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Apple TV 3.0 Enhances Menu Selections

Apple introduced for its Apple TV system a new Apple TV 3.0 software update featuring a redesigned main menu that is said to simplify the navigation and selection of on-demand HD movie and TV show rentals and purchases, in addition to music and podcasts from the iTunes Store.

The update enables viewing in full screen new iTunes Extras and iTunes LP features, as well as listening to Genius Mixes and Internet radio stations through a home-theater system.

Apple TV owners can download the software upgrade for free. It will also be available installed in 160GB Apple TV systems that carry a $229 estimated retail.

The redesigned main menu provides instant access to content choices including TV shows, music, podcasts, photos and YouTube, Apple said.

Full-screen access to iTunes Extras enables viewing additional video content such as deleted scenes, interviews and interactive galleries, while the iTunes LP feature is billed as “the next evolution of the music album,” providing an “immersive experience” for select albums on the iTunes Store.

The feature combines design with expanded visual features including live performance videos, lyrics, artwork, liner notes, interviews, photos, and album credits.

By enabling playback of Genius Mixes through connected home-theater systems, the new software permits up to 12 endless mixes of songs automatically generated from the iTunes library.

Also included are Internet radio channels with the option to tag favorite stations to listen to later.

The iPhoto Events feature is said to simplify finding favorite photos on Apple TV, as well as iPhoto Faces, which gives access to photos organized by people identified in iPhoto.