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 ciscosurplus on September 6, 2011 - 2:15pm

I can't seem to get it to update gone to update maintanance it's days failed " e:\dpkg was interrupted you must manually run 'dkpg -configure to correct the problem.

Submitted by eninety2@yahoo.com on September 6, 2011 - 2:17pm

wow, i want my movies to show up like that. how did you guys get it to look so perfect?

Submitted by marct.7639 on September 6, 2011 - 2:17pm

Good work.

Nice idea to play music without itunes. However, the playlist option only works on the first hierarchy folder level above the music files. This means I would have to disarrange all my music to enable a 'play all' feature. I also miss a shuffle and repeat feature.

That's the pain of developping stuff. In stead of being thankful, people get hungry for more.

Sorry about that guys

Submitted by ahramlee on September 6, 2011 - 2:19pm

What would make the purchase of the ATV Flash (black) easier for me is the ability to use the 2nd gen ATV as an airplay speaker for my 1st gen ATV (that's running ATV Flash).  Is this a capability your development team is looking into or perhaps already in the planning/development phases?

I'm not too impressed with the feature set of the 2nd gen ATV straight out of the box.  I get more use out of my Airport Express, as I'm at least able to stream music to it from my 1st gen ATV's.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:19pm

Will we ever be able to view HULU? What you have so far is AWSOM, but it would blow everything else away if we could download or view HULU.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:21pm

Are planing to make support for viewing photos, so we don't need XBMC?

Submitted by freudenbauer on September 6, 2011 - 2:21pm

Hello

I don´t know if there is a way to request a feature but it would be awesome to get access to google music for those without streaming devices. I really hope this is possible.

 

sincerely freudenbauer

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:21pm

I dont know what version your using, but the one I have is easy to use easy to set up and works exactly as advertised, we use it most nights instead of TV.

Submitted by gsmdokter on September 6, 2011 - 2:25pm

I make order and paid and I don't recieve a download link.

 

Also no reply on my support ticket. :(

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:26pm

Is the Netflix have subtitles on this beta?

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:41pm

Great update, thanks!

Still (patiently) waiting for dvd-iso playback.
Is that something your team is working at?

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:41pm

Does Plex now work on the latest Apple TV iOS or do we still need to use the work around that is on the Plex forums to get it working?

Thanks for all the great work!

Submitted by mcazee on September 6, 2011 - 2:45pm

Thank you very much!!!

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:51pm

Sorry bud but support tickets with these devs don't go to far, they are far to "busy" to answer any questions from anyone. i tend to think they don't care if you're having a problem to tell the truth. but anyway if you purchased it you can go to to account and download it there

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 2:55pm

Look up HULU on XBMC. It can be done.

Submitted by mikaelf.99355 on September 6, 2011 - 2:55pm

Login and go to the account page. Download links should be there. I don't think I ever got an email with links....

/Mikael

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:56pm

Plex still needs an update for the 4.3 AppleTV software.

Not much we can do from our end, sorry. :(

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 2:56pm

Yes, but no ETA just yet.

Submitted by garyf.8253 on September 6, 2011 - 2:59pm

Thanks for the unexpected Music capabilities! It took forever to "load content" probably because my library is large, but it works apparently flawlessly. That's nice. There's still a bit of time between tunes while it downloads metadata.. maybe it can do that pre-emptively in future....

 

Oh... and of course, one of the biggest asks for itunes library from hippies like me is to be able to stream the i-tunes visualiser.... are you planning to incorporate a visualiser? Oh please say yes!!

 

Thanks again for your efforts.

GAz

Submitted by ed2205 on September 6, 2011 - 3:01pm

Fantastic piece of software that has turned my atv2 into a great piece of kit. Lifetime dates at $50 is a bargain.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:04pm

Great work!

Can you add an option to change the subtitle
On screen position?!

I have movies with black bars, and now the
Subtitle is in the movie. I want the subtitle
To position lower so the are in the black bars.

Submitted by thechrisreese on September 6, 2011 - 3:06pm

I freaking love aTV Flash.  

I just wish there was a better way to have the apple TV and XBMC interact.  Having to crash XBMC and have lowtide restart every time I want to leave XBMC sucks.  I know this isnt you, and frankly aTV Flash works exceedingly well.  

maybe one day you can get a way for Media Center to take plug-ins like XBMC does so we can run Hulu and Icefilms right from Media Center rather than needing XBMC.  That would be awesome. 

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:10pm

Great update!!! Thanks for added support for music file, this is what I'm waiting for. Hopefully embedded subtitle also available for next update.

aTV flash make my AppleTV more powerful !!!! Thanks for your great job.

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 3:10pm

You can adjust the size, color and outline type but not the actual placement.

These various subtitle options can be found in the playback menu (press/hold select during video playback).

Submitted by ryanj.3754 on September 6, 2011 - 3:12pm

What about resuming a movie played from Media Player?  When we rip a (full or movie-only) DVD into the system it would be super nice to be able to resume it later if say we needed to leave or stopped to have a meal.  Something resembling the Netflix resume feature...

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:14pm

So, to Install this i only need to do those two updates ?

