One of the nice things about being a parent is that as your kids grow up you get to learn new things. One of my daughters loves fine art. She can talk about artists and their work the same way I talk about jazz music, Star Wars, and technology. It has been a lot of fun for our family learning from her and visiting museums with her.
Several years ago we bought the Art Authority (Website) (App Store) application for the iPad which has an exhaustive collection of artwork sorted by period. As an interesting bit of trivia, the man behind Art Authority, Alan Oppenheimer was on the original Macintosh team and is responsible for, among other things, AppleTalk. While Art Authority on the iPad is, It doesn’t lend itself to more than one or two people at a time.
That has all changed with the Art Channel (Website) application on our Apple TV. Art Channel, made by the same team that makes Art Authority, is an Apple TV application that displays fine art on your television. It comes with a basic set of paintings but for $1/month you can get a lot more. We are subscribers and loving it. Our television often transforms into fine art. There are videos that display artwork to music but the real benefit is playing slideshows with your own music playing in the background.
It really isn’t much of a stretch to think of an application that displays fine art on your television but Art Channel does it well. The images look great and we sometimes leave the app running for hours as we are going about the day. We also put Art Channel on the television when we have friends visiting. It’s so much nicer than a blank screen and often leads to conversation about a particular piece of art. There are also videos that display artwork to music but the real benefit is playing slideshows with your own music playing in the background.
I have two small issues with the application. The first is that the longest play time on one image is 90 seconds. I would like it to be longer. Also, the order of the slideshows is always the same. I’d prefer an option to randomize the images.
I often work in the same room as our family television and having some Dexter Gordon playing while the Apple TV slowly cycles through impressionist art is pretty great.