Use Front Row In OS X Lion [Video How-To]

Use Front Row In OS X Lion [Video How-To]

One of the subtle changes in Mac OS X Lion was the removal of Front Row, Apple’s media center application. While not an incredibly important loss, it may frustrate some users who enjoyed using the application. Fortunately, it’s rather simple to get Front Row working on Lion, as I’ll show you in this video.

The files you will need to restore are:
/Applications/Front Row.app
/System/Library/CoreServices/Front Row.app
/System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.RemoteUI.plist
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BackRow.framework
/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/iPhotoAccess.framework

Related
  • Martin Doppelbauer

    Apparently there is a reason why Apple chose not to include Front Row with Lion.
    At least on my machine the restored application is rather dead in the water: It refuses to see my music and photo libraries. And many of my movies (depending on the format) will also not play back.
    In the end, I got Front Row back just to find out it can’t play 90% of my content any more…

  • robgilgan

    It’s looking like a lot of upgrade remorse to me. I agree that the calendar and address book are pretty dorky, but I prejudged Launchpad and now I really like it. So quick and easy. I never used Front Row, the way my media is set up, it wouldn’t be an appropriate app.

  • Michael Black

    Front Row, for me, was one of those neat looking GUI things that was fun to look at and show off to a non-Mac user, but never to be used again. It’s simply easier to use iTunes, Finder, or simply putting a stacks folder on your dock with your media files than it was to use Front Row. There certainly would have been no harm in including it with Lion, but my guess is that Apple came to the same conclusion the rest of did: it was basically useless. If they had included it in Lion they’d probably feel pressured to continue changing it. And that’s something they wisely decided was not worth the time.

  • Alexandru MOUCHA

    The same happened to me.

  • Chris Coppin

    Or, you could install a much better media center solution, like Plex

  • James Andrew

    I’m using iTunes 10.5 beta 4, when I open front row and go to music it says “Front Row cannot find any songs, Use iTunes to import songs or purchase them from the iTunes store”

  • LTodd820

    I loved Front Row and I was sad to see it go.

    I tried Plex for maybe a day, and I hated it;  it felt incredibly clunky and had none of the ease with which I loved with Front Row.  I switched to XBMC works so much better for me;  I love it.  I might try this restore for kicks and giggles, though, if I have some free time..

  • luxivore

    What is the point of doing this as a video? I don’t want to take 5 minutes to find something out. It’s a really inefficient way to share information on how to do something. Write it out. Then I can scan the page, easily copy the instructions to save somewhere and scan straight to the bits of info I need to know.  Doing a video for something like this is just inappropriate. If you really must scratch your video making habit, then at least provide a written transcript below for those of us who don’t want to have to sit through 5 minutes of video please.

  • Heath Breitenbach

    I did this….and now my mac won’t let me login!  I’m going to have to recover or something.

  • Mike Rathjen

    Now show us how to get Rosetta working in Lion!

  • heeloliver

    I don’t know how some of you can’t get this to work, did you recover ALL the files mentioned in the article? It works like a dream to me. I can’t wait to get a big HD screen for my Mac. Screw you, Apple TV!

  • Dipen Gtm

    i dont have backup what shall i do……

  • Mazin

    Hi Buddy, I have the same problem, did you solve this?

  • Michael Steeber

    it’s a beta version, that’s probably why. 

  • Robert Taylor

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for this but I have the same problem and I’m using iTunes 10.4?  Any ideas?  I really appreciate your help.

  • Cycles3

    Thanks for the terrific instructions on how to restore Front Row to Lion on the CultofMac site.  I followed the instructions to copy and restore the needed files from my Leopard based Mac Mini to Lion, however after shutting down and restarting when I try to launch Front Row nothing happens.  I also downgraded iTunes from 10.4 to 10.3.1 as I read Front Row won’t work with iTunes 10.4 on Lion. 

    I wonder if it’s because I was using a Tiger based version of Front Row on my Leopard Mac Mini.  The version of Front Row that I copied and restored  is version 1 from August 2009.   I didn’t like the smaller font sizes of Leopard Front Row so I always avoided upgrading Front Row in order to retain the older version.
     
    Any thoughts?  I have the Leopard OS install disk in case this is an option.
     

