I think this is just about as cool as it gets these days, even though AudioFaucet is already well over a year old:
To give you an idea of what’s going on here, ponder this for a moment first:
- iTunes is running on my Mac in a different room from my TV. Some big drives attached to the Mac are where all my digital media lives.
- My TiVo HD recently got an update from TiVo (in fact it just informed me today) that enables its Home Networking apps (a.k.a. HME).
- iTunes is a ‘scriptable’ application, meaning programs can talk to it using its scripting API (implemented using Apple’s standard AppleEvents, which are built into the system).
- The screenshot above is drawn onto my TV screen by a Java application, running on my Mac in the other room, and is output to the TV by the TiVo.
- Audio from the Mac is streaming over the network to the TiVo, and comes out of my HiFi speakers via an optical fiber connected to the TiVo.
- When I hit the Thumbs Up button on my TiVo remote, the rating of the song on my iTunes library on my Mac is updated instantly.
So there are lots of interfaces at work here that are machine to machine, or software to software, and that have nothing to do with ‘human’ interfaces: USB (for the disks that hold my media files), AppleEvents (for AudioFaucet to talk to iTunes), TOS (digital audio over fiber optic), TCP/IP over the home network including a transparent coaxial link from the living room to the office in the basement, IR remote (proprietary TiVo), HDMI (digital video from the TiVo to the TV), and if the screenshot were of a podcast playing, then you can throw in RSS (a format, but also an interface).
I’ve been messing around with technology for about 30 years, with varying degrees of seriousness. This is by far the most fun and most versatile set of toys I’ve ever played with.
And I’m sure I’m only barely able to imagine how cool this stuff will be in just a few years. Every few years. For probably the rest of my life.
Ps. This works on Windows too, though I’m pretty sure the the interface is Windows Events, instead of AppleEvents.