.

Beta7 is a major update for aTV Flash (black) and brings a number of great new features to the 2nd gen AppleTV including music playback, Last.fm powered artist slideshows, cloud backups and more.

Keep reading to learn more about what's new.

Music Playback

A new music player has been built into Media Player, which allows you to stream most music file types from a Mac, PC or NAS drive without using iTunes. During playback, album art, track info, and artist images will automatically be downloaded from Last.fm. Artist images are used in slideshows that can be viewed while music is playing in the background. Support for folder playlists is also included.

During playback you can navigate away from the current track, and a new 'Now Playing' option will appear in the main menu which allows you to quickly jump back into your playlist. 

Cloud Backups

We've added a new cloud backup feature that provides a way to easily backup all your 3rd party (FireCore, XBMC, Plex, etc...) settings and data to the cloud. Once backed up, a list of your previously saved backups will be available allowing you to to easily restore one of them if needed.

Backups are stored securely in the cloud and will remain linked to the AppleTV's serial number - this means they will always be available even if you update or restore your AppleTV.

Metadata Views

Media Player now features three distinct options for viewing different types of metadata. The the left (<<) and right (>>) buttons can be used to cycle through the views when browsing through your media. More details on each view can be found below.
  1. General (default) view - This is the first view and contains a portion of the synopsis, and other info like who's in the movie and when it was released.
  2. Synopsis view - This is the second view and shows the full movie synopsis.
  3. Technical view - This is the third view and shows technical information about the video file.

Full Changelog

  • Added support for music files (mp3, aac (adts), wav, aiff, m4a)
  • Added AC3 and DTS (5.1+ surround) sound
  • Added playback menu (hold select during playback)
  • Added support for .srt subtitles
  • Added support for multiple audio tracks
  • Added support for chapters
  • Added cloud backup for 3rd party settings
  • Added three metadata views (overview, synopsis, technical)
  • Added MPAA rating to metadata
  • Added support for localized metadata
  • Added support for local cover art
  • Added option to refetch metadata for a specific file
  • Added option to clear all metadata
  • Added toggle setting for volume control
  • Added access to DVD menus during playback (press menu)
  • Added low buffer detection warning (prevents stuttering)
  • Improved metadata fetching (courtesy of themoviedb.org)
  • Improved progress bar controls
  • Improved AFP/SMB reliability
  • Improved DVD file playback
  • Improved playback of larger files
  • Improved buffering and re-buffering (when required)
  • Improved FF/RW controls for larger files
  • Improved audio decoding performance
  • Improved center channel (voices) audio mixing
  • Improved file sorting logic
  • Improved performance and memory management
  • Improved error handling
  • Resolved screensaver/slideshow related issues
  • Resolved playback issues for files with 20+ streams
  • Resolved issues with AFP volumes with long file names
  • Resolved floating issues with subtitles
  • Resolved issues related to 3rd party remote apps
  • Resolved floating crash in SMB library
  • Resolved aspect ratios issues for certain video types
  • Resolved file browsing related crashes
  • Resolved metadata fetching related crashes
  • Resolved audio queue related errors
  • Resolved Top Shelf related playback issues
  • Resolved playback related memory leaks
  • Resolved DVD subtitle issues
  • Resolved stalls observed with some files during and after FF/RW
  • Resolved synchronization issues observed after buffering some files
  • Resolved audio synchronization issues
  • Resolved rare floating crash observed at the end of some files
  • Resolved resume related playback issues
  • Resolved various screensaver related issues
  • Local files are now hidden when one or more remote shares are setup
  • Minor UI and other miscellaneous fixes

Jolly good! Where can I get it?

If you're already running a version of aTV Flash (black) the new Beta7 version can be installed through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu. If for some reason you need to re-install aTV Flash (black) onto your AppleTV links for the new version can be found in your account under the Downloads tab.

New users can pre-order aTV Flash (black) here.

