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Thursday, March 29, 2012, 09:30 am PT (12:30 pm ET)

In-depth review: Apple's third generation 1080p Apple TV and Software Update 5




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Music & Computers

In addition to iTunes and Netflix video content, Apple TV also serves as a way to play music from iTunes in the Cloud, your local iTunes PC libraries via Home Sharing, or from a variety of Internet Radio stations.

Click on Music and, if you've set up iTunes Match, you can download purchases and the rest of your iTunes music library directly to your Apple TV.



Without paying for iTunes Match, you can still access music (and movies, TV, podcasts and photos) on your local iTunes PC libraries from the Computers button.



Click Computers and you can navigate through the iTunes libraries you've connected to your Home Sharing Apple ID. When you set up Apple TV, you simply supply the same ID and you'll automatically gain access to the content each iTunes system you've connected under the Settings button's Computers option.





To view photos stored on your local PCs, you have to configure this on your computers within iTunes.



The iTunes Advanced menu item for Photo sharing appears to be tacked on to graft photos into the iTunes experience. It does offer to either share photos from iPhoto (allowing you to share everything or just specific Albums, Events and Faces), or from a selected folder of images (the only option available on Windows PCs). You can also opt to share videos stored within the photo collection.



There are additional photo sharing apps detailed later on page 6, including iCloud Photo Stream, MobileMe galleries, Flickr, and slide show options that can draw from your own photos, National Geographic or Flickr galleries, or from iOS devices using AirPlay.

Radio

In addition to your own music library, Apple TV also lets you stream Internet Radio. Navigate to the Radio button, click, then select a genre and pick a specific channel.







While supporting free Internet radio feeds, Apple TV doesn't directly support popular apps such as Pandora or AOL radio, although iOS apps (and iTunes on your PC) can push audio wirelessly to Apple TV via AirPlay.

On page 5 of 7: AirPlay, Gaming, Sports & News apps