I recently whomped together a little TiVo decoding application, that lets folks convert the videos on their TiVo into something they can actually use. This has caused me to get a little more interested in other programs that enhance the TiVo experience. So here, for a Very Special Nik’s Picks, is a rundown of some of the best software out there to assist you in using your TiVo. Best of all, they’re all free!
This is a nifty little application provided by TiVo that lets you stream your iTunes music to your TiVo and also view iPhoto slideshows. While its functionality is a bit limited compared to some alternative programs, it does what it does extremely well. I especially enjoy using it to play my MP3s through my home stereo, since I have full control over the player from the TiVo itself, unlike other solutions (such as Airport Express) that force me to go to my computer and muck with iTunes. Download TiVo Desktop
TiVo Now Playing Widget
This deceptively simple widget gives you a nice view of what’s waiting on your TiVo for you to watch. It effortlessly pulls down listings of what’s on your TiVo, and with a click, downloads the .tivo file to your computer. Downside is that it takes a while to load (especially if you have a 160 GB TiVo, like I do), but once it gets the list of shows, it’s quite responsive. Download TiVo Now Playing Widget
Galleon is the mack-daddy of TiVo software. It lets you add a variety of custom applications to your TiVo. I mean sure, the TiVo Desktop program lets you stream iTunes music or watch your iPhotos on your TiVo, and that’s pretty cool. But what about using your TiVo to monitor your computer over the network? What about automatically downloading shows that meet certain criteria? Or what if you want to view video podcasts, play any internet radio stream, or do a variety of other strange things off of your television?
Well, Galleon handles all that. Behind its somewhat daunting configuration lies a powerhouse of a system which has been tastefully and cunningly integrated into the TiVo interface. True, many of its functions are built into TiVo now, but it still has some gems of applications in there.
To make installation and configuration much easier, I highly recommend the Galleon Bundle for MacOS X which manages some of the initial configuration and makes it much easier to launch and use Galleon on your Mac. Download Galleon