Enjoy! :-) 

Comments

Submitted by Jesse Kaufman on September 6, 2011 - 1:08pm

Very cool! Can't wait to try it out when I get home from work! Smile

Any chance of getting the movie rating shown in the metadata? It would be a big help to those of us with kids old enough to know what ratings they're allowed to watch (though having aTV Flash support the parental settings would obviously be wonderful in the long run) Smile

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:10pm

Yep - the movie's MPAA rating has been added as well. It now appears to the right of the movie title. :)

James
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Submitted by Jesse Kaufman on September 6, 2011 - 1:13pm

Actually, ignore my comment about movie rating ... after reloading metadata for my movies, the rating now shows up!! WONDERFUL! Smile

Submitted by Jesse Kaufman on September 6, 2011 - 1:13pm

Awesome! Thank you! Smile

Submitted by apprehensive on September 6, 2011 - 1:17pm

Sounds like an awesome update!

Submitted by Sandor on September 6, 2011 - 1:20pm

Hi,

When will subtitle support for mkv's be added?
Plex does play it but Media player doesn't.
Would really like to have that so I can use media player only.

Thanks!

Submitted by sylvainp.7247 on September 6, 2011 - 1:22pm

Are embedded .SRT subtitles supported in this release? thanks

Submitted by Lando on September 6, 2011 - 1:23pm

Nice update...... thanx

Submitted by jmhardy on September 6, 2011 - 1:27pm

OK....maybe I'm just missing something, but I can't figure out where to download this from? My account only points to the Beta6 version....

Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:28pm

What about embedded subs in MKVs? You said it was on its way. I really can't live without that feature.

Submitted by stevemac on September 6, 2011 - 1:28pm

Please, please, please... is there anyway you can put manual controls over the ATV's screen resolution into the next update? The ATV auto detects the resolution of the screen attached but defaults to 480p when the HDMI is routed through an amplifier, which is pretty much the case in most home cinema setups. Apple consider this a feature, I consider it a pain in the ass.

 

Thanks, hopefully.

Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:30pm

What's the latest firmware of the ATV that this can be installed on? I mean can the latest iOS 5 betas be jail broken?

Submitted by jmhardy on September 6, 2011 - 1:32pm

Never mind....figured it out Smile

Submitted by Jesse Kaufman on September 6, 2011 - 1:33pm

hmm, I have my HDMI routed through my sound system (Onkyo SR-606) and it displays at 720p according to my TV's "Info" menu (Samsung HP-T4264). I have my receiver set to "passthrough" (so it doesn't try to upscale to 1080i, which is my TV's native res). Works wonderfully Smile

Submitted by Ben Slater on September 6, 2011 - 1:33pm

Great work!!! Loving the music player update. Thanks Smile

Submitted by Bajtek on September 6, 2011 - 1:37pm

What about txt subtitles? They are extremly popular in my country Smile

Submitted by Christian L. on September 6, 2011 - 1:40pm

Hope that subtitles in m4v-files are supported this time?

Submitted by Standd on September 6, 2011 - 1:43pm

Does this update contain the ability to scrape metadata for TV Shows also? That's one thing I've been waiting for.

Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:45pm

Please please...

I'm putting this up once more:
please add last.fm streaming support for more countries, like The Netherlands Smile

The very reason I bought the software...

Thanx!

Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:46pm

Can you get apple tv remote to control volume please. Please?

Submitted by Ben M on September 6, 2011 - 1:49pm

I agree with Jesse. In my setup (Onkyo amp to Vizio TV), it always appears to have a 720p resolution (when ATV2+ Flash is the source) w/out any manual adjustments. I believe when I setup the Onkyo, I had to set the source to 'pass through'. Perhaps that's all you need.

- Ben

Submitted by Jesse Kaufman on September 6, 2011 - 1:49pm

it doesn't appear to just yet (but i've only messed with it a few minutes)

Submitted by Chris Jones on September 6, 2011 - 1:53pm

This looks like an impressive list of improvements. Can't wait to get home and try them out.

Thanks Firecore!!!