  • Cycles3

    Thanks for the terrific instructions on how to restore Front Row to Lion.  I followed the instructions to copy and restore the needed files from my Leopard based Mac Mini to my new Mac Mini that runs Lion.  I also downgraded iTunes from 10.4 to 10.3.1 before copying / restoring Front Row.  However after shutting down and restarting when I try to launch Front Row nothing happens. 
     
    I wonder if it’s because I was using a Tiger based version of Front Row on my Leopard Mac Mini.  The version of Front Row that I copied and restored is version 1 from August 2009.  I didn’t like the smaller font sizes of Leopard Front Row so I always avoided upgrading Front Row in order to retain the older version.
     
    Any thoughts?  Should I upgrade Front Row on my Leopard Mac Mini and then use these files to copy & restore to my Lion Mac Mini?  I have the Leopard OS install disk in case this is an option.

  • mrtg50

    In the first place, Front Row files from Tiger & Leopard will in all likelihood NOT work as they are also Power PC files.  Lion no longer supports Power PC apps. I followed this procedure & this is what I did. For one thing…I have always used a time machine back up & one of the requirements for Lion is that you must have Snow Leopard already installed…Which I did…I always keep my computer up to date but, before installing Lion, I checked for updates as recommended by Apple. I did one last back up before installing Lion with “Back Up Now.” After installing Lion, I retrieved the necessary files from the last Date & time that they were backed up from SNOW LEOPARD. I did a “Restore” on each of the files…It works great!…And…BTW…I am using the latest version of iTunes … like I said…It works GREAT…even with the remote control!

  • Cycles3

    Thanks for replying.  I literally just got Front Row working 5 minutes before seeing your post.  I had to upgrade my old Mac Mini (Leopard) to Front Row 2.1.7, then copied and pasted the flles/folders as specified at the beginning of this thread by Michael Steeber, rebooted and Front Row worked perfectly, even with my old remote. 

    Earlier this week I did downgrade to iTunes 10.3.1 as I read Front Row won’t work with 10.4.  Sounds like you have it working with 10.4 or higher?  Can you confirm this as there are a bunch of us audiophiles that have ditched our high end CD Transports and DACs in favor of Mac Minis with specialied USB DACs that connect to our 2-channel stereo pre-amps.  This setup blows away most $20,000 CD player transports/DACs.  Front Row is an important part of the setup as most of us are 15 feet away from the Mac monitor and reading iTunes from this distance is impossible.  We’ve tried other remote control applications such as SplashTop and they don’t come close to the convenience of Front Row.

    We’ve heard 10.4 iTunes provides some sonic improvements so we’d appreciate your confirmation that Front Row works with 10.4.

     

  • mrtg50

    Yeah … I’m using the latest version of iTunes… 10.4 … It works fine!  I’ve checked it over & over again to make sure…I’ve rebooted MANY time!…I’ve shut down the computer MANY time & booted back up…Still works fine with iTunes 10.4!  I’m using a mid 201o Mac Mini (2.66 Ghz. Core 2 Duo, 8gigs of RAM…If that helps anyone in anyway).

  • jose

    this helped me find the 3rd way that he says it\s that difficult but he won\t get to talk about it, this was the easiest and effective, 
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-1
    now get to play the music with the new version of iTunes…

  • shucai45
  • Ddoria921

    How did you get it to work with iTunes 10.4?

  • Maikol

    Does Front Row, iDVD and iWeb go away when upgrading to Lion from a Snow Leopard machine? 

  • Mike B

    I have done the following and it works great…
    Uninstall itunes 10.4 and then install itunes 10.3.1. It will work just fine then.

  • Chrisrohrer

    Thanks for a groovy video !!  I was really going to miss Front Row, now I am a happy camper again!!!

  • Mauricio Palacio

    I tried to find the files in my mac mini with snow leopard but I couldn´t.  May be they are hidden o something like that.  Could you please tell me how can I find them? or send me an e-mail with the files?  (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)  Thanks in advance

  • Mauricio Marinho

    The unique solution is downgrade. Thanks Apple.

About the author

Michael SteeberMichael Steeber is a student who is obsessed with everything Apple. He enjoys making videos and runs the MSComputerVideos YouTube channel in his free time. You can follow him on Twitter as well.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in How-To, Mac, OS X | Tagged: , , , |