1. Maintenance ?
2. MediaPlayer ?

Ps.
I will probably not buy the full version after one year, I don't like how you put all your power in "Media player" (witch i don't use)
The statement you were working on "Much, much more..." features.

Submitted by karlk.6082 on September 6, 2011 - 3:16pm

dp

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:16pm

Excellent! One thing though - I see .dvdmedia extensions are still visible...

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:16pm

So this doesn't scrape TV metadata yet, but otherwise how well does it work w/ TV shows divided into folders?

Can you open up a 'Dexter' folder w/ a 'Season 1' subfolder and then hit play on the episode you want?

Additionally, how does the 'frequently watched' section at the top of the main screen apply to TV shows? In an ideal world you could just resume the episode you were watching partially, or if you finished it (minues credits) it'll move on to the next one...

Is this something it can do now, or should I wait?

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:25pm

How about DVD playback with Remote Disc sharing capabilities? Any plan to add something like that?

Since Apple is giving up on physical media I don't think we can expect it from them any time soon.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:31pm

Thanks for the update.

Once slight concern. I know you updated how the Movie Meta-Data works. However, for me this update is not for the better. Movies that could be found before are no longer found. I have to make sure every file name is exact before the meta data works.

Since I am super anal when it comes to my file names this is a problem (example: Moviename.R5.xvid was found before but not anymore)

Thank you,

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 3:31pm

It will play virtually any file you point it at, though support for downloading additional information (cover art, episode name, episode synopsis, etc...) for TV Shows is not yet available.

The Recently watched section will show all recently played videos on the AppleTV (not just movies) though for TV Shows you will have a generated thumbnail instead of actual cover art.

Resuming where you left off is supported for most files.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:32pm

I have metadata inside my mp4 and m4v files. With the cover art, basic synopsis, year produced etc.
Will Media Player now be able to pick up that metadata?
My Macs are able to see it in Finder, and in icon view in finder it displays them as their cover art.

Submitted by james on September 6, 2011 - 3:33pm

Better support for correcting wrong metadata will be available is coming soon.

Hang in there. ;)

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:47pm

Will there be support in the future for http streaming? I often use xbmc to stream Megaupload and Megashares media links.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:50pm

So if you watch 5 episodes of the same show, the Recently Watched will show 5 generated thumbnails instead of just 1 for the whole series?

It'd be nicer if the TV features were more fleshed out. I'm currently looking for an XBMC replacment (mainly because it's slow) so hopefully this one will be capable in the future...

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:51pm

Hello James.

Thanks for reply!

Could this be a next future for the mediaplayer?!

For example: wdtv mediaplayer supports subtitle placement
When movie is playing you can adjust subtitle
Placemant Up/Down with arrow keys.
(I think the use a overlay for the subtitle to adjust)

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 3:52pm

Closed Captioning is no longer working...grrr.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 4:07pm

How do I use local cover art with ripped DVDs as vob files?

Submitted by genea.0219 on September 6, 2011 - 4:16pm

The beta .7 is a good update. In general, it seems more stable with IOS 4.3. However, PLEX is still not showing up in the menu unless I apply Hieta's update

wget http://home.hieta.se/~tru/plex-atv/pre-builds/... ; dpkg -i PLEX.frapplication.deb

The update is unstable and PLEX crashes so frequently that it is unusable for anything other than movies. If I reapply the 'update' from the atvBlack maintenance menu, then PLEX disappears from the menu once again.

Submitted by jhuckle@simoret... on September 6, 2011 - 4:17pm

Hi. This is perfect. Quick questions, any way for playlists of music? Also, for back up cloud, where does the backup reside?

Thank you

Submitted by bøtcher on September 6, 2011 - 4:38pm

how do I create a file for localized metadata

Thanks

Submitted by bøtcher on September 6, 2011 - 4:40pm

how do I create a file for localized metadata
Thanks

Submitted by mattk.2181 on September 6, 2011 - 4:44pm

Now there is a music player...

FLAC, FLAC, FLAC!!!

Stream FLAC over NAS is a killer app!

(sorry, but I think you opened Pandora's Box here ;)

Submitted by mattk.2181 on September 6, 2011 - 4:45pm

Sorry. It used be done. Cannot anymore.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 4:56pm

Cool :) still no support for subtitles in .mv4 files.

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 4:58pm

I would love to see a video demonstrating the current setup. I am still waiting to see a setup that would fit my needs.

Submitted by ap on September 6, 2011 - 5:06pm

Can you please support smi subtitle?

Thanks for great work!

Submitted by ViperLord on September 6, 2011 - 5:09pm

Love the update, mp3 support was wait I was waiting for, and quicker than the current XBMC port.

Had to reboot a few times, seems to loose SMB access after abit while streaming music anyway. (Restart AppleTV option in Settings worked)

 

I'm getting meta data for TV shows personally, but what I tried all had iTunes meta added, not sure if this uses it.

 

Hope maybe a Pandora option at some point.

 

Submitted by Anon on September 6, 2011 - 5:33pm

I updated Maintenance and Media Player and still do not see the music playing capabilities in Media Player. I see the Backup capability. I'm on 4.2.2 now, do I need to update to the latest firmware before seeing these changes?