Submitted by markzi on September 6, 2011 - 1:55pm

Can someone explain these two points please

 

  • Added support for localized metadata
  • Added support for local cover art

Thanks

 

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:55pm

Yes, just enable the 'Volume Control' option found in the Media --> Settings menu.

James
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Submitted by peterj.3872 on September 6, 2011 - 1:55pm

Looks great. Thanks for the update.

 

Does the new media player support playlists or is there a way to add different albums/artists to the mix (if they're in different folders)?

Thanks

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:55pm

Not yet, but that is coming soon.

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:55pm

The latest public AppleTV software is 4.3. AppleTV betas are not supported.

James
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Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:56pm

Please add VPN pptp option, with domain option not just the ip address. Some VPNs use only allow the use of domain name in the login configuration and do not allow us to use their ip address. Thanks.

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:56pm

Still on the way...hang in there.

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:56pm

Not yet, but they will be available soon.

James
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Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:57pm

Would it be possible for a future version to make a seperate Music menu, linking to a sub folder on Mac or Nas? With the possibility to browse this based on ID3tags?
This would really be a killer feature.

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 1:58pm

Right now it just supports folder based playlists.

  1. Highlight the folder you want to play.
  2. Press/hold the select button and choose the play as playlist option.

Some fancier options will be available in a future version.

James
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Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 1:59pm

I'd love to see an audio level out control.

Submitted by Leon on September 6, 2011 - 1:59pm

Hi Firecore..know i really begin to be proud of your updates/new versions with all the great and useful features. I REALLLY hope on behalf of myself and ALL the other people around the world, that you WILL CONTINUE make the ATV Flash better with more great features, it makes the Apple TV unit so freakin cool and so much greater than the XBMC, Plex and others! Regards...Leon from Denmark Europe

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:00pm

In the current version you can setup a 'Favorite' which is basically a shortcut to a folder on a Mac, PC or NAS drive.

More details on setting up Favorites can be found here: http://support.firecore.com/entries/20322512-media-player

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:01pm

Thanks for your kind words.

We'll keep at it, don't worry. :)

James
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Submitted by Alan T on September 6, 2011 - 2:03pm

Can you please consider making the Surfer Pro view and run the FLASH video that a lot of web sites utilize. ie. "Letmewatchthis.com". So we can stream Movies.

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:04pm

Localized metadata

This enables Media Player to display metadata in the language that matches your AppleTV Settings. IE if your AppleTV is set to use Spanish, Spanish metadata (if available) will be downloaded for your files instead of English.

Local cover art

Some people already have cover art for their movies, so this feature allows them to use their existing cover art. Just place an image file (with the same name) in the same location as the movie you wish to pair it with. EG Inception.jpg and Inception.mp4

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:05pm

We'd love to, but right now we're limited in the countries we can stream music to. Sorry. :(

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:05pm

Not yet sorry, but they are coming soon.

James
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Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 2:06pm

Unfortunately installing this is a pain in the rear. Setting it up is even more complicated. Most of the features don't work as advertised.
Once they make the setup and features configurable for your average user then it will be awesome. However right now it acts just like what you would expect from jail broken software which is not very good at all and hard to setup and use.

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:06pm

Coming soon. :)

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:07pm

We'd be more than happy to help resolve any trouble you're running into.

Just let us know what we can do to help. http://firecore.com/contact 

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:08pm

Coming soon. :)

James
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Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:08pm

Awesome. Glad to hear you're enjoying it.

James
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Submitted by kimmo on September 6, 2011 - 2:10pm

Spotify on next update Wink
at least Spotify premium

Submitted by Jesse Kaufman on September 6, 2011 - 2:11pm

here here! best $20 i spent ... just under $120 total (bought mine refurbished) for the smallest and slickest HTPC i've ever run! i don't even want to think how much i spent on my old one (built from scratch and probably 20x larger, not to mention power consumption!)

great work, firecore team!

Submitted by markzi on September 6, 2011 - 2:12pm

Cheers for that.

Submitted by Anonymous on September 6, 2011 - 2:12pm

+1