How to Fix AppleTV "Not Authorized" Error

If you own a G1 (first generation) Apple TV, you may have recently encountered an error message on your ATV unit when trying to watch content purchased on your computer, iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

The error, which reads "Your Apple TV is not authorized to play this content.", began appearing for some users when attempting to play movies or tv-shows on the older apple tv's that was purchased on another device.

While Apple has not recognized the error or posted a fix, there is a work-around to resolve the "not authorized" error message.

To resolve the error message, simply purchase any content directly from the Apple TV. (Tip: There are many "free" preview shows that would work great for this!)

Once the newly purchased content is downloaded and played, all of your other purchased tv shows and movies will now play properly.

My favorite Apple TV tools

I've gotten a couple of emails from people whom (I presume) got an AppleTV for the holidays.

First… congrats. The AppleTV is a great little system. We've been enjoying ours quite a bit since last April.

Second… here's some tools that I use to help manage tv shows, movies, music, etc on the Apple TV.

One thing the AppleTV is missing, IMO, is a native DVD player. I understand why it doesn't have one (so that you will rent/buy from the iTunes store instead), but… you've got all these DVDs and you want to watch 'em. So… you need an encoder.

Handbrake – A great free, open-source app can rip & encode DVDs directly to AppleTV formats. Works on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Don't go and buy a program to do this, because Handbrake is better than anything you can pay for. Seriously. Prior to Handbrake, I was a big fan of VisualHub, but that is no longer being supported. You can also use Handbrake to convert movie files from any format to AppleTV – for those of you who troll BitTorrents, etc.

If you buy or rent movies from the iTunes store, you'll love seeing the movie poster, cast, plot info, etc. But if you're encoding your own video sources, none of the information will be included with your file. That sucks, but here's a fix.

MetaX – A great free meta tag application for Mac OSX Leopard and Tiger. Drag & drop your encoded file (right after you use Handbrake) and it will search user-contributed information, TagChimp, IMDB, and to fill in the blanks, such as movie poster, run-time, genre, etc. This is one of my favorite tools. Once I run a movie through MetaX, it's ready to drag & drop to my iTunes.

iTunes is a decent content manager, but it has it's quirks. Become the master of your domain by using scripts to better organize your media library. Enter Doug's Scripts for Mac OSX.

Set Video of Kind – iTunes has a bad habit of importing *all* videos as "Movies". That's not good at all. Set Video of Kind allows you to specify Movie or TV Show, and easily modify show name, season number, and episode Number for one or multiple videos. This comes in *really* handy when you just imported the entire season of Lost!

C'mon… ya gotta tinker with it!

iPhone/iPod Touch Remote – Control your Apple TV from your phone/ipod!

Hard Drive Upgrades – Wanna add more space? Wanna void your warranty? Go for it!

There are a lot of advanced tools, hacks, and add-ons that are popular for the AppleTV. I've played with them, but I really enjoy the core functionality as much as the hacks.

Shoot me an email/twitter if you have questions or suggestions for me to try!

State of my iTunes Address

Beloved wife, closest peeps, dear family, and various internet brethren:

As we gather via this blog, or tumblog, or RSS feed, or various other digital platforms, I come before you to report that I have reviewed the state of my iTunes library and it is strong.

Although we may find ourselves divided at times about what rocks us, there can be no mistaking that – amongst the 5,776 song files – there is something there that blows our hair back. And through the 26.65GB of music, indeed there is ample time – 17.3 days – to find that which unites us.

And when our ears have been bled dry by poorly designed iPod headphones and we tire of tunage, we can find comfort within the Movies menu and the full 5.1 sound that awaits. Just a few short years ago I stood before you confused, bewildered, and forlorn. But today I am proud to say that my high-res mp4s have reached 100 feature length movies – formatted for iPod and TV, spanning 7.3 days and 60.52GB. And while the humor and action in many of these flicks are best appreciated among those of legal drinking age, I am pleased to count 28 Disney feature animations among the library for the enjoyment of the peeps both young of age and of heart.

And when our week of film has come to an end, we will fear only the absence of popcorn, as 565 television episodes await. Complete series of 24, Prison Break, and the Sorpranos compliment broader selections, such as Lost, Friday Night Lights, and Pinky & the Brain… and everything in between.

Where I was once afraid that I might fill a single drive with music, I have embraced the oracle of nf0 and the era of networked digital media… and my library has benefited greatly because of it. Today, I am pleased to say that my iTunes library now exceeds 112GBs.

There will be many more albums, epic movies, and landmark series to come and, while the challenge to encode them all will be great, my TeraStation NAS stands ready and my Handbrake & VisualHub installs are updated.

Thank you, my fellow peeps, and may Raid5 watch over and protect us all.

Not in the sense that you think I said I did

What would Christmas be without the holiday yule log? Or, in this day and age, the iYule – a free, roaring, holiday yule log for your iPod.

"…which is to say christmas, as in yule… yule log…. Not a log, I don't have a log. I mean you know. If I had a log, not in the sense that you think I said I did.


Good golly. 'Tis the season to be merry."

'Tis the season indeed.

How to: Convert iTunes song as Palm Treo Ringtone

My Palm Treo phone (a Treo 650) has some decent output for mp3s, so I wanted to convert a song in iTunes to use as a ring tone .

How to convert a song in iTunes to ringtone for Treo:

1. Open iTunes, choose a song you like, and play it. NOTE: [purchased music won't work this way]
2. Watch the time on the top of the window and make note of the start time you want the sound to start and the sound to end….so for example, it you like the part of song 30 seconds into it then that would be your start time and if it ends 20 seconds later then your start time is :30 and your end time is :50
3. With the song still selected, go to File>Get Info
4. This brings up the window with Summary, Info, Options, Lyrics and Artwork, CLICK options.
5. Now just add the start and end times.
6. Close window
7. With the song still selected….go to ADVANCED>Convert Selection to Mp3. It will make a copy of the snippet for you in Mp3 format. Your original song remains untouched.
8. Drag the new Mp3 into the Install on Card window in Missing Sync. And do a sync and BINGO…you have customized ringtones added to your SD card on your Treo!!!

If you want to take this one step further, you can assign a different ringtone per caller using mRing.


30 cent DRM-free upgrades @ iTunes

iTunes 7.2 (34) is out and sporting the long-awaited DRM free (ie unprotected) songs from EMI. The best part? You can "upgrade" your purchased songs for $0.30 each, rather than having to repurchase them from iTunes Music Store. 🙂

More on that later. For now I'm off for some DRM-free splurging with some birthday iTunes cards! (Thanks, Mer-Mer!)