How To Install Front Row using Enabler

Enabler let you enjoy Front Row on any Mac. It installs Front Row and unlocks the built-in support found in Mac OS X.

Download Enabler 1.5

Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.8, 10.4.9 or 10.4.10
  • PowerPC based Mac
  • iTunes 6.0.4 or later
  • iPhoto 6.0.2 or later
  • Core Image capable graphics card

Disclosure: This website (”AndrewEscobar.com”) is not authorized by nor affiliated with Apple Inc.

1. Download Front Row from Apple

  • Download Front Row 1.3 from Apple’s website.

  • When the download completes, open the disk image (FrontRowUpdate1.3.dmg) and copy Front Row’s installation package (FrontRowUpdate1.3.pkg) to the Desktop.

This file must be copied to the Desktop. Do not run the installation just yet. At this point if you try running the Update Installer package, you’ll get this error:

Alert

This software update requires a Macintosh with a built-in infrared (IR) receiver running Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later.

Front Row’s usability is not dependent on an infrared (IR)receiver, and in fact runs very well on recent Macs (past 3 years or so). If you are confident your system is capable, you can chose to skip the hardware check using Enabler 1.5.

2. Install Front Row

  • Download Enabler 1.5
  • When the download completes, open the disk image (Enabler1.5.dmg).
  • Next, open Enabler from the disk image. (Do not copy the application to a different folder. It must be opened from the disk image.)
  • Select “Install Front Row” and authenticate with you password.
  • Wait for Enabler to install Front Row using the installation package found on the Desktop.
  • Select “Continue” after Enabler notifies you that Front Row has been installed.

3. Enable Front Row

Front Row has been installed but Mac OS X checks to see if your Mac has a built in infrared receiver. For Front Row to launch, two of Mac OS X’s system files must first be patched by Enabler. Even without an IR receiver, Front Row can still be used with a keyboard or other remotes, in-place of an Apple Remote.

  • Select “Enable Front Row” button and authenticate with you password.
  • Wait for Enabler to patch Mac OS X.
  • Select “OK” after Enabler notifies you that the system files.
  • Quit Enabler.
  • Restart.

Enjoy Front Row

If you have used Enabler to unlock and enjoy Front Row, please consider making a small donation of thanks:

I greatly appreciate your donations as they help insure the continued support and development of Enabler with future version updates to Mac OS X, including Leopard.

The default keystroke to launch Front Row is command-escape.

Keystrokes

  • Command-Escape - default to show and hide Front Row
  • Option+Up/Down - set volume
  • Enter or Spacebar - select menu, playlist, song, movie, etc.
  • Escape - go back to previous menu/screen
  • Tab - quickly return to desktop (or any other keys really)

Using a Remote

For the best Front Row experience when listening to music, Keyspan’s RF Remote for Front Row is my remote of choice. It is completely compatible with Front Row on any Mac. I prefer using it over the Apple Remote and I highly recommend it for all Mac users.

Front Row Preferences

Enabler provides for a fully working version of Front Row. Open System Preferences to have a full control over Front Row’s preferences.

Keyboard Shortcut
Open the Keyboard & Mouse preference panel. Under the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab, ensure that Front Row’s shortcut is check-marked. The default keyboard shortcut to “Hide and show Front Row” is command-Esc but you can change it by double-clicking on it. I have it set to F11 along side my Exposé and Dashboard keys.

Sound Effects
Open the Sound preference panel. There is a new option under the “Sound Effects” tab to enable or disable playing Front Row sound effects. (While most are all great, the silly flute sound when you select Music from the main menu drives me insane.)

Troubleshooting

What Mac OS X system files are being patched by Enabler?

To unlock Mac OS X’s built-in support for Front Row, Enabler patches the following two system files:

 /System/Library/LoginPlugins/BezelServices.loginPlugin/Contents/MacOS/BezelServices
 /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BezelServices.framework/Versions/A/BezelServices

Is patching these system files safe?

As a precaution, Enabler will only patch Mac OS X and unlock Front Row if:

  • the system files belong to Mac OS X 10.4.8, 10.4.9 or 10.4.9
  • the system files have not already been patched by Enabler

Enabler generates a checksum to verify the integrity of the system files, and only patches the system files if it is safe to do so. While patching Mac OS X will always have inherent risk, Enabler 1.5 should not harm your Mac.

Enabler cannot patch the necessary system files. What should I do?

As a precaution, Enabler will only patch Mac OS X and unlock Front Row if:

  • the system files belong to Mac OS X 10.4.8, 10.4.9 or 10.4.9
  • the system files have not already been patched by Enabler

If you incounter this error message, use Pacifist as follows:

Use Pacifist uninstall Enabler and install the original system files.

  • Download Mac OS X 10.4.10 Combo Update for PowerPC from Apple.
  • Open the disk image (MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.10PPC.dmg).
  • Download Pacifist and copy it to the Applications folder.
  • Use Pacifist to open the installation package (MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.10PPC.pkg).
  • Search for “BezelServices” and install only these two specific file folders:

    /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BezelServices.framework/ /System/Library/LoginPlugins/BezelServices.loginPlugin/

  • Restart.

Questions and Comments

If you are still having trouble, please leave a comment.