Your Mac laptop's beautiful LCD screen would seem to be the perfect artist's canvas or the ideal display for your image editing, presentations, and important documents. However, with Apple's Front Row software, you can do much more than paint, present, or edit images, and you don't even have to touch the keyboard (unless you decide to, that is).
In fact, Front Row has the following four distinct functions:
* Watching DVD movies using DVD Player: If you've already loaded a DVD into your optical drive, you can watch it. (Sorry, your Mac laptop will not load the DVD for you.)
* Viewing photos and slide shows: Front Row calls upon iPhoto so that you can see your albums, film rolls, and slide shows.
* Displaying videos using QuickTime Player: You can choose any video you've downloaded from the iTunes Music Store or saved to your Movies folder.
* Coaxing your favorite music from your iTunes library: You'll find your songs and playlists available from Front Row.
All this is accomplished with the simple infrared Apple remote you see in Figure 1. Like everything from Apple, it's simple, well-designed, and downright elegant.
You don't even have to elevate your posterior from your easy chair to launch Front Row! Just press the Menu button on the remote, and as long as your Mac laptop is on, Front Row runs automatically. To put your laptop to sleep after a night of fun, press and hold the Select/Play/Pause button.
Table 1 includes the important functions of the Apple remote in Front Row.
Table 1: Front Row Functions Controlled by the Apple Remote
Press to launch Front Row or to return to the previous menu from within Front Row
Press to navigate down through menu options or to lower the volume while media is playing
Press to navigate up through menu options or to raise the volume while media is playing
Press to select a menu item or play or pause media from within iTunes, DVD Player, QuickTime, or iPhoto
Press to skip to the next song or DVD chapter, or hold down to fast-forward through a song
Press to skip to the previous song or DVD chapter, or hold down to rewind a song
Of course, those Apple software designers knew that you might find yourself on the road without your Apple remote, so they provided keyboard shortcuts that you can also use to control Front Row. Table 2 explains the keyboard shortcuts.
Table 2: Front Row Functions Controlled by the Keyboard
Command+Esc to enter the menu; Esc to exit it
Space or Return
Note that Front Row has no configuration or settings menu. Front Row is what designers call a front-end application, which means that it launches the Tiger applications necessary to display or play the media you select.
Your Apple remote is not designed to work with any other applications at this time - for example, you can't use it as a presentation aid in PowerPoint or as a playback controller in GarageBand. However, it's a sure bet that Apple will continue to add functionality to the Apple remote in the future, so check the Apple remote section of Tiger's online help system to keep tabs on what's happening!