In our home, the AppleTV is one of many sources we can select within a distributed A/V system. I can play it in a single room, outside or distributed through a few zones and even the whole house. This is great and something we do almost daily, though I don’t like that I have to move to a room (or go inside) to find a TV in order to change the album or artist. The only thing the remote (and we have it re-programmed into universals and wall panels) can do without seeing what you are doing is change the track or start and stop the music. If there was a way to control things via iTunes a whole world of opportunities would open to 3rd party controllers as well as web connected devices as there are today for managing iTunes with an Airport Express.
I know Steve still regards it as a hobby and since the release of the AppleTV, the only changes we’ve seen have been an update to include streaming YouTube and a larger capacity hard drive. A software hook that lets iTunes (or an iPhone!) control things would be quite helpful and more than just a nice to have for advanced users like myself. While the initial purpose of the device is to relay iTunes to a TV, the limits seem like they by design for some reason rather than considering the possibilities of how something like this would be used. As it happens we have a few Airport Express units connected here and we will be enabling one into the house system next week, but it seems silly to have to make a decision about which iTunes connection we want to use, when it’s all being fed by the same library.