details on how to get front row on your macintosh

October 25th, 2005

How to Get Front Row Working on Your Mac (with a minimum of fuss and one reboot):

  1. Download the Front Row application and various other necessities. Download the “Open Front Row” script. Unzip both.
  2. Place the “BezelServices.framework” folder inside your /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks folder. You’ll have to authenticate with an admin password. You might want to back up your existing “BezelServices.framework” folder to somewhere else on your hard drive first. Or maybe not. It’s your call, man. (If you want to get the original 10.4.2 version back, download it here).
  3. Place the “Front” in your Applications folder.
  4. Go to System Preferences and then Accounts. Select your account. Set “Front” to be a login item.
  5. Place the ” Open Front Row.scpt” into the “Script” folder in the “Library” folder in your home directory. Use the “AppleScript Utility” (in the “AppleScript” folder in your Applications folder) and turn on “Show Script Menu in menu bar”.
  6. Reboot.
  7. When your machine is done rebooting, select ” Open Front Row” from the script menu on your menu bar. Enjoy!
  8. OPTIONAL: Install the Divx Fusion codec to be able to play more .avi files.

(information and software gathered from a post at TUAW).

UPDATE: the DVD playing function doesn’t work. That’s because Front Row really doesn’t actually play anything, it just acts as a front end to the applications (iPhoto, iTunes, QuickTime Player) that do. So I’m guessing that the new iMacs ship with an updated “Front Row-aware” DVD Player application. Also, it seems to bork your yellow-minimize buttons. I’m guessing Front Row is NRFPT until 10.4.3…

UPDATE 2: What do I think about Front Row? Glad you kind-of, sort-of, maybe-did but ultimately-didn’t ask.

  • Zooming into and out of the Front Row interface is capital-K Kewl, classic Apple style. Honestly, that will never get old.
  • There should be some kind of Growl-style pop-up email and IM notifier built-in, so if you get an email or IM while watching a movie, Front Row might be able to let you know, if you wanted it to.
  • Front Row sadly does not find the media on other macs via Bonjour in your local area network, which is lame; if iTunes and iPhoto can find and stream music and photos this way, Front Row should be able to as well.
  • The mirrored thumbnails are awfully nice.
  • How do I say this? Performance seems bad, as none of the data seems to be cached anywhere. Photo-viewing performance seems especially dire, but honestly, who would use this for looking at photos? There are much more efficient ways to view porn porn, I mean, CRAP.
  • Still no support for — or even acknowledgment of the existence of — TV tuners, which is just astoundingly stubborn on Apple’s part.


10 Responses to “details on how to get front row on your macintosh”

  1. tucker says:

    Now that is some cool software. Add the Keyspan Digital Media Remote, and my media center is complete. Windows Media Center can kiss my ass.

  2. tucker says:

    Oh. I guess they don’t make the DMR anymore. You can use this one instead.

  3. tucker says:

    I agree on the TV tuner front. That is a drag. And as far as I can tell Front Row 1.0 doesn’t appear to be plug-in-able, which more or less knocks out the possibility of that happening for at least 6 months I would guess.

    I mean, I personally see myself using this on a mac mini, plugged into a TV for the monitor, which would more or less avoid the tv control issue, but Apple isn’t technically making it available for their headless wonder. And even if they did, not incorporating elgato’s software negates the cool pvr aspect that it brings. Unless Apple has something up their sleeve.

  4. You can use romeo as a remote as well. It works great for me!

  5. Bill says:

    Salling Clicker and my Sony-Ericsson tele make a sweet-ass bluetooth remote.

  6. Ben says:

    Anyone got this working with the original Mac Mini with OS version 10.3.9, couldn’t get Front Row to work with that version.

  7. Jeff says:

    Ben: it definitely seems you need OS X 10.4.2 or higher to even get it to start. ~j

  8. Nick says:

    I have front row now installed on my G4 PowerBook and it works fine except for one small thing. When I run a slideshow in Front Row it shows the slide menu at the bottom and I can’t find how to remove this. I’ve been into iPhoto but there is no general setting for this. You can turn it on and off for an individal slideshow – but if I run a slideshow with it off in front row, the menu still shows.

    Can anyone help?

  9. mike says:

    Ok, so I will make this short, I have just gotton the front row from a brand new install disc from a powerbook. intel model…
    I am going to try it out on my power book right now 10.3.9
    I will try it out at home in 2 weaks when i get there, 10.4 it has, mac mini, old version….
    someone else who has figured this stuff out, please help us. I know lots of people with macs, and people who have old mac minis that would love this hack!, ALL the apple stores i have been in, in the last weak across the us, told me this was impossible… please help

  10. Jeff says:

    Mike, I, um, wouldn’t, um, do that. You’re going to need at least 10.4.3 I think. But, good luck!