Playing Media from Internal and External Hard Drives

 I just bought the 160 GB "Take Two" Apple TV to be sure I got one before it disappears, now that the new version has been announced. I have been aware of aTV Flash for some time, but I have some pre-sales questions before I buy. If you have covered this elsewhere please forgive me. Here goes.

I have a Power Mac G4, with a 2GH chip upgrade. It plays video and audio extremely well, no hiccups. Currently, I have two internal 2 TB drives and 4 external 500 GB drives for video: DVD rips and other personal media. My iTunes library is also external, on a 1 TB RAID drive which is backed up with Time Machine along with my Leopard system disk. When I launch iTunes it just works normally, since it is linked to my system disk as the "chosen" library.  It also plays in Front Row along with all the other disks. For each of  them, I had to put an alias in the 'movies folder' of the finder sidebar for Front Row to access them. Everything works perfectly.

My question now is this: how will aTV Flash play from these drives? Right now the externals are hooked up via a USB 2.0 hub plugged into the Mac. I could also plug it into the Airport Extreme if necessary, but I don't want to move it (and all those drives!) to the living room with the Apple TV. I need to access them on my Mac too. And what of the two internal drives, the big boys? Just how does your product play the media from these disks? And will it stream and/or sync?

My other question is: if I buy aTV Flash, how much "extra" should I pay for future upgrades? How long will you continue to add functionality and support the 160? I'd hate to buy a "lifetime upgrade", and then you stop the upgrades after six months or a year (or anytime!) Advise me please!

Keep up the great work! :)

Your iTunes media can be streamed/synced normally after installing aTV Flash, so no change there.

You can easily setup the AppleTV to access your other external drives and stream your non-iTunes media (DVD backups) over the network.  More information on doing this can be seen here:

We're planning to support and add features for both the current (silver) and new (black) AppleTV models.  The aTV Flash software won't stop working if you license is expired, but your access to updates may be limited.

 Thanks Max! After originally writing in, I ran the video again and found the section on networking, share points, etc. Some new tricks for this old dog to learn! But I get it. As for updates, what's in the pipeline for my machine?

 is it possible to stream itunes content from a networked drive?

I have all of my downloaded itunes video stored on a shared airport disk. can i play these without having another mac open with itunes?

Id like to know this also

Unfortunately the AppleTV only supports streaming iTunes content from a computer running iTunes.  :(