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Second-generation Apple TV users, your little black box just got a lot cooler. FireCore has just pushed out a beta 7 update to its popular aTV Flash (black), which brings a host of new abilities to Apple’s otherwise locked-down media streamer -- including cloud backups for third-party settings, music playback and metadata views.
FireCore, LLC has announced the immediate availability of aTV Flash (black) beta 7, the latest version of the company’s jailbreak-only solution for adding new superpowers to the second-generation Apple TV. Among the free goodies to be found after installing aTV Flash are third-party applications such as Plex and XBMC as well as a robust Media Player capable of streaming normally incompatible video from a Mac, PC or network-attached storage device.
aTV Flash (black) beta 7 brings three major new features to the table, including music playback abilities now built into Media Player. That means you can stream music that’s not part of your iTunes library, with album art, track info and artist images automatically downloaded from Last.fm. Folder playlists are also supported, and users can navigate away from the currently playing track where you’ll see a “Now Playing” option in the main menu to quickly jump back to your place.
Perhaps the most exciting new feature in beta 7 is the introduction of cloud backups. One of the biggest problems with aTV Flash is that every new update from Apple requires users to start all over again, losing any previous settings for third-party applications. Now you’ll be able to save this settings data to the cloud and easily recall backups whenever you update or restore your device. Backups are tied to your Apple TV serial number, so as long as you don’t change hardware you can quickly get back to where you were before.
Finally, aTV Flash (black) beta 7 introduces metadata views in the Media Player, with three distinct option for viewing. The default view is General, which contains a portion of the synopsis and other information; Synopsis view shows the full description of your movie, while Technical view shows detailed information about the file in question.
Users already running aTV Flash (black) on their second-generation Apple TV can head to the Maintenance menu and select Manage Extras to install the latest beta; new users can purchase now at a discounted price of $19.95 prior to the official launch this fall, when the price goes up to $29.95.
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