Rogue Displays

February 21st, 2008

The folks at Rogue Amoeba have a product called Airfoil, which enables sending arbitrary audio streams to “AirTunes” devices. They just updated it to add support for streaming to your Apple TV. While Apple TV is receiving this streamed audio, it shows various information about the sender, which gave Rogue Amoeba an idea for doing something very “Mac-like.”

They might have been content to show the name of the computer, or a generic picture of a Mac, or even a picture of your particular Mac. But they took it one step further and decided to show a picture of your Mac with your current desktop imposed on it.

Guy English, the developer who came up with this trick, explains how he did it in the Rogue Amoeba blog. Click the link to see how it actually looks on an Apple TV. In a nutshell, he identifies the portion of the computer’s icon that is the “screen” and replaces it with your actual screen content. To make it useful, it shows only the desktop and the app that is sending audio. But for example, if I was writing this blog post and sending MarsEdit’s audio to an Apple TV, the image he’d have to work with might look like this:

Nice! I think it’s fair to say this is one of those nuanced touches that ultimately doesn’t improve the function of a product by all that much, but improves the feel of a product (and its company) by a great deal.

3 Responses to “Rogue Displays”

  1. TheBoyKen Says:

    Hi Daniel, the blog said it just shows your mac model (/ Apple Cinema Display if you’re using a Mac Pro / G5 tower / Mac Mini) with your desktop picture, your dock, and the app that you’re using to stream from (not your whole screen environment / all your app windows), so unless you’re streaming from an ’embarrassing’ app (to use your terminology!), you should be sorted.

    I say it ‘just’ shows, not in the sense “so it’s not that impressive” but “they’re making sure your privacy is being kept”.

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Thanks, Ken. You’re fast! :) I had just realized that and I was editing I guess as you commented. Indeed, the functionality seems unlikely to embarrass.

  3. Colin Gislason Says:

    Wow. That’s really a cool feature, and admirable polish.

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